Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Pearls Before Swine

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  1. finale

    finale said, 5 months ago

    Is he using Rat as his wingman?

  2. cdgar

    cdgar said, 5 months ago

    Alright! Stephan got some public recognition.

  3. Sherlock Watson

    Sherlock Watson said, 5 months ago

    I doubt she loves “Family Circus” — she looks younger than 60.

  4. TEMPLO S.U.D.

    TEMPLO S.U.D. said, 5 months ago

    Sure would be somewhat nice if Bill Watterson continued making “Calvin and Hobbes” after almost 20 years of termination.

  5. artybee

    artybee said, 5 months ago

    Topeka just dumped Pearls and Get Fuzzy… and kept The Family Circus.

  6. Three Steps Over Japan

    Three Steps Over Japan said, 5 months ago

    So, she’s a Topeka Tart.

  7. Arye Uygur

    Arye Uygur said, 5 months ago

    After all the mentioning, I decided to google it (Google is almost like the Delphic Oracle): “Is Stephen Pastis newly divorced?”
    Here’s what I got:
    Posted at 11:47 PM ET, 02/19/2014
    Is ‘Pearls Before Swine’ creator getting divorced?? Well, if you believe everything you read in the (funny) papers…
    By Michael Cavna E-mail the writer
    THE FIRST call of concern came from the real estate agent.

    She phoned Staci Pastis, who lives in Northern California, and spoke of the matter at hand both personally and professionally. The agent had read what was up, and sympathized with Staci, and also thought perhaps her realty expertise might soon be of service.

    That’s because Staci is married to Stephan Pastis, the sometimes mischievous creator of the comic “Pearls Before Swine.” Which means her life is also intertwined with “Stephan Pastis,” the cartoonist’s meta-persona who appears IN “Pearls Before Swine.”

    “Our real estate agent called Staci and said: ‘I have to tell you, I saw what you’re going through here … ,’ “ recounts the cartoonist. “For a moment, it took us aback.”

    The agent had read the cartoonist’s January strips that had a running comic premise: Stephan Pastis — or rather, “Stephan Pastis” — was being forced out of his house by the never-pictured “Staci Pastis.” The cartoon couple was separating, and perhaps divorcing.

    “We had to say to the agent: ‘No-no-no! That’s not real,’ ” the cartoonist tells Comic Riffs. Only Pastis’s comic alter-ego was suddenly single.

    It might have ended there, but then: Last Sunday’s strip appeared. The first panel advances the fictional action: “Stephan Pastis’s wife has left him. As a result, he has started dating again.”

    (STEPHAN PASTIS – Distributed by Universal Uclick )
    “Staci forwarded me an e-mail from our accountant … ,” Pastis tells us. “I read through the e-mail quickly and then saw the bottom line: ‘I’m really sorry if this is intruding, but are you OK?’ “

    “Then I got a Facebook message from this guy who’s an Orthodox monk,” Pastis continues. “He said he was praying for me because of what had happened.”

    For the record, Pastis notes, of those three respondents, only the monk expressed concern specifically for the cartoonist.

    “So if we divorce,” he jokes, “I see where the sympathies lie.”

    (STEPHAN PASTIS – Distributed by Universal Uclick )
    Pastis admits that he, of course, brings this all upon himself. He has created this snarky, paunchy version of himself as comic persona, he says, and the lines have blurred with readers.

    “The character is such a weird hybrid,” Pastis tells ‘Riffs. “Half of me considers him about as real as [the characters] Rat and Pig. But I do sort of use him as a real [stand-in].”

    Pastis points to one time he brought true life into the strip, when Staci’s father died. “That was so serious — it was the correct assumption that it was [taken from my own life],” the cartoonist says.

    But do Pastis’s loyal readers really think he would joke about a real-life divorce in his strip?

    “I guess that’s how little they think of me,” he says with a laugh. “But I don’t think anyone’s mistaken to think that” given his hybrid stand-in.

    (STEPHAN PASTIS – Distributed by Universal Uclick )
    Pastis also sees an upside or two to walking this gray-area tightrope between fact and comic fiction.

    “This is engaging readers — and anything to get people talking about the comic [is good],” he says.

    “It’s a productive alley. For a guy doing book signings in 2014, it’s a perilous thing for strip cartoonists,” says Pastis, noting the times he has spoken to far more empty chairs than full ones — although he mostly draws large audiences these days. He says the hybrid character, in an odd way, has made him more famous.

    “There’s a ‘meet the cartoonist’ curiosity factor [when I do book signings],” says Pastis, adding that people wonder: Does he look like how he draws himself? Specifically, he notes, with a large stomach and always smoking.

    “You’re always branding yourself” as a creator, the cartoonist also points out. “What better way to brand yourself than to make yourself part of the product?”

    Then, Pastis notes, there’s the personal satisfaction that comes from storylines like his divorce arc — and the reader feedback that they generate:

    “I like that I disrupt Staci’s life.”

    (STEPHAN PASTIS – Distributed by Universal Uclick )
    By Michael Cavna | 11:47 PM ET, 02/19/2014

    Tags: pearls before swine

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    12 Comments Discussion Policy


    Florida Reader
    2/24/2014 7:38 PM EST
    OK, great. Pastis isn’t getting a divorce. Tell him to get off his butt and start cranking out some ‘croc’ strips. I’m in withdrawal…………………..
    LikeLiked by 2 readers · Share · Report Abuse

    2/23/2014 5:51 AM EST
    A few years ago, Pastis also appeared in a Dennis the Menace panel.
    Like · Share · Report Abuse

    2/21/2014 5:50 PM EST
    To me, ‘Pearls Before Swine’ is the best strip nowadays on any comics page. I always navigate my eyes appropriately to read ‘Pearls’ last, and am seldom disappointed—- even when it’s one of his lowly ‘puns’ strips.

    Of course, after reading this, I had to ‘Image Search’ to see what Stephan really looks like. Glad to say that he appears to be at least marginally more attractive than his pen-and-ink doppelganger.

    Hope it will be many years before he retires or goes on sabbatical, as so many of the best cartoonists tend to do.
    LikeLiked by 5 readers · Share · Report Abuse

    2/21/2014 12:45 PM EST
    If Stephan Pastis, the person, is even somewhat similar to “Stephan Pastis”, the PBS character, then what’s surprising is that his wife didn’t kick him out of the house years ago.
    LikeLiked by 2 readers · Share · Report Abuse

    Dona Dunsmore
    2/20/2014 4:30 PM EST
    I hate to admit that I have been thinking about looking this up. Thanks for saving me the trouble. I was going to ask Gene Weingarten but he isn’t all chat all the time anymore.
    LikeLiked by 2 readers · Share · Report Abuse

    2/20/2014 3:58 PM EST
    Thanks for sorting this out. We were beginning to worry!
    LikeLiked by 2 readers · Share · Report Abuse

    2/20/2014 2:24 PM EST
    Folk singer Ellis Paul talks about this too—he has a song about a couple whose house burns down and sometimes after concerts he will have people come up to him and tell him how sorry they are to hear it!

    “It’s a song. I can make stuff up in songs. I can even kill people in songs. Bob Marley did it…but only the deputy.”
    LikeLiked by 1 reader · Share · Report Abuse


  8. dukedoug

    dukedoug said, 5 months ago

    Dilbert has an eye-wateringly, Pastis-painful pun today. However, GoComcs only has the Spanish version. The English version can be found on if you can’t understand Spanish.

  9. riotta rigotta

    riotta rigotta said, 5 months ago

    You wanna pick up women, Pastis, hit the weight room. You look like you can barely pick up a pencil with those “guns.”

  10. Sisyphos

    Sisyphos said, 5 months ago

    Ah, poor Cartoon-Boy, bedeviled by a Family Circus lover (probably) as well as by readers who have a hard time separating Cartoon-Boy Stephan from real-life Stephan Pastis and Staci from Staci. And such a PBS-hater the red-headed ‘toon wench is! Must be one of those people who can’t abide puns. —As distinct from real-life readers who disparage puns for fun….

  11. felinefan55

    felinefan55 GoComics PRO Member said, 5 months ago

    @TEMPLO S.U.D.

    I was saddened when he stopped. Of course I own all of the books. He was a demented little guy. lol I also wasn’t happy when Berkley Breathed stopped doing Bloom County. Outside or whatever it was called just wasn’t as good.

  12. eddie6192

    eddie6192 said, 5 months ago

    Toon Boy is gonna hear from Bil Keane.

  13. felinefan55

    felinefan55 GoComics PRO Member said, 5 months ago


    Do you “subscribe” to Dilbert? When I tried to read what you were talking about the go-comic link sent me to I have never had that happen with any other comic. I don’t normally read it here though. My paper has it. It also has PBS, but the comments here are hilarious.

  14. PICTO

    PICTO said, 5 months ago

    She looks like the one I saw making out with “Cathy”.

  15. RipleyKGarfield

    RipleyKGarfield GoComics PRO Member said, 5 months ago

    @finale—Anyone who would use Rat as a wingman must be a wingNUT!!

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