Wanda and Darryl enjoy a quiet evening at home with Zoe. Artists: Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott


Original Medium: Newspaper comics
Distributed by: Creators Syndicate
First Appeared: 1990
Creators: Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott
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Like Rugrats and Sugar & Spike, Baby Blues had its inspiration in the doings of real-life youngsters. But in …

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… this case, it mostly concerned what a baby did to a pair of first-time parents, whose lifestyle suddenly underwent a shift of seismic proportion.

Jerry Scott (who has since added Zits, which he does with jim Borgman0 was (at the time) an outside observer of parenthood (despite having handled Nancy since 1983) when he and Rick Kirkman were hashing out ideas for a strip they wanted to collaborate on. It may have been that point of view which enabled him to see there was strip material in what his friend (whose children had been born in 1984 and '87) was going through. With Scott scripting and Kirkman drawing, the strip debuted from Creators Syndicate (B.C., Thatch) on January 7, 1990.

The opening episode shows Darryl and Wanda MacPherson, who have very recently become parents, sitting in Wanda's hospital room, staring fixedly at their infant daughter, Zoe. All three are thinking, "Now what?" The strip has been answering that question ever since.

Zoe ages, but slowly, and there's every reason to suppose she might, like Blondie's kids, stop before she has the misfortune of growing up. In 1996, she was joined by a brother, Hamish ("Hammy"). Darryl and Wanda are adjusting somewhat, but — well, one never does quite get used to it, does one?

Zoe was de-aged, and Hammy de-birthed, for the animated sitcom version of Baby Blues, which debuted on the WB Network on July 28, 2000. Also, a couple of neighbors (Carl and Melinda Bitterman), a co-worker (Kenny), a babysitter (Bizzy) and a few other supporting characters, were added. Mike O'Malley does the voice of Darryl, Julia Sweeney that of Wanda, and E.G. Daly that of Zoe.

Baby Blues has been reprinted in over a dozen book collections. The National Cartoonists' Society awarded it a plaque for Best Humor Strip in 1995, and gave Scott its Reuben Award as Cartoonist of the Year in 2002. Now distributed by King Features (Grandma, The Phantom) it appears in over 800 newspapers, with an estimated readership in excess of 60 million. The TV show didn't become a runaway hit, but as a comic strip, its star is still rising.


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