Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book-A-Day 2010 # 56 (3/31) -- Pearls Sells Out by Stephan Pastis

Pearls Sells Out was the fourth treasury-sized collection of Stephan Pastis's syndicated newspaper strip Pearls Before Swine, collecting the strips from 8/7/06 through 2/16/08, and I somehow missed it when it was published last August. (I'm still coming to realize how much of my Book Early Warning mechanisms were formed by sixteen years at the book clubs, and it's still occasionally a surprise to remember that I'm not keeping obsessive track of upcoming books as part of my job any more.) But I found Pearls Sell Out on a shelf in a bookstore a few weeks ago, and just finished it recently.

(The last treasury-sized Pearls collection was The Crass Menagerie, which I reviewed at the end of this miscellaneous post.)

As in the previous treasuries, there's commentary from Pastis on a lot of the strips included here -- a sentence or three on about three-quarters of the strips, much of it funny or self-deprecating or both -- and a short section at the end of "Stuff You Ain't Never Seen Before." Otherwise, this book reprints strips from the dates above, which were also in the smaller (and entirely black-and-white) collections Macho Macho Animals and The Saturday Evening Pearls.

I still like this strip a lot: it's dark in interesting ways, while staying funny, and Pastis is good at working around his relatively limited cartooning skills. And his treasury editions have a lot of extra material, making them the obvious choice for Pearls fans. I just hope he doesn't realize that, and start adding commentary and extra features to the smaller books, so we all feel compelled to buy them as well!

Book-A-Day 2010: The Epic Index
Listening to: The Long Blondes - Too Clever By Half
via FoxyTunes

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