November 2nd, 2017
This week, we’re reading The Pajama Diaries by Terri Libenson.
Terri is a celebrated longtime illustrator and recently-published author of the middle grades graphic novel Invisible Emmie who first got into the syndicated comic game in 2000 with her weekly strip, Got a Life. In 2006, she launched The Pajama Diaries, which won the Silver Reuben for Best Newspaper Strip in 2016.
The Pajama Diaries is part-truth, part-fiction, as Terri writes about the life of Jill Kaplan, a freelance graphic designer who works from home while raising her two daughters, along with her husband, Rob, a laid-back IT professional. The strip draws from Terri’s real life, with a hefty dose of artistic liberty thrown in.
Jill and Rob’s daughters, Amy and Jess, have aged in real time, and are currently teenagers, dealing with things like college applications, dating, schoolwork, and friendships.
The Pajama Diaries is a great look at parenting teenagers in the modern era, while also focusing on things like work/life balance, what it means to be a freelancer in a world that still treats office jobs as a norm, and the difference between the image and the reality of living as a working woman and mom today. Jill and Rob are youthful, sex-positive, and don’t always have all the answers. Their daughters, meanwhile, sometimes think they *do* have all the answers.
Terri’s humor varies from warm to cynical and back again, and Terri tackles risky topics that are sometimes just a little more off-color than what we’ve typically come to expect from stories about moms. If you’re looking for a comic about modern family life, check this one out!
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