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CSotD Extra: So long, Pajama Diaries

Here’s the last episode of the Pajama Diaries, though, as she notes, you can relive the experience from the start by staying tuned to Comics Kingdom.

And I hope, if you care enough to be here looking at comics, you do shell out the twenty bucks a year for full access to Comics Kingdom.

Thanks to the Internet, there are a whole bunch of strips in reruns at Comics Kingdom and GoComics, from classics like Calvin and Hobbes and Cul de Sac to short-but-sweet strips like Tom Toles’ Randolph Itch, 2 AM and Shirley & Son.

And now Pajama Diaries.

The question for newspaper editors is what do you replace it with?

Well, the answer, alas, is “Whatever the syndicate salesman pitches,” because, as I’ve occasionally (heh) noted here in the past, newspaper editors have little interest in and even less understanding of comics.

But let’s assume you have either a true sense of how they work, or, barring that, some sense of marketing (different blind spot, we’ll cover that another time).

You’d be looking for a realistic daily strip that covers day-to-day issues faced by parents and couples.

Stone Soup is now Sunday only, and For Better or For Worse is in modified reruns. Between Friends is solid and realistic, but it’s more about the women’s issues and relationships and only occasionally about their home lives, and, besides, their kids are grown and gone.

And “realistic” knocks out a lot of family strips that either play with surrealistic situations or crank out tired “War of the Sexes” and “Those Little Rascals!” cliches.

Put yourself in the editor’s chair.

You’re looking for a realistic strip geared for Gen-X semi-professional families with kids.

Meanwhile, I don’t fault Terri Libenson for shifting from comic strips to books, because her books are pure dynamite and are selling more than briskly.

Not every cartoonist who has ventured into the graphic novel and hybrid market can say that.

 

I’ve not only loved her books so far but given them as gifts to young readers, and I’m anxious to read the new one, which comes out in May.

And I say that not only as a doting grandfather but as someone who works professionally with young readers and writers.

But I return to that editor’s chair and wish there were more choices that would hit that “young family” demographic.

The best I’d be able to do is reach for “thoughtful” and hope my readers appreciated what continuity I was offering.

I have a couple of nominees in mind, but I’m glad it’s not my job to pick one.

Pretend it’s yours.

Community Comments

#1 Hank Gillette
January/5/2020
@ 3:47 pm

With the end of “The Pajama Diaries”, I went back in the Comics Kingdom archives and begin reading it from the beginning. I only started reading TPD within the past couple of years, due to a recommendation from you, and wow, it was such a different strip then.

Not only was it about Jill starting out her home business while dealing with two young girls, there was a lot of sexual innuendo that I don’t recall seeing in the later version.

#2 Jimmy Delach
January/6/2020
@ 10:45 pm

I can report that the Tampa Bay Times replaced “Pajama Diaries” in their exclusive e-paper with “Shoe”. If you think that’s out of whack, it doesn’t come close (The Times had been running “Shoe” Sunday only in their e-paper the last two months). Almost 10 years ago, the Tampa Tribune (since deceased) replaced “For Better Or For Worse” with “Shoe” in their Sunday paper (while replacing the dailies with “Dilbert” which moved from the Business section). That to me is more of a head-scratcher. Now if the Times ever brought back “Get Fuzzy”…..

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