Archive: Pearls Before Swine

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Pearls Before Swine, 8/12/09

Hello, anonymous rude denizens of the Internet! You have driven Stephan Pastis into his Internet Happy Box, so I hope you’re satisfied with yourselves. Actually, when people started emailing me about this strip this morning, I had a weird moment of déjà vu, as I thought this had run months ago. In fact, Stephan e-mailed it to me when he drew it, but that was back in April thanks to the high-tech distribution system that underlies the newspaper comics industry. Anyway, at the time I promised to rip him a new one when this came out, except he hasn’t been doing any of the terrible pun strips lately. SO UNTIL NEXT TIME PASTIS. You stay in that box just to be safe, though.

Baldo, 8/12/09

I went to college at Cornell, which is in the absolutely lovely (some might even say “gorges” HA IT’S A PUN GET IT) city of Ithaca, New York, which, despite being lovely, does not have much going for it in the way of malls. When you grow up going to Cheektowaga’s fabulous Walden Galleria, it’s a bit of a letdown doing all your enclosed chain-store shopping and food-court dining at the Pyramid Mall. This establishment appears to have since changed its name to “The Shops At Ithaca Mall,” which I find extremely amusing — oh, there are shops at the mall, you say? Anyway, I always used to mock the Pyramid Mall’s smallness by referring to it as the “Petite Mall”; I thought this was hilarious and everyone else was either more or less indifferent about it or thought it was actively offensive to people who have seizures. This is a roundabout way of saying that, why yes, I do feel validated by having essentially the same joke used in a Baldo strip 15 years later, thanks for asking!

I originally felt like there might be only about fifty-fifty chance that my terrible seizure joke was in fact the intended reading of this strip, but then I realized that there was no other obvious humor content here, so I figure that has to be what’s happening.

Hi and Lois, 8/12/09

It has not escaped my notice that quite a few of the recent Trixie-centered Hi and Lois strips have featured the pre-verbal infant girl wandering around outside apparently unattended. Maybe her parents are hoping that she’ll be adopted by a local wolfpack or some other band of animals and they’ll be relieved of responsibility for her; unfortunately, they hadn’t counted on the effectiveness with which the builders of their suburban subdivision cleared it of most wildlife. Trixie’s only option is to take up with a colony of frogs, which will go fine until she hits puberty and heads to the culvert under the arterial road with amplexus on her mind, only to be bitterly disappointed.

Hagar the Horrible, 8/12/09

Ha ha! He finds his wife’s mother so irritating that he’s going to hand her over to savages who will use her as a slave or a sacrifice to their pagan gods! MOTHERS IN LAW, am I right, people?

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Hi and Lois and Pearls Before Swine, 9/8/08

I got about a jillion e-mails about this today basically asking me OH MY GOD DO YOU THINK THIS IS A COINCIDENCE?, which I have to say that I pretty much do, as the jokes don’t work together quite well enough for it to be a coordinated effort. I think Pastis just picked the wrong day to make fun of Hi and Lois (though when the Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC hired goons burn down his house, he’ll find that any day is the wrong day to make fun of Hi and Lois.) It might at first be hard to imagine that Hi and Lois would be taking on any kind of international politics, but keep in mind that this strip was one of the first to tackle the subprime meltdown, so it’s smarter than it looks.

I’m intrigued by Ditto’s shirt. It looks like when the time comes for him to take absolute power from his sister’s ailing hands, he’ll have a spiffy logo for his paramilitary organization all ready to go.

Family Circus, 9/8/08

There’s something off about this cartoon. Big Daddy Keane’s indulgent smile clashes with his complaint that the days when his house wasn’t cluttered up by four pants-pooping submorons and their many overpriced toys are now as distant as the Fillmore Administration or the Thirty Years War. And the children’s rather generic hijinks don’t at all imply a brash solipsism in which everything that preceded their birth is consigned to a single inchoate prehistoric moment. Presumably this panel is designed to be repeatedly trotted out and assigned a new “parents say the darnedest things about their kids” caption as needed — which captions, I predict, will only become more bitter as time goes on.

Marvin, 9/8/08

Say, remember the Hulk, the sort-of popular comic book character that became the basis of a hit TV show in the late ’70s, and then later of two not-quite-blockbuster films in the ’00s? Well, Marvin hopes you still have “Hulk fever” as a residual effect of the marketing behind these media properties, because we’re apparently going to get some lame Hulk-themed jokes for the next few days. No matter how bad they get, we can at least console our selves that they appear not to actually feature the hated Marvin himself.

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For Better Or For Worse, 7/11/08

You know what it’s been way, way too long since we last did? A little bit of What They Say And What They Mean!

What he says What he means
“Hi Dr. P! How’s it going?” I have a penis!
“Fine, Anthonty!” I have a penis too!
“Is Liz around?” Did I mention that I have a penis?
“She’s in the house. They’re going full-tilt on the wedding plans, so I wouldn’t go in there if I were you.” I have a penis. That’s why I’m outside!
“Is there a problem”? Is there a problem that can be solved specifically by my penis?
“It’s a wedding! There’s always a problem! Something’s not right here, a dress doesn’t fit there, people haven’t responded, the caterer’s out of town…” Ha ha, because we have penises, all these words I’m saying to you are just meaningless babble to us! We’re obviously incapable of making phone calls, maintaining a spreadsheet, contacting vendors, writing notes, or doing any number of totally non-penis-related tasks! All the things they’re doing in there — those are things only someone with a vagina is physically capable of doing!
“Maybe we should just elope.” I have a penis!
“What? And spoil all the fun?!!” I have a penis too!

Apartment 3-G, 7/11/08

Jack may sound concerned about the possibility that riff-raff might be pillaging the Mills Gallery, but his facial expression in panel three conveys to me a certain growing sadistic glee. I predict that a certain trio of crackheads are about to be on the receiving end of a savage and righteous keying. Perhaps Jack’s inner vigilante has been frustrated for years by modern New York’s low crime rates, or, more likely, he may realize that an act of shocking violence is the quickest way into Margo’s affections.

Mark Trail, 7/11/08

One look at that second panel will show you why Kelly Welly is considered the sex symbol in this strip. Oh yeah, baby, roll that right eye a little further towards the side of your head while staring straight ahead with the left. Mmm-hmm, that’s the stuff.

Pearls Before Swine, 7/11/08

Oh, Mr. Pastis, I ignored you when you taunted Lynn Johnston. I ignored you when you tried to kill Jeffy. But Masky McDeath? Oh, well played, sir.

Gil Thorp, 7/11/08

More proof that illegal immigrants do the sort of dirty cleanup work that Americans won’t! Steve Rosen probably refused to drive in the winning run unless he got dental insurance and overtime pay. You wouldn’t have gotten that kind of lip from Elmer.

Ziggy, 7/11/08

Ha ha, Ziggy’s killed his only friend with off-brand dog food!