Spotlight on Authors

Five Questions with Kirk Anderson

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Kirk Anderson, author of You Might Be From Minnesota If...

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1. What inspired you to become a political cartoonist in the first place?

I love politics. I love art. I love humour. Put them in a blender and you get political cartoons. Art communicates politics more quickly than words, and humour lets people's guard down. Political cartoons are a secret shortcut into our brains.

2. Who or what is your greatest inspiration as a cartoonist?

Legions of cartoonists, artists, social commentators and activists, like George Orwell, Norman Rockwell, Dr. Seuss, Mad Magazine, Arthur Miller, Dalton Trumbo, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, The Santa Cruz Comic News, Clay Bennett, Tony Auth, and many other metaphoresters.*

*"Metaphorester", as far as I know, is a wonderful term invented by Matt Wuerker (cartoonist for Politico).

3. You Might Be From Minnesota If ... is your first book. How does that feel? How different was doing a book from drawing for newspapers or magazines?

It feels like sculpting a marble statue as opposed to whittling figurines.

4. Was it a difficult process to choose which cartoons to include in the book?

I asked friends to test-drive the cartoons and let me know which were roadworthy and which were not.

5. What is the one thing you would like for people to take away from this book?

There is more to Minnesota than mild-mannered Scandinavians riding snow blowers to a church lutefisk dinner. Minnesota is home to twice as many Germans as Norwegians, rural Worthington (pop. 13,000) is home to more Latinx than whites, and there are more Ethiopian delis in the state than fast-food lutefisk drive-thrus. We are large, we contain multitudes.

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