In 1995, Gilchrist took control of the internationally syndicated, long-running comic strip, “Nancy,” originally introduced to the public in 1938 by the celebrated illustrator Ernie Bushmiller. Gilchrist returned the strip to the simple, yet impactful, illustration style introduced by Bushmiller. Like its creator, Gilchrist would also often inject subtle, yet meaningful, sub-themes in the panel’s background. Reflective of Gilchrist’s love for music and life in Music City, characters were often drawn wearing concert T-shirts or listening to music; Aunt Fritzi was portrayed as a music critic; and occasionally, artists were drawn in cartoon form or given a personal shout out. In 2013, Gilchrist proudly identified Three Rocks (the fictional home of Nancy) as a small suburb located on the outskirts of Nashville—forever cementing the strip with the iconic “it” city. He retired from writing the daily Nancy cartoon in 2018 after 23 years to devote more time to his other varied creative interests.
Gilchrist is also an award-winning writer and illustrator of children’s books (42 titles to his name, including the acclaimed “Night Lights & Pillow Fights”), garnering Reuben Awards from the National Cartoonists Society in the Best Book Illustrator category in both 1998 and 1999, and three Children’s Choice Awards by the International Reading Council.