Saturday, December 09, 2006

Book-A-Day #144 (12/7): Pearls Before Swine: Sgt. Piggy's Lonely Hearts Club Comic by Stephan Pastis

This was from my emergency back-up reading pile; I'd read most of it a few months ago and put it down there for a rainy day. The rains, as it turned out, hit on Thursday, when, because of taking Friday off (so I didn't read at lunch on Thursday as I tried to get two days' worth of work done in one day) and going to the Spectrum Literary Agency's Christmas party (so I was on a different bus, and didn't read there mostly due to inattention on my part as I tossed my bag onto the upper rack and settled into a window seat without a book), I didn't manage to finish Matt Hughes's Majestrum then.

(And that's the kind of sentence I can put together if I really put my mind to it -- I'm wasted in this century, I really am.)

I read a smaller Pearls Before Swine collection -- Nighthogs -- as Book-A-Day # 36 -- and what I said there about Pastis's style and appeal still holds true. But this book is a "treasury edition," which usually just means that it reprints all of the strips from two smaller collections with Sundays now in color. But, in this case, Pastis has a long introduction about the genesis of the strip, and a large number of comments about individual strips, scattered throughout the book. That's the kind of thing you usually only see in career retrospective collections (like Scott Adams's It's Not Funny If I Have to Explain It or Gary Larson's The PreHistory of The Far Side), but it's nice to see earlier in a cartoonist's career, when he can still remember things clearly. If you're at all interested in Pearls Before Swine, this would be the book to start with; it collects the first couple of years, and has interesting extras.

The Fabulous Book-A-Day Index!

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