By Sue Botos
Fans of Rat, Pig, Goat and their friends should mark April 2 on their calendars. That’s when Stephan Pastis, creator of the “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip, will bring his unique brand of humor to the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd. The 7 p.m. event is sponsored by the Rocky River Public Library and Joseph-Beth Booksellers.
Pastis, a native of San Mateo, Calif., received a degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988. Although he always wanted to be a cartoonist, he felt the chances of making a living drawing were slim, so he went to UCLA’s law school, and was a practicing attorney in the San Francisco Bay area from 1993 to 2002.
While practicing law, Pastis continued to draw and submit his work to cartoon syndicates. He struck gold with “Pearls” in 1999, and the strip, well-known for its cynical wit, debuted nationally in 2002. The strip won the National Cartoonists Society’s Best Newspaper Comic award in 2004 and 2007.
Pastis counts among his biggest influences “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz and “Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams.
Signed copies of Pastis’ new collection, “Pearls Falls Fast: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury,” will be available for purchase at $18.99 each. The book features two years’ worth of the award-winning New York Times best-selling strip. “Pearls” is still one of the fastest-growing comic strips, appearing in more than 650 newspapers worldwide.
The event is free and no registration is necessary, but seating is limited. Joseph-Beth Booksellers is donating a percentage of all book sales to the Rocky River Public Library. For additional information, call the library at 440-333-7610 or visit www.rrpl.org.