Hidden symbols

After I posted a Bizarro in “No stinkin’ budgies” (here), Chris Hansen wrote in puzzlement over the stick of dynamite in the cartoon. I replied that this was just one of Dan Piraro’s “hidden symbols”, with no meaning in the context of the cartoon (or in the wider culture). I thought I’d posted the full inventory of these, but apparently not, so for reference here’s the list from the Wikipedia page on the strip:

Most Bizarro cartoons include one or more of these devices hidden somewhere in the cartoon:

an eyeball (the Eyeball of Observation)

a piece of pie (the Pie of Opportunity)

a rabbit (the Bunny of Exuberance)

an alien in a spaceship (the Flying Saucer of Possibility)

the abbreviation “K2” (referring to his children Kermit and Krapuzar)

a crown (the Crown of Power)

a stick of dynamite (the Dynamite of Unintended Consequences)

a shoe (the Lost Loafer)

an arrow (The Arrow of Vulnerability)

a fish tail (The Fish of Humility)

an upside down bird (the Inverted Bird)

Piraro indicates how many symbols are hidden in each strip with a number above his signature.

The cartoon in “No stinkin’ budgies” has two symbols: the Dynamite of Unintended Consequences, and also the Eyeball of Observation. Over the years I’ve noted other hidden symbols from this list in Bizarro cartoons. (The Pie of Opportunity and the Bunny of Exuberance are especially common.)

One Response to “Hidden symbols”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    After you pointed out the superscript the other day, I made a mental note to start watching for these, which of course I have forgotten to do.

    When I was a boy, the Arts section of the Sunday New York Times always had a drawing by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld on its front page, and I always noted the number next to his signature indicating the number of hidden “Nina”s, and would not move on until I had found them all.

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