Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pearls Before Andy Capp

Stephen Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine is one of the three nominees for the 2012 Reuben Award for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.” Yes, it's the cartoonists' equivalent of the Oscars -- a an award recognizing outstanding achievement as selected by fellow professionals.

If you've followed Off Topic'd for any length of time, you'll know that -- just from the sheer number of "Pearls"-related posts -- I believe Pastis earned the nomination -- and then some. Part of what I like about his strip is its meta-humor. Sometimes the joke expands outward, the characters being completely aware that they exist inside a comic strip.

Take the following sequence, for example (click on images to enlarge):

Sometimes Pastis has coordinated with other cartoonists to create a cross-comic gag. I'm not sure that's true in this case, but it is interesting to see how neatly the two sequences from the same day line up.

Don't get me wrong -- Brian Crane (Pickles) and  Rick Kirkman (Baby Blues) are also worthy nominees. Their strips are consistently of high quality. Pastis, however, just goes past the boundaries -- which is why his strip gets more mention here that the other contenders.

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