According to Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal columnist Mark LaFlamme:
So, I was just hanging around, minding my own business, when I started to notice a new cartoon populating the Sun Journal pages. In one of them, the proposed Lewiston homeless shelter and the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department building were presented as homeless people on a local street. The detail was exquisite. Even the street these walking, talking buildings strode upon seemed familiar.
I got to wondering about this hot new artist that had come among us. Turns out, here was a guy who for years had been sitting just a few cubicles down from me in the newsroom designing pages and editing. A friendly and witty sort, is Ernie Anderson, but I had no idea about the playful, iconoclastic talent that existed beyond the round glasses and bushy beard.
When did you first discover your artistic ability? It all started with onion skin paper. Very thin, almost translucent paper that was paired with carbon paper to make duplicates when typing. When I was 7, 8 years old, my parents had boxes of this stuff lying around; I think they used if for their business (they owned a bookstore).
I found that if you took onion skin paper and laid it over Peanuts or Garfield, you could trace the comics, line-for-line. It was exhilarating, seeing my finished work and thinking to myself, “I did that! I’m so talented.” I’d tape up my work on the sides of the bookshelves. It was my first art gallery.
Obviously, I was just “tracing upon the brushstrokes of others,” to co-opt that old phrase about shoulders and giants. But that’s where every artist starts, I think.
The Sun Journal has a cartoon archive and Ernie’s local editorial cartoons are occasionally thrown in the mix of regular Washington Post Writers Group editoonists.
It appears that Ernie began contributing cartoons to the paper on February 16 of this year.