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Pearls Before Swine has a potty mouth?

A Letter to the Editor in the Baltimore Sun:

Lately, I have become increasingly put off by Stephan Pastis’ comic strip, Pearls Before Swine. I enjoy reading the strip but it seems lately there has been a lot more swearing by his characters. The problem I have is that my three children read every comic every day and short of cutting the strip out of the paper, there isn’t any way that I could prevent them from reading it.

I’m not sure which particular Pearls strips this reader is referring to, but whatever profanity is found on the comic page has gotta be some of the cleanest in the entertainment industry. If a parent is worried about cussing in the comments, this world is not a safe place for them.

Community Comments

#1 Stephan Pastis
@ 1:10 pm

That’s fucked up.

#2 MJ (Michael Pohrer)
@ 1:36 pm

Ha,ha,ha! Outrageous!

#3 David Jones
@ 1:39 pm

I have always loved the art of swearing in comic strips. As a kid I even tried to read into the symbols to see if it was in a secret code. My character swears like a sailor in “cartoon code” all the time. I have no $#@&ing issue with this.

#4 C. Hart
@ 2:24 pm

Kids should not be reading comics. They should only read things that are family friendly, like the news.

#5 donna lewis
@ 2:33 pm

Comic strips are ruining the youth of this nation.

#6 Gerry Mooney
@ 2:37 pm

I’m shocked, shocked to discover that children are reading newspapers!

#7 David Jones
@ 2:57 pm

I am shocked as well to learn they are reading newspapers. Everyone knows only people who can remember voting for President Ike still read newspapers. I think the fact that the person “claims” their kids read the newspapers PROVES the person is a liar.

I bet this person also lays claim that his/her kids watch the local six o’clock news too…….

#8 donna lewis
@ 3:01 pm

Child 1 of mom: “Oh, man….mom is a *&^%# neanderthal?”

Child 2 of mom: “What’s a *&^%# neanderthal?”

Child 3 of mom: “Dude, that’s the stupidest question I’ve ever heard. You’re such a *&^%# loser.”

Mom: “Now kids, using words like stupid and loser isn’t very nice. Say you’re sorry and give each other fake hugs or I’ll put you all in *&^%# time out and you won’t *&^%# like it.”

#9 Chris sparks
@ 6:45 pm

I bet Jeff Keane wrote that letter! HUMP!

#10 Stacy Curtis
@ 1:37 am

“I realize they are going to hear cussing in school, in movies and on television but but these are comic strips and there is an expectation for comics to be geared to young people.”

This lady is a dumb@$$ and she should have her kids taken away by the Department of Family Services for allowing them to read the comics.

#11 Jason Nocera
@ 5:55 am

These kids need to learn about the real world from somewhere. The @ sign is all over the internet.

#12 David Cohen
@ 6:55 am

I received a letter from someone representing themselves as the spokesperson for The Society to End the Misuse of Grammatical Symbols. They claimed that said symbols were getting the short end of the stick when it came to representation in cartoons, and they wanted all cartoonists everywhere to immediately stop using them in said manner. I wrote back, saying that I agreed, and that from now on, they could go fuck themselves.

#13 Ed Power
@ 7:21 am

“short of cutting the strip out of the paper, there isn?t any way that I could prevent them from reading it.”

Yes, and you wouldn’t want to take 30 seconds from your day and do that. Instead let’s try to twist and bend the newspaper and syndication industries to your whim. That’s the much simpler way of doing it.

#14 Stephen Beals
@ 8:48 am

Well, now we know which kids still read the comics in the newspaper: Rod and Todd Flanders.

#15 Tom Richmond
@ 11:03 am

I’d love to visit this guy’s home and hear how his kids pronounce “@&%$)#”

#16 Daniel Boris
@ 11:20 am

Can’t blame comics for swearing; if I were printed that small I’d be pretty pissed too.

#17 David Jones
@ 2:34 pm

I usually get people swearing “at me” after reading my stupid strips…. as in “Why the #@%& did you waste my time Dave!!!”…. lol…..

#18 RA
@ 2:42 pm

I have to agree that the content of Pearls Before Swine can sometimes make me wince when I read it, and it’s caused me to step away from reading the strip. To me, Pastis is like the Howard Stern of syndicated comics. But really I think you summed it up in your last line Alan, “the world is not a safe place for them (the children)”.

#19 Scott Metzger
@ 3:33 pm

I don?t understand how anyone could be shocked or disturbed by the content in Pearls Before Swine. Of course, I spent years drawing comic strip ads featuring syphilis-fighting cartoon penises.

#20 Brien J Miller
@ 4:45 pm

Actually, given the nature of Rat, I think he mutters #@%& and $#@% a lot less than he otherwise might. Give the #@%& rodent a break!

#21 Tiff Hudson
@ 8:16 pm

That’s pretty *&!(* up. I mean, the *&!@ kids shouldn’t have to be exposed to this #*$&@ when they could be reading clean *(*&#$ family stuff like Beetle *&#(*&# Bailey. Sarge is )(*@!#) ANGEL!!!

#22 Alex J Cox
@ 5:03 pm

For some reason I think that this is delightful.

#23 John Read
@ 7:43 am

See today’s Argyle Sweater for the absolute best response to this nonsense.

#24 Keith Brown
@ 8:14 am

The kids only know it’s swearing if you tell them it’s swearing.
Just say they are mumbling.

#25 JW Wills
@ 12:07 pm

Baltimore sucks.

#26 Susan Cooke
@ 2:29 pm

On YouTube there’s a guy (comedian James Inman) in Seattle who was arrested (really?!) for using the F-word, and he delivers a 5 min rant to city council over it, without using one single f-bomb. But it’s so colorfully worded that, by the end of it you wish he HAD! Ick.

#27 Matt Forcum
@ 8:48 am

You know, I saw a commercial on TV recently for a movie that had something to do with covering a girl in dirt and dried blood, strapping her into some sort of torture device full of sharp knives and stuff and then filming her while she screamed for help.

Yeah, I too am worried about my kid seeing an “@$#*” in the newspaper…

Gimmie a break.

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