The Cover That Wasn’t

Eight years ago, back in 2003, I drew my cover for the first Pearls book, BLTs Taste So Darn Good.  Looking on some of the more recent covers, like the one for the next treasury, it now looks almost quaint.



This cover has always bothered me because it’s too plain and just not that funny.  And that’s because it’s not the original cover I drew.

This is:

I can’t remember who it was, but someone at either my publisher or syndicate decided it was too confusing to have these other people on the cover because it implied they were regular characters in the strip, which they weren’t.  I just thought it made it funny to have all these people repulsed by a pig eating a pig.

But I was new, and didn’t want to rock the boat, so I went along with their suggestion and nixed all the people.  But I’ve always regretted that.  Because looking back on it, I like the second version better.

And now you know the rest of the story.

28 thoughts on “The Cover That Wasn’t

  1. Like the original cover best. Too bad if someone is insulted by the Pig eating bacon!

  2. Something about this post enlightened me: Rat has an angry face but he doesn’t have a disgusted face. Which is odd, because I think disgusted would be one of Rat’s central emotions.

  3. I hate to say this because this reply doesn’t kiss butt, and it allows the BKs, or being nice, the sycophants, to condescend to my lack of loyalty, but I agree with the editors. Now I’m waiting for one of the editors to come and pat me on the back, and for Steve to tell me how proud he is of me that I have the courage to not fall in line just because it’s the easiest thing to do. OK, I’m not really waiting.

  4. … that was an honest typo, not an attempted insult… I also acknowledge that you can agree with Steve and maybe *NOT* be a BK.

  5. Why don’t you re-release it with the new “original” cover? Kinda like the Stones did with “Beggars’ Banquet”!

  6. . . . and another thing? Humans eat humans. Is why they call intended victims long pig. I hear we taste like pork. Not chicken. Uh-huh. I’m just saying.

  7. MHO – your original is funnier than the one used. However, the one used might be better IF they had used the original caption. The BUT makes it! You dont need all the other people.

    Also Rat looks kind of like the ASCII heart ❤

  8. I like the one that ended up running. The bread is daarker, which makes it look like it’s toasted and a BLT on toast is even more so darned tasty.

  9. I like the original cover better, but I am not certain if I like you being non-cartoon on the new cover. Although the missing shoe and sock are adorable, it kind of pulled me back to reality, unless this was a comment on how they have exploded from a mere comic and are now in the “real” world, but I might be looking into this too hard. Real pigs eat anything you feed them, including pork products. Cannibalism is the new red. (I was going to say it is the new black, but then I thought, “Crap! These people will think I am making a racist comment or commenting on the state of the union, or tie it into the situation in Egypt,” so I decided to go with red. Although now I will be accused of calling communists cannibals… Although I have no proof they are cannibals, I bet they eat pork products, so to Pig, it is same-same. I am glad I don’t have your job Pastis. It is very stressful trying not to insult people, or to do it in a way that the majority of readers finds amusing. By the way, I think Rat’s Greeting Cards would be a huge hit in card section. They are much better than the sappy ones there now.

  10. I think, perhaps, you should have made a cartoon of pig sunbathing with the caption “Do I smell bacon frying??”

  11. I like the original one as well.

    p.s.- today’s toon on was a riot. “Stay off my baloos wade shoes”. LMAO!!!

  12. I think you nailed it, Steph. As the new kid on the block, you got no respect from the editors. I bet they wouldn’t try that NOW, however. But c’est la vie, n’est ce pas? We live and learn.

  13. Stephan:
    Think of it this way, now you can re-release the book in a few years with the alternate cover…

  14. “stevenspiration”

    and no, having nothing to do with perspiration. haha.
    I feel this is inspiring at “being who you are” and that whole talk about not letting other people get in the way of your “shining.” -shiny star-

  15. Original cover is funnier. Editors/publishers think too much – they readily knee-jerk toward decisions that lead to “dumbing” things down so that stupid people won’t be confused.

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