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Almost every page has cool artist comments on what he was thinking.
on December 19, 2006
Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine books just keep getting better. One thing I like particularly about his books, is that almost every page has cool artist comments on what he was thinking when he did the strip, the background information, or just interesting Pearl's facts.
= Rat making fun of the New York Times after the Jayson Blair incident.
= Rat slapping Pig is a tie in to an ancient Zen riddle of what "one hand clapping" sounds like.
= Background pennants for the Cal Bears - he went to Berkeley for his undergrad degree.
= Putting PMS in comic strips generates letters to the editor.
= His philosophy that Larry King is dressed by evil clowns.
= Fish in the tank - "love" and "lust" - they're tough to tell apart!
= Touching upon Internet porn surfing in the workplace
= How Charles Schulz of Snoopy fame influenced him more than any other cartoonist. You can see his tributes to Schulz in several of his strips.
= How certain Rat strips touch fans everywhere - particularly Rat working in the information desk.
= Why he hits the alarm snooze button several times in the morning - comes with a 15 panel Rat strip with Rat dreaming of nude supermodels.
= How the slaughterhouse strips with Pig came after he read Fast Food Nation.
= The censored words for cartoonists
= How he dresses Rat once in awhile to look like James Joyce (the round glasses and bow tie)
= How he liked the dark strip where Rat leaves one of Zebra's relatives mounted head on a plaque in front of his door.
= How Rat and Pig join a monastery! - Hint: The prophetic refrigerator...
= How Rat's problem on showing empathy is his problem - that's why Rat wears his Empathy Hat.
= The reasoning behind Rat's "Giant Book O'Phonies".
= Which strips were edited and are now shown in the back of the book under "The Good, the Banned, and the Ugly" section.
For those who like even more detail, he shows one of his pads that actually contain his cartoon brainstorming. I like his sharing a little bit of his creative mind and it's amazing to see the attention he pays to punch lines.
I look forward to his next book!