Arthur Conan Doyle’s Pig, and Yours: A Challenge


During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, The Strand Magazine printed Arthur Conan Doyle’s byline many, many times—on dozens of Sherlock Holmes stories, and also on a wide range of other works. Only once, however, did the magazine publish a Doyle-signed work that was purely graphical: the pig (yes, it is a pig) pictured above. He drew the pig in response to a challenge The Strand issued to several Victorian-era celebrities. Full details are given in an article—“Pigs of Celebrities,” by Gertrude Bacon—published by The Strand in March 1899. The gist of the challenge is easily summarized: Lift a pen and close your eyes. Keep them closed while drawing a pig. Autograph your work and send it to us. The Green Bag is renewing that challenge. It is open to all our readers, every one of whom is a celebrity in the eyes of the Bag’s editors. Please use the form (and follow the rules) on page 547 below. We will: (1) post on our website all, or at least most, pigs submitted in accordance with the rules (we reserve the right to exclude mean-spirited and copyright-infringing pigs), and (2) publish some exemplary pigs in a future Almanac & Reader, or issue of the Green Bag itself, or perhaps both.