August 5th, 2007
by Terri Libenson
Back in April, I wrote a comic strip series that followed Jill and Rob as they struggled to revive a sluggish sex life due to overextended schedules.This series was pretty well-received. I suppose itâ€™s because so many busy couples can (unfortunately) relate.Â
The fun yet challenging aspect of writing this series was trying to navigate around the risquÃ© nature of the topic. I couldnâ€™t use sexual language or â€œshowâ€ the couple in action, so I had to rely on light suggestiveness and innuendos.Â Â
The funny thing is, I was so used to writing extremely suggestive greeting cards, it was hard for me to make the transition from that to the rather tame world of newspaper comics. Not that Iâ€™m complaining, itâ€™s just something Iâ€™ve had to get used to. Back when my strip launched in â€™06, I mistakenly published some rather suggestive strips in a row at the onset. Got a LOT of not-so-nice feedback. Ever since, Iâ€™ve toned it down (slightly), but Iâ€™ve also become more adept at spacing out these types of strips. Definitely a learning process.Â
Here are a few samples from that series:
Hereâ€™s a quandary: Â A few months ago, I received a letter from a person begging me to stop using the phrase, â€œOh Lordâ€ or â€œGood Lordâ€ in my strips. To my knowledge, Iâ€™ve used it about three times (see example below).Â Â It was suggested early on by the powers that be — in this case, the syndicate folks — Â that I refrain from using the phrase, â€œOh my G-d.â€ Â Thatâ€™s all fine and good, but I needed a substitute phrase that was a little more powerful than â€œholy cowâ€ or â€œgolly gee.â€ I noticed other cartoonists had used â€œOh Lordâ€ in their strips, and Iâ€™ve heard it on TV many times, so I thought (apparently not thinking) it was a safe bet. I can understand why this man was upset, but Iâ€™d like to know if heâ€™s in the majority. Any thoughts?
Sometimes Iâ€™ll throw in a strip thatâ€™s based on a specific event. This one, for instance, is almost verbatim. I was going through a rough patch with my older daughter. One day I opened the mail and saw a wonderful, glowing report from her religious school teacher. It was like a 180 degree shift in outlook. Made me realize that she may â€œdish it outâ€ at home, but is actually pretty well-behaved everywhere else.Â
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