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    Wednesday, August 19, 2009
    Beware Cartoonists Bearing Gifts

    You may have heard of Stephan Pastis, the cartoonist who draws Pearls Before Swine. I think it's one of the best comic strips currently published, and one of my favorite aspects of the strip is his ability to parody other comics. Most recently Pastis brought Mary Worth onto PBS as a guest (she stood stock still for four panels and said nothing, alluding to the glacial pace of the strip). He's also thrown a few zingers at Sally Forth and others, but he's saved his best jabs for Family Circus.

    Back in July there was a big comics convention in San Diego, and Pastis attended. The night before he was to speak on a panel he was in a bar having a quick drink when he ran into Jeff Keane, one of the authors of Family Circus. Pastis got a brilliant idea:

    “Hey Jeff, you have to come to my panel tomorrow,” I told him.

    “Why?” he asked.

    “Because every time I do a panel, someone inevitably asks me what other cartoonists think when I parody their strips.”‘

    “So?” he said.

    “So if somebody asks that question, I can surprise everyone by introducing you and showing them that we know each other and are actually good friends.”
    Keane agreed to come.

    What happened the next day? Well, you'll just have to click to read it...




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