Monday, October 01, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Crocs, Oh My! by Stephan Pastis

The second treasury collection of the Pearls Before Swine newspaper strip continues the commentary on the strips (introduced in the first treasury, Sgt. Piggy's Lonely Hearts Club Comic) by the creator, Stephan Pastis. Again, it's a nice bonus, since the strips have already been collected once (though the Sundays are in color here). Pastis also adds a section at the end for cartoons that were rejected by himself or the syndicate, and those appear here for the first time anywhere.

Pastis's commentary tends to focus on problems: the complaints he got for a particular strip, or how he had to redraw something to make the syndicate's editors happy, or things of that nature. He also explains, or makes excuses for, some of his more horrible puns. (And he has quite a number of those -- Pearls Before Swine relies on some truly wretched wordplay some of the time.)

Like any strip collection, if you don't like the strip, you won't like the book. Pearls Before Swine is a post-Dilbert (in art style and comedy style) strip about odd characters, and is obsessed with death. If you're looking for Mary Worth or Beetle Bailey, stay far away. But if your tastes in comedy was formed later than Uncle Milty, you just mighty like this strip.

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