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 nearly 1,000 newspapers worldwide, and the adventures of America’s favorite first-time parents have also been chronicled in 23 anthologies and 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’s only gotten better.
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott
Jerry Scott has become a superstar of the cartooning world.
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.