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Fans of Pearls Before Swineknow that, in addition to being hilarious, it can be outrageous and even controversial. Death, marriage, more death-is this comic for kids? By focusing on strips that feature death but not fatalism, strips that are about friendship but not adult relationships, and strips that avoid some pop-culture references and purely adult concerns, this collection shows that, yes, this comic is for kids!
A large segment of the tween and young teen audience loves dark humour (think back to the Lemony Snicket phenomenon and all the copycat books) and the undying vampire genre in books, television, and film. Frankly, it's open season on death as a topic as far as today's youth media is concerned. Since the earliest fairy tales first introduced wickedly self-obsessed stepmothers, children's literature has provided a safe way for young readers to experience less-than-rosy thoughts and feelings. Pearls Before Swine's memorable characters are in fine company and are on target. Besides, they're downright funny-and that's something all ages can appreciate!
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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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