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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 09/17/2008

The Morning Line: Six Degrees of Stephan Pastis

By Michael Cavna

Look closely in the last panel of today's "Brewster Rockit." No, closer.

Pigs in space? A strip with zero gravity. (TMS) Enlarge Comic

Yep, right there on the T-shirt is "Pig" from "Pearls Before Swine." What in the name of Mighty Zeeba is going on here?

It's a nice nod from Tim Rickard to fellow cartoonist Stephan Pastis, of course. And it's worth noting that Pastis wrote a very funny foreword to Rickard's first collection of strips: "Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! -- Close Encounters of the Worst Kind." (Rickard, by the way, is a member of MENSA, which perhaps explains his preoccupation with drawing large noggins.)

This is the same Stephan Pastis, of course, who regularly imports characters from such strips as "Cathy" and "Family Circus." The same Pastis who, along with "Get Fuzzy's" Darby Conley, pops into online chats with toonists like "Lio's" Mark Tatulli. All of which got us to thinking:

Has it gotten to the point where every syndicated strip, and cartoonist, can be traced back to the omnipresent Pastis -- through some byzantine network of comic cross-pollination?

In other words: Can we now officially play "Six Degrees of Stephan Pastis" with a reasonable amount of success? We challenge you to test your skills.

Meantime, we'll break this bit of news to Kevin Bacon. "Sorry, Mr. Bacon, but, well -- in an interesting twist of nomenclature -- you've been replaced by a Pig."

By Michael Cavna  | September 17, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Rant: When 'Cathy' Haters Are Staler Than the Gag
Next: The Rant: Stop "Frank & Ernest" Before They Pun Again...


Pretty cool for a relative newcomer to the comic world, isn't it?

And I know these comments aren't edited but haven't we heard enough about interracial dating in this blog? it seems to kill the discussions.

Posted by: f2 | September 17, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

But, but - he's says it's hot and sexy and maybe we'll like it. I was all ready to try it out.

The kids on Baby Blues were lugging around stuffed crocs for a couple days, a few months ago.

Posted by: marshlc | September 17, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I imagine that the gathering for Blondie's birthday will help immensely--not that I can remember which strips were represented there.

Posted by: Barb | September 17, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

But I would love to know about some Canadian pharmaceutical retailers.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 17, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Seems like half my comment got eaten. They don't edit the comments so closely on the Achenblog.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 17, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Cartoonists seem to be an incestuous bunch. BTW, do we need to investigate Ted Forth's family/friend relationships? :-)

How many strips have been hailed in song? like the Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron

Posted by: MSchafer | September 17, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

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