Dirty Terri



Pajama Diaries has been known to push the envelope in the sex department (oops, I’m not supposed to say “sex” ). In today’s world, these strips would be rated PG, not R. But in the funnies — which are still a bit…shall we say traditional — they might as well be pornographic.

My strip is relationship and family-based. Sex is an honest and intrinsic part of marriage (one would hope), so it follows that the characters Jill and Rob would occasionally engage in it. I tend to write from the viewpoint of how “intimacy” fits into their busy schedules. I figure it’s representational of most modern couples and an honest and funny aspect of PD.


When these strips first appeared, I worried about negative feedback. Turns out I didn’t have to worry too much. Over the years, I’ve only heard the positives, rarely the negatives. I get negative feedback on really weird and random (or social/quasi-political) stuff, but not this.

Occasionally, other cartoonists have asked me how I get away with these “racy” strips. Or — more aptly — how I have the balls guts to write ’em. Truth is, I don’t think about it. Thinking usually gets me in more trouble anyway. I just write what I like to write. And I’ve always been drawn to the risque. When I first started writing humorous cards, I wrote some really disgusting ones that made my male counterparts raise their eyebrows.

That’s when they gave me the nickname, “Dirty Terri.”

I take great pride in that name.

Also, I tend to come across as a little reserved and innocent in person. So the naughty side has to come out somewhere.

For fun, I thought I’d post a sampling of these strips through the years. Maybe it’ll spice up your day (in a G-rated sort of way).

Okay, this first one might push the PG-13 boundaries. This came out early in syndication. Not sure I’d have the cajones to publish this now. Well, maybe.


This one I find less “offensive” and more clever:


This one makes me laugh aloud to this day. It’s completely inappropriate for the funnies. That’s why I like it:


And, of course, the all-time reader favorite:


The Sunday flow chart:


And one of my more recent faves:


So there you go. Be on the lookout for more in the future. Dirty Terri needs to let loose sometimes.



8 thoughts on “Dirty Terri

  1. Today’s strip, “Working the System” – exploiting your partner’s midlife memory lapses, made me laugh out loud. I cannot recall the last time a comic did that – maybe Berkley Breathed most-important-part-of-a-man’s life, about 30 years ago.

    Thank you. Thank you again. Your strips are routinely comically insightful: this one is priceless!

    Gail Heinsohn
    (reporter: former Asst Publisher, editor, proofreader–whatever makes a newspaper worth reading)

  2. You wouldn’t be the first cartoonist to put innuendo in a family strip. Lynn Johnson was doing it for years in the long-running “For Better or For Worse.” Two prime examples: When Gordon announces to his friends Michael and Lawrence that he’s about to become a father after those two took over the gas station for a while so that he and Tracy could take a short vacation and he says proudly (with a customer overhearing with shock): “Thanks to you two guys, my wife is pregnant!” and my favourite one is when Elly gets a surprise phone call from her elderly widower father Jim from England (he had eloped with second wife Iris) and she asks him, “What are you doing with Iris in England??” and the next panel has the two of them cuddling in bed with great big grins on their faces with him replying” “Right now, my dear, none of your business!” XD

    Still think it’s great PD is taking those risks at being risque (and I love reading it too), but for pushing the envelope, Ms. Libenson? Johnson already licked that stamp, signed, sealed and delivered it years ago. 😉

  3. The comics on taking advantages of mid-life moments and on the meter were both really funny. My spouse and I both laughed at them, perhaps too much.

    Dirty Terri is welcome on my comics page any time. Part of raising healthy children is to be healthy parents. Part of being healthy parents is having a lock on the bedroom door and using it frequently. We all do it, and we have all had funny moments in the process. Thank you for taking those moments properly, with respect both for the seriousness and for the humour.


  4. My lat wife and my favorite one was the Father’s day with the “want to go upstairs — Nailed it” because it was so us. Most of your strips seemed to mirror my family very closely with two boys (not girls and I’m not Jewish) – SO keep up the great work. it keeps me laughing.

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