Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out: A (Freaky) Pearls Before Swine Treasury
I am a huge fan of Pastis’s daily strip, Pearls Before Swine. I’ve read each and every one of these strips when they were published previously in the paper and online — but I still greatly enjoyed picking up this treasury and reliving all of the laughs. Pastis’s humour is dark and clever and a delight to read. It does take a certain sense of humour, though, I think… I’ve shown some strips to other people, but they often don’t get them or don’t enjoy them as much as me.
One of Pearls Before Swine’s great strengths is its ability to take a break from the hilarious to dabble into the deeply touching. While the characters and stories are often zany and comical, they fit perfectly into sombre snippets without it feeling weird or out of place. Perhaps thats the dark aspect of the strip that allows that… I don’t have the book beside me, but if I recall correctly, one such example is a colour Sunday strip where Pastis (as a character in his own strip) mentions that his father-in-law passed away and then Pastis receives a hug from Pig. It’s simple, it’s touching, and it fits in well among the other bizarre plots (like a oil drill that hit a pocket of gophers or the introduction of Officer Potus, the incompetent elephant).
Pastis maintains his strong sense of humour throughout this entire treasury. Never once did I feel there was a lull in quality.
Anyway, this is a bit of a brief and superficial review, but it’s difficult to discuss a series of mostly-three-panel comic strips that are mostly separate from each other.