Ernie Floyd and his bride, Doris, live in a pleasant suburb with their brand new little baby. Their hearts are full of love and dreams and plans for the future as they go about their idyllic daily lives, surrounded by flowers and butterflies and…
Wait a minute. That’s not right. They’re surrounded by wackos, misfits, well-meaning screwballs, incompetent scoundrels and a long list of surreal and anthropomorphic oddballs. First, there’s Ernie’s questionable, middle aged Uncle Sid with his shady money making deals which all seem to have the same intent, that being the transfer of the money in your pocket to his. Sid’s girlfriend is Effie, as sweet as she can be, with only one problem. She does all those little things that drive you nuts.
Sid can often be found hanging out with his money-grubbing pals at the Piranha Club. They’d be dangerous if they weren’t so incompetent. Dr. Pork can be found there, too, when he’s not in his office misdiagnosing dandruff, or sitting in the cannibal stew pot on the Island of Bongo-Bongo or being clobbered senseless by Mother Packer.
Then fast forward to Bayonne Estates and to the cozy trailer wherein live Quacko the Human Duck and his would-be floozy wife, Beardo the bearded lady, both legends of the sideshow. Does Beardo have a secret lover? Could it be young, debonair Arnold Arnoldski? And what about Bob the zombie? Is he still dating Arnold’s sister, Arnoldine? And will Zerblat ever make it back to the Planet Grelzak?
They’re all here, and they’re all nuts, including the guy who draws it.
Not many atomic physicists give up the esoteric mysteries of neutron scattering to become cartoonists. But that's exactly what Piranha Club/Ernie creator Bud Grace did. Grace, who has a doctorate in physics from Florida State University, became a successful cartoonist and book author against tremendous odds.
Born in Chester, Pa., Grace moved to Florida with his family when he was 5 years old. He "cheated his way through" Florida State and received his doctorate in 1971. He spent the two years after his graduation as a visiting assistant professor of physics at the University of Georgia and then returned to Florida State, where he taught, conducted research and published articles on a variety of topics, including low-energy neutron scattering.
In 1979, Grace, with no previous experience, decided to draw. He worked as a freelance cartoonist and sold his work to major magazines before approaching King Features with his ideas for Piranha Club (Ernie). Grace, along with King Features Syndicate, celebrated the successful launch of his comic strip in 1987.
Bud now lives with his wife, Lorraine Amico, and his son, Allen, in Oakton, Va. They also spend time at a summer cottage in St. Michaels, Md.
Ernie is a well-meaning young man, full of good intentions and limited prospects.
is Ernie’s wife and the new mother of their baby girl.
Spencer is Doris’ little rat of a brother, who thinks plastic dog poop is the finest invention of the twenty-first century.
Sid is Ernie’s ne’er-do-well uncle, and founder of the Piranha Club, a band of low brow, bumbling, would-be con men.
is Sid’s squeeze, amateur vocalist, and lousy cook. Peggy Lee and Julia Child are doing a pas-des-deux in their final resting places.
is Sid’s best friend, member of the Piranha Club and the reason why malpractice insurance rates are so high.
Mother Packer is Enos’ mother-in-law and number one contender in the bantamweight division.
Arnold and Arnoldine Arnoldski are eighteen year old twins.
They are the two main reasons we should give up any hope for the future of mankind.
Rev. Bob is the hapless pastor of the Hallelujah Church of Bayonne and chaplain to the Piranha Club.
Sid wanted a pet he could relate to, so he got Earl, his beloved piranha and mascot of the Piranha Club. Earl's appetite for anything edible (and to this fish, anything is edible!) is matched only by Sid's appetite for unearned money.
Beardo is the jealous retired sideshow bearded lady who is married to Quacko the human duck.
Zerblat is from the Planet Grelzak and is joined by his ex-wife, Buffy, and their several hundred froglike children
Grandpa Fernwilter is Sid’s ex-con pop, and Shorty, his sidekick at the Cedars of Bayonne Nursing Home.
Bob has a hard time adjusting to modern life. (Or death. Whatever.)