First generation Greek American Stephan Pastis was once a high-powered lawyer in San Francisco before he chucked it all to become an author and one of the United State’s foremost comic strip artists.
Now, with his “Pearls Before Swine” syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate, his cartoons, featuring Rat, Pig, the Zeeba family and their neighbors, the “Dumb Crocodiles,” are seen in 650 newspapers worldwide.
“Schulz is to comic strips what Marlon Brando was to acting. It was so revolutionary. Before “Peanuts”, the writing was physical, over the top, but Sparky goes inside the soul. His influence on me is enormous. I’ve taken his backgrounds, the front porch, the beach and the TV beanbag. Rat is Lucy, Goat is Linus and Pig is Charlie Brown. Sparky is a template. Whether or not you know it, he’s the template,” the Greek-American author states.