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Background about Hilary Price

Hilary Price's comic strip Rhymes with Orangeis a smart person's strip.

It's about packing for a trip, then asking: Why is it that the shorter the vacation, the more shoes you have to pack? It's about the little details we all live with: the collection of water glasses on the bedside table, dealing with the goop in your pet's eye, the mound of lint abandoned on the top of the dryer.

You wonder, what the heck rhymes with "orange"? Nothing. Price chose the title as a way to show the singularity of her strip and its humor.

When Rhymes with Orange made its debut in June 1995, Hilary Price became the youngest woman with a syndicated daily comic strip. The strip became an instant hit with newspaper readers of all ages and has won “Best Newspaper Panel” three times from the National Cartoonists Society.

Rhymes with Orange is like eavesdropping on Price's personal world view. What readers find is a varied, insightful and current commentary on the little details of our harried lives. A little New Yorker-esque, but you don't have to live in New York to get it. Fan response is overwhelming: "You've got the hidden cameras on me, dontcha?" or, "Your strip is SO true!"

Without regular characters, Price uses everything from dogs and cats to charts and graphs to comment on the world today. Rhymes with Orange has appeared in People, Glamour and as a regular in The Funny Times.

Her most recent collection is titled Reigning Cats and Dogs: A Rhymes With Orange Tribute to those who shed.

Price was born in Weston, Mass., and graduated from Stanford University in California with a degree in English literature. Prior to her foray into cartooning, she wrote pithy bank ads for an advertising agency (as pithy as bank ads can actually get) and dabbled briefly in journalism.

For five years after college she lived in a sketchy neighborhood in San Francisco with four friends. She has sinced moved back to her native New England and lives with her partner Kerry and their geriatric pets.

"Cartooning is something I always did, but never quite expected I would actually do," Price says. Her early inspirations include The New Yorker cartoonists Roz Chast and Sam Gross, as well as the children's poet Shel Silverstein. Greeting-card artist Sandra Boynton was also a huge influence. "As a teen-ager, it was a big deal for me when I found out Boynton was a woman," she says. "That possibility hadn't occurred to me because most cartoonists I had seen were men. All of a sudden, the notion of doing cartoons myself, professionally, entered into my world view. I hope that I can have that same effect on young women out there now."

When not at the drawing board, Price dotes on her dog, listens to This American Life on public radio and goes downhill skiing.


 


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