I got the chance to ask Stephan Pastis, creator of the comic strip, Pearls Before Swine, my Ten With Tom questions. Stephan has one of the most popular comic strips around, his tipping point was when Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, noticed his work and mentioned it in a blog post. The rest is history. His online readership went through the roof overnight.
He won the 2015 Reuben Award for best newspaper comic strip.
Do people mistake you for Seth Macfarlane?
I’ve heard that before, but the one I hear more is Robert Downey, Jr. I even had a restaurant owner in Dublin, Ireland tell me what an honor it was to have Robert Downey, Jr. in her restaurant. I told her that I appreciated it, but that I didn’t like to be disturbed while dining.
Why do you create your comics seven months in advance, why so far ahead?
I’m anal retentive. I need to relax.
Are you recognized on the street?
Almost never. Except as Robert Downey Jr. in Dublin.
What are a few of your favorite classic newspaper comics from your childhood?
Calvin and Hobbes
Flintstones or Scooby Do?
Scooby. There’s always someone trying to scare away prospective house buyers by filling it with fake ghosts and/or monsters. Knowing that the ghost thing is a sham, I could probably get a great deal on real estate.
Which comic strip would you like to crawl into and spend the day?
Krazy Kat. Lots of peyote and throwing bricks at others.
Dick Tracy or Little Orphan Annie?
It wouldn’t be Annie. Her lack of pupils would be disturbing, particularly if you fell in love. You could never look into her eyes.
What section of the printed daily newspaper today should be eliminated to add more comics?
Many of the comics.
Without looking, what color is Olive Oyl’s dress?
Top half of her is red. Bottom half of her is black. Both halves are probably stained by spinach.
Do you think you’ll ever go digital in creating Pearls Before Swine? Why?
No. Too lazy to learn. Plus, it doesn’t seem like something Robert Downey Jr. would do.
Thank you Stephan!
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