I Pant, You Pant, We All Pant for Ziggy Pants

Sometimes when I parody another cartoonist I call them in advance.  Sometimes I don’t.

In the case of the Ziggy strips this week, I did.  In part because I needed some help.  Specifically, with the premise of this particular strip:

I had never before spoken with Ziggy creator, Tom Wilson Jr., so it made the conversation a little awkward.  My intro to him on the phone went something like this:

“Hey Tom, my name is Stephan Pastis, and I do the comic strip Pearls Before Swine.  Anyways, I’m doing a series where my characters are really, really mad that your character never wears pants.  And they’re going to organize protests, and cars are going to get overturned and they’ll go on a hunger strike, all because they think this grown man should be wearing pants.”

I never know what I’m going to hear on the other end of the line when I make one of these calls.  Will they hang up?  Will they say no?  Will they swear?

Tom was great.  I think all he said was that sometimes Ziggy did in fact wear pants.  I conveniently ignored that.

But then I needed his help.

“By the end of the series,” I told him, “Rat is going to declare victory, saying that you — Tom Wilson — have agreed to put pants on Ziggy.  Do you think there’s any way you can put pants on Ziggy that day in your strip?”

“Sure,” he said, accommodating as can be.  He could not have been nicer.

So I did my strips, told Tom that the key strip would run on December 16, and he sent me an email confirming that “Ziggy will wear pants on Dec. 16th.”

Feeling triumphant, I went online this morning to look at Ziggy and to my great surprise, he has no pants.

Never before have I been so disappointed to see a man with no pants.

At least I think he has no pants.  Here is Tom’s strip:

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I’m presuming that like me, Tom doesn’t color his own dailies (the Monday through Saturday strips).  And the heel and sole of Ziggy’s right foot do look pretty angular, so maybe those were some sort of stretch pants on Ziggy, and the colorist just screwed up and colored them flesh tone.  Sure, he’s not wearing shoes either, but I see Ziggy as a bit of an elf and elves don’t need shoes.  They’re like magical midgets in tights.

So are they or aren’t they?  Did Rat win his protest?  Or go down in ignominious defeat?

You’ll have to be the judge.

It’s a controversy for the ages.

Pants-gate has begun.

65 thoughts on “I Pant, You Pant, We All Pant for Ziggy Pants

  1. I too.. went to Ziggy’s website n checked out if indeed Ziggy wore pants before..

    Judging from the gal on Santa’s lap, I’d say prob not cos she’d got proper shoes n *gasp* PANTS! Which made me think that it was prob drawn out of spite, And the fact that a skirt in this scenario would probably result in an “Alfresco Situation”..but i digress..

    I think u got defeated!

  2. Definitly not wearing pants here – compare the 12/16 Ziggy with the 12/12 Ziggy – same angular foot.

    Pastis – Tom Wilson, Jr. probably set out to make a fool of you.

    So basically, I’ve spent the last ten minutes flipping back and forth between those two comics, looking for any sort of variation in the leg area. I have no life.

  3. Stephan, you seriously need to protest this. I think #PutPantsOnZiggy should be trending on Twitter right now. This is an outrage! Tom has insulted you!

  4. Maybe it was just an honest mistake. Hopefully tomorrow Ziggy will be sporting a nice pair of jeans.

  5. I looked at several days back of Ziggy and I think Stephan is right about the coloring. I think Zig’s wearing jeans all the way to the floor. Would a guy who draws little girls and Santa go back on his word?

  6. What has apparently escaped you, Steph, is that Tom has presented the public edition here. But in the cartoonist’s mind’s eye, if you rotate the camera angle from the front, as we see in the cartoon, to the back, you will realize that Ziggy is mooning you.

    You’re welcome.

  7. dec 2 ziggy cartoon showed ziggy wearing rabbit slippers so..yeah, no doubt abt it.. u got cheated.. or Tom forgotten abt the agreement.. either way suxs thou.. *pat pat*(shoulders)

  8. From the look of bliss in your Zig/Steph cuddle shot yesterday, I think Ziggy DOES have on pants today but they are those cute little boy shorts, so short that you can’t see them! hehehehe

  9. There are a few possible scenarios.
    Did you verify the YEAR that you wanted this to happen? Maybe Tom was confused and has the next year’s worth of strips done. I mean, my 3 year old could probably do his strip, although I think she is funnier. They don’t seem like they’d take much time to do.
    Ziggy may have put on a clear pair of pants. I don’t know…it could happen.
    Tom forgot/hates you/doesn’t care.

  10. I think he should have drawn Ziggy with pants and Santa without pants. A missed opportunity, in my humble opinion.

  11. This is why I subscribe to your blog! This has got to be one of the funniest things I’ve read. And sorry, but I do think Rat got taken on this one…no pants on Ziggy!

  12. And maybe….just maybe…..there’s pigs flying out of Santa’s “chimney”. Ya, I didn’t think so.

  13. I’ve been following your strip all week and was really looking forward to seeing Ziggy in pants….I’m very disappointed…Rat should declare war on this non-pant wearing elf.

  14. “Never before have I been so disappointed to see a man with no pants.” Woa there Mr Pastis!

  15. So let me get this straight…when someone asks you to put their name in the strip, you’re free to humiliate them publicly via video…(and I agree with that, by the way, because idiots must be humiliated)…but you’re free to call up a cartoonist and ask that he change a significant design element of his character?


  16. I think Stephan needs to see the “Pants .. Pants .. Pants” Homestar Runner cartoon on homestarrunner.com. (Think it was a Strong Bad email.)

    Homestar Runner is a cartoon character who has the same problem: no-one can tell if he’s wearing Pants. Or arms, for that matter.

  17. Well, two thirds of the people in today’s Ziggy ARE wearing pants, and that’s a pretty high percentage for Wilson.

    Still, dirty pool for not having it be 100%.

  18. Well, Santa is wearing red mittens, which isn’t authentic, either.

    I think Zig is wearing pants. Well, do you still call it “pants” if it is a g-string?

  19. Frankly, if I were Tom Wilson, I’d be more concerned about you showing Ziggy in bed with a guy.

  20. Ha HA! I have defeated you Pastis! I only agreed to your little game to get you off the stupid phone! Ziggy will NEVER wear pants again! You want a pants war? Bring it on!

  21. Ziggy is wearing pants. The santa claus pictured here… well his real name is Ziggy. He never said that it would be that specific Ziggy…

  22. In protest, I vow to not wear pants tomorrow either! At least, I think that’s a protest… Either way, I’m just trying to do my part.

  23. And so it begins. I think you’re very brave to interact your characters with other strip’s characters. It’s one of the many reasons I like Pearls. I’ll bet it was a mistake. maybe Tom has the answer. . . . call him and find out if those are, in fact, pants. 🙂

  24. Stephan, Stephan, Stephan… How many times do I have to tell you that your insane neurotic lead time is not the way the rest of us work? My guess is when you put this plan in motion back in 2001, Tom (reasonably) assumed you meant Dec 16 OF THAT YEAR, not 2009. In fact, if you look at the Dec 16, 2001 Ziggy, you’ll see he does in fact have pants on. http://www.gocomics.com/ziggy/2001/12/16

  25. On todays strip for Ziggy, they talk about his lack of pants. Maybe its a miscommunication throughout the chain of command, check friday for pants maybe?

  26. I also must confess that I was disappointed to see that Ziggy was still sans pants on the 16th but was delighted on the 17th.

    I just hope this doesn’t go to Rat’s head.

  27. Anyone check out today’s Ziggy? Looks like the timing got thrown off. No pants yet, but a definite reference to PBS

  28. Ziggy did a pants gag today(dec 17th). Not only did you not get him to wear pants but you gave him a free gag. Ha! I underestimated the Zigmiester.

  29. Hey, look at the today’s Ziggy-strip. His boss is summoning him to speak with him seriously.
    I won’t hope it will have consequences for their employer-employee relationship.

  30. Oh ye of little faith. Today’s Ziggy addresses the issue, albeit a day late and a pair of pants short…

  31. On the other hand…read Ziggy on the 17th, and you will find out that Tom did at least mention you, if not by name. (Although Ziggy still has no pants, even in that strip).

  32. Stephan, bigger problems than pants-gate… my paper, the Richmond Times Dispatch in Richmond VA, didn’t even run your Dec 16 strip… they substituted a (old?) strip with guard duck and pig about lighted reindeer. I guess they censored you because of the last panel? Do something!

  33. Breach of contract! Specific performance! Filing this action will give you an excuse to get out of the grocery store conversations.

  34. Pingback: Planned Pearls, Ziggy jokes lost due to mix-up » The Daily Cartoonist

  35. i think tom wilson is laughing in his beer (if he dirnks it) sounds like he is enjoying the joke even more than you realize. ziggy has talked to his editor and his dry cleaners. ball is in your court! oh i am a hugh fan of both strips.

  36. i didn’t even notice that Ziggy was pants-less until Rat pointed it out.
    did anyone see today’s Ziggy comic?
    looks like Rat won… I knew it wasn’t a lost cause.

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