Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Book-A-Day #36 (8/22): Pearls Before Swine: Nighthogs by Stephan Pastis

Today, I read a bit of Evelyn Waugh's Labels, more than half of the Julie Phillips James Tiptree, Jr. bio, and three whole magazines (I had a six-hour plane flight, and plenty of other waiting-around time). But none of those count for today.

What does count for today is this little collection of the "Pearls Before Swine" newspaper strip. Pastis is a bit too fond of ridiculously over-complicated set-ups for lame puns, but that over-complication does save them, and keeps them from being lame. This strip is also obsessed with death in a manner unmatched by any newspaper strip of any time. Pastis is a minimalist cartoonist, unashamedly of the Scott Adams school, but his style works well for the jokes he wants to tell.

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