Books by Dan Piraro

Released: Nov. 1, 1997

A popular cartoonist decides to hit the road to promote the latest collection of his strips. The gimmick: Let the fans pay in full for the junket. Piraro, a cool kinda '90s guy, is the creator of the syndicated daily cartoon ``Bizarro.'' He went to the Internet to recruit the help of devoted fans, pleading electronically for meals, lodging, and transportation during his ten-city book tour. He put the byte, so to speak, on adventuresome readers from California to Florida (where, he notes, the ``humidity is such that you need only to take a deep breath to quench your thirst''). After downloading the whimsical story of his shy youth, Piraro describes the trip and the obliging folk who fell in with his scheme. Some ``Bizarro'' enthusiasts staked him to meals, some lent him a spare room, some hauled him to book signings, and others provided airplane tickets. His evident fondness for them notwithstanding, he makes many seem like fugitives from an Ed Wood movie. There are overly neat yuppies and aging hippies, scary guys and predatory females (let's hope he used impenetrable pseudonyms for some of his hosts). Strange is the operative norm in America, according to this comical moocher. His freewheeling fans apparently enjoyed his fey humor and put up with his threats of incontinence. The conceit that game-show host Pat Sajak is his fairy godfather, making ethereal appearances like Billie Burke advising Judy Garland, is a running gag that soon runs out of steam. His minuscule odyssey concludes with a truly bizarre confessional regarding unanticipated discord at home. Neither Kuralt nor Kerouac on the road, Piraro offers a sporadically funny tale of a freeloader's pilgrimage to fanland. (Author tour) Read full book review >