The publicity people at King Features tell me that I am one of just four cartoonists in history to have two daily comics strips running in over a thousand newspapers each. No wonder I’m so tired.
I was born on born May 2, 1955 in South Bend, Indiana and was first introduced to the newspaper business by delivering the South Bend Tribune from my bicycle over pre-dawn Indiana roads. I was pulling down almost three figures a year, but the real reward wasn’t the money. It was that I got to be the first person in my neighborhood to read the comics on Sunday mornings. By flashlight.
I started cartooning professionally in the mid-1970s by selling a cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post. In 1983 I was asked to take over the comic strip Nancy after Ernie Bushmiller’s death, which I was kindly allowed to reinvent for 12 years. In 1988 I got together with longtime friend Rick Kirkman and started kicking ideas around for a new strip. The result was Baby Blues, which was released in syndication by King Features in 1990. Baby Blues currently runs in 1200 newspapers in 28 countries and 13 languages. There are 30 Baby Blues collection books in print, with well over a million copies sold.
In 1996 I had an idea for a comic strip about a teenage boy, and along with the artistic genius of Jim Borgman, Zits was born. Zits was released with a client list of 200 newspapers, and now King Features distributes it to over 1600 papers in 45 countries and 15 languages. Zits has been collected in 18 anthologies.
I have been fortunate to have received has received numerous cartooning awards, including the National Cartoonists Society’s Best Comic Strip of the Year, the Adamson Statuette, Sweden’s highest comic honor, and Germany’s Max and Moritz Award for Best International Comic Strip. But I’m proudest of receiving the Reuben Award in 2001 from the National Cartoonists Society as Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.
I live in central coastal California with my wife, Kim and our two daughters, ages 8 and 16, from whom I steal ideas daily.