Peter Waldner began drawing cartoons as soon as he was old enough to be trusted with a pencil. As a young child, he earned candy money by selling his drawings; by the time he was 10, he was providing cartoons for College High, a local high school newspaper in Montclair, N.J. After serving as a cartoonist for his own school paper, Glen Ridge High School in Glen Ridge, N.J., he moved on to Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y., where he focused on studio art and filmmaking. Waldner earned his B.A. from Elmira in 1977, and went on to postgraduate studies at the Parsons School of Design and Southampton College in New York.
In 1980, Waldner settled on Shelter Island, N.Y. - a small island near the tip of Long Island, which has served as an inspiration for his serious artwork as well as his cartoons. His pastel, colored-pencil and acrylic fine art have been featured in numerous art shows, and he has had three one-man shows - one of which was offered by sculptor Peggy Mach at her Long Island gallery. In addition, Waldner has worked as the set designer for several local theater productions.
But as he created backdrops of Swiss mountaintops and idyllic island scenes, Waldner itched to express his slightly askew observations of real life through cartoons again, so in 1993, he became the editorial cartoonist for the Shelter Island Reporter, followed by the East Hampton Independent and the Southampton Independent. Waldner's cartoons have won awards from the New York Press Association, including the first-place prize in the Editorial Cartoon Division.
While editorial cartoons depicting only limited aspects of his observations of real life, Waldner began publishing a broader collection of cartoons in his own humerous newspaper, The Eat End Rubber Chicken, for which he served as editor, writer and publisher. Most recently, he has had several humorous greeting cards published by Commstock Cards, and he was also commissioned to draw caricatures for 77 WABC NewsTalk Radio in New York City.
When he is not painting or drawing, Waldner spends his time taking care of his teenage son and daughter. He hopes, some day, to have time for relaxation, but meanwhile, his harried life provides plenty of fodder for his off-beat but true-to-life cartoons.
Check out Waldner's comic Flight Desk.