STEPHAN PASTIS wanted to respond to last month’s Newtown school-shooting tragedy. But how to do so within the context of a comic strip?

“Like everyone, I was just really affected by the news,” the “Pearls Before Swine” creator tells Comic Riffs this week. “I cried off and on for the next couple days. It got to the point where I couldn’t turn on the TV.”

“Then I found I couldn’t write. There was nothing funny about anything.”

Then, though, came the interfaith service, and Obama’s talk at it.

“I heard the president list the children by their first names in that speech he gave,” Pastis recalls, of those moments that affected so many of us. “And it was so powerful. Just their names.

“And thus, I thought I would make each of them constellations in the sky.

And thus, last Monday’s affecting “Pearls Before Swine” is our Cartoon of the Week:

Monday’s “Pearls Before Swine” memorialized the child victims of Newtown. (STEPHAN PASTIS / Universal Uclick /.)