Laugh away. These comics strips can take it

Who couldn’t use a laugh these days? We’re giving you three more opportunities to tickle your funny bone with new comic strips starting Monday in The Daily Sentinel.

Follow the caustic commentary of critters in “Pearls Before Swine.”

Discover the world according to Bucky, the self-absorbed cat in “Get Fuzzy.”

Unravel the subversive twists of humor in each panel of “F Minus.”

Stephan Pastis, 42, is the creator of “Pearls Before Swine.” He talked by phone from northern California about the role comics can fill for newspaper readers.

“I think the best contribution a comic can make to the paper is to be the one that they talk about,” Pastis said.

To that end, Pastis, an attorney until he decided to follow his passion for cartooning 10 years ago, isn’t shy about poking fun, sometimes even at other comic strips.

More often, it’s human ego and foibles that are in Pastis’ sights, acted out by characters including an arrogant Rat, a good- natured Pig, a philosopher Goat, dim-witted crocodiles and a Guard Duck with a serious penchant for firepower.

News of the day finds its way into “Pearls,” too, with references to Fidel Castro and the national recession, for example.

In order to introduce characters to new readers of both “Pearls” and “Get Fuzzy,” we’ll rerun the first strips for a few weeks and then switch to the current storylines.

In “Get Fuzzy” by Darby Conley, for instance, you’ll meet single ad executive Rob Wilco, who lives with the sharp-fanged Bucky and the sensitive fall-dog, Satchel.

“F Minus” by Tony Carrillo does not have continuing characters. Instead, look for funny dialogue and clever visual puns with a rotating cast. Carrillo, 28, was discovered when he was the national winner of the mtvU Comic Strip Contest in 2004.

All three comics will be in the newspaper Monday through Saturday. And you didn’t have to give anything up. Your old favorites are all still there. The daily advice column will just be on another page in order to make room for the three new comics.

Have a laugh. On us.

Laurena Mayne Davis is managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.


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