I found myself contemplating the various deaths of the crocs in the comic Pearls Before Swine. Make no mistake, quite a few crocs have died in the course of the comic. It seems to be a standby joke for Stephan Pastis. In thinking about this, I thought I noticed certain patterns.
As such, I decided to make a study of croc deaths in Pearls Before Swine. I thought I would present the data I had compiled, analyze that data to see if I could come to any conclusions, and then perhaps discuss that analysis a bit. For today, let’s look at what I uncovered.
Now, I only looked at the Pearls Before Swine collections for this study. I did not look at the treasuries. I own the treasuries and could have looked at them just as easily, but the treasuries repeat the strips from the collections and add commentary by Pastis. This would only skew the data, so I ignored such.
I also note that I ignored any strip where I could not be sure that a croc had died. For example, one croc tries to get Zebra by hanging from a tree and is mistaken for a pinata. He is beaten, but I cannot be sure he died. By way of another example, another croc goes into a storm drain thinking it is a secret route into Zebra’s house. He gets stuck and it is assumed he is going to die, but he is not dead by the final panel and his fate is not revealed. I have chosen, for the purposes of this study, to ignore any situation where I cannot be certain that the croc died.
Anyway, here is the raw data:
There were no croc deaths of any kind in BLTs Taste So Darn Good, This Little Piggy Stayed Home, Nighthogs, or The Ratvolution Will Not Be Televised. There were some early croc strips in these books, but the crocs had not yet developed into their current character forms. As such, Stephan did not kill them. As far as my research could tell, the first croc death in a published strip occurred in Da Brudderhood of Zeeba Zeeba Eata. This is where we will begin.
Da Brudderhood of Zeeba Zeeba Eata: 4/19/05 Vern the croc dies when he is dressed as a mummy in toilet paper but forgets breathing holes. 6/16/05 an unnamed croc is shot. 7/16/05 two unnamed croc babies are swallowed by their mother. 10/14/05 Jojo the croc and Larry the croc are killed by Guard Duck.
The Sopratos: 2/12/06 Clarence the croc dies doing a death roll into traffic. 2/26/06 Floyd the croc and Bob the croc are killed by being run over by a car. 4/19/06 Benny the baby croc and an unnamed baby croc are squished by Zebra. 4/20/06 an unnamed baby croc is killed by Zebra. 5/7/06 an unnamed croc is killed by lightning presumably sent by god. 5/21/06 Biff the croc is eaten by a poodle. 6/18/06 Bob the croc drowns in a kiddie pool. 6/23/06 Willie the croc is sacrificed by other crocs to Zebra. 7/23/06 Bob the croc and an unnamed croc are tricked into selling their souls to Satan and are taken to hell (presumably dying in the process).
Macho Macho Animals: 9/10/06 an unnamed croc jumps into a wood chipper. 1/24/07 Frank the croc is killed by Guard Duck. 2/26/07 an unnamed croc chokes to death. 2/28/07 an unnamed croc has a fatal heart attack.
The Saturday Evening Pearls: 6/20/07 Larry the croc steps on a landmine. 7/5/07 an unnamed croc has his neck snapped. 8/26/07 an unnamed croc is shot with a spear gun. 11/6/07 Nick the croc is eaten by lions. 2/6/08 Bob the croc is turned into a cement statute.
50,000,000 Pearls Fans Can’t Be Wrong: 3/16/08 an unnamed croc chokes to death on spinach. 4/3/08 Bob the croc is shot. 5/2/08 three unnamed crocs presumably die (I’m assuming this one) when they go parachuting without parachutes.
When Pigs Fly: 3/3/09 Bob the croc drinks his milkshake through a straw containing a poison dart. 4/11/09 Fred the croc dies in his superhero form because Zebra has a staple remover. 4/12/09 Frank the croc dies in his superhero form because Zebra has one of those cowboy-style swinging doors that doesn’t touch the ground and thus cannot be stopped by a door stop. 4/15/09 Bob the croc is killed by the Waterfowler (or, Guard duck).
Larry in Wonderland: 9/3/09 Burt the croc is presumably shot by the girl from Love is… before being stuffed and his head mounted on a plaque. 10/27/09 Larry the croc is eaten by Zebra.
Because Sometimes You Just Gotta Draw a Cover with Your Left Hand: 6/20/10 an unnamed croc is shot accidentally by the elephant cop. 7/6/10 Bob the croc chokes on a bone. 7/11/10 an unnamed croc is killed by a doberman. 8/22/10 Nick the crock dies of undisclosed reasons, but is made into boots. 9/3/10 an unnamed croc is pushed off a cliff. 9/7/10 Bob the croc is pickled. 10/1/10 another unnamed croc is pushed off a cliff. 1/26/11 Bob the croc dies of undisclosed reasons, but is being buried and is definitely dead.
Now, there may be other croc deaths that I missed. In fact, there could be other croc deaths that are not in these books, for some reason. However, I think this gives us enough data to analyze. Tomorrow we will do so. Let us see if any patterns emerge, whether or not there is something we can learn.