It Takes a Special Kind of Cartoonist to Draw Only Himself on His Next Book Cover

For my next Pearls book (due out in March, I think), I thought I’d parody an old Elvis Presley album.

Here is the origial Elvis album:

And here is my version:

Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I have to draw the cover for the next Pearls book (the one after this, due out in the fall).   Any suggestions?

124 thoughts on “It Takes a Special Kind of Cartoonist to Draw Only Himself on His Next Book Cover

  1. nothing would give me greater joy than to purchase that with my last remaining unemployment benefit dollars…lol

    why not do a beatles cover instead…

  2. Stephan: I think this is an excellent parody cover. It is probably heavily influenced by Elvis Presley’s recent 75th birthday. But, why stop with Elvis? Maybe you could have several versions of the book with several different rock groups, i.e., The Who, or Pink Floyd (Pearl Floyd), or Pearl Jam (Pearl Jelly), etc. I am such a good idea woman! You should hire me, but I guess that would mean I am cheap (but not easy) Good luck!

  3. Are you looking for other ‘album art’ to parody? How ’bout doing one of “Abbey Road” with Rat, Pig, etc… walking in a crosswalk? Or are you looking to change the theme entirely?

  4. Hi Stephan, I think you’re next Book cover should be a parody of a cast photo of Star Trek maybe a shot of the bridge. Or the Lord of the rings. Keep the funny stuff coming! TTFN Philip

  5. Maybe do a take on the album cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind, only instead of a baby with a dollar, have one of the crocs going after a tiny Zebra on a string.

  6. Curse you, Pastis! Because of this week’s strips, David Seville’s “Bird On My Head” will be stuck in MY head forever.

    Wicked, wicked, cruel cruel world…

  7. how about a parody of the Abbey Road album cover?
    or if you’e feeling lazy you could always rip off the white album cover and just have the text ‘Pearls’ !
    or if you wanna draw a lot, the Jimi Hendrix experience axis bold as love album cover would be perfect ! you could get in all the characters heads in there!

  8. tee hee hee… As a Memphian and pseudo-Elvis fan, I love this book cover!!

    Have you thought of a take on “Deliverance” (“DeliveRats” maybe?)? Pig as Ned Beatty (naturally). Rat as Burt Reynolds. Goat as Jon Voight. Larry the Crockydile as the banjo-playing mouth-breather. I’ll leave the details to you.

    I bought a shirt a couple of years ago that has “Paddle faster, I hear banjo music!” on the back. I’ve had far too many people ask me what it means.

  9. He did—Sgt Piggy’s. You must have missed that one.
    As for Elvis? I was never a huge fan of ol’swivel hips but as a parody it’s “spot on”. The song titles are great but I’d rather see ya holding a beer or maybe wearing a beer hat or at least make your hat red and glittery—if you’re gonna do the “Vegas” thing, baby, ya might as well go all the way–:D
    Personally I’d like to see a “Jimi Hendrix” type of swirly day-glo art, complete with afro and bandana–
    “the Stephan Pastis Experience” with the crocs as your back up band. But that’s because I love “Da Wind Cry Moron” strip. My personal fav.Thanks for letting me comment. Crocs Rock.

  10. I have a suggestion for something you should NOT do. DO NOT do Abbey Road for the love of paradoies everywhere. It’s the most paradied album cover anywhere and totally unoriginal. I like this Elvis cover. And I’m certain this is the first I’ve seen it paradied. If someone else had done it before, fine, but at least a million others across the world haven’t already done the same boring theme. Please be original. That is my only suggestion.

  11. oh…if you do decide to keep the “Elvis” cover—you might want to change the RCA Victor parody to RAT Pigtor so as not to have people cornfused with PBS—there are actually some people who might start looking for a cartoon on Public Broadcasting aka PBS. Just FYI.

  12. I think recreating them as the Marx Brothers would be great, too. Imagine it: Rat (Groucho), Pig (Chico), Goat (Harpo) and Zeeba (Zeppo).

  13. How about a parody of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” album cover? You could have Guard Duck shaking hands with a Croc on fire.

  14. With as large a cast as yours, I’d suggest a “view from the stage” sort of shot.

    Fill the empty seats with various popcorn munchers, slingshot users, one zebra surrounded by eight crocodiles, etc. Maybe the view could include the back of a somewhat well-known cartoonist onstage. Playing a sizzling guitar solo? Bombing on open-mike night? The choice is yours.

  15. I think you should do a parody of Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. album, but with a Pearls comic strip in the rear pocket, instead of a the American flag.

    By the way, more Mr. Snuffles please.

    Neil Anderson

  16. How about the Brady Bunch squares thing.. have a croc trying to leap into the zeeba’s square and rat can be doing something devious to an obliviously smiling pig, while guard duck aims a bazooka at the square containing goat, who’s trying to stop rat, while zeeba’s looking freaked out at the croc that’s halfway into the next box to get him.

    You could be in the spot Alice is usually in, with a “what the hell?!?” kind of expression.

  17. Pastis,

    I love your work. I love your sense of humor. But this one just falls short of the mark. I would recommend you try again. What if it was Rat vs you on the cover?

    This one just doesn’t work for me at all. Sorry, man.

    Gopher.

  18. Since you’re getting into old stuff, how about a parody of an old game show and have “What’s My Swine?”

  19. Well, if you want to stick to a music theme, EltPig John and “Crockydiles RocK” would be a natural – I see Goat as a Groupie, Zeebra as a Stalker and of course, you’d need pappaRATzzi doing photos.

    If you’re getting away from a music theme, how about titling the next book “The Cows Are Coming” and do it as a space invasion cover, with the gang running for safety?

  20. Hmm, if you’re going with album art, how about spoofing the “Dark Side of The Moon cover” with Pig sliding down the rainbow? :)

  21. Or, instead of Pig sliding down, how about Zebra being chased by the Crocs over it or bursting a hole thrrough the triangle? ;)

  22. How about a parody of an Asia’s first album, with a Croc instead of a dragon, and the orb filled with Pigita, and the rest in a boat trying to get away?

  23. You have a knack for parodying other comics so I think you should rip off Garfield and call the next one “RAT the 14th volumne (plus some other minor pearls characters)”

  24. You should go with multiple covers covering each generation for maximum appeal. Pig doing Stones “Sticky Fingers” and Rat doing Gaga’s “Fame Monster”.

  25. ACK! John Armstrong took my idea. Well, if TWO of us thought of Pig in Herb Alpert’s Whipped Cream cover, why not?

    And if we aren’t going for album covers, how about some type of pop art cover like a Warhol-esque thing?

  26. The National Geographic’s Afgan Girl. Do you have green eyes? I think you should be dressed the same, with a baseball cap still on and smoking, of course.

  27. Do one parodying ABBEY ROAD, but the characters are messing up.
    You can be Paul, Goat can be John, Pig be Ringo, Zebra be George, Larry the man in the background, the license plat read “PBS 10IS,” but the car moving away be coming forward with Rat running you over and everyone is running away. Call it YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY… PLEASE DO NOW

  28. OK. I didn’t read any of the comments before posting, but I do think a Beatles cover would still be funny, but I like the Jimi Hendrix idea better.

  29. The moon landing. Put Larry in the spacesuit. Have the lander crashed into the ground. A flag in the ground with Eeta eeta zeeba or something on it.
    Call it “Pearls Spaced Out”

  30. For another Album cover you could do a U2 parody, I mean you SHOULD do a U2 parody. Rat could be Beano, er, Bono and the rest would fall into place from that.

  31. It could be a little funny to parody the hero’s poster but call it “ZEROES” and have the Fantastical Four and some other hidden elements

  32. Well, it sure made ME laugh out loud! I think you should make it a 2 cover cover, the first as drawn, and the second with mutiple yous (you’s?) in your underwear. THAT would be disgustingly funny

  33. This is so funny! keep as is. Puh-lease don’t do the Abbey Road parody. That is so tired and played out. Talk about unoriginal.

  34. I think the next cover should have the punch line from Jan. 14th’s strip.

    “I’m afraid “Weirdo” isn’t an option.”

  35. The Elvis parody is cool but here are two thoughts…. if you stay with this layout, go with lime green suit and contrasting cap.

    Alternatively, play off the old guy on American Idol this week; you look like an idiot with your pants on the ground. You already did the pants thing with Ziggy so you could tie it in but drop your pants or make them droopy like the idiot thug wannabes are all doing.

  36. Do a pearls version of the painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware. Call it The American Crisis like the Thomas Paine book.

  37. Love it- I love Elvis too, so I think it would be a great cover! You gotta leave the PBS though- very funny!

  38. It’s simple.

    Do the Obama Campaign poster, but have one of the crocs, and under him, write: “Eata Zebba”

  39. I like the beatles cover Idea. Maybe “piggy road” or something like that. You could have pig, rat, zebra, you, the guard duck and a croc all walking on the background (I know that is six) and the croc could be chasing the zebra (zebra running), rat could be holding a baseball bat(maniacle, wide eyed face), the guard duck could have shot a hole in the cover, and you could just be standing there, your palm to your face.

  40. “The Rocky Horror Pig-ture Show” and have pig laying on the lips like the cover of the movie. The rest of the characters could be dancing below it. However, I don’t know if you have seen this movie or not.

  41. hahaha @ Michael “My God, it’s full of Zeebas”…I see the black monolith from 2001 surrounded by a bunch of Pearls’ characters’ heads on neanderthal bodies, hootin’ and screechin…

  42. You should parody Motley Crue’s “Shout at the Devil” album cover, with Rat Pig Goat and Zebra as the band.

    That would be awesome.

  43. Funny, but a bit obscure. Otherwise intelligent readers won’t get it. My humor is so obscure no one gets it..

    Your humor depends on making perverting the common place, the expected becomes unexpected.

    A Peals: The Last Supper might be funny, and IT WOULD OFFEND ALOT OF PEOPLE, something that you like to do :)

    I’d have the Zebra do Jesus and the Rat, Judas..
    The Pig could be Mary..

    (I’m going to hell for even suggesting this)

  44. DO THE LAST SUPPER!!!!!!!!
    THAT IS WAY BETTER THAN ANY OF THE OTHERS, EVEN THE BEATLES!!!!!
    Have Zebra be the dinner, though, and have Larry as Jesus saying “though shalt eeta zeeba.”
    Actually the Ten Comandments of Pearls would be even funnier!

  45. I like it. My only suggestion is to take a few of the smaller “Elvises” (Elvi?) and impose Rat/Pig/Larry heads on them instead.

  46. Just be sure to include an explanation for the non-Elvis fans, or else most of your readers won’t get the parody.

  47. I agree with Ty – given your love of U2. A U2 parody would only be natural! Just don’t parody The Joshua Tree cover – Bloom County already did that one.

  48. I was thinking Last Supper, but also thinking ‘offensive’. Religion and politics suck the life out life.

    Also thought Guernica, American Gothic, Warhol collage, a Lichtenstein cover, Mount Ratmore–all of which may have been creatively exhausted by now. The Nine (justices), Ancient Eight (ivies), casting call (casting Pearls Before Swine), a symphony, Inglorious rat-terds (jk).

  49. Or how about a Jurassic Park themed cover? Like the following…but with the silhouette of one of the characters (or yourself…) in the background. I feel like all your readers would recognize that parody.

  50. The cover of your next collection should feature a drawing of the Aqua Rabbit.

    Because wikipedia doesn’t have one, and I have to know….

  51. How about a cover of Rat as Jay Leno, Pig as Conan O’Brien, Goat as Craig Ferguson, Zebra as Carson Daly, and the Crocs as NBC execs?

  52. OK, I really like the “Last Supper” idea. But what about a movie poster… “night of the living duck” or pig, or zeebah…

  53. You could do a Where’s Waldo parody, with all the characters randomly standing around wearing glasses and striped shirts. Call it “Where’s Weirdo?” or something like that.

  54. Pingback: Pants On The Ground T Shirt | AXI

  55. I think that your new cover should cover something different than music/pop culture. How about a parody of the Cal football player running over the Stanford Tuba Player. Rat could be the ball carrier and Pig could be the Tuba player. The other characters can be in a band uniform watching in horror while an unsuspecting pig is about to get plowed!

  56. It looks great, but it is really obscure if you don’t own the album. You’ve already done a parody of an album (Sgt. Piggy) so I think parody another medium like movie posters or other comics.

    I’d say parody a Cathy collection, but that’d be even more incomprehensible than this one…

  57. I know that many young people are huge fans of yourrs – they read your comics/blog and buy your printed material. I, too, read you daily. But please – as a family nurse practitioner who works with pre-teens and teens, whatever you choose to do – lose the cigarette.

  58. Love the album parody how about a different directions – Mary Worth or Mark Trail parody?

  59. Good idea to lose the cigarette. And shave while you’re at it. And turn the hat around. John

  60. Or The Doors”? You in tight leather pants and no shirt! Your wife would like it — and all the charming folks at Safeway!

  61. Here’s the cover you need to to do.
    KISS(debut album) or KISS Destroyer. Get Rat, Pig, Goat and Guard Duck in the full KISS makeup and regalia. Work the croc’s heads into the shot as the boots.

  62. How about Larry as Alfred E. Neumann, of Mad Magazine fame? He could be surrounded by parodies of your strip characters, kind of a halo effect. Or a parody of Andy Warhol’s soup cans? Or a Roy Lichtenstein faux comic strip? Or you as Mack the Knife? Or the Rat Pack Dammnit, man, use your imagination! And, since your readers are mostly fairly savvy, how about you have more than one winner this time, eh?

  63. How ’bout this? Main cover title: “50,000,000 fans…..”; “A Big hunk of Pastis”, as a subtitle.

    A picture of you in a recliner with a beer, a la Archie Bunker, with chaos around you; stairway behind you with rat sliding down bannister, or Rat at your desk drawing his own Pearls strip (Alice in Wonderland series); Larry the croc with bird on head, with wife and son doing facepalm. Pig on the floor playing with his vikings. Guard duck and cat with some nuclear rocket.

  64. Speaking as the “token pastor” I love the idea of a Last Supper spoof. Yes, it’s probably offensive, but the good news is, THIS IS A COMIC STRIP! He’s not spoofing the Bible, he’s spoofing Da Vinci. And what the heck, it’d probably get additional exposure if it does cause scandal. I don’t have the guts for that kind of thing, but Pastis does. It’d be smart.

    I also agree that the album cover idea would get played out if others do it. I think a facebook post/comments could be hilarious, but maybe not stimulating enough for a cover.

    I don’t think Rat as barista has been made into a cover, has it? I think that could be both very funny AND widely relatable.

    Whatever it is, I know I’ll buy it. Thanks for all the laughs, Pastis.

  65. One more..

    What if you designed the cover of your next book as if it were the comics page of a newspaper? But instead of the real ones, you draw them with Pearls characters replacing the original characters. You know, in your typical disrespectful, mocking way.
    And, for the love, keep Ziggy’s pants on!

    (I feel like I’ve seen this somewhere, but I’m not sure. If it has been done, I apologize for inadvertently plagiarizing.)

  66. edit: Ratvolution has comics behind it. I guess that’s where it came from. Sorry bout that.

    I do think it could be done more blatantly, though, where the point is to have Pearls characters ripping off many comics on a cover that looks like the comics page of a newspaper. FWIW.

  67. I’d like to see a cover with the Pearls cast doing bizarre stunts on a Vaudeville-type stage. You could title it “The Aristocrocs”

  68. My idea is to have a collection of wierd phyisical-type humor scenes of recent pearls strips, like Larry when he’s tranquilized and Paper jam boy.

  69. I like the mount Rushmore idea, also. You could either: Have four characters as mt Rushmore faces or have it all be of rat, call it mount Ratmore and have pig standing there with rat saying something about it.

  70. I like the idea, but i have a suggestion. Try showing the front page of a newspaper on the front, and show funny articles and topics about the Pearls characters, such as “Duck threats North Korea with a nuclear bomb” or something like that. A cool title could be “Power of the Press”.

  71. My brother wants the next cover to have Rat as the President of the U.S.A and show World War III happening in the background. That would be funny as hell.

  72. Ideas? Think Michaelangelo’s Last Supper … If Larsen can do The Mona Lisa, you can do the Last Supper.

  73. Bon Jovi also used that cover concept for their boxed set (“100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong”). I’m not sure if that’s the company you want to keep.

  74. I have a good idea for the next cover: rat,pig,goat and zebra walking the street abbey road style

  75. You should do some parody off of the world war II “uncle sam” recruitment poster. Name it whatever, I cant think of anything. It would be hilarious. You should hire me. Except you’d probably get sued the crap out of you for illegal child labor.

  76. Have rat drawn as a dictator on a tower thingy watching an army of pearls characters led by Guard Duck. Draw rip offs of other comic characters fleeing before them. Call it ” first the newspaper, then the world” or something. Dont blame me if you get sued.

    DESTROY CATHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. This is Zarion Kreena, and you should draw Pig in an Elvis costume doing the hula and singing,”You ain’t nothing but a Pearls Fan.”
    miscellaneoussoup.wordpress.com

  78. I say, rather then “50,000,000 Pearls Fans,” you should do “Rock Around the Croc,” with Rat, Pig, Goat, Zebra, the crocs, Stephan, and maybe Pigita in 50’s getup. (Pig could be in a poodle skirt and bobby socks. Rat could be Elvis, or Stephan could. Zeeba could sing “Give peace a chance.”)

  79. I think you should draw a battlefield, with Rat, Pig, Goat, Zebra and Guard Duck (ooo, and maybe Helikitty!) fighting against the crocs. You could call the book something like “Pearls at War”.

    And, is it OK if I give you a strip suggestion? How about you do a series where the crocs are visited by their arch-nemises… THE ALLIGATORS! And like in Pig’s Sea Aneneme Enemy strip, the alligators are pretending to be friends, but are secretly trying to kill the crocs. If you need any other suggestions, you can post it on your blog and I’ll leave a comment or two.

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