Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Baby Blues Halloween Oldie

(Click to biggify) November 1, 1998

This is one of my favorite Halloween gags for a few reasons:

It has some cute costumes that remind me of Trick-or-Treating with our kids

I love the dog I drew in the upper right corner panel (I’m allowed to like something I drew)

And it ends with Darryl eating something gross that one of the kids gave him. Now, that’s scary, eating something your child hands you without knowing where it’s been. You’ve been forewarned.

Got any gross Halloween experiences you’d like to share?




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Filed under Drawing, Family, Holidays, Parenting, Rick Kirkman, Uncategorized

Halloween: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Glue Guns

I don’t really know how it started.

It could’ve been when we made our younger daughter into the comic strip character Nancy as a nod to my friend and partner Jerry Scott. At the time, Jerry was drawing and writing the Nancy strip. Our daughter had a ball of Nancy hair complete with spikes made from pipe cleaners.

It could have been when we read The Stupids Have a Ball (by Harry Allard/illustrated by James Marshall) to the kids. It inspired us to recreate the Halloween costume, General George Washing Machine.

(Click to biggify) If iPods had been around when our daughters were kids, we would have definitely made that.

Either way, we started down a long road of elaborate Halloween costumes based on  commercial products and entities. My wife was really into it. She’s extremely resourceful—a wizard with cardboard, felt and foam sheets—and she slings a wicked glue gun.

In the beginning it was a lot of fun. Each year, though, the costumes presented new challenges and the bar was set higher. It seemed such an insurmountable task to top yourself every year.

Sometimes being a cartoonist came in handy. Admitedly, there were times when I was reluctantly drafted into helping construct them. Reluctantly, because it usually meant a trading sleep for costumes.

An early one was the Hawaiian Punch juice box, painted in great detail to look just like the real thing, only super-sized. Early successes led to, among others: Continue reading

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Filed under Family, Holidays, Jerry Scott, Parenting, Rick Kirkman

The ER episode you never saw on TV

This is a really helpful article from Parents magazine ( In Case of Emergency: 11 Ways to Make the ER Less Stressful.

My wife and I can attest to suggestion #2, “Let Your Pediatrician Pave the Way.” When our first daughter was very young, we thought she’d swallowed a battery from a toy. There she was sitting in the middle of the kitchen with the open toy, and two AA batteries.

The toy used three.

Darryl and Wanda try to find out what Zoe swallowed. August 4, 1992

My wife and I sprang into action. We frantically searched the kitchen for the missing battery, but came up empty-handed. I had the bright idea of handing her one of the remaining batteries to see what she’d do with it.

“Where’s the battery?” my wife said.

Our child took the battery and immediately went for her mouth. Horrified, we snatched it from her and my wife called the pediatrician. He advised us to take her to the ER right away, and he called the ER to notify them.

Calling the pediatrician first helped at the ER. As we raced through the doors, the nurse at receiving was waiting for us with the note scrawled on her hand.  She approached us in the waiting room: “Kirkman, child swallowed battery?”

Heads turned. I’m sure that conjured up images of our daughter with a DieHard in her tummy. (Shameless promotion: you can see a couple strips that came from that episode in BBXX, due out November 13th).

Back to the article. The advice is definitely worth a look. It will serve you well if you can recall any of it should you have to make a run to the Emergency Room. Anything to take some of the stress from that situation is a good thing.

And by the way, x-rays showed no sign of a battery in our daughter.

Later, we conducted a calmer, more thorough search. We found a single AA battery under the refrigerator.



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Filed under Advice, BBXX, Parenting, Rick Kirkman

Cartooning on a Wish-You-Were-Deadline

Several weeks ago, I arrived back in the States from a USO tour aboard the USS Enterprise. A half dozen of us cartoonists went out to the Persian Gulf to draw for sailors and other troops in the area.

But that’s a different story. This story begins the day after I arrived home, and is about why yesterday’s strip doesn’t look quite normal.

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Filed under Cartooning, Drawing, Jerry Scott, Rick Kirkman, Strip process

Hmmm. 7 Weird Things Babies Do and Why—

Jerry and I are always on the lookout for subject matter for the strip. No offense, but generally, stories about something funny your kids said or did don’t cut it. They’re usually only funny to the family. That goes for our kids, too. We look for situations, research or news that might open up areas we haven’t touched on. So when I saw this article—7 Weird Things Babies Do and Why—I thought, hey, this has some possibilities!

I expected to find some really weird stuff. Things like “Why does my baby’s skin change color like an octopus?” Or really mysterious stuff, like “What causes babies to do that happy screech at ear-splitting decibels right when I’m about to fall asleep on a plane?” You know, things a comic strip could really sink it’s teeth into.

Number 4, about why babies tense their bodies and shake or shiver? That one was pretty weird to witness with our first baby, and we always wondered why that happened. But the rest on the list seem mostly non-weird to me.

There is another possibility:  that I just have a high threshold for weird. I think I have heard that expressed to me in less tactful ways. But that’s another subject.

Take a look at the article. We’ll conduct our own research. Let us know here or on Facebook if you think those seven things are weird, or if you’ve had babies who behaved in even weirder ways. Maybe it will make its way into a strip.

7 Weird Things Babies Do and Why


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Filed under Creative process, Jerry Scott, Parenting, Rick Kirkman, Strip process