August 28th, 2011

It Never Fails…

by Terri Libenson

Funny little story: Pajama Diaries was recently picked up by The Toronto Star (yahoo!). Earlier in July, I was told it might start during the week of July 25. In a panic, I looked up the strips that would be published that week (I write 5 months in advance now, so I usually lose track of what’s running in the present). Anyway, I noticed there were two risqué strips running back-to-back. One of them I wasn’t so worried about. But the following strip REALLY worried me. These are the two comics:

TugClothes

Duck

Bet you know where I’m going with this. A brand new strip with an f-bomb debut? … I was afraid I’d be booted from the Star before the week was even over. My editor and I decided it wasn’t worth the risk. So we replaced it with this one:

Massage

The day came…I noticed the replacement strip was up on the King Features Daily Ink site (nice plug, eh?). I went about my business. Later that week, my husband mentioned that his coworker’s teenaged son LOVED my Tuesday strip. I was confused…the one about the massage? That didn’t connect. No, my husband replied, the one with the f-bomb.

Wait, WHAT? That made even less sense. I had it replaced! A few emails later, I learned that it was only replaced on the website, NOT in the papers. Oops. So we waited for the angry emails from horrified new readers. None came (at least, not to my inbox. The paper might be a different story)

The lesson? It never fails: the strips that I think are going to invite negative email rarely do. You might as well cue the crickets and tumbleweeds. And of course, the most innocuous ones will inevitably draw the most criticism. I guess the one thing I’ve learned is that I really shouldn’t try to second guess myself too much. It pays to just write from the heart.

Or in this case, from the gutter.

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