This has been a looong time coming. Almost a year and a half, to be exact. Bet you’re wondering what I’m talking about. Well, let me provide the back story…
Last October, my younger daughter celebrated a Bat Mitzvah. Part of reaching this milestone included performing a charitable service of her choice. She chose to gather a large group of friends and paint small canvases (with cheerful, “outdoorsy” themes) to give to patients at Cleveland’s renowned Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. In addition, each friend also contributed a new stuffed animal to accompany these paintings. The party was a big success.
Having a comic strip that’s semi-autobiographical often brings up questions from friends, family and readers. “Did that really happen?” “Don’t your husband and kids get mad/embarrassed/want to send you to Siberia?” “How do you put yourself out there all the time?”
Well, first of all, rarely do I write anything that is exactly true or verbatim. I take many artistic liberties. Yes, I often use real life as a starting point, like my kids’ Bat Mitzvahs, driver’s ed, and situations like attempting to scale back work hours. But most of the time, these stories veer off course and take on new paths of their own. That’s a beautiful aspect of writing: continually surprising yourself.
If you’re a frequent Pajama Diaries reader, you’ve noticed an ongoing storyline about Nanci’s young son, Ben. Ben has been displaying some troubling signs, and Nanci and her husband David are trying to find out whether or not Ben has autism. Stay tuned.
Obviously, I’ve been doing a fair amount of research on the topic. While I don’t know firsthand what it’s like having a child with special needs, I know a bit from having friends with autistic kids or friends and relatives who help these kids (including many occupational and speech therapists). I’ve wanted to introduce this topic in the strip from the parents’ perspective.
Well, some things are hard to top. This just may tie with my wedding and the birth of my children (but don’t tell that to my family).
It all started this past Memorial Day weekend at the National Cartoonists Society’s 70th annual Reuben Awards Ceremony, held this year in Memphis, TN. Originally, I was going to skip this year’s event and catch up on napping and Netflix, but I got “the call.” I was nominated for an NCS Reuben Award for Newspaper Comic Strip.
I’m really excited to be part of a wonderful panel of cartoonists at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival on Saturday, May 14. I hope you Northern dwellers will come to see us.
To prove how busy–and lazy–I’ve been…rather than tell you about it myself, I decided to rip off my friend Rina Piccolo’s fabulous blog post. (For her full post, complete with nice pictures, click here.) Here it is:
I’m so pleased to announce that Pajama Diaries is up for a Reuben Award in the “comic strip” category. That’s a pretty big deal in the cartooning world.
Click here for a fun article about it by Michael Cavna from The Washington Post, including the complete list of nominees in each division. Good luck to all the contenders (and send me good vibes next month)!
Hey, New Englanders! I’ll be presenting in Framingham, MA (outside of Boston) on April 10 at 4 pm. The event is open to the public. Book signing afterward. Hope to see you there! Info below:
TERRI LIBENSON, CARTOONIST OF THE PAJAMA DIARIES, COMES TO FRAMINGHAM FOR SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT ON APRIL 10
Terri will speak at Temple Beth Shalom, 50 Pamela Road, Framingham, MA, Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm
My apologies for the long delay between posts. If you read my last one, you’ll know why. I’m currently in the midst of illustrating my book…and wow, is it slow going. Kind of the opposite of illustrating the strip. I’d gotten a little spoiled there.
Speaking of which…
There are many giant milestones in history…civil rights…man on the moon…the internet… Yeah, this isn’t one of those. But hey, it’s still a pretty big deal for myself. Ten years of syndication! To celebrate, here’s my very first strip (also one of my more embarrassing ones in retrospect).
I’ve been keeping this under wraps until the contract was signed, but here goes…
I am extremely thrilled to announce a book deal for my illustrated middle grade novel, “Invisible Emmie.” This is a separate project from the comic strip. “Invisible Emmie” is part of a two-book deal with HarperCollins (Balzer + Bray imprint). The book will be published in 2017, with a second book coming out in 2018.
Man, I had a lot of fun writing last week’s strips. This was a short series in which Jess discovers an old stash of Jill’s “memorabilia” from the kids’ early years.
There are no words. Well, okay, there’s one: Yuck.
In case you’re wondering, no, I have not kept my kids’ assorted body parts. Well, okay, I had a few of their baby teeth for years…but to my credit, I had forgotten about them and found ’em stashed in the bottom of a clothes drawer (gee, I wonder what sparked this story line idea). I promptly threw them away.