by Frank Reiss
Fans of Pearls Before Swine, the popular comic strip featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and approximately 650 newspapers worldwide, can meet its creator Stephan Pastis on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. as he signs copies of his just released collection Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out: A (Freaky) Pearls Before Swine Treasury at Manuel's Tavern.
From fire-breathing jugglers to sword-swallowing illusionists, Pastis' new treasury showcases all strips from previous volumes Larry in Wonderland and Because Sometimes You Just Gotta Draw a Cover with Your Left Hand, along with Pastis's original commentary, which provides insight into what Pastis was thinking at the time random strips were conceived, and also fan reactions.
Pastis is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the UCLA Law School. He worked as a lawyer before trying his hand at cartooning. Several times he has been awarded Best Newspaper Comic Strip by the National Cartoonists Society.
Tackling topics ranging from current events and modern technology to human and croc nature, Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out offers up a sideshow of feisty characters, including arrogant, self-centered, and totally hilarious Rat, who leads his four-legged collection of freakish friends through a carnival of misadventure.
Joining the circus-like cavalcade are Pig, the slow but good hearted conscience of the strip; Goat, the voice of reason that often goes unheard; Zebra, the activist; and those eternally inept carnivorous Crocs, who we learn happen to taste a lot like chicken. Pastis's cynical humor and sharp wit imbue this entertaining vaudevillian collection.
The book signing is hosted by A Cappella Books, which will have copies of Pastis' new book at Manuel's.
Manuel's Tavern is located at 602 N. Highland Ave. NE at the corner of North Ave. in Poncey-Highland.
Mr. Reiss is owner of A Cappella Books in Inman Park.