Sunday, November 1, 2009


Just a quick note that I've moved the chapters from Ziggy's Journey to their own blog. This kind of avant-garde fiction doesn't look like something I'm going to be able to pursue on a permanent basis, and so I'd prefer not to muck up Ziggy Liberated with posts with a different tone and story. Feel free to browse the archives here as always - Ziggy Liberated has inexplicably maintained a reader base. Thank you!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ziggy Liberated: The End

Well, here we are - one year of Ziggy analyzed, sometimes heckled and only occasionally criticized. Ziggy Liberated is on the home stretch, and other things have taken my interest of late, but dangit if I didn't promise I'd tread the dusty trail to Ziggy's April 8th strip! And traverse the final week we will, in a little post I like to call "Too Much, Too Late."

I may eventually turn this site into something else entirely (we'll keep the archives, of course). Check back in a couple of months! It's been fun!

(Note: for an explanation of what this site is and why on God's green Earth I decided to do something like it, please see this post.)

Ah, yes - the old sign which has no function other than to comment upon and warn against its own existence. It's an old comedy standby, and for good reason - we're not comfortable with the idea of inanimate self-reference, particularly when the item in question exists purely for the purpose of this cautionary self-reference.

Of course, Ziggy's confusion may stem more from the fact that this sign wasn't in his living room yesterday and all of the doors and windows are still sealed.

I've been known to remark that there are two kinds of nations: those with ubiquitous bicycle racks and those whose citizens use the skin of tarantulas to make drums. I'd like to think that the irony in the statement protects me from any allegations of racism, yet it's undeniable that such a statement is shortsighted, impolite and uninformed. So it is without any fear of further ruining my reputation that I state that the best exchange rate in the world wouldn't cover up the fact that I'd be killed by enormous pitcher plants minutes after getting off of the plane.

"A coup!" the people shouted as the gen'ral came upon,
The television screen as he began to prattle on.
"Beware the FDA!" he said. "And shun the FCC!
In fact, the only one that you have cause to trust is me!"

He made his case quite plainly: "As protector of the peace
I've found myself quite able in my job, to say the least.
My warnings on tobacco, alcohol and magazines,
Have surely helped us all in steering clear of nasty things!"

"I've stood firm in my duties and I patiently await,
The transfer to my hands of standing armies and the State."

"Oh, wait. He went to that kinky medical school."

Geez, Ziggy really needs to catch on. These animals don't care if the movie doesn't have animals - they watch what they want!

"Hey, why are you eating that apple cereal if it doesn't taste like apple?"
"Shut your noisehole, Dad!

Geez, climb up a mountain with nothing but your bare hands and look what happens at the top! I'm willing to bet here that this is the last time Ziggy every does anything again.

"Hyuk! Just thought that I'd poke my creepy head into your living space and make you fear for your own security! Don't mind me - I'll just be wandering around outside, critiquing the decor and just generally making a scat-coated mess of things."

We don't like the idea of nature intruding into our homes, though walls and ceilings are an arbitrary division and they occupy the same space. Frankly we're not too keen on nature in its own habitat, either: I vividly recall my youthful horror as a couple of ne'er-do-will fellow Boy Scouts on a camping trip spent much of their days catching crawdads and crushing their arms off with pliers. Were we to find a crawdad in our house I doubt we'd stop at the arms (and, though Good Samaritan I am, a piece of paper fitted under a cup hardly seems up to the task of letting them loose again outside).

Our fungicides, shoe soles and screens do an admiral job of reinforcing the illusion that there are two distinct and separate types of locations in this world: Inside and Outside. Good luck with that, human race.

Seems a fitting end to a year-long philosophical analysis of Ziggy. Thanks, everybody!

"I wuv you!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A short story in two parts (and in reverse order!)

Part one two: Why, Ziggy and his parrot are reading books in an attempt to explore each other's worlds and arrive at an understanding! What could be happening here?

Part two one: Ah, it seems that Ziggy ran across this bizarre amalgamation of walking and flying, and in an attempt to combine the two is collaborating with his parrot to discover the secret to levitation.

It ain't funny, but it sure makes sense.

A short story in two parts

Part one: Bird gets angry at our protagonist for perceived cheapness.

Part two: Bird poisons local food in a petty attempt at vengeance.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I tell you, I was the soldier in that photo!

It's a monument to all of the nobodies and unknowns in the world! Like the soldier and nurse who kissed at the end of World War II, masked people who rob bakeries and ghostwriters to celebrity memoirs! God bless you people for staying out of the way and giving credit to those with fame to spare.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pychedelic Storytime Friday

The teller to the left leaned toward ol' Frizzy Hair and whispered, "He means the used cardboard boxes from the back. I'll go get them." Ziggy's nose upturned, he waited with baited breath and began to draw on the spirits and advisors of the astral plane within himself, that level of consciousness accessible by only the most adept and socially inept:

. . . And arrived on a tall mountaintop, to face that wizened, decrepit representative of his subconscious self, that bearded out representative of his submerged ego who only speaks in bland, occasionally-offensive platitudes like "Change we can believe in", "Send our window washers back to Kyrgyzstan when they came from!" and "Protect Social Security! Kill an old person with untraceable poison!"

This side of Ziggy's personality was not one he was proud of - it had been repressed for a reason - and yet in confronting it Ziggy began to sense something about himself, a hidden bigotry that could be channeled, perhaps, rather than become mere energy squandered. As usual, Ziggy's quest to make friends while discovering his inner self led him to dial an old friend from this astral plane, and so ensued an enthralling, largely imaginary, one-sided conversation which ended in the typical manner:

For while Ziggy's friends were eager to help him, their opinion of his intelligence was not to be overestimated, a characteristic which persisted into the astral plane. Ziggy's spirit journey abruptly ended, for the bank teller had arrived with Ziggy's precious, precious cardboard boxes and a cryptic message:

"Oh, it's you," she said, correcting herself. "Just the boxes, then."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bedeviled Appliances

"And now, if you'll turn this way, I'll tell you the story of the Revengful Dishwasher, which will conclude the tour. Y'see, three years ago I had a habit of cooking up bootleg hooch in my Whirlpool. One morning, after finishing a particularly potent rinse cycle, the still within up and exploded, sending fortified spirits flying everywhere! Ever since it's felt a continual need to melt every plastic object within. This concludes the tour of my Hell House."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Creepy People Who Talk To You On the Bus One-Liner Sunday (Desperate Catch-Up Edition)

"They - they may take me soon. I realized that after they finally repossessed our walls. I'm going to make a run for the Dairy Queen. Meet me there in five minutes and we'll talk about your crappy GM."

Twenty minutes later, Ziggy had a fresh pair of slippers.

This is how Ziggy excuses himself when surprised by sudden visitors while viewing his cute baby animal websites.

Ziggy's visitors have already tagged this strip with the word "cynical." Perhaps that's warranted: the answer to this bird's question is that the base of the bath is a pipe that goes directly to the kitchen of a Golden Corral buffet.

"OO-RAH ONGOLO MAKEESH!" Agents of the IRS will often begin to summon demons as a way of intimidating the taxpaying American into not staying long.

Unfortunately those two words, in their dialect, translate loosely as, respectively, "white meat" and "dark meat."

Not to mention that fact that these aliens have finally learned about out culture and our lack of common sense and have gotten very efficient at "processing" humans.

"The other secret is that I murder everybody I tell this to in an effort to preserve the first secret! It's funny how life works - enjoy your sloppy joe!"

This anthropomorphization of a common household object would have been more convincing if Ziggy hadn't told us last week that his cat needed "meow meow" money for heroin.

Ziggy has a secret Telephone Computer Voice fetish that he satisfies at a costly $2.99 a minute.

Friday, March 27, 2009

. . . and I Must Scream

Though I have but a month or so left of doing this blog (I will be ending this feature with the analysis of April 8's strip), I can't help but feel that this feature is also winding down, much like the apocalyptic end of Bloom County or, for that matter, the way a friend will often go terribly mad before going on a vacation (whether the one follows the other is hard to tell). Ziggy's world for this past week seems more sordid, more terrible and arbitrary than ever before. I hope April 8 isn't some boring, mundane strip and I have to eat my words.

By the way, is this creepy?:

Yes, It's True

How arbitrary, how random, how hellish is Ziggy's life! Further commentary would do injustice to this squalid scene.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Behind the Orange Door

t's rare to find a new door while wandering through one's house, though on a fateful morning in March that's exactly what happened to our friend Ziggy. Now, Ziggy was not a particularly adventurous man, nor prone to much wandering, but this strange new sight seemed to hold a certain appeal to his interests. "Why, I wonder what could be behind this strange, dusty new door?" thought Ziggy, gripping the doorknob with frightening strength and opening the creaky hinges. But what he saw before him was both merely a surprising and terrible visage of the past:

"RELEASE ME FROM THIS LIFE!" yelled Ziggy to the unforgiving aether, his awkward adolescence now thrown in full regalia before his eyes. "I wish but to die for to escape this unkind sight!" But no succor was forthcoming.


This vending machine's either a little insecure or just enthusiastic and dynamic. All yelling at people from the sidewalk and all: "Whatsa matter sir? You don't like soda? Well, you look like a punchy, enterprising individual so I have a deal for you. Three - that's three - bottles of Dasani in exchange for two quarters up front. I know you're busy but that'd be a heckuva bad offer to pass up, now wouldn't it?"

Everybody's in on it! "Salvation - that's right, spiritual and emotional salvation - for less than you'd spend on shampoo in a month. Well, maybe not you, kind sir, but you've got hair care money to spare, now don't you? All the secrets of life and it'll fit on your coffee table."

Friday, March 20, 2009

One-Liner Immortal Devourer of Souls Friday

Provocative, to say the least. Is being deliberately provocative to this degree sufficient cause for revocation of one's business license? I say it is.

Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near, Ziggy? They long to subject you to litigation and emotional anguish. And they want your lunch.

Once you've hit both fluid in your lungs and shaded nose, you're pretty much over the peak of recoverability anyway.

A related thought: If Ziggy dies in your backyard, all you can really do is throw him by his legs over the fence for the neighbors to take care of.

"Identity crisis? Hmm. . . you're too short for a murderous schizophrenic, but you'd be a great secret agent!"

"Actually, your generic change of name last week to 'National Bank' was pretty telling." Next week it'll be "The Money Place" and they'll only hand out Chuck-E-Cheese Tokens.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ends of Ends

A solitary sojourn to the ethereal Corner of the World - a place ravaged by the bloody excesses of Man, celestial in its imposed peace yet a silent witness to the barbarism that has led it to its permanent state of ever-weary yet paradisiacal mourning. A refuge only in the same absolute way as Death itself, this corner goes nowhere, for there is nowhere beyond to go.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Am I . . . speaking to Ziggy right now?

Two cute punchlines in a row. And this one involves cell phone texting; I hope Old Man Wilson and his coerced cartoonist son aren't slipping.

Still, yesterday's "I'm full of fuzzy wuzzies!" Ziggy is better than today's "wry one-liner referencing financial woes in the context of modern society" Ziggy.

Of course, one particularly surreal Ziggy always has my undivided attention:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's a happy kind of passed out. . .

Aww. . .

Wait - has Ziggy given his pets alcohol?

Criticize the Art Tuesday

Wow - it's no wonder that Frizzy Hair McGee chose a job with a bookstore, considering that she has the word "BOOKSHOP" floating perpetually over her head, and a helpful admonition for borrowers of self-help books nearby, forward and a little to the left.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Life Lived Vicariously, Through Pixels

I'd hate to see what similar alternative the lady at the dating service has to offer. Y'know, we've seen some pretty bizarre, insulting ultimatums from these people, or even premature rejection, but never the option for Ziggy to opt out of the system entirely. That's something our man Z should really consider while he's at home trying to get his stomach's fill from Red Lobster and Pepsi ads.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How the Mean Ol' Blue Man Stole Elm

"But, you know, that blue jerk was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
'Why, my pantsless old chum,' the fake fix-it-man lied,
'There's a branch on this tree and it's on the wrong side!'
'So I'm bringing it back to my workshop, mon frere.'
'I'll fix it up there. Then I'll bring it back here.'

And when Ziggy at last went inside for a pee,
He went to his truck bed's and stuffed in the tree!"