Jim Borgman first felt the exhilaration of having other people see his artwork when he was 5 years old.
The Cincinnati native, who would go on to illustrate the award-winning ‘Zits’ cartoons, submitted a drawing to ‘The Uncle Al Show’ as a kindergartner.
Borgman began drawing weekly cartoons for the school newspaper, where the thrill of others seeing his work grew.
A week after graduating from college, Borgman started as The Enquirer’s editorial cartoonist.
Borgman and ‘Zits’ writer Jerry Scott went from friendly acquaintances to cartooning partners in March 1997. Scott joined Borgman on a trip to Sedona, Arizona, where he pitched Borgman his idea.
‘He said, ‘I’ve been thinking about a comic strip about teenagers. Here’s what I’ve got so far,’’ Borgman said.
Scott’s sketches were done in a similar style to ‘Peanuts’ characters, Borgman recalled – big heads on little bodies. Borgman went in a different direction, drawing the teens as lanky characters who took up space.
Borgman said Scott saw his drawings and said: ‘That’s the way the strip should look.’
‘Zits’ debuted in more than 200 newspapers that July.