Look! A Talking Rat!

January 24th, 2011 | Posted in News

Stephan and me in Tikrit, Iraq

Stephan Pastis, the cartoonist behind the syndicated comic strip “Pearls Before Swine”, is a friend of mine. We’ve literally been to the wars together (okay, touring Iraq and Afghanistan with the USO isn’t exactly BEING in a war, but there was one going on around us to I’m going with that). Stephen once drew me into a Sunday “PBS” and I drew him into a MAD parody. He’s a talented guy and deserves all of his considerable success with the strip.

Stephan has lately been working on animated shorts of his strip, and The Daily Cartoonist reported today that said animations are now available on Comics.com. Stephan and I talked about this process on our USO trip late last year, and he told me the biggest challenge was finding voices that matched the ones “in my head”. That is interesting… when you spend years reading a comic strip the reader also gets an idea of what kind of voice they are hearing when they read a character’s word balloons, and it can be jarring to hear something completely different when you see an animated version of the character for the first time. For example, I didn’t think (and still don’t think) that Lorenzo Music‘s voice sounds anything like what I thought Garfield would sound like. However, Jim Davis obviously does and I guess his opinion counts.

I have to say most of the PBS voices sound a lot like I though they’d sound… except Pig. I didn’t imaging him sounding so much like a little kid, but I quickly got used to that watching all the shorts. Here’s a sample:



  1. funny!
    we make more
    interesting read

  2. julio cesar naranjo says:

    Hi Tom very funny characters and funny stories, the are Pearls in did. Take care


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