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Background about Kirk Anderson

Kirk Anderson's award-winning cartoons have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, USA Today , and hundreds of other newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S., Britain, Canada, and other countries.

They have prompted stockholder protest of corporate policy, have been debated on talk radio and in newspaper columns, orchestrated into classroom lessons and Congressional presentations, collected in over 150 books, appeared on ABC’s Nightline, and been chosen for national exhibitions, at the Warhol Museum and other venues.

As the staff cartoonist for the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN), Kirk afflicted the comfortable and comforted the afflicted from 1995 to 2003. He currently free-lances.

Kirk’s cartoons have been publicly denounced by a governor, officially condemned by a state university, personally admonished by a U.S. Senator, reviled in print by an archbishop, and vilified by police, business leaders, talk radio, the NRA and others.

(or “Personal Journey: An Inspirational Coming Of Age Story For Troubled Youth”)
Kirk Anderson grew up in a loving, stable, small-town Midwestern middle-class family, a difficult start for a professional cynic. Over time and with great determination, he was able to nurture his underdeveloped angst and rage through his parents’ controlled exposure of him to the real world. From these unlikely beginnings, Kirk turned himself around and flowered into the fully maladjusted, paranoid professional pessimist that he is today.
His political and philosophical development began with the Domestic Stalinism of his early childhood days. His mother and father seemed all-powerful, all-knowing; all aspects of life depended on them. Candy and TV were strictly rationed. He was provided for and content, and did not yet comprehend he had no real voting power. Still, certain outbursts of free expression were met with solitary confinement in a cold dark bedroom, and the young man yearned for a system that offered greater freedom.

Kirk’s distrust of politicians began when he was offered a candy bribe as a third-grade hall monitor. Suddenly realizing the rank corruption that developed within a system that distributes power unequally, he abolished the position of hall monitor altogether, declaring that all 3rd-graders would monitor each other cooperatively. Such anarchy soon led to chaos and three student hospitalizations, leading to Kirk’s dalliance with fascism. More hospitalization. More dissent. But the students got to class on time.

By middle school, Kirk had shed his idealism and embraced realpolitik. The New Conformism was popular at the time, and everybody who was anybody was an adherent. He ran for student council on a platform of “Conformity Now!” and was shunned for sticking out.
In college, Kirk smoked but didn’t inhale, and read but didn’t comprehend. During years of political and historical study he pruned his philosophy down to two words: “Be nice.” He tried to parlay them into a revolutionary counter-cultural treatise, but felt that adding anything would simply water down his message.

He currently lives in St. Paul with his wife Nancy Brewster and two invisible friends, Winky and Mr. Tithers.

His work is distributed to newspapers by Artizans syndicate.

E-mail Kirk Anderson.


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