The Stones of “Stone Soup” aren’t going away — they will just be limiting their visits to the weekend. In mid-September, “Stone” author Jan Eliot announced she is scaling back the strip to Sunday only.
“I’m looking forward to having just one great cartoon to create every week, to linger over the drawing and ideas, and savor the fun of it,” Eloit said in a press release announcing the change.
Starting in Monday’s paper, “Pearls Before Swine” by Stephan Pastis will replace “Stone Soup” in our comics lineup Monday through Saturday.
Launched in 2001 and appearing in more than 750 newspapers worldwide, “Pearls” was honored with the National Cartoonists Society Award for Best Newspaper Comic Strip in 2003 and 2006, with nominations in 2002 and 2008, and it also won the 2015 Reuben Award for best newspaper comic strip.
Formerly a San Francisco lawyer, Pastis says that he uses the characters in the strip to express his often-cynical worldview.
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Set in a fictional suburbia, the story follows the adventures of an anthropomorphic pig and rat and group of supporting characters.
Rat is the antihero, often narcissistic and rude. He is critical and will sometimes break the fourth wall to challenge readers and the author Pastis, who presents himself into the fictional world.
Pig, on the other hand, is kind but naive and often self-deprecating. He is protected from Rat and others by short-tempered and surprisingly well-armed Guard Duck.
Among the other characters are Goat, the intellectual; Zebra, whose main objective is to not be eaten by the crocodile fraternity next door; the crocodiles, who want to eat Zebra; and some lemmings, which die a lot.
Together, the characters offer a “caustic commentary on humanity’s quest for the unattainable,” distributor Universal Uclick writes of the strip.
Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams says that “Pearls” is “one of the few comics that make me laugh out loud.”