When longtime friends Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott first discussed doing a comic strip about parenthood, Rick, at least, knew what he was talking about. He and his wife had their first daughter in 1984, and in 1987, their second daughter was born. Jerry, who had no children, thought what Rick was going through as a parent was very funny. So he decided to write about what he saw at the Kirkmans' home. Temper tantrums. Dirty diapers. Teething pains. When Rick added his superb artwork, Baby Blues was born.
The strip has enchanted new parents, grandparents and kids alike since it first appeared on the comics pages in 1990. As the years passed, the list of newspapers carrying the feature has grown almost as fast as the MacPhersons' kids! Baby Blues now appears in more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide, and the adventures of America's favorite first-time parents have also been chronicled in 30 anthologies and 4 treasuries. In 1995, the National Cartoonists Society recognized Baby Blues as "Best Comic Strip of the Year."
By the way, these days, Jerry isn't laughing so hard about Rick's parental trials and tribulations. He became a first-time father himself in 1994. No wonder his writing has only gotten better.
"I was born a poor cartoonist in a log cabin drawn in poor perspective." So says Rick Kirkman, co-creator of Baby Blues.
Kirkman began cartooning while in kindergarten. His professional career began when he was in junior high school and drew a parody of MAD magazine. Since he had only one copy, he charged his friends to read it. That is, until their parents found out.
His career has included studio drawing for the Yellow Pages directories and an advertising agency, as well as freelance design and illustration. Along the way, he says he got "sucked into the world of freelance gag cartooning for magazines," selling often enough to major magazines to keep him hooked.
He met Jerry Scott during his gag cartoon phase nearly 30 years ago, and they became friends and, eventually, working partners. After a brief and somewhat unsuccessful foray into syndication with Scott, Kirkman returned to gag cartooning and advertising. He became a freelance humor illustrator in 1982.
In 1987, Kirkman and Scott were on the road to syndication again after Kirkman's wife had their second child. Kirkman says the conceptual work on the new comic strip was a cathartic experience for him. And so, Baby Blues was born.
Baby Blues was first released by Creators Syndicate on Jan. 7, 1990. King Features Syndicate now distributes the daily strip to nearly 1,200 newspapers in 28 countries and 13 languages. Baby Blues was awarded the National Cartoonists Society's Best Newspaper Comic Strip award in 1995. There are more than 30 Baby Blues books in print.
In its 10th year, Baby Blues expanded into broadcast media, with a successful animated prime time comedy on The WB television network.
Kirkman lives in Arizona with his wife and two children.
As co-creator of Baby Blues and Zits, he is one of just four cartoonists in history to have two daily comic strips running in more than 1,000 newspapers each.
Born in 1955 in South Bend, Ind., he was first introduced to the newspaper business by delivering the South Bend Tribune from his bicycle over pre-dawn Indiana roads. "I was pulling down maybe three figures a year, but the real reward wasn't the money. It was that I got to be the first person in my neighborhood to read the comics on Sunday mornings. By flashlight."
Jerry started cartooning professionally in the mid-1970s by selling a cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post. In 1983, he took over the comic strip Nancy, which he continued to reinvent for 12 years. In 1988, he got together with longtime friend Rick Kirkman and started kicking ideas around for a new strip. The result was Baby Blues, which was released in syndication in 1990. Baby Blues currently runs in more than 1,200 newspapers in 30 countries and 13 languages. There are more than 30 Baby Blues collection books in print, with well over a million copies sold.
In 1996, Jerry had an idea for a comic strip about a teenage boy, and along with the artistic genius of Jim Borgman, Zits was born. First syndicated in an impressive 200 newspapers, King Features now distributes Zits to more than 1,600 papers in 45 countries and 15 languages. Zits has been collected in 20 anthologies.
Scott has received numerous cartooning awards, including the National Cartoonists Society's Best Comic Strip of the Year three times, the Adamson Statuette, Sweden's highest comic honor, and Germany's Max and Moritz Award for Best International Comic Strip. Jerry is proudest of receiving the Reuben Award in 2001 from the National Cartoonists Society as Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.
Jerry lives in California with his wife and their two daughters, from whom he steals ideas daily.
Who said labor ended when the baby was born? Darryl and Wanda work day and night piloting through the perplexities of parenting their three small children.
A mid-30s career couple, Wanda and Darryl MacPherson joined the ranks of first-time mommies and daddies in 1990.
Somehow they survived the mind-boggling changes wrought in their lives by their rambunctious firstborn, Zoe....
and their second....Hamish (the family calls him "Hammie") became the newest addition to the MacPherson clan in 1996.
...and now their third...Just when the MacPhersons thought it was safe to stuff the crib in the attic, the MacPhersons discover that Wanda is pregnant again. With the birth of their third child, a baby daughter named Wren, Darryl and Wanda MacPherson officially became outnumbered by their expanding brood. Hopefully, the third time around is charmed.