Terri Libenson —
Living a living a life out loud…with humor, comic panels and talk balloons.
Jill Kaplan has ET. And two daughters. So does Terri Libenson. In fact they have so much in common you could be forgiven for thinking Terri, the creator of the popular comic strip Pajama Diaries is Jill, her creation.
In an extended interview Terri set us straight. She’s the kid who grew up in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania, always drawing. She’s the one who drew her way into and through the graphics program at Washington University, creating that university’s first independent comics study course.
And where Jill is dominating and her comic husband Rob quiet, in real life Terri is a bit introverted and her husband outgoing.
She and Jill do share experiences and hassles but a girl needs a best friend right? And maybe the best is an alter ego that lets her process everyday life into a tension-releasing four-panel comic strip.
Back in 2009, suffering severe migraines and ocular light shows, Terri had a blood test that uncovered the cause: essential thrombocythemia. She had further testing done, discovered she was JAK2 positive. Baby aspirin and anagrelide brought her platelet levels down to where they didn’t interfere with her Type A lifestyle. She also turned to her drawing board and Jill to work out how she felt about things.
The result, a realistic but wryly humorous take on ET, is the first MPN comic strip to go international. And probably the first thousands of readers heard of ET. (You know her syndicate, King Features. These are the guys who brought Blondie and Beetle Bailey to our Sunday comics back in the day Americans got Sunday papers, along with Prince Valiant, Popeye, Hagar the Horrible, Hazel and all the rest.)
Today, The Pajama Diaries, reaches a couple of hundred newspapers in a daily strip and weekly feature. Terri and Jill are also on line http://www.pajamadiaries.com and appear in books and compilations.
Books available from Amazon.com or Terri’s website store
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