So Real is Him

Dan Piraro’s Bizarrowas the reason we kept reading the funny pages for as long as we did. We weren’t always sure what was funny or not, if we were missing a joke that was there or getting a joke that was not. Bizarrois often maddening — you know about Piraro’s secret symbols? — and that brought us back for more, a dose of weirdness in all the Sally Forth sameness. We also came back for the art. Piraro can draw. Our favorite art in the paper, for sure, a retro style that hints at his more serious work on canvas (which turns out to be a lot like surrealism — no surprise there). Though our funny-page days have dwindled, Piraro has powered on, gaining a slew of awards, even the top one in 2009: the Rueben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. This year, he finished his 10,000th cartoon. How to celebrate? With a one-man stage show, of course. (Piraro is basically a practicing surrealist — the people in the movement saw it not as an aesthetic style but rather an all-encompassing code for living.) Bizarro’s 10,000th Anniversary stars the man himself, doing God knows what. But you’re in good hands, as the cartoonist is a veteran of one-man shows — his Bizarro Baloney Show won Best Solo Show at the New York Fringe in 2002. That one had music, comedy, live drawing, voices, and puppets. Let’s hope this one keeps the puppets.
Thu., April 26, 7 p.m., 2012

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