Monday, October 22, 2007

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places...

Email published with permission of author:

hey francesco...

my name is stephan pastis...i do a strip called "pearls before swine"....i'm real sorry to be a bother, but is there any chance i could get a right-facing full body pose of Ted from you?....i've looked through the strips online and can't seem to find one...

i'm doing a series where my main character, Rat, is a concierge at a hotel, and i'd love to have Ted approach him trying to hire a prostitute for the night...he needs a break from Sally....

Stephan



Stephan:

Okay, I've read this message three times and I'm still laughing.

I don't do the artwork but I can get you said sketch (actually, I can do it for you. I've done enough joke strips of the characters that I can draw them pretty accurately). However, there are a few conditions:

1. If this is indeed not a joke--and you are indeed Stephan--can I have the original artwork?
2. For the love of God, please make it a typical prostitute, not a tranny or some 14-year-old Haitian boy. My syndicate will be weeping enough as is.
3. Can I have the original artwork?
4. Ted is still unemployed, so cost will be an issue. With few dollars to his name we may be talking more a quick yank behind the dumpster than anything else.
5. Can I post your email request on my site? I know that may ruin the surprise of the gag but trust me, the fact Ted's cruising for a woman is going to be enough of a shock to bring in the readers.
6. Can I have the original artwork?

Ces


UPDATE: Apparently a lot of people on the Net think this is either a hoax or I've been punk'd, both of which I can completely understand. However, Stephan and I had a great, long conversation over the phone this morning and everything has been planned out for a mid-February run...complete with an added twist.

24 comments:

125records said...

I love, love, love the PBS strips where Pastis brings in characters from other comics. I can't wait to see this one!! Somehow I doubt Pastis would have the guts to approach someone like Lynn Johnston or Bil Keane with a request like this one, though...

Andy 3000 said...

Wow, if this is for real, I can hardly wait! My paper doesn't carry Sally Forth, but it definitely carries PBS.

I imagine there will be a lead time of 8 weeks or so...

Zoe said...

I put this comment on the Comics Curmudgeon blog, and as it appears you read this site, I will post it here as well for your consideration:
"I am in the hope that Frank Marciulliano actually reads some of these blogs. I used to like Sally Forth. Now, all the characters are: 1) drifting through life, 2) obnoxiously sarcastic and 3) seem to feel a sense of entitlement (a.k.a. “Seinfeld Syndrome”). Not everyone watched or liked Seinfeld, and I sure as h*** don’t like the strip anymore, either. Get their acts together or retire them all to rocky pasture!!"
Frank, none of your characters are likeable enough to want to read the clips anymore. I enjoyed it when you took over writing chores but it's gotten so dark it's not tolerable anymore. Please think about cleaning up Ted's life somehow and kick that obnoxioius mother to the curb!!

Francesco Marciuliano said...

Zoe:

Thank you for writing. I will address your concerns/comments on this blog shortly.

Ces

Robert said...

I think the surprise of the gag will be the gender of the prostitute. Maybe Ted needs a bigger "break" from Sally than we know...

Hope we don't have to wait nine months to see these strips.

Jim said...

"Pearls Before Swine" is right next to "Sally Forth" on the Los Angeles Times comics page (well, across the fold, but close enough).

Since I don't think any newspaper that carries PBS would allow Ted to use the word "prostitute" in his request to Rat, I'm looking forward to seeing what the actual dialogue is going to be.

yellojkt said...

Now Ted really will be my hero. Make sure he springs for full service.

Thumper said...

Pastis brings in other comic characters a lot, so I'm *really* hoping this is for real.

Though after what he did with Jeffy from Family Circus...he must not always ask first LOL

Maughta said...

I tend to think that's not a real letter (sorry to be a naysayer). I'm thinkin' that Stephan Pastis would use capitals and grammatically correct construction.

Here's hopin' I'm wrong, though.

Nathan said...

Actually, no, it looks authentic. I e-mailed Stephan myself a while ago about one of the Li'l Guard Duck strips and his response looked exactly like that: no capitals and tons of hesitant ellipses. So it's either authentic or faked by someone who knows Pastis' typical level of grammatical effort in e-mails.

Sara Benincasa said...

Oh, FRANK! You rapscallion, you!

Katie said...

I stopped over from Comics Curmudgeon to read about the PBS crossover and I am so excited! Nevertheless, I must say I disagree with Zoe, Sally Forth is probably my favorite comic strip these days particularly because of the sarcasm. That, and it's pretty much the only comic strip devoid of outright sexism. Keep the fabulous story lines!

Bill Peschel said...

So, the secret lives of cartoonists revealed at last!

That was tawdrier than I imagined.

(Seriously, I LOVE Ted's battle with the MiL, especially Wednesday's! On to Thunderdome!)

D.B. Echo said...

This is great! But it sounds like you've put the kibosh on any chance that Rat will offer Dolly's services to Ted.

So do you think stephan pastis asked Bil Keane's permission before using the images in the "Family Circus Convention" strips a few weeks ago?

I must say that I've actually been enjoying Sally Forth much more in recent months. Maybe this is because hanging out at The Comics Curmudgeon has a way of heightening your appreciation for comics in general, or maybe it's because of the parallel life that Ted and I led for a few months. I am liking Sally's mom, and loving the way in which all the characters are reacting to her aggressive rudeness. Give 'er what for, Hil!

langdell said...

By the way, have you seen the current Masterpiece Theater series "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard"? The actor playing the prime minister's husband shows he would make a perfect Ted Forth in a Sally Forth movie.

Bob Andelman said...

You might enjoy this audio interview with “Pearls Before Swine” cartoonist Stephan Pastis.

Maughta said...

Sooooo happy to see I was wrong. Yay!

John said...

Ted is the mysterious Client 10

Cassandra said...

Zoe, I too hate conflict and tension in artwork. Things should be relentlessly cheerful, and icky real-life stuff like unemployment and difficult relatives have no place on the comics page!


Yeah!

Noumenon said...

I think it's weird that Pastis is picking on Sally Forth when he usually picks on bad strips.

Nabisco said...

Even my 8 yr old caught and commented on the crossover. Fortunately without asking me to explain any of the thornier details.

Rob said...

Thank you for having a good sense of humor about this. PBS is one of my favorites, and I thoroughly enjoy the skewering Mr. Pastis inflicts upon his targets. Satire is indeed a form of flattery. I think you showed good grace.

/Robbie

p.s. since it has recently been highlighted on the Comics Curmudgeon site, have you noticed any kind of uptick in your traffic? I suspect Josh may be humbled to learn that he may have created a "Curmudgealanche."

Alicia said...

Pastis has done crossovers with strips he clearly likes before, like the Mutts crossover.

mythos43 said...

Personally, I'm waiting for the one where Sally gets her break from Ted. I've always thought he was the lucky one.