The Washington Post

COMIC MASH-UP OF THE DAY: The bestselling ‘Pearls Before Keane’

“Pearls Before Swine” creator Stephan Pastis has traveled into war zones and other global flashpoints with “Family Circus” cartoonist Jeff Keane.

“Pearls Before Swine” tops list. (STEPHAN PASTIS / Andrews McMeel)

Today’s fine “Swine” is interrupted by a silhouetted heckler who bellows: “Boooooooooo — that’s about as funny as a ‘Family Circus’ comic.” In the final panel, Pastis’s version of “Jeffy” asks: “Hey...why is that an insult?”

(All the more fitting because “Family Circus” creator Bil Keane modeled Jeffy after son Jeff Keane. And because Jeff gives as good as he gets when playfully jousting with Pastis.)

Pastis, though, has the right to feel a bit bulletproof about how: His latest book, “Larry in Wonderland,” recently topped the New York Times bestseller list for paperback graphic books — the first time Pastis has hit No.-1.

Seeing “Larry” top the graphic-novel list is funny, Pastis tells Comic Riffs, “considering it’s not a novel, nor particularly graphic.”


Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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