Darby Conley's first cartoons appeared in the Doyle High Trailblazer, his school paper in Knoxville, Tennessee. His single-panel strip of weirdness won him first place in a News-Sentinel student cartoon competition in 1986, thus planting the idea of someday becoming a professional cartoonist.
He went on to earn a Fine Arts/Art History degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts, continuing to improve his Far Side clones for the Amherst Student, graduating in 1994. While a student in college, he played rugby, explaining the rugby sport references in his comic strip. Conley was also a member of an all-male, jazz-influenced a cappella group, the Zumbyes.
Comics syndicate United Media agreed in 1999 to publish Conley's new strip Get Fuzzy about an anthropomorphic cat, Bucky, and dog, Satchel, living with their single young-male owner, Rob Wilco, which premiered on September 6, 1999 in 75 papers.
On October 30, 2003, the city of Pittsburgh served as the punch line of a strip about tourism destinations based on smells. Offended residents of the area deluged the author with negative feedback that included death threats.
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- "Darby Conley" on White Pages
- "CONLEY, DARBY N (Age 45)"
- Turczyn, Coury (2002). "Let's Get Fuzzy". PopCult Magazine.
- "Division Awards: Newspaper Strip". National Cartoonists Society. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- Fitzpatrick, Dan (November 18, 2003), "Comic strip apology to really isn't: 'Get Fuzzy' creator says Pittsburghers need to take a joke", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- "Pittsburgh Not Laughing At Smelly Joke - Travel News Story". KCRA Sacramento. 2003-11-05. Retrieved 2010-05-13.[dead link]
- "Letters to the Business Editor: 11/11/03". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 11, 2003.
- Voss, Gretchen (July 2005). "Head Games". Boston Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
- "Lobel Charges Libel". WGBH. May 20, 2005.