Roots

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Look what I found in the attic while doing a bit of spring cleaning. These are some of the original faxes (yes, I said faxes) Jerry and I sent back and forth to each other in 1996 when we were developing Zits.old zits1A lot has changed (check out that phone!) but it’s all kinda there-ish. Even those weird rooster-comb hairdos I thought were the bomb.

I’d forgotten how we struggled for a title for the strip. Cowboy was going to have been Mom’s nickname for Jeremy when he was tracking as a much younger teenager in our minds.

oldzits2I think that’s the Generation Gap between them, get it? Oh man, how close we came to disaster.

Other rejected titles for the strip: Grounded for Life; Planet Jeremy; Work in Progress; Yo; Why Me?; Stuff About Me; As If; and Chad and Jeremy. Yes, that’s how close we came to a complete dumpster-fire launch, friends.

oldzits4You see, we were searching for a title that succinctly conveyed what we hoped the strip would be about: a gritty look at life with a teenager in the house. Finally Jerry said to our editor, “Why don’t we just call it Zits?” And despite the horror that shook the syndicate’s boardroom, that was that.

oldzits3

 

 

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32 thoughts on “Roots

  1. Grounded for Life would have worked for me… Actually I’ve never been a total fan of “zits”. If it had ever been a lesser strip I’d never have read it based on that name alone. As it is I’ve been a devoted reader on a daily basis, first in our local paper (“the west Australian”) and now through this site , for years now.

  2. Pingback: Check out early Zits sketches by Jim Borgman The Daily Cartoonist

  3. I liked Charles Schulz’s comment that ‘Zits’ was the worst name for a strip since ‘Peanuts’, though you guys at least got to come up with your own name. My son is 11 and loves the strip…he segued from Calvin & Hobbes to Zits at about age 9. He is fascinated by the inside look at teenager life. When I get him the compilation books for Christmas presents my mother and law always shakes her head disapprovingly at the titles: “‘Humongous Zits’? ‘Big Honkin’ Zits’?”

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