Email published with permission of author:
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....
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?
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.