Stone Soup by Jan Eliot
Type: Comic Strip
Jan Eliot's funny and irreverent Stone Soup follows the saga of an extended, blended family, starring two working-mom sisters living just across the fence from each other. Val and Joan share life with their opinionated mother, a middle-school diva and 10-year-old tomboy, a reclusive teenage boy, a wild preschooler and his new baby sister &¦ and of course Wally, the ultimate nice guy who steps into his stepdad shoes with grace amid the chaos. Working-parent hassles, pre-school tantrums, middle-school angst, love and the single mom&¦ it's all here in Stone Soup.
Jan Eliot is the creator of the funny and irreverent Stone Soup. A saga that follows an extended, blended family, featuring two working-mom sisters living just across the fence from each other. Closely based on Eliot’s own life and the lives of her unsuspecting friends, Stone Soup focuses on human relationships and the modern family. “They are smart, empathetic and hopefully funny,” said Eliot about her comic strip family. “Readers become very attached to my characters and love the storylines. My hope is that they will find themselves, their families and their problems in my comic strip, and feel understood and less alone.”
Eliot began cartooning when she was a single mom trying to raise two daughters, stay fully employed, pay the bills and still have a little fun once in a while. Her first comic strip, Patience and Sarah, featured a single mom and her daughter, and ran for five years, in 10 weekly and monthly papers. While working as a copywriter and graphic designer, Eliot continued cartooning and developed a second strip called Sister City, which ran weekly in the Eugene, Ore., Register-Guard for five years. In 1995, Eliot created Stone Soup. Today, it appears daily in more than 250 newspapers worldwide. Eliot works from her home studio in Eugene. She has remarried and her two daughters are grown with families of their own.
También disponible en Español.
Meet the Cast of Stone Soup
- Val Valerie Stone is a widow in her late 30s. Her husband died when her daughters, Holly and Alix, were quite young. She is a middle-income professional, mature and somewhat serious, who bears much of the financial burden for her extended family. Besides her own two daughters, Val shares her home with her mother and Biscuit, the family's yappy little dog -- creating a household filled with controlled chaos. Val's deceased husband was the love of her life, and between the pressures of a full-time job and raising her daughters she's had little interest in romance or time to pursue it. The times may be changing, however, as a chance encounter with a motorcycle cop has added a little excitement to her life.
- Joan Joan is Val's younger sister. She and her young son, Max, moved in with Val after her husband, Leon, went out for milk and never returned. Rumor has it that the convenience store he visited is in the Virgin Islands. With a young son and fewer career options than her sister, Joan struggled to make ends meet working from home as a freelance copywriter. It didn't take long for Joan to become the object of the affections of Wally, the quintessential nice guy next door. After a three year on-again, off-again relationship, they are now married and the proud parents of baby Luci.
- Holly and Alix Holly and Alix are Val's darling daughters. They are 13 and 10. Young Alix is still in elementary school, in the midst of a blissfully naive childhood and full of tomboy energy. She is mystified by her sister's middle-school histrionics. Holly, like many girls her age, is full of angst, self-absorbed, and obeys most of the rules most of the time -- if it's convenient. Holly and Alix share a room, fight, shout, compete for attention, and generally make their family's life interesting.
- Wally Wally is the epitome of a swell guy. Val's neighbor before becoming Joan's husband, this slightly schlumpy insurance salesman is a calming influence. Not long ago, Wally was a single guy living a simple life, but in relatively short order he has taken in a 15-year-old nephew having trouble at home, married a woman with a toddler and become a father. Wally quietly takes it all in stride.
- Max and Luci Max and Luci are the youngest members of the extended Stone family. Toddler Max and his little sister Luci keep their parents on their toes and sometimes up all night.
- Gramma Evie Gramma Evie, Val and Joan's mother, lives upstairs at Val's house. She is not the stereotypical warm and fuzzy little old lady, but rather a pragmatic and energetic retiree not content to sit at home knitting. Recently, Gramma decided to see the world (and maybe find love) as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity building homes in Asia.
- Andy Andy is Wally's 15-year-old nephew. Wally's sister ran into tough times and asked Wally to help out with her son for the summer. Things worked out so well, Andy asked to stay. He's a good kid, but in the throes of adolescence, with pieced ears and an occasional attitude. Holly finds him irresistible.
- Phil Phil Jackson is a motorcycle cop who forgets his gun, lets speeding single mothers off the hook out of pity, and worries that the world is becoming too fast-paced. He was so smitten with Val when he pulled her over on a harried Monday morning that he followed her home and asked her out. He and Val are getting to know each other better.
- Biscuit The yippy, yappy “active breed” family dog. As if life weren’t chaotic enough.
Art truly imitates life in Jan Eliot's Stone Soup. Once a single working mom herself, Eliot feels a special empathy for women struggling to raise their children and make ends meet with too little time, money and patience. She knows only too well that finding the humor in life's challenges is often the only way to survive.
Stone Soup derives its name from the parable of the poor villagers who have nothing to eat individually, but by each contributing a little bit to a common pot, a soup that starts with nothing but water and a stone, they end up with a fantastic feast. This same something-from-nothing quality is the basis of life with the Stone family. Each member does her part to contribute to the fun, and readers in all age groups have responded by consistently giving Stone Soup enthusiastic support in newspaper comic polls.