Monthly Archives: November 2012

We have a winner!

Congratulations, Allison Marti!

It was close. Three of the scrawls were clear enough that they were all guessed correctly by a few. The fourth one, which gave everyone trouble, including Stephan, was another story. Close as we can figure, it’s “XXXXXS RULE.” As the judge and final arbiter of this, I’m sticking to it. So going by percentage of that guessed (the word “Rule”), plus the definite other three, Allison’s answers won:

2- No Rule
4- SUKEY (heart’s) RICK

She scores the signed BBXX book with a drawing in it. Way to go!

Thanks to all who participated.

Stay tuned, we may have other contests brewing…


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Filed under Announcements, BBXX, Rick Kirkman

A very special Baby Blues Thanksgiving memory

With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought I’d find a Baby Blues strip with a Thanksgiving theme and write about how it all came about and the meaning of it to our family. Something poignant and funny.

I started by searching through my emails for “thanksgiving”—that’s an easy way for me to find something like this quickly. If that doesn’t work, I’ll head over to the archives and search.

While I was going through the emails, I ran across one that seemed odd to come up in a “thanksgiving” search. It was an email from Stephan Pastis, creator of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine. The email was shortly after Thanksgiving of 2005. He had sent me the fourth in a series of gags he was working on. The email contained this strip, the peak of the action in the series where Zoe and Hammie, out on a beer run, ran over Jeremy from Zits and blew up a gas station:

Pearls Before Swine/Baby Blues crossover (Click to biggify)

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Filed under BBXX, Cartooning, Creative process, Drawing, Family, Holidays, Jerry Scott, Rick Kirkman, Strip process

On Veteran’s Day—raising the cloak of invisibility

As the years go by, Veteran’s Day has come to mean more to me. I always knew what Veteran’s Day was about. My dad is a veteran, career Air Force. I grew up on military bases and moved from base to base throughout my childhood. Nearly all the adult males I met would be vets someday—some women, too.

Being surrounded by them all the time was just so natural that they were invisible to me back then.

It wasn’t until Jerry and I had made a trip in the mid-90s out to the USS Kitty Hawk—an aircraft carrier that has since been decommissioned—that gave me my first view of the military through an adult’s eyes. And, man, were my eyes opened. The sailors were so young, and managed such responsibility! Tons of multi-million dollar aircraft under the deft control of flight deck crews, many of whom had only graduated high school a couple years before.

A shout-out from Baby Blues to the USS Kitty Hawk, May 31, 1996. Click to biggify.

Years later, under much different circumstances, at the urging of Jeff Bacon, a cartoonist and blogger for the Navy Times and Military Times, I got another taste. This time it came in a visit to the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. Jeff is also a former Navy captain, he and wanted the National Cartoonists Society to get back to its roots and begin visiting troops again. The NCS had been born out of those kinds of visits back in World War II.

Jeff organized a group of cartoonists to visit the hospital and draw for the patients and staff. I was lucky enough to go.  Many wounded soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan came there for treatment and rehabilitation. That trip was the start of a series of trips—mostly sponsored by the USO—to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf.

Everywhere we went, the story was the same: Military men and women performed their duties professionally, with humility and humor and purpose, and eschewed the term “hero.”

Even those who would no longer be able to perform those duties, and in some cases any duties, due to severe injuries spoke of the desire to get back and help their buddies, to be there for their comrades.

We met a Marine, not much over twenty, who had already served multiple tours in the war. He showed off his new state-of-the-art leg and described the hole in his shoulder and the abdominal muscles replaced with those of a cadaver. He spoke of reenlisting if the Marines would have him.

Look up Josh Wege on the Internet, a Marine we saw right out of surgery, a bilateral amputee below the knee. I was shocked to see him on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, being highlighted along with his team members of the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team.

I cried when I realized who he was.

And the soldier I met with both legs amputated at the hip and left with only one arm, plus traumatic brain injury—I can’t even think about him without starting to cry.

There are thousands of men and women just like them. Some with very visible injuries, some not. This doesn’t even count the numerous medical personnel who, day in and day out, try to put these broken lives back together.

Of course, not all veterans have been wounded. Most made it through their military service unscathed. But every one of them who has put on a uniform could have been, and they knew it. That’s why we honor them.

And that’s why they are no longer invisible to me.


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Filed under Family, Holidays, Jerry Scott, Rick Kirkman

Peek inside BBXX

In case it slipped your mind, a certain season is approaching where people tend to give gifts to each other.

If you have a Baby Blues fan in your life, or if you just want to treat yourself to a present of your own, this is for you:

BBXX: Baby Blues Decades 1 & 2. Full of extras, there’s almost a page to read for every day of the year in this volume.

Attractive, too. Looks great on any coffee table.

Even looks great if you have to put it in a big Ziploc bag to keep it away from little, slobbery mouths and fingers.

Here’s a peek inside (click images to biggify)…

You can pre-order now From Amazon or Barnes & Noble .


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Filed under Announcements, BBXX, Cartooning, Jerry Scott, Rick Kirkman

Tired of the election?

Jump on over to for some relief!

Two dozen popular cartoonists appear on the site, where you can get a glimpse into their studio lives.

It just so happens that this month Rick Kirkman has the featured Drawing Board of the Month.

While you’re there, check out Jerry Scott’s page, too.


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Filed under Announcements, Jerry Scott, Rick Kirkman