Contented Reader

just point me toward the nearest library

Lions and Tigers and Crocs, Oh My!

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Lions and Tigers and Crocs, Oh My!

Stephan Pastis

Andrews McMeel

I guess newspapers are dying as a technology?  For immediate daily news, people turn to radio, television, or internet.  By the time the morning paper arrives, we already know the news.  The newspapers themselves are no better than the other media for taking political sides or manipulating the news to support their own positions.  Where I live, our lone newspaper is the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Its Republican editorial position wouldn’t bother me so much, if it didn’t so powerfully affect the way they report the actual news.  As it is, if my local newspaper dies, I’ll only be theoretically sad.  In theory, it is sad that my city won’t have a newspaper.  In practice, it isn’t doing the city the kind of good that a newspaper is supposed to do, and we’ll all just listen to the local NPR news and watch the TV news instead.

No, the TV news isn’t much better.  “Something in your house might kill you in the next 30 minutes!  Tune in at 11 to learn what.  If you survive.”

It’s a shame about the decline of newspapers, though, because the newspaper comic strip is kind of an awesome art form, isn’t it?  Within a frame of specific dimensions, artists develop a story meant to be read at a pace of thirty seconds a day for decades and decades.  Some of them are really brilliant.  One of my favorites is Pearls Before Swine.

The thing is, I like strips better in their collections.  I know that the newspaper version needs to exist, because that’s how the artist earns his living, but I’d much rather read a collection of comic strips at once, so I can follow the continuing stories in a more unified way.  Stefan Pastis’s treasury collections of Pearls Before Swine strips are some of my favorites to read, because under many of the strips, he includes little reflections on the strip- what he was thinking when he wrote it, what he regrets or is proud of, how people reacted to it.  The notes are as entertaining as the strips are, and add enormously to my reading experience.

I hope the newspapers don’t collapse just yet, because I want Pastis to keep writing this comic strip… so I can read it in the treasury collections, not in the newspaper.


Written by Contented Reader

August 21, 2012 at 6:38 am

Posted in Reviews


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