Jan Eliot started cartooning when she was a divorced working mom trying to raise two daughters, work full-time, pay too many bills with two little money, and still have a little fun.
Drawing (literally) from her own experiences, Jan tried to reflect real life and real emotions, with empathy for anyone with too little time, money or patience. Her first comic strip, Patience and Sarah, began as a weekly feature in a local alternative newspaper and ran for 3 years. It was reprinted in parenting magazines and books in the years following, giving Eliot the courage to try a second strip, Sister City, which ran weekly in her local daily paper the Eugene Register-Guard. It ran for 5 years, when the strip was picked up by Universal Press Syndicate and renamed Stone Soup. On November 20, 1995, after many years of wishing and hoping, Eliot saw her creation launched nationally as a daily comic strip.
Stone Soup cartoon originals have been exhibited in:
- The Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa
- The San Francisco Museum of Cartoon Art
- B.D. Amadora, an international cartoon exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal
- The Library of Congress, which has acquired 30 Stone Soup cartoons for their permanent collection
Habitat for Humanity
Stone Soup characters are helping raise awareness for Habitat for Humanity International. Joan and Val appear on Women Build t-shirts and Safety Posters, the whole clan on Katrina rebuild t-shirts, and most recently in a campaign to promote the Cars for Homes donation program.
Women Make a Difference award, International Women’s Forum, 2009
College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Fellow Award, University of Oregon, 2005
Best Book, B.D. Amadora International Cartoon Exhibition, Lisbon, Portugal 2001
Eliot works from her home studio in Eugene, Oregon, where she lives with her husband Ted and her corgi Sydney. Her two daughters are grown and have families of their own, and still manage to provide material for the strip.