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Sgt. Piggy's Lonely Hearts Club Comic: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury Paperback – September 1, 2004
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About the Author
Stephan Pastis is an attorney turned cartoonist. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the UCLA School of Law, he worked as a lawyer before trying his hand at cartooning. Pastis lives in the Bay Area with his wife and two children.
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Pearls Before Swine is not like either of those. It is a fable at best, but deep down it wants to be bizarre fun, and because it doesn't come with the trappings of a set target audience that will identify, or at worst relate, everyone is in the same boat and has to accept the characters as they are. There is a certain amount of character development in that characters are introduced and traits revealed, which overall helps in the reading of comics as the "story" progresses. But really there is no story, like Garfield and Hagar arcs seldom last more than three panels, and even though Pastis's commentary reveals the occasional desire to do more as far as arcs are concerned, for the post part he is after the joke, the appreciation of a clever three panel joke.
Like many of these compilation there is a commentary and mostly they are a waste of time. I believe the authors know this given what they occasionally put in there. Really you normally don't buy these books for the commentary, but with this one I found quite a few nuggets of clever ideas and thinking about the comic/joke/characters, which seems to me to set Pastis apart from other comic strip writers. I would argue that Pastis's approach is more pure and from the hard than other comics.
That doesn't mean that the comics are consistently funny or better than anything else, in fact I would say that much like any other syndicated comic strip there are some clear misses, heck Pastis's commentary gives away that he feels the same way, but remains proud of them. And he should be: His creation is different from a lot of strips and although similar to others it does feel like it bends and breaks the occasional rule with great success.
The detracted star is because the book started falling apart before I'd finished reading it. The binding is sadly dreadful. Hopefully this was a rare occasions, but be warned.
I'd say most people would get a good laugh out of this collection.
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With Goat as VP, Guard Duck as chief of security, and Rat as speaker of the house. Now that would be an interesting world.