15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Witness the Evolution From Good to Great,
This review is from: The Crass Menagerie: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury (Paperback)
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE has grown exponentially in just a few years from being a small, West Coast comic strip to becoming a national powerhouse and one of the best comic strips being published. The strips are sometimes edgy, often relevant, and always funny (even at their lamest). THE CRASS MENAGERIE is the latest collection of Pearls strips and includes about a year and a half's worth of strips. I'm not sure of the exact dates, but if my memory doesn't mistake me these strips ran from about the beginning of 2005 to the middle of 2006.
Many of the strips include notes and commentary by Pastis. Even if you own every other collection of PEARLS, this treasury is worth owning for the notes from Pastis alone. PEARLS BEFORE SWINE remains my favorite current running comic strip, but this collection includes some of my favorite strips of all time from the series, including Pig's remote-controlled heart and the short-lived new neighbor the Orca (Killer Whale). Also featured in this volume is the general physical evolution of the crocs; the introduction and evolution of guard duck from being a violent and somewhat psychotic bird to the best guard animal on the planet; Lil' Bear's trip out West to find the one man who could have united the country; the series about Pig's arch nemesis the anemone; the introduction of the miniature Vikings; Rat's adventures babysitting the BABY BLUES kids; and PEARLS attempt to crash Blondie's 75th Anniversary Party.
The end of the book includes a short section entitled "The Not Ready For Prime Time Comic". Featured are several comics that were either rejected and not published before as well as some strips as they were originally submitted before they had to be edited. There's also one strip that Pastis started but was never able to complete.
Overall, this is a great collection of PEARLS BEFORE SWINE strips and an item that any fan of the strip is sure to enjoy. Also recommended for people who just enjoy reading good comic strips.