November 7th, 2014
by Terri Libenson
Recently, a reader asked me how my family reacts to my strips and their opinion of my work. I get asked this a lot.
Here it is in a nutshell:
I run every strip by my family. My husband helps me select the strongest ideas. He also offers suggestions sometimes.
My kids read them, too. They’ll only offer feedback if there’s something they strongly object to. Also, my younger daughter has a good eye — she’s actually caught quite a few mistakes that have slipped by us.
I try and be sensitive to my children and not write strips that could embarrass them. Some may have slipped through the cracks, but for the most part, I’m hyper-aware. I did NOT write a story line about one of the girls getting her period. I did NOT write any strips about the umpteenth boyfriend (or flavor of the week) my 6th grader has. I sure as hell did NOT write a strip about one of the kids walking into the bedroom while the parents were having sex.
Oh wait, I did. Scratch that.
Overall, my kids are very blase and indifferent about what I do. Once in a while they’ll tell me they really like a strip or (gasp) even laugh out loud. But I’ve been writing PD for almost all of their little lives. They don’t know any better because this is what they’ve grown up with. So they’re used to my work and think I’m totally uncool (remember, 14 and 12 years old).
My husband is rather a good sport. He honestly doesn’t care if I poke fun of Rob, his alter ego. He’s taken a lot of ribbing at work, poor guy, but he has a thicker skin than a rhinoceros. Then again, Rob is usually the straight man in the strip. Maybe the person whose reaction I should worry about is my own.
The only other family member I try to be aware of is my mom. The character, Judy, is based on her, so I’m pretty sensitive to how she comes across. Thankfully, my mom loves me, the character, and the strip (not necessarily in that order), so she doesn’t mind when Judy gets a little brassy.
Overall, my clan has a pretty wicked sense of humor. Thank goodness…otherwise I couldn’t get away with half of what I do.
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