During my first year of college at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, I approached the editors of the weekly student paper, “The Spectator,” and convinced them that I should be their editorial cartoonist. Not long afterward, I also somehow persuaded them to publish my stripped-down anti-comic, “The Blandies” — using an appropriately nondescript pseudonym: Ray Bland.

“The Blandies” quickly became an established part of the paper — and, eventually, the campus bookstore even sold T-shirts and sweatshirts with an iron-on “Blandies” design.

It came as no surprise that the comic had some detractors; It was an anti-comic, after all. The real surprise, for me, was that it actually developed a devoted fan base.

Here are a few of the earliest examples of “The Blandies”:


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