Stone Soup (comic strip)

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Stone Soup
Author(s)Jan Eliot
Current status / scheduleRunning
Launch dateNovember, 1995
Syndicate(s)Universal Press Syndicate
Genre(s)Humor, Politics, Family
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Stone Soup
Author(s)Jan Eliot
Current status / scheduleRunning
Launch dateNovember, 1995
Syndicate(s)Universal Press Syndicate
Genre(s)Humor, Politics, Family

Stone Soup, named for the stone soup fable, is an internationally syndicated American comic strip written and illustrated by Jan Eliot. The comic strip began as a weekly in 1990.[1] The syndicated daily strip debuted in November 1995.

The Stone family features a family headed by single mother Val, an uncommon contrast with the ordinary nuclear family depicted in more traditional strips. As the author explained,

When I write I am writing first and foremost for single and working parents. I often felt very isolated and "put down" because of my circumstances (I was a single working mom for 10 years). I even had a teacher tell me that their school "was a better place before all the single moms arrived". My daughters both turned out fabulously, thank you, and I think I was a good parent.[1]

It is common for strip storylines to consist of household squabbles and arguments that are not resolved. Unlike many strips, the characters do age, but at a very slow rate. Val has celebrated her 38th and 39th birthdays in the strip; Alix and Holly were 9 and 12 when the strip began, and are now 10 and 13.


Main Characters[edit]

Secondary characters[edit]

Recurring characters[edit]

Val's book club[edit]

Val belongs to a book club with an assortment of characters from other strips, including Elly from For Better or Worse, Alice from Dilbert, and Rose/Vicki the biker chick from Rose Is Rose. Cathy was mentioned, but "couldn't come till she found the right man and lost 10 pounds." The book club also threw a baby shower for Joan, which takes place in the book There's No "WE" in Crowning (published in 2007). This is a short collection that takes the reader from the first onset of Joan's pregnancy till the birth of Luci by a midwife at home. Strips featuring the book club have appeared on at least two occasions and are republished in the 2005 trade paperback collection. (See below.)

Stone Soup collections[edit]

TitlePublication DateISBNPublisher
Stone Soup1997ISBN 0-9674102-2-3Four Panel Press
You Can't Say Boobs on Sunday1999ISBN 0-9674102-0-7Four Panel Press
Stone Soup The Comic Strip2001ISBN 0-9674102-1-5Four Panel Press
Road Kill in the Closet2003ISBN 0-9674102-3-1Four Panel Press
Not So Picture Perfect2005ISBN 0-9674102-5-8Four Panel Press
Desperate Households2007ISBN 0-7407-6429-2Andrews McMeel
There's No "We" in Crowning!2007noneUniversal Press Syndicate (only available from Lulu)
Ho Ho Ho: A Stone Soup Christmas2007noneUniversal Press Syndicate (only available from Lulu)
This Might Not Be Pretty2008ISBN 0-9674102-6-6Four Panel Press
We'll Be Really Careful2011ISBN 0-9674102-7-2Four Panel Press
Brace Yourself2011ISBN 0-9674102-8-2Four Panel Press
It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time2014ISBN 0-9674102-9-0Four Panel Press

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Washington Post chat transcript, October 24, 2003, retrieved on July 8, 2007.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b The ages of Joan and Max, accessed June 14, 2010
  4. ^ Road Kill in the Closet, pp 6-7, 188.
  5. ^ "He's 16..."; URL accessed July 28, 2011.
  6. ^ Road Kill in the Closet, pp 5-22.
  7. ^ Desperate Households
  8. ^ You Can't Say Boobs On Sunday, p 78.