Stephan Pastis is a cartoonist who writes the syndicated comic strip, Pearls Before Swine.  If you want to enjoy a hilarious collection of animal and human relationship scenarios, you will love the strip.  Today I added Pastis’ blog to my links in case you are interested.

I have been reading the strip for many years, so it is difficult for me to identify exact times.  That said, at some point in the life of the strip, Pastis did two different things that were groundbreaking and funny.

First, I began to notice at a certain point Pastis integrated himself as a comics character directly into the comic strip to interact with the characters.  For example, the angry rat could go into Pastis’ office and berate him for some of the recent plots he had written.  At times, these cagey creatures would conspire to get Pastis into some serious trouble through all sorts of crazy circumstances.  Occasionally, Pastis would show up as his own cartoon character just to explain something about the strip.

Second, I will never forget the day a few of the characters bravely figured out they could engage in a new comics pastime they labeled “panel walking.”  They would intentionally position themselves into all sorts of otherwise out-of-bounds areas on the comics page as they appeared to run, walk, crawl, or jump on top of or underneath the actual comics borders of each panel, sort of the way a rock climber navigates a dangerous mountain face.  I could be wrong, but I believe Pastis was the first cartoonist ever to do this.

I have to say I am incredibly impressed with Pastis’ creativity and innovation.  He took thinking outside the box to a whole new level, in more ways than one!

So what do we learn from this?  Well, that is exactly what I want you to think about.  In tomorrow’s post, I will give you my rendition.  I invite you to share yours.

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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