Are you reading Terri Libenson’s THE PAJAMA DIARIES comic strip? If you are, you’ll know what I’m talking about here – if not, get over there and add it to your My DailyINK queue now!
I think most people think that this comic strip is primarily for women with children, or for women who are juggling their professional life with their home life. Terri’s work certainly speaks to that sort of person in a very specific and authentic way. Terri is living that life – that’s one reason the strip feels so authentic. But there’s plenty of evidence to prove that THE PAJAMA DIARIES deserves to be seen as much more than something that is strictly geared toward a specific demographic. I think Terri has created a very well-rounded comic, and although it’s seen through the lens of a stay-at-home and work-at-home mom/professional, it shows a deep understanding of the motivation of all of the characters that inhabit it.
The husband, Rob, is so real, and portrayed in a way that suggests Terri might have some real life model for him (wink, wink, Mike). Rob isn’t simply the husband creature that exists to round out the typical domestic household. Terri allows us to understand him – what drives him, and even what annoys him. Terri has mentioned to me how much feedback she receives from men who feel Rob is a spot-on portrayal of them. Interestingly, the same can be said for kids. Apparently Terri frequently receives fanmail from kids, praising her comics. Amy and Jess are brilliantly balanced into the strip, and I’m sure that those kids out there are able see themselves in those characters. But this is also a testament to the friendly, inviting and accessible nature of Terri’s work – she has a great grip on the comics language, and she communicates humor and characters very effectively.
I guess what I’m trying to say today is if you’re a gradeschooler or a grandfather, or whoever you are, I encourage you to spend some time with THE PAJAMA DIARIES. Here’s one from last week that I thought was great: