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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.

For example:

= 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!
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on September 19, 2006
This had to be great. I mean just the cover made me laugh and with Stephan Pastis's commentary and introduction, it was about the best comic treasury i have ever read. I have forty different comic treasuries and this is the crown of my collection. Thank you Stephan Pastis; you have made me laugh uncontrollably several times! Something that only the sarcasm, exagerration, and satire in Pearles Before Swine can do.
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on January 15, 2007
This collection is great. My newspaper picked up Pearls Before Swine a little while ago and i've been a huge fan since. Get this book, as it contains previous collections (other books of strips that stephan pastis has already printed). This is the 2nd Treasury by Stephan Pastis and his characters are lovable and strangely dark and humourous. This is a great read for young teens to adults. It provided many hours of reading, including hilarious commentary. I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone, including people who haven't read it before. Pig and Rat are great and adorable. This is a must for any and all fans of comics. Would definetly recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Calvin and Hobbes.
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on October 4, 2006
This comic isn't to everyone's taste. Let's get that right out of the way. It likes to talk about what the comics usually doesn't - death, sex, cynicism, other comics - and yet it does so in a way that you can't help but love.

Stephen Pastis is a genious. There are themes he sometimes beats to heck, but just when something is about to get tiresome, he pulls out another refreshing zinger that makes it truly new and bold. In many ways, I hold him up to Scott Adams, another minimalist artists who refreshed the funnies by going after subjects that were usually not that amusing.

Pastis and his editor's take on the large treasury collections are also unique in that they take the "DVD" approach. Rather than merely reprinting the two or three other books in large format, he adds commentary (yet another bold steal from Adams, but he dares to do it every time), and always adds some kind of neat bonus material. In this one, he gives us something of an inside look at how a comic is created in the introduction and shows us how some strips were changed to avoid too much criticism in "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly" section at the end.

Yes, these things have been done in other collections by other artists, but the difference with Pastis is that he dares to criticize himself unmercifully (and equally funny). He's as unsparing about himself as he is about subjects he lampoons. Pastis also dares to be touching while being controversial - see the "School Bus in Jeruselem" Sunday panel near the end of the book for that.

In short, another winner for Pastis, and yet another reason to continue reading the comics pages.
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on November 14, 2012
While the first treasury Sgt. Piggy's Lonely Hearts Club Comic: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury showed the genesis of Pearls, from its early days, it was still in a rough form. However in this treasury Stephan Pastis truly hits his stride. The art becomes cleaner and smoother, the writing more tight and clever and the characters begin to truly develop into their own. These treasuries are fun to read to see the evolution of a comics masterpiece. Furthermore, it is in this book that we are introduced to "Da Brudderhood Of Zeeba Zeeba Eata", the fraternity of Crocs who live next door to Zebra, and the laughs just pick up from there and go full steam ahead. This book also contains some controversial strips including the infamous Jerusalem Bus Strip. That strip was perhaps one of the most powerful in the history of Pearls Before Swine and shows just how powerful the comic can be. The weeklong series in which Rat and Pig discuss why the funnies are not funny anymore is a genius piece of work and truly gives insight into the industry. There are a few stinkers within, Da Da Tails for example, and the incredibly dark series where Pig visits a slaughterhouse thinking it to be a singles bar (not a stinker so much as just very dark). However most of the strips within are gold and we even get a selection of the strips that were pulled from publication.
What makes this collection so worth it however, is the commentary from Stephan Pastis, which really offers a good insight into the strip and his work. All in all, this is a very worth your money collection!
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on January 9, 2008
I purchased this as a Christmas stocking stuffer for my beloved. I know that she is fond of this cartoonist's work. Now, when we have occasion to spend a quiet evening together watching TV, she amuses herself during bouts of advertising by perusing the cartoons in this book. She laughs out loud for several minutes at a stretch, until whatever show we were actually viewing returns to the screen, at which point she reluctantly puts the book back down until the next bout of advertising. I know from her laughter that she is enjoying the book, and I enjoy hearing her laugh, so its a win win. Plus she feels compelled to share some of her favorites with me, on the spot. They are really funny, and when she finishes going through the book, I will probably use it as she has been. If this catches on, I'm sure that television advertisers will put a hit out on this cartoonist.
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on January 17, 2011
This is one of my favorite comic strips out there. Its one of very few that even adults will like with its humor. With the misadventures of roomates Pig and Rat with their friends Goat and Zebra.

This treasury is great because it collects the strips from January 14th, 2003 to January 23, 2005. It collects two books "Nighthogs" and "The Ratvolution Will Not Be Televised" along with a section none as "The Good, The Banned and the Ugly" where strips that were deemed too risky to put in the newspaper. The book also has a great introduction and the best feature, more then half of the strips contain a note from the creator Stephan Pastis on some thoughts, a story and other stuff relating to that day's strip.

At first, when I saw the cover, I assumed the "Zeeba Zeeba Eata" aka the crocs next door, would be in it. But I found out, the werent because this book contains the strips before their debut. There were crocs in some of the strips but its unlikely they are the same.

One thing I love about the strip is the fact they break the 4th wall (acknowledging they are a comic strip) many times. In fact they sometimes will break out of their comic and interact with other strips ("Mutts", "For Better or for Worst", "Dilbert", "Cathy","Boondocks", "Get Fuzzy", "Baby Blues", "Peanuts" and many more)

This comic strip isnt really for kids..well at least young ones despite that it stars talking animals. They do curse, some characters killed and even eaten and it deals with some material that isnt that good for kids.

Buy this if you are a fan of the strip, love comics or want good humor.

Pros:
-Great Strip
-Notes from the creator after most strips
-The "Good, the banned and the Ugly" section
-The introduction
-Them breaking the 4th wall and interacting with other strips

Cons:
-Despite the cover no appearance of the "Zeeba Zeeba Eata" characters
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on March 20, 2009
This is without a doubt the funniest comic strip around, and the book didn't disappoint. I have always been a big fan from the very start, and think Stephan Pastis is a total genius. If you enjoy reading the strip every day, you'll love this book.
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on April 11, 2007
This book is very good. However it is one that some people need to take with a grain of salt. Stephen Pastis is a very gifted comic strip writer for the fact that he knows the English vocabulary very well and knows how to play with it. Also Pastis likes to venture on some of the territory that other comic strip writers would find taboo which in turn makes him highly controversial which is strange for the fact that he doesn't step to far over lines like most of the comedians now days that don't believe a joke is worthy unless he/she sees someone gag. When it comes the art, I at first was naive enough to take his simple drawings as bad or unpolished drawings when fact most of his strips would be ruined if the drawings were not simple and to the point.

Overall I think this is a book well worth owning and the author might not have the artistic flare as the author from "get fuzzy" or have the same view of comics as Bill Watterson where bigger is better or isn't as warm and fuzzy as "Mutts" and "Family Circus" but he is definitely a gifted writer and I believe and hope will go on for many more years.
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on January 9, 2007
I bought this book for my boyfriend for Christmas and I am the only one that read it. I loved it! Its great for those who don't mind the cynical humor.
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