RR Anderson, DIY Cultural Arts Specialist

Aug. 29, 2010 at 10:45pm

Brief and Frightening History of Ryan Anderson - Boy Cartoonist

Tacomic Book Filler

Making Money Before Cartoons

[PHOTO - how money was made in an age before cartoons.. year 8 ?  I look like Jack Kennedy]

1993 was a very bad year for cartoon strips. Particularly, for monthly outer-space science magazines.  It all started the day my mom mailed some of my doodles to publication called Odyssey.

Odyssey Magazine 1993

Fame hit me like a cold wet fist. 

Juneau Empire Article

Note how the article edits out any mention of my Real Dad and my 'other family'  I think Ms. Lund was prejudiced against miners and or the valley.  Even so, this caused me a great deal of personal drama.  In fact I just re-read and my stomach is already twisting up in knots.  I sound like such an ass! 


for years I was forced by my mother at knife point to slave over a homebuilt light-table, given to our family by a graphic artist who was making the switch to digital (the light-table and analog graphic art supply gifts sent up sex-predator flags with the parents at first... but no it was legit! ). 

"Adventures of Joe Galaxy" 1993

The Adventures of Joe Galaxy, by Ryan Anderson. Age 14 - more or less a total knock-off of the breathless SPACEMAN SPIFF! Calvin & Hobbs alter-ego.  But hey, my character had no pupils in his sunglasses... and he had a robot sidekick--SPARKY NUT! 

These strips were P-A-I-N-F-U-L-L to draw.  The sharpie inking process sucked most of the life (if there was any) out of the pencils.  My mother would often complain that I left out many of the funny little details that I loved to draw in pencil...  I hated inking. I'd be so tired by the end and my hand would be cooked on the light table.   This is before I knew anything about computers. 

A note to MOMS and FUTURE MOMS... 

if your child can draw, send in their artwork to any appropriate publications. They paid me $50 a month for each strip!  I think I blew all my money on Star Wars micro machines and Batman action figures.  What a waste!!!! 

Ride in Style

[PHOTO - test driving experimental gravity vehicle]

MEANWHILE: Free from deadlines, liberated from ink, and just drawing whatever came into my mind, I was drawing escapist stuff like this...

Boy Cartoonist

Kind of reminds me now of Hieronymus Bosh 

Boy Cartoonist

I love drawing in pencil and you can see my style/draftsmanship take a new direction in Mr. Manning's high-school art classes.

Alaskan Communist Independence Party

[PHOTO -  RR Anderson (left), Captain Brian Crapo (right) getting into politics. Crazy idea to sell off high-grade Alaskan Marble to fund our Alaskan Communist Independence Party (or ACIP) goals.]


Ultimately, the path of life has led me to this optimal TACOMIC(tm) - POLITICAL CARTOON process. 

  1. concept (usually a spark in the shower or in the 'bus trance') 
  2. last minute thumbnail sketch - - this is helpful to avoid the angry wadded up balls of computer paper being thrown in the fireplace.
  3. actual pencil drawing on 8.5x11 computer printer paper (easy for scanning) 
  4. scanned into photoshop - grey-scale, 100%, 300dpi, photo mode, no descreen or filters 
  5. play with levels - removes any smudges, eraser marks, thumb prints
  6. cut / paste into existing cartoon template - I like to keep my signature and half tone patterns on transparent layers (set to multiply.. forget about the white-parts)
  7. Masking Clean up lines, tweak art, sometimes fatten lettering using Wacom Tablet... also mask out highlights/half-tone pattern shading etc
  8. Upload to feed tacoma... write the blurb.. link to reference material/articles of interest.

The Brothers Anderson

[PHOTO - THE BROTHERS ANDERSON - RR (right), Bo (left).]

comments [13]  |  posted under alaska, cartoons, comics, history, RR Anderson, tacoma, tacomic book, travels


by thriceallamerican on 8/30/2010 @ 10:49am
Heh. Odyssey Magazine, a big part of my childhood. That's rad, though I assume I'd stopped getting it well before you were the "staff cartoonist". (I do remember Springboard the Rabbit, though.)

Also, your escapist drawings have a real Commander Mark vibe.

Fun stuff.

by The Jinxmedic on 8/30/2010 @ 10:51am
It seems that post-war commie conspiracy runs deep, Mandrake.

by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 8/30/2010 @ 11:26am
a nice new chapter in the r.r. anderson lore. thanks for sharing . . .

by Maria on 8/30/2010 @ 2:52pm
One of the best things I've read on FeedTacoma over the past three years. Great backstory. I love seeing what a beautiful hand / quality of line you had as a little kid...the escapist doodlings are splendid. How very cool that you family and others recognized and encouraged your talents so early.

by NineInchNachos on 8/30/2010 @ 3:58pm
Thank you comrades! The Book is really coming together.

My next huge project will be a video blog tapping into the spirit of Commander Mark!

by morgan on 8/30/2010 @ 4:48pm
Wow- it all sort of makes sense now. Thanks for sharing! What happened to the truck?

by The Jinxmedic on 8/30/2010 @ 4:59pm
Artificial Reef?

by thriceallamerican on 8/30/2010 @ 5:08pm
This: "My next huge project will be a video blog tapping into the spirit of Commander Mark!"


by L.S.Erhardt on 8/30/2010 @ 5:35pm
The more you peer into the MIND the deeper you become trapped in it!!!!

by NineInchNachos on 8/30/2010 @ 5:54pm
after Mom and Step Dad divorced we ended selling the rusting hulk to an auto restorer for $400. A little sad because Real Dad and I took a engine rebuilding class together working our magic on the old "Straight 6"

by Mofo from the Hood on 8/30/2010 @ 9:54pm
The use of digital halftones in your Tacomics is the most recognizable element of personal style.

That sounds like an obvious statement, but the reason I think the halftone effect works is because of its soft gray color that doesn't tend to draw attention away from the message.

by NineInchNachos on 8/30/2010 @ 10:01pm
Ah. yeah I started with just a halftone then recently added a gray overlay to make the highlights pop. The first fill-gray was the Tollefson Xmas tree Tacomic... I think the gloomy gray captures the essence of puget sound

by Mofo from the Hood on 8/30/2010 @ 10:37pm
Well there are examples where you have exaggerated the halftone dot size in gradations to parallel a caricature. So in those cases the halftone dot beyond tone serves as a dominant feature which directs the eye to the subject or the caption.


political cartoonist Your Friendly Neighborhood Political Cartoonist


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RR Anderson is one of the most curious characters in the UFO lore and the history of underground cartooning. He fought bizarre underground beings in the caves of Alaska, was wounded by a laser before it was invented, and had a background with the clandestine branch of the Tacoma Cartoonists Society.

For seekers unafraid to be discernibly turgid in a time of drastic change, we recommend:

Tacomic Book volume 001


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