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Maltz Museum talk

For local families in Cleveland, I’ll be speaking at the Maltz Museum this Sunday, June 23 at 11:30 am. Here is the info (note: although it’s advertised as a comic making workshop, I’m actually giving a short kids’ presentation about my comic strip with Q & A afterward):

Join the fun as we celebrate Superman’s 75th birthday! The morning brings a kid’s comic making workshop with cartoonist Terri Libenson, author of The Pajama Diaries. Stay for a screening of Superman-themed film at 1:00 pm or head out on Lolly the Trolley for a history of Superman in Cleveland tour. Also at the Museum will be a Gift of Life bone marrow registry drive. Maybe you can be a “super” hero!

For more information, click here.

 

 

Reuben Awards Weekend, 2013

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but many cartoonists descended on Pittsburgh this Memorial Day weekend for the National Cartoonist Society’s Reuben Awards weekend. That town didn’t know what hit it. Throngs of us flooded the streets during Sunday’s Comic Arts Festival (sponsored by the Toonseum). You couldn’t toss a stick without hitting a cartoonist. By the way, thank you, Pittsburgh, for not tossing sticks at me.

This was a particularly special Reubens weekend for me. On Friday, I was honored to present in front of my friends and peers. Here I am with a strategically-placed mic obscuring my eyes. Someone must have known I’d want to shamefully hide after reciting a few off-color greeting cards. DSCN4692 I had an even better time right afterward, talking to friends. Here I am with Jef and Patty Mallett. DSCN4705 Another fun shot with John Hambrock, Chris Sparks, Rick Kirkman (who co-won with Brian Crane for “Cartoonist of the Year”) and Jef Mallett. DSCN4706 I also had a great time doodling “Jill” with my left hand…and then right-handed. Quite a brain-muddling exercise. The Jill on the right reads, “You are so messed up.” IMG_20130524_164240_074 That evening, we toured an exhibit of past Reuben winners’ art at the Toonseum. Here I am, studying an Al Capp original. IMG_20130524_181326_490 I got to do some up-close and personal star-gazing at the exhibit. Here I am with the lovely Jean Schulz.IMG_20130524_185221_972 And a few friends: Me, Mark Parisi, and Vicky Smart Gransee. IMG_20130524_185726_590 With Mike Lynch, cartoonist and native fellow Clevelander. IMG_20130524_184502_580 And a nice one with my hubby/editor/business manager, Mike. IMG_20130524_184446_535 Later came the welcome cocktail party. Here’s a terribly washed-out photo of me and NCS prez,Tom Richmond. Yes, his shoulders are THAT broad.IMG_20130524_214705_185 Saturday night, we had a wonderful time at the awards banquet. Here’s a pic of semi-awake Mike and myself during cocktail hour. I had more photos from the evening, but they were pretty dark and blurry. Always happens. IMG_20130525_235707_342 A few character drawings we did that weekend: some, I believe, for the Toonseum, and one for the NCS sister organization in London. IMG_20130525_181439_658 IMG_20130525_181522_082 IMG_20130525_181539_772 Sunday was the Pittsburgh Comic Arts Festival. I was part of a “Women in Cartooning” panel with true greats: Lynn Johnston, Cathy Guisewite, Hilary Price (moderator), and Jen Sorensen. The two latter women had won Reuben awards the night before — score for the ladies. Here are a few shots during the panel. DSCN4722 DSCN4731   DSCN4743 DSCN4751   DSCN4761   DSCN4767 Here, the others are amused at my comic strip…or they’re very good at pretending to be. DSCN4763 After Cathy Guisewite crumpled up a drawing during the panel talk, I collected it and she signed it for me: CathyDrawing Afterward, we all signed books and tear sheets. IMG_20130526_145044_028 All in all, a thrilling, eventful time. Between this jam-packed weekend and my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah the previous weekend, I think I’ve earned the right to relax. Or at least park my fanny in front of the drawing table again.

May Announcements

So this is pretty exciting news. Aside from the incredible honor of speaking at the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Awards this Memorial Day in Pittsburgh (sorry, folks, closed to the public), you CAN come see me at the Bricolage Theater on Sunday, May 26 at 12:30 pm. I’ll be part of a panel of 4 women cartoonists, which include little-known names like Cathy Guisewite, Lynn Johnston, and Hilary Price. It’s all part of the first annual Pittsburgh Comic Arts Festival. Sort of a hard one to pass up, eh?

Here is the website and info for tickets. There will be over 60 big names in cartooning that day, taking over the streets of the ‘burgh. Bring your kids — this is an opportunity your family won’t want to miss! The festival itself is free (that is, with a suggested $5 donation) and open to the public. Come join us, yins.

Also, don’t forget to order Pajama Diaries originals, color prints, mugs, tees, book, etc. for the women in your life on Mother’s Day. Check out my store. Have a great May!

 

 

Shameless Plug for Mother’s Day

So I try not to focus all my energy into promoting merchandise, but if there ever was a holiday that screams “Pajama Diaries,” it’s Mother’s Day. And man, do I have the goods.

I have Pajama Diaries Mother’s Day greeting cards, t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, totes, mouse pads, yes — pajamas, and so much more.

And don’t forget —  a signed print or original is perfect for a mom. I should know, I’ve given them to myself. Okay, so I’m a little biased.

For goods and prints, check out my store. For pricing on original comic strips, email me at terri@pajamadiaries.com.

Another option is to order my book. It’s a good one and perfect for moms of all ages. Again, I’m biased.

Buy now, before the holiday sneaks up on you and all you’re left to purchase are picked-over drug store cards and week-old chocolates. The women in your life will thank you.

 

My love letter to freelancers

Let me preface by saying, “I’ve been there.” Not to the extent that these poor, talented designers have been, but I’ve had a good taste of it. Some of these comic strip ideas I’ve referenced, some I’ve experienced. And as I’ve heard more and more…some of you have been there, too…a LOT.

The graphic design/illustration/advertising freelance biz can be rewarding. It can also be a nightmare. I’m still amazed by the scamming, finagling, and general ignorance of some of the clients. Of course, most people are fair and courteous. But the bad stuff happens enough that it presents itself as…well…comic material.

Goodness knows I do enough parent-related strips, so this series, of course, was a nice break. I’m sure there’s enough material to do more in the future. For now, I think I got it out of my system.

In the meantime, clientele, do your designers a favor. Remember that they, too, need to make a living and don’t do anything for free — including illustrating that children’s book your sister-in-law just wrote. Okay? Please?

Thanks!

 

My eyes!!

Well, it finally happened. Granted, it happened about 5 months ago, so in this household it’s long lost history. And I can even laugh about it. What the heck am I talking about, you ask? The event that spawned this comic strip:

I’m already known for pushing the envelope in the bedroom department (in comic strip land, people), but apparently, this strip got the online community talking. I’m so past it in my own mind, it took me by total surprise. Therefore, I thought I’d relive the past and recall that —ahem— fateful morning that started it all. Sorry, sickos, no graphic details.

Yes, it was morning. On a weekend. My husband and I were enjoying some…intimacy.  Anyhoo, we suddenly heard the door creak open. We froze. The one day we forgot to lock the door, our younger daughter decided to come in. Unlike Jess in the strip, I don’t think she knew what was going on. My husband panicked and asked (in a very unnaturally high voice) for her to leave and close the door.

My first reaction? Shock, embarrassment. My second reaction? How will this affect my daughter. Third reaction (okay, actually it was a tie with the second)? This would make a funny comic strip. Now I guess I”m the sicko.

So how did we deal? I stayed upstairs and hid for a while. My husband went downstairs and nonchalantly told our daughter she caught him “giving mom a hug.” When I recall that, I’m grateful we were in the right position for that explanation. (Ohhh, yes, I said that!)

As for the strip idea,I didn’t turn it into a big story line. It just is what it is: a mortifying event that Jill and Rob would like to put behind them. Tomorrow’s strip is the wrap-up and that’s it. The past is the past.

Unless you’re a cartoonist, your daughter reads the strip when it’s published, and then puts two and two together. Um…I think I’ll go hide the paper.

A Perfect Bombshell

When I first created the character, Perfectville, she was the  ubermom archetype…the envy of neighborhood mothers. Jill has had a love/hate relationship with her since the very start. But through the years, Perfectville has slowly evolved (much to my own surprise) into an actual friend of Jill’s. True, she’s always been giving and helpful — albeit up on her high horse — but lately she’s been nicer and less back-handed with the compliments.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun and fitting to have Perfectville as Jill’s pseudo “party planner” for Amy’s Bat Mitzvah. And so it’s come to be. But in the middle of this story arc, Perfectville throws a bombshell:

Who knew, right? This idea kinda popped in my head. But I loved it — what a kick to portray Perfectville as a former CEO. Especially since Jill has always profiled her as “Betty Crocker on steroids.” But as we come to see, it all makes absolute sense.

Why not? Why not show Perfectville as someone with a “past.” We all have a back story, after all. Here she highlights the career choices people (especially women) face when they become parents. Fittingly, this is the premise Pajama Diaries was based on.

This also explains Perfectville’s personality…namely, the relentless energy she once channeled into a power position that is now redirected toward her kids (frankly, this explains a LOT of people).

Whether or not Jill and Perfectville remain friends, frenemies, or otherwise, they will always have a complicated relationship. Keeping her as a recurring character satisfies my own curiosity to see how this relationship will grow and change.

Who knows which way the wind will blow.

Calling all comics fans…

Just found out you can try out Daily Ink for free for a week. Here’s the info from King Features:

Sign up for 7 days of full access with just your email address – no other personal information required. DailyINK is the all-inclusive, online subscription service for the true comics fan. Every single day online and on iPhone, iPad and Android phones, members get unlimited access to 90+ comic strips (including this one, of course), editorial cartoons and vintage classics not available anywhere else. You can also get your favorite selections by email each day.

Already have and love a DailyINK subscription? Then find a friend who is jealous of your comics access and share with them the free 7 day trial option! Bonus: if they become a paid member, you get a 30 day bonus on your subscription.

Click here to start a free trial today, no credit card required:

Speaking of gifts, if you’d like to get your loved one a print for Valentine’s Day, click the “buy a print” button next to any strip on this site.

Here are some Pajama Diaries Valentine’s Day strips from years past, if you’re so inclined:

New year, new tool

Ah, 2013. Two weeks in and already it’s been a year of major upgrades. One of my wedding ring prongs came loose and – uh oh – out came the diamond, never to be seen again. Thank heavens it was insured. Upgrade! Soon I’ll have a newer ring with industrial prongs and a new-ring sheen (I assume no new ring smell). Too bad I can’t super-size the new diamond.

I also threw in the towel and upgraded my drawing tools. I bought a Wacom Cintiq drawing tablet…and let’s just say I could NEVER go back to Micron pens, Bristol Board, and eraser marks. I’m a junkie. I’m so in love with this thing that I publicly divorced my husband on Facebook and announced I would marry the tablet.

(I call it “Sparky” as a tribute to Charles Schulz. My husband hopes the nickname never becomes an adjective)

Already this thing has me so industrious, I can knock out comic strip drawing in two thirds the time it used to take me using traditional tools. Which leaves me more time for practical matters…

…like diamond ring shopping.

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