Rick Kirkman

babyrickI was born an Air Force Brat and began drawing a few years later. I copied all my favorites: Peanuts, Dennis the Menace, Dondi, Pogo and B.C. from the comics pages, magazine cartoonists and of course, MAD magazine. I also made pocket money selling ripoffs of these on occasion. What did I know? When I was in high school in Arizona, a teacher suggested that I could have a career in art and possibly cartooning. I received a 2-year degree in Advertising Art at a vocational college.

Along the way, I met Jerry Scott, another young guy who had also just figured out that there was a career to be made in cartooning. We learned together, making sales to national magazines and even tried our hands at creating comic strips together (unsuccessfully).

Fast forward fifteen years or so. Jerry had become a comic strip artist, and I had gone the way of design and humorous illustration. We decided to try another comic strip together. My wife had just given birth to our second daughter, and Jerry, not having any kids at the time, was a little baffled by what was happening to our household. Jerry and I tried several concepts for strips, none of which panned out. One day, we had one of those slap-your-forehead moments and realized there was a strip idea in what was happening in my family: Adventures in parenting.

Then the ideas came like a flood—just like the rejections from syndicates that followed when we submitted our new comic strip concept. But Creators Syndicate released Baby Blues January 7, 1990. Now with King Features Syndicate, Baby Blues appears in over 1200 newspapers in around 900 cities and towns across the U.S. and 28 other countries in several languages. Over 30 collection books of Baby Blues have been published in the U.S. and many more in other languages. Baby Blues was made into a TV series on the WB network, which aired 13 episodes, and can occasionally be seen very very late at night during Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network.

Rick-portrait-at-draw-table-medI received the National Cartoonists Society’s 1995 award for Best Newspaper Comic Strip and the 2012 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.

My wife and I still live in Arizona with a bunch of cats and dogs. The kids are grown, having adventures of their own. I spend my spare time playing drums and guitar–and recovering from tennis injuries while trying not to trip over any animals.

Take a tour of Rick’s drawing table.