Comic strip, “The Pajama Diaries,” coming to an end.

For the past four years, I’ve had two incredibly fulfilling careers: one as a children’s book author and one — much longer — as a syndicated newspaper cartoonist. Well, it’s reached the point where one career had to give. The Pajama Diaries has had a good 14-year run and I’ve decided to retire it permanently.

Bittersweet is an understatement, but I’m so thankful to have had even this long a stint. The strip has rewarded me with incredible fans, a big-time award, and so many industry friends. Below is my official goodbye letter to my readers, who made this my ultimate dream job.

After almost fourteen incredible years, it’s with mixed feelings that I’m announcing the retirement of my syndicated comic strip, The Pajama Diaries. This is truly bittersweet. I’ve always loved writing and illustrating the strip. However, I’ve been fortunate to have other exciting and challenging projects thrown my way, and I just can’t do it all — trust me, I’ve tried.

The Kaplan family characters age just like we do, and now that the child characters are nearly grown and Jill and Rob are practically empty nesters, this seems an appropriate time as any to hang up my (digital) pen. The final strip will be published on January 4, 2020.

I want to extend my unwavering thanks to the folks at King Features Syndicate who have given PJD a home all these years and have continued to champion it. I’d also like to thank you, readers, who’ve made this job such a joy, as well as the newspaper editors (with fine taste) who have given it a home on their funny pages.  Finally, I’d like to thank my friends and colleagues in the industry whom I’ve looked up to for so long.

ComicsKingdom.com will run The Pajama Diaries archives starting January 5, so you can see where it all began (in all its cringy glory!). You’ll also be able to read it in many online newspapers or link up to it from my personal website and PJD Facebook page.

Thank you so much for your support!

-Terri Libenson, December 10, 2019

76 Comments on “Comic strip, “The Pajama Diaries,” coming to an end.

    • I have, too. I will miss this strip. Just a few days ago I decided that Pajama Diaries and Zits are my favorite comics. Both feature teenagers. I could certainly relate best to the mom in Pajama Diaries and I will miss her observations and self deprecating humor. Thank you!

  1. OK. Getting re-runs in January will be really good. We all wish you great blessings in your new endeavors. And sincerely thank you for this great comic strip.

  2. Thank you for your insights and the great laughs. My whole family related to the Kaplans. Our girls are the same ages. We loved the strip. We will miss it!

  3. I wish you nothing but the best. Thank you for the laughs and memories. My daughter went off to college one year before Amy did. (she came back…wrong college for her, but she’s launching again next year!) And if you get bored, you can always do what FoxTrot did and only do Sundays…or The Adventures of Business Cat who publishes when he feels like it! We’ll be here no matter what. Take care.

  4. Best wishes. Loved your strip and the humor – could relate to it in many ways. Lots of them are on the refrigerator in our house.

  5. On the one hand: Congratulations on your upcoming endeavors….
    On the other: Waaaaaaa! I’m going to miss all the new adventures of the PajamaDiaries family.
    (On of the few comic strips that I found totally relatable.)

  6. Thank you so much, everyone. It was a tough, tough decision. My only regret is leaving my readers. (But remember you can see my cringy early strips starting January 5!)

  7. You have been a lifeline! I will need to buy the Complete Collection so I can read you over and over! You have had an amazing run and I will miss you.

  8. Best of luck for your future! We will very much miss your comic strip. Remember you have a loyal following if you ever decide to come back to that career!

  9. I loved watching the girls grow up,their bat mitzvah etc and hoped to see the little one graduate from school . We all will miss you .

  10. Congrats on focusing on the next chapter. While the comic strip will be missed, I have no doubt you’ll keep up the great work in many other ways.

  11. Oh no, Terri, my family and I will miss Pajama Diaries! Since my daughters are the same age as the Kaplan girls, we always laughed at your strip because it was like you wrote it about my family. We wish you much continued success in all your new endeavors.

  12. I loved that I could relate to the strip on so many levels (husband/wife dynamics, similar aged children) and being a graphic designer myself, you NAILED those strips! I will miss Pajama Diaries and will definitely check it out from the beginning. Best wishes on your next phase of life!

  13. Your strip has been one of my top favorites, and I have looked forward to reading it each and every day. So very sorry to see it end, but wish you all the best!! (Is it too much to hope that one of your books may, some day, be for adults??)

  14. I will be very sad, but truly understand! Your strip has been full of reminders of my own family when my children were in teens. And now that my grandchildren are all either leaving or about to leave the nest, their parents are taking big breaths as empty-nesters! Thank you for allowing us to laugh at ourselves and our families.

  15. Aw, man! I’ve grown up alongside the kids, reading the strip all through my academic career. This is tough to hear. It’s the most grounded, realistic, really meaningful strip I know of, and that was its incredible strength. It didn’t need puns or wordplay to entertain or hook us in, like so many other strips do. My parents read it from the parent perspective, and I read it from the kid perspective, and we all got something out of it every single day. Thank you so much, for all these years of inspiration, laughs, and happiness.

  16. I wish you the best of luck on your new adventures. I will miss this strip – it has really grown on me over the years and the Kaplans are like extended family. It meant a lot to see Jewish characters! It is rare to see “my” holidays depicted in comic strips and it made me understand just how much representation matters. Thank you for bringing diversity to the comics!

  17. I began reading the strip about a year ago on Comics Kingdom, and I’m really sorry I discovered it so late. A really lovely, funny, intelligent strip. Knowing CK will post the strip from its beginning is a welcome gift for 2020, but I’ll miss the pleasure of reading a brand new daily. Classic strips with their original artists must come to an end at some point, and I’ll miss this one; but I’m thankful that there’s a trove of strips for me to read anew.

  18. I have thoroughly this comic strip over the years and hate to see it end. Congrats on the upcoming retirement. It has been well deserved!! Best of luck to you and yours!!

  19. So sad to hear this. Pajama Diaries is my all time favorite comic strip. Your children’s books are amazing and my loss is my daughters gain. I’m sure your Emmy books will continue to wow her and countless others for years to come. I’m going to still hold out hope that we will see the Kaplans again somehow. Good Luck and keep making people smile.

    • I will totally miss the Pajama Diaries. I personally related to the strip in so many ways, with 2 daughters the same age, and crazily also facing hair loss issues. I am glad there are places I can continue to see PD. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors Terri, thank you for sharing your humor and talent with us❤️

  20. Smart move, Terri! That daily cartoon deadline is relentless and there is a part of me that is super jealous. But I’m only 12 years in, ha, ha….

    Your books are wonderful.

    All the best

  21. Set out to write my first fan letter and I see you are ending the strip. So sad although happy that it will be rerunning.
    I’ve loved the Jewish slant on life. Yesterday’s Christmas strip was “spot on”’and your Yom Kippur strip will always stay in my refrigerator!
    Looking forward to reading about the early years as well as buying your books for my grandkids.

  22. I came late to the party in finding your strip (maybe the last 4 or 5 years) and will truly miss it. Glad I will be able to see it from the beginning. Best of luck in the next chapter of your life!

  23. Congrats on the new chapter in your life but I am so sad to see the strip go. As a mom with two daughters only slightly off Amy and Jess’s ages, and being Jewish, it was so wonderful to read as it is one of the few comics that spoke to me in such a personal way. I wish there was a way for you to continue this as well as work on your new projects.Thank you for so many years of enjoyable reading and Happy New Year!

  24. Understandable that you Terri want to retire but you will be missed. I have Pajama Diaries on my Favorites
    so it is readily available. Now it will be started over from its beginnings but I would have
    preferred to see how everyone moves into a new stage of life with your clever cartooning and
    family stories. Best wishes and thanks.

  25. Gone, but never forgotten. I echo all the comments. I,and my family will truly miss our everyday laugh, and an occasional tear.
    Good luck to you on your future endeavors, and a find “fairwell” to PJD.

  26. I am shocked and sad. Pajama Diaries is one of my favorite cartoons. I had no idea that it was ending. I will really miss it, but maybe you will take some time off and come back to us later. I will really miss Pajama Diaries. It will be hard to get used to not having it. It feels like you are part of our family.

  27. Thanks for being one of the only Jewish comics out there. It helped my kids feel that other people got what they felt and it was out in the main stream. The Kaplans will be missed.

  28. Terri, Pajama Diaries is the one comic that I have continuously shared with friends. Your characters lives, especially the ones about working independently from home, have resonated with me on a daily basis. When I have no time to look through the entire section it is also the only one then I make sure to read every day. The absence of your strip is going to be felt a long time. But thank you for bringing a smile and a laugh, even on my most challenging days. I have always appreciate it that feeling of “omg, she GETS it!” Thank you so much again.

  29. One the of the wonderful things about your strip is that the characters were Jewish, and I thank you for that. I knew I could always count on you to make me laugh around the Jewish holidays. We will miss you!!

  30. I was saddened to read today’s PJD and find it is over! The same quest for balance you describe in your life you also captured well in your strip, which is why my wife and I came to love it so. Thank you for 14 years and good luck with your other endeavors!

  31. I was pleased to get to read your comic strip for many years that my local paper picked it up about 10 years ago AND that you invented a Jewish family w/o reserve.

  32. Thank you for 14 years of the Kaplan Family! I will miss seeing them every morning! Al the best to you, Terri!

  33. I subscribe to two dailies and now I have two reasons to be sad in the morning! Just kidding. I will miss your so relatable talents, Terri. Be well. Thanks for the laughs, and yes, cringes.

  34. Well, there goes the neighborhood. I loved having an authentic Jewish presence on the comics pages. You will be missed. Zei gezunt!

  35. Nooo!!!! I love this strip! The kids are roughly my kids ages and I have so enjoyed relating to all the families experiences. Honestly – it is one of may favorite comics. I wish you the best and maybe every once in a while you put out an update strip on the Kaplans :-).

  36. It isn’t easy for a relatively “new” comic strip to become a “must-read” for me, but TPD did, and I shall miss it. My wife and I could relate to much of what your characters experienced.

    I wish you the very best this life has to offer and thank you for the years of poignant laughs.

  37. Thank you for sharing your wonderful comic strip with us. I especially loved how it stirs in real life with humor. Everyone experienced at one time or other what the characters did. This is probably the main reason why we will miss the strip. Thank you again for putting a smile on our faces on the dreariest of days.

  38. I”m so sorry to hear that it ended!!! I was reading this comics this morning and noticed immediately that it was missing!!! It was one of my favourites!!! Good luck in all of your future endeavours. And thanks for all of the laughs!

  39. Loved following the family as it grew up. I am broken hearted that this is ending, but sometimes it is just the right time. You are the only place I have ever seen that accurately reflected the angst of being a graphic designer. And the issues with working at it from home. Best of luck to wherever life takes you. You will be missed.

  40. Terri- I wrote you years ago to tell you how much I enjoyed Pajama Diaries and now I must again. It always felt as if you were secretly living in my house and writing about the same things we were experiencing– bat mitzvahs, college, self-employment, etc. I looked forward to reading your comic strip each morning and will miss it, but I am certain you have new great adventures ahead. Many thanks for so often starting my day with a smile. Best of luck for all that is ahead!

  41. Sad to see the end of the Kaplan family saga. As a parent of two girls (now in their late teens), the Kaplans often served as a nice confirmation that my kids were not crazed lunatics. Congrats on taking the next step and best of luck.

  42. Terri, PJD has been one of my favorite comics for many years. As the dad of two girls I was able to relate to the depiction of the kids but I enjoyed the parents’ relationship just as much if not more. You’ve obviously been there and done that😁. So sorry to see PJD go but thanks for the many years of enjoyment and best wishes for the future!

  43. Thank you, so very much for brightening my early morning with your humor. As a single mom, raising a son, age 21, you helped me through his teenage years with sanity! It was so nice to know his actions and comments were so normal ! Pajama Diaries will be greatly missed. Good Luck and a Wonderful Life to you! Your comic strip certainly helped mine!! 😀

  44. Going to really miss your humor! One of my favorite comic strips of all time! Your reasons are very understandable. However, I look forward to seeing your children’s books.

  45. I just found out about the retirement of PJD. All I can say is WAAAH!!! Well, I can say a little more. PJD was one of my favorite comics. I found it so relatable, even though I am a middle-aged Catholic woman with four grown sons. I loved that the Kaplans were a family of individuals who clearly loved each other. I loved how Jill’s friends were so diverse, and that one of them had a child with autism. I loved that they practiced their Judaism unabashedly. I loved that the girls were not perfect, and that Jill and her husband had a strong marriage and you just knew they could weather the storms of their children’s teen-hood. I totally get the reason for Terri’s bailing on the strip. That daily deadline must be a killer. But I don’t have to like it. Nevertheless, Terri, congrats on your new endeavors and for making what must have been a difficult decision. You really have made a difference in many people’s lives.

  46. I was airways pleased when you slipped in a bit of Jewishness into your stories. I was raised in an Irish Catholic family and neighborhood. We had no Jewish neighbors or friends and the only thing I new about Jews came from anti Semitic comments I heard as a child and adolescent and the Jewish sitcoms I saw on television. You give a bit of insight on what Jewish families are like. (Rather like genital families.). Thank you.

  47. I can’t tell you how often I thought you were in my brain or watching my family (also two teenage girls)! Thanks for helping me laugh or get new perspective every day! Best wishes in your future!

  48. I just found out about this today! Good luck in your other ventures. I am going to miss your comic strip; it is one of the few good ones left that I enjoy. I’ll definitely have to look up the archives!

  49. I was shocked and sad to read the final strip. Terri the PJ Diaries will be sorely missed. You covered a lot of topics that are normally missing from comics including being Jewish, that parents still have sex after they have kids, as well as the trials of people facing unusual diseases and being a parent to an autistic kid. I will miss your unique take on life and parenthood. Farewell (but remember that if Opus can return in some form, so can the Kaplans.)

  50. Dear Ms. Libenson,
    I know you will be successful in your next venture. Thank you for years of making me laugh. I, too, am a mother of two so really appreciated the humor. I will continue to reread the comic strip ( as seniors have memory issues ) and it will all be new to me. That’s why I enjoy “The Plugger” also. For Better or Worse is another good one.
    My best to you and your family,
    Karen

  51. Thank you for your insight, wit, and empathy. This is one of the truly funny and entertaining comics I’ve ever read and I’ve been reading the comics for over 50 years. I can really relate to this comic. I wish I was a kid or had any smaller children, so I could read those books. Good luck in your future endeavors.

  52. A bit of shock when I saw a different strip in PD’s place in today’s paper — but I understand. I “re-pot” my creative energies often, so I can’t blame you for wanting a change-up after a long, 14-year run. But please know your strip was my absolute favorite: the only one that to me was consistently funny AND one of the very few that resonated with real-life situations. Will look forward to seeing what you do next. – A fan

  53. Thnx for the fun ride. Especially enjoyed having a Jewish strip – I collected the holiday ones and made a “book” for my grandkids.
    Good luck for your next adventures.

  54. I was surprised to see the last strip when it appeared. Looking forward to reading about the Kaplans from the “beginning”. Thank you for creating the Kaplans and sharing them with us.

  55. Thank you for entertaining us readers with relatable stories for years. I have enjoyed them and shared them with my family and laughed too. I liked the husband and wife banter like when the mom told the dad about college talk but dad gave daughter 100- and one-upped the mom.

  56. Thanks for all the years of enjoying your Pajama Diaries. Good luck with future endeavors. It will be missed!

  57. Terri, The Kaplans are living my life! Reading your strip every day helped me keep my sanity with my college-aged daughter! Best of luck, but I will miss my favorite comic every morning. 🙁

  58. Terri, Thanks for so many laughs over the years! Your strip will allow me a last laugh. I taped your “Basement Shame” strip to a cabinet in my basement so my kids will see as they go through ALL of the junk in my basement after I’m either “gone” or in a nursing home and I added a little note to it. Hopefully your strip will give them a good laugh as they pitch the stuff I just couldn’t part with . Best wishes on your new endeavors and will look forward to reading your past strips!

  59. I’m Very sad to see it end. I loved it! My 3 and only favorites are Pajama Diaries, Blondie and Peanuts. Our newspaper the Asbury Park Press does not run the archives of Pajama Diaries. It’s some ridiculous comic strip called Sherman’s Lagoon. I am married and do not have children but I still laughed. Your comic strip was the first thing I read in the newspaper. 😎

  60. So THAT’S what happened! I’ve followed your comic strip for years in The Palm Beach Post, a Gannett newspaper (had to look that up). Suddenly, you weren’t there! I don’t get the paper every day, so I missed your announcement and swan song. I will try to find that final strip, for closure. As a Jew, I especially loved seeing the occasional references to the characters’ Judaism in the strip, which were as naturally included as the countless Christian references to be found everywhere else. Thanks!

  61. I’m really sorry to see your strip end! I haven’t been reading all that long, but I really enjoyed it. I’ll keep reading the reruns, but it won’t be the same.

  62. I was wondering what happened tonthenbest cartoon ever! I’m a bit older than your character but had my kids a bit later. I SO loved and looked forward to you daily strip as it gave me validation and a chuckle..huge! i wish you well and will miss you strip as you feel like family (or a part of me). God bless

  63. Ok, so I got this news really late (we moved, and our newspaper didn’t carry the strip.). But I want to thank you for reflecting real life so well. I also want to thank you for making the Kaplans’ Jewishness part of the strip. It made our family feel really “included” on the comics’ page for the first time. Good luck with your future ventures!

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