I Need You to Play Comics Editor

I just finished drawing this strip.  (Click on the strip to enlarge it.)

When I came up with the idea yesterday, I liked it.  At least in my head.

Now that I see it drawn, it just seems strange.  But I’m often wrong.  So don’t let me influence you.

So tell me in your own opinion, what should I do with this strip?

58 thoughts on “I Need You to Play Comics Editor

  1. I’d edit it so Rat’s pogo-ing away instead of carrying the pogo stick and walking.
    Then run the strip. Whenever.

    (I know. Everyone’s a critic. And could do it better…)

  2. Is it going to be a recurring theme? I could see several days of Rat going from character to character passing out bad news via pogo. (Crocs ate another zeeba cousin, etc.)

  3. I think
    * it would be funnier if you didn’t see WHY rat was bouncing up and down until he bounded away in the final frame,
    * the WTF of accidentally blowing up Pig’s car distracts from the joke. I was too busy thinking ‘why was he doing that?’ to appreciate the joke.
    * some people will love it

  4. Grammatically, that should read “when even fewer people read the comics.” I’m not voting till you change it.

    Neil Anderson

  5. is it on recycled paper? can you perforate it so it can be used in a private area of the home? does it come with a scratch and sniff sample of malodorous perfume? if so then I’d say you’ve got a winner there.

  6. This needs to be a series. As a one-off joke, it’s alright. Nothing special. But 3-5 strips of Rat going around and delivering bad news (especially news of things he did) could be good.

  7. I’m with Neil. I cannot vote until you replace the ungrammatical “less” with “fewer”. Sheesh. Even comic polls have to have standards.

  8. Run it, and i think you should make it a whole bunch of “how bad news should be delivered”. I saw (did NOT buy) a desk calendar at the store with pics of “cute” animals delivering bad news, ie: “sorry, your grandma died”, “you’re fired”, etc… This could definitely be a PBS theme-week. Just my opinion.

  9. What a crappy poll. Where’s the option for “colorize and enlarge that sucker, then run it on a Sunday!”

  10. Good comic, but it just doesn’t fit PBS (at least not in present form). The biggest problem is it’s just not Rat. Rat would never use pogostick when breaking bad news to Pig. That would be considerate. And goes against everything Rat stands for.

  11. The bad news isn’t morbid enough. Pig’s reaction is a much more ‘my childhood is ruined’ than ‘oh god i’m out a car’

  12. I agree entirely with Noah. When I read the strip I thought it was strange. (Before I read that your thought it was strange.) It felt like it belonged to some other strip. I looked at it and I thought it was written for the wrong characters. I would switch Rat for Pig. Let Pig deliver the bad news to Rat.

  13. If you eventually publish this strip, and mention the reader poll in your commentary in the omnibus edition, are you going to mention that I totally called you out on your grammar? Cos that’s what I was hoping for. I actually sort of want to vote, so I checked again to see if you’ve changed it yet. You haven’t.

  14. I tried it. It didn’t work. Pogo sticks make you less balanced than you might expect. Also, if you must attempt this at home, do NOT do it on concrete.

  15. How about just changing the last panel to say “Bad news is best delivered by a moving target” or something along those lines. The pogo stick is great but falls flat as the final line.

  16. Why would Rat care how he delivered bad news. In fact, it’s out of character for him to try to soften the blow.

    Pig on a pogo stick delivering bad news … that would be comedy gold.

  17. Since when were you insecure about your strip Pastis? I wouldn’t bother fans, plus some of them are losing their sense of humor in their post (if they ever had any) My advice to you is to have confidence in your brilliance. Ignore the people who are grammar freaks.

  18. It does seem strange…

    I think you should change the final line or the last panel entirely (I like travors suggestion, but what do I know, I’m just a Pearls fan that loves puns). As the first two panels are fine, but last panel kills it.

    I do like the ideas some other folks had though. Like switching Rat and Pig around, or have a few strips of either of them delivering bad news on a pogo stick or in some other silly way.

    Its really all up to you, as its your strip.

  19. All I could think of was our people in the military dealing with IED’s, so it kind of struck me as…in poor taste? And I know that’s usually not a problem for Pearls, but this just seemed…wrong…sorry!

  20. I wouldn’t change a freakin thing Steph. This is to me a classic strip. Half the suggestions in here are mediocre at best, the other half really suck, (nothing personal) God help you if you take any of them .

    IMHO, this strip is Brilliant.

    (and believe me, If I thought it lacking in any way, I’d sure let you know)

  21. After reading a lot of these comments, I’ve decided that you are a very brave man to actually ask your fans for editorial feedback. A brave man such as yourself should be able to do whatever the hell he wants with his comics. What does your heart tell you is right?

  22. A bit weird, but acceptable for Pearls (this joke would NOT work on 99% of comic strips). The direction rat’s facing in the 3rd panel is kind of awkward, though. Saturday, I guess?

  23. I think the explosives and blowing up the car is too close to the energy of the pogo stick.

    It would be better to have something of a completely different type, say tragic or unfortunate, rather than explosive and destructive, in order for the pogo stick to distract the listener. Something like Rat lost Pig his job, or screwed up a meeting with his idol, or something.

  24. Next strip should feature Jesus Christ on a Pogo Stick.

    One of my favorite ways to react to shocking news: “JESUS CHRIST ON A POGO STICK!!”

    Hey, Sinfest.net features JC all the time…

  25. Sure, it’s weird, but so what? I appreciate the strangeness of Pearls. I say publish it as-is. I agree with others that it would fit well into a series, too.

  26. If this does get run I’d like to see an inside joke stip where Rat destroys something else and then the last panel is just him carrying his pogo stick off to tell somebody the bad news.

  27. Neil Anderson: I was going to point that out, but you did for me; thank you.

    Stephan Pastis: It could use work. I think the second panel has too many words and doesn’t let us focus on the joke.

  28. It kinda reminds the saying about testing pogosticks on a minefied. Mixed metaphor in this case, so nix it.

  29. thanks for those who agreed with me about the grammar. Now that you’ve decided, I’ll admit that I liked the strip. I think the second version is better.

  30. I don’t thing it makes enough “sense” on its own, but alot of times your comic strips seem like that until i see the follow-up strip(s).
    my suggestion: expand on this! what got you to the idea of Pogo sticks and bad news?
    I’d make the next strip show Rat giving Pig a Pogo stick to replace the car he broke. they’re both modes of transportation, right?

  31. Sandy: My guess is that there would be more than one newspaper editor who would reject a comic strip about bombing a car in this day and age.

  32. I like the idea of the pogo stick thing, but the kind of news rat gives seems too trivial. Something about a death or other more tragic news, I think, would make it even funnier.

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