‘Baby Blues’ chronicles everyday adventures in parenting

They are the joys and challenges of parenting — from teething and dirty diapers to temper tantrums and toilet training.

And they’re all fodder for “Baby Blues.”

The popular comic, a Sunday favorite in the Dayton Daily News, will be seen daily in the newspaper beginning Tuesday, March 11. It’s one of five comic strips that are being added to our Life section.

In our recent reader poll of comic favorites, Barbara Weikert of Springfield shared what she likes most about “Baby Blues,” “Crankshaft” and “Red and Rover,” all strips that will now be seen daily.

“They are comics! Not political or off the wall,” Weikert wrote. “They are something to make you smile in the morning and something you can read to your kids.”

“Baby Blues” is the brainstorm of longtime friends Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott, created in 1990.

Kirkman, who lives in Arizona with his wife and two kids, began cartooning in kindergarten. Scott has Midwestern and newspaper roots — he grew up in South Bend, Ind., where he delivered newspapers from his bicycle. As the co-creator of “Zits,” he’s one of four cartoonists in history to have two daily comic strips running in more than 1,000 newspapers. He also spent 12 years working on the comic strip “Nancy.”

“Living with small children can be joyful, scary, frustrating and hilarious … sometimes all in the same day,” Scott said. “The compliment we get from Baby Blues readers most often is a question: ‘Do you have a camera in my house?’ That tells us we’re on the right track.”

Scott labels his comic “a warm plate of meat loaf, a pair of fuzzy slippers, a close friend who’s been through the same things most of our readers have been through.” He believes “Baby Blues” has been successful because it speaks the language of parenting.

That language is apparently universal — “Baby Blues” now appears in more than 1,200 newspapers in 28 countries worldwide. The adventures of America’s favorite first-time parents have also been chronicled in 30 anthologies. In 1995, the National Cartoonists Society recognized Baby Blues as “Best Comic Strip of the Year.”

Nancy S. Knight of West Carrollton said reading cartoons like “Baby Blues” is “like a little visit with friends.”

“At the end of a long day,” she says, it’s an opportunity ” to laugh and forget the troubles of the day.”

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