Conley, Darby 1970-
Conley, Darby 1970-
Born 1970, in Concord, MA. Education: Amherst College, graduated, 1994.
Writer and cartoonist. Also served as an elementary school teacher for two years and as an art director for the Science Discovery Museum in Acton, MA.
Reuben Award, National Cartoonists Society, 2002, for best newspaper comic strip.
The Dog Is Not a Toy: House Rule #4, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2001.
Fuzzy Logic, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2002.
Groovitude: A Get Fuzzy Treasury, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2002.
The Get Fuzzy Experience: Are You Bucksperienced, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2003.
I Would Have Bought You a Cat, But … : A Get Fuzzy Gift Book, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2003.
Blueprint for Disaster: A Get Fuzzy Collection, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2003.
Bucky Katt's Big Book of Fun: Get Fuzzy, Andrews McMeel Pub. (Kansas City, MO), 2004.
A Friend Is … : A Get Fuzzy Gift Book, Andrews McMeel Pub. (Kansas City, MO), 2004.
Say Cheesy: A Get Fuzzy Collection, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2005.
Scrum Bums: A Get Fuzzy Collection, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2005.
Loserpalooza: A Get Fuzzy Treasury, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2007.
I'm Ready for My Movie Contract: A Get Fuzzy Collection, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2007.
Take Our Cat, Please! A Get Fuzzy Collection, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2008.
The Potpourrific Great Big Grab Bag of Get Fuzzy: A Get Fuzzy Treasury, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2008.
American writer and cartoonist Darby Conley was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. After graduation from Knoxville's Doyle High School, Conley attended Amherst College, where he graduated in 1994 after studying fine art, playing rugby, and contributing regularly to the Amherst Student. Before becoming a full-time graphic illustrator and storyteller, Conley served as an elementary school teacher for two years after his college graduation and also as an art director for the Science Discovery Museum in Acton, Massachusetts. Conley is the creator of the "Get Fuzzy" comic series featuring Bucky Katt, Satchel Pooch, and their owner, Rob Wilco. The two pets were named for the baseball players Bucky O'Neil and Satchel Paige, and the owner was named for two friends called Rob and Wilco.
Called "a solid hit for such an oddball newcomer" by Coury Turczyn in an essay for Pop Cult magazine, "Get Fuzzy" chronicles the happenings of the mischievous and surly feline Bucky and the gentle, yet immature dog, Satchel, who are, according to Turczyn, "locked in eternal struggle." Turczyn stated: "With its bizarre humor, weird personalities, and un-fuzzy relationships, ‘Get Fuzzy’ has a level of complexity just not found elsewhere in the comics pages." Turczyn described Bucky as a "temperamental Siamese cat who generally does what he likes" while Satchel "can only offer his somewhat sluggish observations in self-defense," and "their master is the hapless human Rob Wilco, who is usually reduced to cleaning up the damage to his apartment." Moreover, John C. Davenport, on the Nya-Nya Web site, noted: "The strip's trio of Bucky, a single-fanged, self-centered cat; Satchel, a simple-minded dog; and Rob, their harried owner, has gained a foothold, or paw-hold, with readers." "Get Fuzzy" is a United Media syndicated comic strip appearing in both local and national newspaper publications.
In an interview with contributor Jamie Gumbrecht on the Web log It's All About …, Conley said of Rob Wilco: "I do have a little notebook of compiled notes where I remind myself that I need to get him out of the house, get him a girlfriend and stuff. I keep coming back to, like, psychotic animals confusing everything. It's all to do with what entertains me. I'm aware that he needs to expand a little more." In the interview, Conley also discussed some of the controversy at times surrounding "Get Fuzzy" and how that has affected his creative efforts, and he told Gumbrecht: "I did get sued one time, so that taught me to back off a lot. I got sued for what I thought was making a joke about a local celebrity, which did not turn out to be a joke."
However, for Conley, toning down the content does not equate to spending less time on the comic. Dave Astor observed, in a 2004 article for Editor & Publisher, that Conley dedicates "30 to 40 hours a week drawing his six daily strips and another six to 18 hours drawing the Sunday one—and that doesn't even include writing time. Conley puts lots of details into his art, and uses interesting angles to fit the tall Rob Wilco in the same frame with the short Bucky Katt and Satchel Pooch." Astor also reported, in a separate Editor & Publisher contribution titled "Tales of Starting, and Doing, Comics," that although Conley received "some obscenity-laden e-mails" when he had Satchel "display a sign saying, ‘Don't Bom Irak’ (prior to the U.S. invasion)," normally "the topical references in ‘Get Fuzzy’ are of the everyday kind, such as when Rob Wilco wears a Boston Red Sox cap."
The comic was syndicated in 1999 within a limited number of newspapers, and it has since grown exponentially, being serialized in over 450 daily publications and reaching an audience of over thirty million, according to the United Media Licensing Web site. Since 2001, numerous collective volumes have been issued by the publisher, Andrews McMeel, including The Dog Is Not a Toy: House Rule #4, Fuzzy Logic, Groovitude: A Get Fuzzy Treasury, The Get Fuzzy Experience: Are You Bucksperienced, I Would Have Bought You a Cat, But … : A Get Fuzzy Gift Book, Blueprint for Disaster: A Get Fuzzy Collection, Bucky Katt's Big Book of Fun: Get Fuzzy, Say Cheesy: A Get Fuzzy Collection, Scrum Bums: A Get Fuzzy Collection, Loserpalooza: A Get Fuzzy Treasury, I'm Ready for My Movie Contract: A Get Fuzzy Collection, Take Our Cat, Please! A Get Fuzzy Collection, The Potpourrific Great Big Grab Bag of Get Fuzzy: A Get Fuzzy Treasury, and several gift book selections.
In 2002, the National Cartoonists Society honored Conley with a Reuben Award for best newspaper comic strip. Conley resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Almanac of Famous People, 9th edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2007.
Daily Variety, August 27, 2003, Claude Brodesser, "Minkoff Warms to ‘Fuzzy’," p. 1.
Editor & Publisher, September 11, 1999, David Astor, "Feline Focus of ‘Fuzzy’ Feature," p. 34; June 9, 2003, Dave Astor, "Tales of Starting, and Doing, Comics," p. 25; September 1, 2004, Dave Astor, "‘Fuzzy’ Celebrates Fifth Anniversary"; March 27, 2007, "‘Get Fuzzy’ Gets Collected Again."
Herald & Review, January 1, 2007, "Kattitude: ‘Get Fuzzy’ Debuts in Today's Daily Comic Section."
Houston Chronicle, November 3, 2004, "Bucky Stops Here; Letting the Katt out of the Bag," p. 3.
Morning Edition, November 27, 2003, "Analysis: Comic Strip Poking Fun at Pittsburgh's Infamous Odor Has Some Less than Amused."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 4, 2003, "Wrathful Pittsburghers Fail to See Humor in Syndicated Cartoon."
Variety, September 1, 2003, "Minkoff Warms to ‘Fuzzy’," p. 4.
Comics.com Web site,http://www.comics.com/ (July 31, 2008), author profile.
It's All About …,http://itsallabout.typepad.com/ (July 31, 2007), author interview with Jamie Gumbrecht.
J's Scratchpad,http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/ (July 31, 2008), "Darby Conley Wins Reuben Award."
Lambiek Web site,http://lambiek.net/artists/ (July 31, 2008), author profile.
Nya-Nya,http://www.nya-nya.us/ (July 31, 2008), John C. Davenport, "‘Get Fuzzy’ Creator Marvels at His Comic Strip's Success."
Pop Cult Online,http://www.popcultmag.com/ (July 31, 2008), Coury Turczyn, "Let's Get Fuzzy: Can Newspaper Comics Be Saved? The Answer Rests in These Paws."
United Media Licensing Web site,http://www.unitedmedialicensing.com/ (July 31, 2008), description of "Get Fuzzy" comics.