Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Things I Like #6 - Pearls Before Swine

Dilbert creator, Scott Adams, has written his "formula" for what makes a really funny comic strip. He claims that achieving a minimum of 2 out of 6 makes for an "amusing" strip, but obviously the higher the matches, the more successful it becomes. His rules:
1) Make it cute (as in kids and animals)
2) Naughty
3) Bizarre
4) Clever
5) Recognizable (ie, you've been there)
6) Cruel

{Adams himself laments that his own comic strip Dilbert frequently only breaks even at 2 out of 6, and marvels at the conversion rate of Calvin & Hobbes, 5 out of 6, "virtually unheard of," or The Far Side, 4 out of 6, "no wonder he sold a trillion calendars"}
On this scale, Pearls Before Swine by artist Stephan Pastis consistently rates 4 out of 6. It has cute animals, some cruelty that's definitely cruel enough, some bizarre behaviour and often a clever or recognisable theme. It ranks as my favourite comic strip. You can read it here.

Meet some of the characters:
Rat is malicious and cynical and perpetually taking advantage of the naive and simple Pig.

Next door neighbours, the Crocky-diles, are dense and all the funnier because of their inept hunting of prey.

And occasionally the jokes are just sick plays on words.

Finally, sometimes Pastis breaks the “fourth wall” and inserts himself into his cartoons, often at his own expense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmm... interesting.

Robot man for me. Some of the characters and their traits were brilliant.