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Baby Blues: Interview with comic strip creators, Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott

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(c) 2008 Baby Blues Partnership

My husband Garth (not his real name) and I are big Baby Blues fans - especially, after our oldest daughter was born - and the comic strip very well may be the original ‘parenting blog,’ chronicling the misadventures of parenthood.

Guess that's why we love it so much, huh Hon?

For those of you who aren't familiar with the strip - although, I can't imagine anyone, you know, who isn't - Baby Blues follows the adventures of a mid-30s career couple, Wanda and Darryl MacPherson and their 3 zany kids, Zoe, Hamish and Wren.

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing the awesome creators of Baby Blues, Jerry Scott (he writes the strip) and Rick Kirkman (the gifted artists that animates the ideas) and am I the only one who thinks it's funny, you know, how they don't look anything like Darryl, or Wanda?

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Rick Kirkman (left)  Jerry Scott (right)

What was the inspiration behind Baby Blues?

About 19 years ago, Rick and I were trying out all kinds of ideas for a new comic strip. Nothing we came up with was any good, but like the John Lennon line, "life is what happens when you're busy making other plans", real events conspired to create a unexpected opportunity. All the while Rick and I were working on ideas for The Great American Comic Strip, Rick and his wife, Sukey were busy dealing with their second baby, who was, um... a handful.  The more time I spent hearing his stories of parenthood, the clearer it became to me that this was a couple who was dealing with a force much more powerful (and noisier) than themselves. After rejecting the twelfth or thirteenth stupid comic strip premise we'd come up with, I looked at Rick's unshaven face, pablum-stained t-shirt and wrinkly jeans and said, "Hey. What about a strip about a couple with a new baby?"

How did you meet and what made you decide to work together on Baby Blues?

We were introduced in the early seventies and immediately felt a kinship. We both had really poor judgment when it came to career goals (cartooning), automobiles (AMC Pacer) and hair (afro and thin shoulder-length... we'll leave it up to you to figure out who had which).  Fortunately we had really similar tastes in humor and it seemed like a fun idea to work together on something.

Rick, are your drawings of the McPhersons based on, or remind you of anyone you know, in real life?

The characters in Baby Blues are composites. Physically, Darryl is a combination of Jerry and Rick: Rick's glasses, Jerry's red hair. Wanda is similar to Rick's wife. The house they live in is based on the house Rick's children spent the first half of their lives in. Any other similarities are purely coincidental (our attorney told us to say that).

Are Darryl and Wanda planning on having any more children?

Well, they weren't planning on any more kids when Wren presented herself. What was that John Lennon quote again? Besides, there's not a heck of a lot of room left in the panels for more kids--unless newspapers want to give us more space.

What advice would you have to give aspiring cartoonist/writers.

Draw, draw, draw, and write, write, write. And get a degree in some high-paying field to finance your cartooning habit.

There you have it - Garth (not his real name) and I could totally hang with these guys - my sincerest appreciation to Rick and Jerry.  Thanks for taking the time and indulging in a little Q&A with one of your biggest fans!

But, wait - there's more - head on over to my REVIEW BLOG  for a chance to win a copy of their latest anthology, "X-Treme Parenting - A Baby Blues Treasury by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott" because, they DID give us...like...10 copies to give away by November 3rd, 2008.

Because, we roll like that!

© 2008 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

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