Friday

An Interview w/ Baby Blues-THE COMIC STRIP

{Stay for an awesome GIVEAWAY!}


I love the Sunday comics.

As a child, I would wrestle the newspaper out of someone's hands to get to the funnies. 

I grew up reading Baby Blues, laughing at the silly antics of the novice parents and challenging kids.  

And then I became them.

They were THAT family, long before we were.

Good thing I have a sense of humor!

So, I'm sure you can imagine my delight when I was asked to interview the cartoonist and illustrator!  I implored for interview question help on Twitter.

I'd like to thank the following Twitterers for their question: Maryfred, Marcyphotos, Karlyle, anderklan, Mels_World, DebbiefromGA, SandraWP

You each get an autographed, free book! Email me your address' please!

Questions directed towards Rick (the illustrator):

Who was your mentor?

Rick: I haven't had any cartoon mentors, per se. Some instructors from college were great fans of my work and pushed me and supported me to keep going: Irving Phil (The Strange World of Mr. Mum), Paul Gringle, Paul Reeves and Dr. Clara August. 

I had a lot of mentors-by-proxy, meaning that their work kept me improving and trying new things early on, but I didn't know them personally at the time:  Charles Schulz, Johnny Hart, Don Martin, Paul Coker, Jr., Robert Weber, Charles Addams, the Rocky & Bullwinkle show...the list could go quite far. 

Do you take ideas from your own family life?

Rick: Absolutely, as much as possible. In the first few years of the strip, before Jerry had kids, a great deal was taken from my family. We both shamelessly exploit our families for gags. Our wives are good sources of gag material, too, suggesting things from time to time.

What schooling have you completed or is drawing a natural talent?

Rick: I was always pulled toward cartoons and drawing cartoons, and started drawing them when I was around five. It wasn't until I was in high school that I really considered that it could be a career choice. I started selling cartoons in college. I went to a technical school for an AA degree in Advertising Art, a field I worked in for many years while still cartooning. 

Jerry, these questions are directed at you:

Q: What funny things have happened in your family that you haven't shared in the strip?

Jerry: I've had to have a useable idea for every day of the year for the entire 18 years baby Blues has been in syndication. Not only do I use every possible funny thing that happens in my family, I use everything from Rick's family, my neighbors' families and any talkative strangers I come across.

Q: How many children do you have, and is the comic strip family patterned after your own?

Jerry: I have 2 daughters, and at times their voices can be heard clearly in the words that come out of Zoe's and Hammie's mouths. 

These questions are directed at both Jerry and Rick.

What is your favorite comic strip to read?

Rick: That depends on what day you catch me. It varies. I like different cartoons for different reasons. I don't think I could actually point to a single favorite or even a half-dozen favorites. 

Jerry: I read a pretty wide variety of strips and panels. Among my current favorites are Cul De Sac, Pearls Before Swine, Doonesbury, Zits, and, um, Baby Blues.

Q: Is it difficult to keep the characters, especially the babies, from aging? Why did you decide to do take this approach?

Jerry: Not really. One of the great things about comic strips is that they're so elastic. Time stretches or contracts as needed. We try to squeeze every experience out of all stages of childhood, so having a cast of three kids from ages 6 mos. - 9 years old is really helpful.

Rick: There's always the pull for them to age. We used to age them at a fairly regular pace, occasionally slowing or accelerating depending on how fertile the stage seemed for gags. Right now, we've suspended the kids' ages for a while, but that might change. We don't plan that far ahead.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for the strip?

Jerry: The ideas come from everywhere. Our own experiences, stories we hear from friends, and just good old warped imagination.

Rick: As I mentioned earlier, our families are a great source, but it doesn't stop there. We observe a lot of friends and strangers and many readers have written us. They don't usually translate directly into gags, but mostly serve as germs for ideas. I find that airports and shopping mall food courts are great places for inspiration. 



And guess what? They are giving away 10 copies of their newest book called "The Day Phonics Kicked In." Here's a little about it:

"With Zoe and Hammie already in elementary school and Wren crawling quickly toward toddlerhood, a lot of energy in the MacPherson house is directed toward teaching. In this, the 24th Baby Blues Scrapbook collection, Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott have scoured their archives for the very best of the Baby Blues school- and education-related strips. From sack lunches to show-and-tell, this hilarious collection of Baby Blues strips will earn high marks from loyal readers everywhere."

You can read Baby Blues in newspapers nationwide and learn more at www.babyblues.com

Wouldn't this make a great Christmas gift (for you??) for someone you love! Please leave a comment answering...are you a reader or is this comic strip new to you? 10 winners will be chosen Saturday afternoon.

91 comments:

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

How cool that you got to interview them - I love that strip, especially now that I have kids and can relate!

Would love to win!!! (I mean, uh, my mother-in-law would love me to win for her...heh...)

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

Love this comic strip. I keep several of my faves on the fridge.

stitchin' girl said...

I too love this comic strip - especially now that we have kids!

What a great opportunity for you to be able to interview the authors.

Anonymous said...

OH MY! I'll love to win this for the family! They're always a joy to read..

Crystal(manhattandolls[at]gmail dot com)

mel*~reachforthestars~* said...

Count me in please! I love baby blues! The only time i get to read it is in the newspapers and i always wished i could read more..

Thanks for the giveaway!

Cheers,
Melody
mel_88_88@hotmail.com

H.S. said...

Cute! Baby blue is one of my favorites along with calvin and hobbes and foxtrot. This is such a great book to win!

H.S.
tan.huishan(at)gmail.com

Jessica D. said...

Never heard of it...Sooo funny!

Mel said...

Zoe and hammie are so amusing! They always bicker and do the funniest stuff. I'll love to read more about their funny antics.

dancerinthemaking(at)gmail(dot)com

LifeAtTheCircus said...

This is a new one to me, but I am def going to check it out. It seems very close to my life at the circus!

Natalie said...

this is a new one to me. can't wait to read more now that i have learned about it! too funny.

World's Greatest Mommy said...

I'm a fan, all the way! But my mom, puts me to shame. I'd love to win a copy! How cool.

Chaotic Joy said...

I LOVED Baby Blues but rarely get the paper anymore and so haven't seen it in a while. I would LOVE the book. :)

Naomi said...

I am among the newbies to this strip, it seems very funny though. It sort of reminds me of family circus, which I love!

Naomi
nfaith585@aol.com

Karen said...

Baby Blues is one of my favorite cartoons. I love it. It reminds me of things my own children did and said while they were growing up.

Heather said...

I'm a reader, I'm a reader! Pick me, pick me! Our newspaper started carrying Baby Blues perhaps 5 years ago. Prior to this post, I never knew BB had existed for years. I've clipped numerous strips out since the arrival of my son. My favorite would have to be the one in which the mom's accomplishment for the day is brushing half of her hair.

Carlee said...

I read it everyday, and often it ends up cut out and taped on my refrigerator. Could be b/c I have a 7,4 and 2 year old. One stayed on my refrig for years. It said something like: Trees Fall, mountains Erode, but the laundry pile just keeps growing. Something like that. The mantra of my parenting life.

Tanya Moyer said...

Baby Blues is such a great strip!! So very funny and right on!! Would love to win this!

~Tanya
the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

Dawn M. said...

Ooo, I love Baby Blues! I read it every Sunday along with Zits, Red & Rover, Family Circus and Pickles. They're my favorites. :0) Mostly because I see my family in them. LOL! Would love to win a book so count me in!

Spooky said...

I am a HUGE Baby Blues fan!! That and Zits both really speak to my life, LOL!

Plus any comic who's main characters include a nursing mom had my vote anyday!!

RefreshMom said...

I've been a Baby Blues fan since waaaay before we had kids (it kind of helped in my intention to postpone that whole business). Our current newspaper doesn't carry the strip; I'd love the book. Especially since we've got the school daze thing going here and I've never seen those strips.

Mel said...

This has long been a favorite of mine! Thanks for interviewing the two guys!

The Source said...

I'm a die-hard fan of Baby Blues! Love it, love it, love it!

Great job on the interview!

marky said...

I read 2 comics in the paper.. For Better of For Worse and BABY BLUES.. I have read both of them for years!!
What an awesome giveaway and Kristen..what a great opportunity to have that interview!!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

I'm new to this strip, but I looooove comics! This would be a great gift for my girlfriend who is expecting her first child. And she wouldn't mind if I read it first!

Pamela said...

I love this comic strip because it is so real. It cracks me up every time.

Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day.

pscole3467 at gmail dot com

Poopsie said...

I have always loved this strip! How could I not as a dark haired wife married to a red headed hubby? There have been so many times that this strip was my life as we moved along.
Ohhh, I hope I win. :)

Happy Mommy said...

That comic is not in our paper, I have never heard of it. It sounds very funny from the new book!

Adrienne said...

First comic I read every Sunday! It is so funny.
aeshuron@twcny.rr.com

Mallory Cervas said...

Actually, I have a very similar story to you. I grew up fighting for the comics or what my grandma calls the 'funnies' every Sunday. I have four sisters who fought me every Sunday as well. Knowing full well my history in tae kwon do since the age of 7, they didn't fight long.... haha! just kidding. I loved that comic because it made me feel like my family was normal. Seriously! I still find myself reading the books whenever I'm at Barnes and Noble. I always joke and say my family is a "Jerry Springer" family but it was a lot of chaos and confusion growing up. This comic helped me to see the dysfunctional, hilarious and actually normal part of my family that I didn't see.

Harmony said...

This is a great giveaway, I love this comic strip! Someone gave me one if their books when I had my second son and it was a great read providing lots of laughs!

Shana said...

Yes, I LOVE this comic! I have three of them hanging on my computer desk...lol! My favorite one is where they are talking about each babies first smile. The first baby Wanda is SO happy to see smile, the 2nd she says "cute" the third she asks "what are you smiling at?" With three kids myself, I just had to laugh!!! LOL!!!

I would love to win this book as a gift for my husband. He is the one who clips the comics while reading the paper at work and brings them to me. :o)

Kerri said...

I love this comic!! Hammie cracks me up as he endures his big sister. He is so my son! I'd love to win this new book~

Grateful for Grace said...

I love Baby Blues. I put one of the strips on my blog this summer that cracked me up: free range children.

Good stuff!

Nancy said...

This is one of my "must read" strips when I read a newspaper. Currently we don't subscribe to one so I miss my funnies! I'd love to win the book!

zeelandchick@sbcglobal.net

3XMom said...

Oh my gosh - I LOVE baby blues. We have one of their compilation books already (from before they had Wren, I think). And I have countless of the strips cut out around my house and office. So great - so true to life!

Cassondra said...

I grew up reading the comics too, but this is a new one to me.

Jeni said...

I'm definitely a fan - I have always loved Baby Blues!

nikkit3 said...

Love this comic strip! My dh has been known to cut these out and bring them home to me if he was reading a paper at work and we didn't get the paper that day:) So funny and true, and something all parents can relate to!

Cheryl said...

Great interview. Love the strip also, been reading for years.

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

I read the comics for Baby Blues almost entirely. I have loved this strip ever since I became a parent. My MIL used to clip them and send them to me all the time and I got hooked! Great interview.

I would love the book!

Greta said...

We don't have this comic! boohoo It looks like one I could TOTALLY relate to! Would love to win the book!

Stefani said...

I have been a fan for years! It is the first comic I read every week. Even if I don't have time to read them all, I read this one. How cool would it be to have a book filled with Baby Blues?!

Great interview!

Steph said...

What a great interview! It's fun to hear the "behind the scenes" info...

Love to read Baby Blues when I get the chance to look at the comics section...

Luke said...

Baby Blues was one of the strips I very much enjoyed growing up. And the cover image to the book cracked me up [laughing]!

~Luke

Proverbs30one said...

I have read this a few times - very funny!

Linda Williams said...

I love this comic strip! It is one of the ones I always read.
I also LOVE your blog. Yours is the first one I read each day.

Lisa said...

I love Baby Blues! I have a couple of my very favorite strips up on my refrigerator. What a wonderful giveaway, and how great that you got to interview the minds behind the comic!

Tales From the Eurovan said...

Yup, I'm a faithful reader. Isn't it required reading for any parent of young kids?!
Take care,
Julie

Lisa said...

I have read this comic strip long as I can remember. I have always enjoyed it AND related to it. I think it is really neat and interesting that you got to do an interview with them....can I have YOUR autograph???

Becoming Me said...

How cool for you! ANd I would love to win this for my hubby! We are both readers of Baby Blues and even have a few strips attached to our fridge!

:: jamie :: said...

Baby Blues is one of the few comics that still makes me laugh. (Most of the others just aren't as funny as they were years ago!) I'd LOVE to win this! :-)

(My email is in my blogger profile!)

Great job with the interview!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

I read and love this comic! We were even gifted one of their books last Christmas. We think this comic is our family!

Mrs. Nurse Boy

Jennifer said...

i love this comic strip- it's my favorite, and i'm not just saying that so you'll pick me.

Patois said...

This strip and Zits are my absolute favorites. I see in it my family all the time. (Sadly.) Pick me! Pick me!

M said...

I love this comic! I read it everyday online through chron.com. Great inteview!

The Glamorous Life (Comic Edition) said...

So thrilled my question was used. It made me feel like I was actually doing the interviewing...do you think I can use that on my resume maybe?

They are talented, warm and funny. Everything I look for in a comic strip. And I have been a fan for years. And comedy of comedy? My son (who is an aspiring comic strip creator) was upstairs yesterday 'working' on his comic. When I went to see what he was doing...I noticed a few Baby Blue strips on his desk. And he told me 'have you heard of this strip mom? It is really funny. And it is drawn pretty well too. Pretty well? Well, I guess 10 yr old are artistically critical!

Won't he be insane with the signed book??? Thanks so much. I am thrilled.

FYI: I changed my twitter name from Marcyphotos to theglamlife

Robin said...

How did you get this gig? So cool! I've seen Baby Blues a few times, but I clicked over to their site and started going through the archives. I was laughing out loud. I want this book. If I don't win, I guess I'll have to spend my own money on it!

The Wade's said...

I LOVE Baby Blues! It is hands down the best comic strip in our paper. So stinking true to life!!

Lorie said...

i've always liked this comic strip. thanks!

Jessica said...

Sounds like a great book! Hope I win one!

Thanks!

Lauren said...

This was such a cool post! I love this cartoon, I've always loved reading it on Sundays. :) So fun!!

Poppyseed said...

I love Baby Blues! My best friend gave me the page-a-day calendar for Christmas last year and it's given me lots of laugh out loud moments over the past 12 months. I would LOVE to win the new book, especially, since I am an educator and a mom!

Meg said...

Baby Blues is an awesome comic! I have read it before, and try to find the time to read it every day. This would be a great gift!

Berry Patch said...

Cool! I read this a long time ago. I remember a friend lending me the books to read when I first had children. So funny! About a year ago I stumbled on to the on-line verson so every single day one of the strips shows up in my inbox. It's one of the first things I read. I love it - SO very funny!

Crayl said...

The strip firsy showed up in our paper the day before my twins were born, needless to say it became an immediate favorite. And they are nearly 19 now. This book would be a great addition to our own collection, a Christmas gift to all of us, we love to laugh!Thanks for the great interviews!

mommy4life said...

This is one of my favorite strips ever! We have 4 kids ranging from 10 to 18 months and can always identify with Daryl and Wanda and the antics of their children! I'd love to give the gift of humor to my hubby for Christmas! Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

rebekahdawn said...

I think I've read it a time or two. I love comics but very rarely read them. My sister is an avid comic fan though so I'd love to win one to share with her!

Beverly said...

I have been a reader for a while now.

Beverly

D... said...

I have adored Baby Blues for years. It would be so exciting to win a copy of the latest book. And, what an awesome experience for you. Congrats!

Jennie said...

This strip has been one of my perennial favorites. The humor always rings so true!

Heather & Chaos said...

That is one of the comics I look for when I get a chance to read the comics! They are so funny!

Kasey Hunt said...

This is neat. I'm new to this comic. Looks and sounds funny.

Sandi said...

We love it! Thanks for sharing!

willisfamily04(at)gmail(dot)com

Lisa said...

Wow, you hit my sweet spot -- I love not only Baby Blues (and although I have the complete collection, I didn't know this one was out), but also Fox Trot, Zits, Dilbert, For Better or For Worse, and the dearly departed Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes, and The Far Side (I have complete collections of all, and yes, that's a LOT of bookshelf space!).

My kids were raised on comic strips. They're a little, well, a lot sarcastic, but so are their parents. We live in a Zits strip now that we have one boy at college and have a 15 year old son at home.

Love to win this one. =D Great interview!

Erica said...

I LOVE Baby Blues! I've been reading them since I was pretty young, and thought they were funny before I have kids. Now that I do have them, I'm even more hooked. :)

Stretch Mark Mama said...

BIG FAN of Baby Blues. BIG FAN. I started reading the books shortly after I had my first kid. And I was all like, "HOW DID THEY GET IN MY HOUSE?"

Lynn said...

I think I have seen this once or twice, but I don't read the comics much, so this is mostly new to me. I think the idea is great and would love to win the book though. Count me in!

cakescraps said...

That's a new one to me...sounds great though!

Abby said...

This comic strip is brand new to me. Thanks for introducing me!

Jenny said...

I've always been a Baby Blues fan. I have a "Class Comic Book" in my third grade class where my students can bring in comics they've enjoyed reading. One day three kids brought in the same Baby Blues comic!

Very cool!

the worstest mommy said...

This is my favorite cartoon strip - probably because I also have 3 kids. We frequently cut the strips out and post them on the fridge when they represent something that has recently happened in our lives, which happens often! Thanks for the giveaway.

Becky said...

I am not a reader but only because I have never seen this comic strip! Man it looks really good! I would love to win one of the books because it looks really good and so far all of the reviews on here have been great!

Thanks.

Erika said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!!!! I heart Baby Blues! The two on my fridge have been up there forever, and I'm not sure I'll ever take them down. Ever. I just started blogging and came your way via The Nester. Love it! Pick me puhlease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

aggiemomof2 said...

I have always enjoyed Baby Blues and I can SO relate now that I'm a mom! Great interview and giveaway! sylviarj@yahoo.com

Jennifer said...

I used to read this comic strip back when my son was a baby, but sadly lost track of it along the way. That was over 14 years ago! I would love to catch up on it all now. Thanks for the great giveaway :)

thedirtyshirtblog(at)gmail(dot)com

donna444444 said...

I would love to win that.
donna444444@yahoo.com

Just call me Mommy said...

I started reading baby blues in Phx, AZ just before my daughter was born. She is now 16. I have several of thier books, and even one autographed from about 14 years ago. I stood in a long line for that one! Sadly, the newspaper in Orlando doesnt carry the strip. I go to their website once a week, and catch up on them. Their strips really put a comical side to our daily life!

bison61 said...

I do read Baby Blues-one of my favorites!

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Janis said...

One of my favorites and as my daughter is entering toddlerhood becoming more and more real to me! :)

Janis

Alexia said...

Dang it! I missed the giveaway! I've never heard of this comic strip before, but I'm going to check it out!

Have you heard of For Better or Worse? I grew up with them and LOVED that comic strip!

Ashley said...

Hope i'm not too late, I am new to this comic and am a fan of comics!
ashlomb at yahoo dot com