Saturday, March 22, 2014


I'm a big fan of the comic strip "Pearls Before Swine." The strips are sometimes edgy, often relevant, and funny. PEARLS FALLS FAST is a treasury of "Pearls Before Swine" comic strips. The strips in this treasury first appeared in the book collections UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT and RAT’S WARS. These strips first ran in newspapers from February 28, 2011 to September 3, 2012.

Unlike some other comic strip treasuries, a "Pearls Before Swine" treasury includes notes from Pastis on many of the comics in the book. Even if you own all UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT and RAT'S WARS, PEARLS FALLS FAST is a book worth owning just for the notes by Pastis. Some provide some insight to the life of a cartoonist while others are just plain funny. This treasury has some great storylines. Some of these found in the book include: where Larry the Croc becomes the Vice President of a neighborhood Kids Club treehouse, Rat returning to work at Joe's Roastery, a story where aliens who are just anthromorphic beer cans visit the neighborhood, the imprisonment of Stephan Pastis for Rat's anti-government tirades, and Zebra's decision to build a huge wall to protect him from the Crocs; the Crocs continued attempt at getting over Zebra’s wall; Rat joining the Occupy Movement by Occupying Sesame Street; Rat getting sent to Siberia with the rest of Stephan’s missing luggage and Rat’s revenge afterwards; Larry the Croc getting caught in a compromising photo with his Zebra neighbor; Rat being hired to revise Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood; the break-out of the East Coast-West Coast Cartoonist War; Larry’s son becomes friends with Freddy the Frog; and Guard Duck’s “adoption” of Dinky Duckling. Characters from the comics "Dennis the Menace", "Pluggers", "Peanuts", "Blondie", "Mutts", "Beatle Bailey", "Cathy", and "Family Circus" all make appearances. Pastis' pleasure in using Sunday strips for elaborate puns continues in many strips, particularly the Sunday strips. There's also a great regular weekday strip where Pig gets a little bit of "revenge" on Rat on Opposite Day. I also like the Sunday Thanksgiving strip in this collection which features a tribute Charlie Brown and Charles Schultz. The last section is a section entitled "Wading into the Kiddie Pool" and features a selection of drawings (with commentary) by Pastis from his childhood. I always enjoy these treasuries because they feature neat little extras like "Wading into the Kiddie Pool." Overall, PEARLS FALLS FAST is a great treasury of " Pearls Before Swine” strips and an item that any fan of the strip is sure to enjoy.

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