Welcome to our question and answer session with Stephan Pastis. Stephan is an attorney turned cartoonist, who draws and writes the popular cartoon strip "Pearls Before Swine," which appears in more than 600 newspapers. His first children’s book, "Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made," is due to be released February 26.
It was somewhere around 1996. I had been an attorney for three years. I just really didn't like being an attorney.
Totally. I make a lot more now that I ever did as an attorney.
Yeah, all of the strips I do are available in the various treasury books, although I'm not sure which particular treasury has those particular strips. I do know, however, that at the time, they got a very big reaction.
Yes. Definitely. In fact I'm drawing a strip right now where they are all in prison together.
Well thank you. I identify most with Rat as well.
That started back in 2005 or so. I had a "neighbor" take over drawing Pearls for the day, and he drew me as a teenager and made fun of me. I thought that was fun, so I kept doing it.
Yes, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made is about a little boy detective who can take any mystery and make it more mysterious. His partner is a 1,500 pound polar bear. It comes out on Feb. 26! I'm very excited about it, as it is my first novel.
Yeah, I've sort of gotten away from that. Nowadays, when there is a new animal character, I tend to give him or her an actual name.
By my face, never. Sometimes, though, I've given people a credit card or ID, and they recognize my name. It also happened once at the airport where you give your driver's license to the security guy. He said, "You the cartoonist?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "Hmmph."
Thank you. I like drawing expressions. It's bicycles and cars that are difficult.
Rat usually. Me over the next 7 days.
Well thank you, Marlita!...I love to hear it....
I go to a cafe and listen to very loud music on my iPhone. Then I start drinking coffee. After about an hour, I usually have some ideas. If I don't, I play Angry Birds.
Definitely not. They find me annoying.
A note about the procedure: Your questions will become live just before Stephan answers them. We have them in waiting, so there is no need to enter your question again when you don't see it right away. This makes it easier to know which question the answer refers to. Of course, if you do ask twice, we're Ok with it.
That's interesting. Maybe a little. I probably worry slightly less than I used to.
Oh, definitely. Scott Adams once said that there are 20% of people who will love you no matter what, and 20% who will hate you no matter what. And that your job is to fight for the middle 60%.
Thank you. Yeah, your brain has to work a little differently. You have to be on the alert for new ideas constantly. That never stops.
I generally wear pants. Sometimes I'll wear a shirt also.
The Sex Pistols version of "My Way."
Right now, my son is making his way through the complete Bloom County anthology.
Too many strips are not drawn by the original creator. Too many are in repeats. Both of these practices water down the comics page.
Thank you. It's been a real pleasure. I've gone on USO trips to both Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to Kuwait, Germany, and Washington DC.