The Napa Valley Register has a really interesting write-up on Stephan Pastis and his journey to becoming a successful cartoonist. The story also delves into Stephan’s work process, his plundering of other comic characters and his run in with Charles Schulz.
On work environment:
“I write only when I have extremely loud music playing,” said Pastis. “My theory is that the music keeps the logical side of my brain occupied so Iâ??m operating on instinct. … The invention of the iPod freed me, so Iâ??m no longer stuck at home.”
On lampooning other cartoonists or their characters:
Pastis also lampoons cartoonists whoâ??ve perhaps overstayed their welcome. In a recent “Pearls” strip, the child characters in “Family Circus” had to appear and act their real ages. Pastis had Billy and Jeffy smoking cigarettes and drinking beer.
“I donâ??t always ask, but for that I talked to Bill Keane,” said Pastis of the “Family Circus” creator. “He loved the idea.”
On leaving law and pursuing cartooning:
After law school, Pastis worked for a law firm in San Francisco. One of his duties was defending insurance companies against Northridge earthquake claims. Amid a case that he particularly hated, Pastis took a day off, the first in three years.
“I had read an article about (“Peanuts” creator) Charles Schulzcq, whose nickname was Sparky, and how his habit was to get an English muffin and eat it in the cafe at his skating arena in Santa Rosa. I had this wacky idea to go there and meet him, so I drove to Santa Rosa and waited for him. I sat by myself for a long time thinking maybe heâ??s on vacation and asking myself what was I doing, when suddenly the doors open and heâ??s there. He sat on the other side of the room reading the Chronicle.”
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