Long before he was trying to draw crowds along the campaign trail for the White House, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was trying to draw humor out of the law-school experience.
Hitting the books wasn’t so easy, the Republican vice-presidential nominee has acknowledged in interviews. After thoughts of pursuing the priesthood (he reportedly applied to D.C.’s Catholic University), Pence was determined to enter Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney’s School of Law. After scoring low on the admissions test on the first go-round, he eventually got in, graduating in 1986 with a “B” average.
“No one I know likes law school. It was a bad experience,” Pence told the Wall Street Journal in 1994. “I wouldn’t wish it on a dog I didn’t like.”
Fortunately, trying law-school experiences can sometimes lead to creative inspiration. “Pearls Before Swine” creator Stephan Pastis, for instance, grew up so bored in one class at UCLA law school that he began drawing in the margins. (That first-doodled character, for the court record, was the comic strip’s now-famed Rat character.)
Pence’s law-school challenges led him toward humor as outlet, too.
In the mid-’80s, Pence created the ongoing comic series “Law School Daze” for his law school’s paper, Dictum. The cartoons featured the beleaguered student Daze, and would sometimes mine legal terms for wordplay, such as his image of “Torts Illustrated.”
So just how good — or not — are Pence’s cartoons from that era? The Post’s Comic Riffs decided to ask another “lawyer/cartoonist.”
“Cartoons by Mike Pence are just about as funny as you’d imagine them to be,” Pastis, the bestselling author and NCS Reuben Award finalist, tells Comic Riffs.
“I’d tell him to stick to his day job,” Pastis continued.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Michael Cavna – Cartoons used by permission of IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives-Mike Pence