Frequently Asked Questions
Pearls Before Swine is a syndicated comic strip that runs in 650 newspapers around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Are there Pearls Before Swine books?
A) Yes, a whole bunch of them. Just click the Pearls Books link for all the info.
Q) Pearls Before Swine doesn’t yet appear in my newspaper. How can I get my paper to include it?
A) Just write, e-mail or call them! You wouldn’t believe what a difference local readers can make in this regard. Generally, the person in charge of the comics is the Features Editor, but that varies from paper to paper.
Q) Can we hire you to speak at our event?
Yes. For the first time since the strip began back in 2002, I’m now emerging from my hermit shell and booking a fair number of speaking engagements. I talk about the strip, tell the strange tale of how I went from being a lawyer to a syndicated cartoonist, show a number of readers’ favorite strips, and of course, talk about some of the strips that weren’t big hits (including some of the angry mail they generated). It’s inspirational, it’s funny and it’s better than just sitting with a bunch of people in a quiet room. So book me now, because I may just return to my shell.
For fees and other info, send an email to: PearlsBeforeSwineSpeeches@gmail.com
Q) I heard there are Pearls Before Swine stuffed animals. Is that true?
A) Yes. Pearls plush are manufactured by Aurora. They offer plush versions of Rat, Pig, Zebra and of course, a croc. Rat, Pig and the croc are available in two sizes, a smaller one and a larger one. To purchase, check your local gift shop, or go to Amazon.
Q) Do you sell original strips?
A) No. I try to hold on to my originals. Occasionally, though, I will auction one for charity. When I do so, I’ll announce it on this blog.
Q) Do you do book signings?
A) Yes. I’ll announce those on this blog as well. In addition, sometimes I will drop in at my local Barnes and Noble or Copperfield’s in Santa Rosa, California and sign whatever Pearls books they have. So if you ever want a signed book, just call information for their number and see if they have any. I can’t personalize them, though.
Q) I’m looking for a copy of a specific Pearls strip. Where can I find it?
A) There are two ways. The first is to find it in the books. All of the Pearls strips eventually make their way into the books. The second is to just go to www.pearlscomic.com and find it. All of the past Pearls strips are now available there for free.
Q) What materials do you use?
A) Kuretake brush pens that I get from Japan. Strathmore bristol board paper, 300 series, vellum or smooth.
Q) What size are your originals?
A) The dailies are roughly 5″ high by 17″ long. The Sundays are about 8″ high by 18″ long.
Q) How long does it take you to do the strips?
A) In four hours, I can generally write 3 or 4 strips. I tend to write them in bunches. In terms of drawing, it takes me about 2 hours to draw a daily and 4 hours to draw a Sunday.
Q) Can you send me a sketch?
A) I used to do this in the beginning, but in the last few years, the requests have gotten way too numerous. So unfortunately, I can no longer do it. I’m sorry about that.
Q) Can you include my name in a strip?
A) Unfortunately, no.
Q) Is there Pearls Before Swine merchandise?
Q) How can I get a print of a particular strip?
A) Just send your request to email@example.com.
Q) How can I get an autographed print of a particular strip?
A) You can get an autographed print of any strip you want by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q) Can you give me advice on doing a comic strip?
A) What worked for me personally was to study the writing of Dilbert. I just bought a bunch of Dilbert books and studied how to write a 3-panel strip. Then I showed them to a group of people who were acquaintances (but not quite friends) in order to get their honest assessment of which ones were funny and which ones weren’t. As to the ins and outs of getting syndicated, I bought a book called “Your Career in the Comics” by Lee Nordling. A podcast called Tall Tale Features also does interviews with syndicated cartoonists that provides a lot of useful information.
Q) What comic strips influenced you?
A) Peanuts, Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, Doonesbury, Dilbert and Get Fuzzy, among others.
Q) How long have you been doing the strip?
A) Pearls debuted in newspapers in January, 2002.
Q) Where does the title of the strip come from?
A) Matthew 7:6: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.” In the case of the strip, Rat thinks every thing he says is wise, and that it is wasted upon dumb Pig.
Q) Where do your ideas come from?
A) I wish I knew. All I do is seclude myself in my bedroom or in the corner of a cafe, drink a lot of coffee and play really loud music on my iPod. The music includes a lot of U2, Radiohead, Van Morrison, Coldplay, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Killers, Arcade Fire, etc.
Q) Can I write my children out of my will and make you the sole inheritor of my vast fortune?
A) I’d be okay with that.
Q) I’d like to reprint a Pearls strip in my newsletter, book, magazine, presentation, etc. How do I go about doing that?
A) Just contact Mary Suggett at my syndicate. Her email is MSuggett@amuniversal.com.
Q) I’d like to interview you for my publication. How do I arrange that?
A) Just contact John Glynn at my syndicate. His email is JGlynn@amuniversal.com.
Q) How can I email you?
A) Just email me at email@example.com. I can’t always answer them, but
I do try to read all of them.