November 16th, 2009

Reality Strips…

by Terri Libenson

I imagine that, having a cartoon based semi-loosely on life, it can be confusing to readers as to where the strip ends and reality begins. For instance, when I wrote about the character, Rob, getting laid off back in March, many concerned readers and friends asked if my flesh-and-blood husband similarly lost his job (which he didn’t).

Likewise, last week’s light-hearted story arc about Jill’s new haircut drew a similar (if more subdued) reaction. Folks wanted to know if I, too, got hacked. The answer is no. Often it’s just creative license.

haircut

But then there are real life occurrences that end up making it into print. Although I rarely write verbatim, documenting my realities in a humorous light can be pretty cathartic. For example, a few years ago I discovered (after months of driving my family nuts) that I had PMDD, or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. I needed to go on a mild antidepressant to ease the symptoms. I wrote a small story line based on my wariness about taking the drugs. Or an even better reality scenario: Rob’s vasectomy series (man, my husband’s a good sport).

Vaz_Harper

Soon I’ll be developing another medical-based story line modeled after real events. Let’s just say it’s been a tough month. From my warped cartoonist’s mindset, a sane way to put closure on that episode is to expose it to the masses. If anything, to give myself a laugh. Hey, someone’s gotta be entertained, right?

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