Sheridan Anderson Appreeshiashin Thread


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Ain't no flatlander

Mar 26, 2008 - 01:45pm PT
Lest we knott forget, the whitewater and mountain bike world's had their own equivalent to the great Sheridan...William Nealy. "Kayaks to Hell" and "Whitewater Tales of Terror" are classics!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 1, 2008 - 05:32pm PT
Mimi just scored me a rare copy of The Climbing Cartoons of Sheridan Anderson by Dumais and Kelsey, 1989. It has a glass binding but I had to scan this one that I had never seen before.

The man was some kind of prolific!

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2008 - 01:46am PT
Resurrection of this thread time : IF any of you know who owns the rights to Anderson's work, can U please email me? I already have the Kelsey book & there's precious little info other then names. If anyone knows the whereabouts of any of these folks : Joe Kelsey ( who compiled Anderson's work ) , Richard DuMais ( who wrote a fwd to the book ),or possibly Michael Anderson ( Sheridan's brother ) can U please let me know via email ( I don't check the forum very often ) . Apologies if any of these good folks have now left these four dimensions. The Kelsey book was published in '89.

Thanks also to Ain't No Flatlander for the mention of the brilliant William Nealy, a lovely friend and colleague who tragically passed away back in '01.

Cheers, Tami

Social climber
The West
May 1, 2008 - 01:49am PT
ISBN# for that book?
Never mind, the title works on google, currently unavailible @ Amazon...
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 1, 2008 - 02:26am PT
Baron von Mabel's Backpacking: ISBN 0-89620-082-5

The Climbing Cartoons of Sheridan Anderson: No ISBN. Copyright 1989, Richard DuMais and Joe Kelsey, High Peaks Press.

Royal Robbins wrote a memorial for Sheridan Anderson in Mountain 101.

Mountain climber
Jackson Hole Wyo.
May 1, 2008 - 05:48pm PT
Chuck Schaap of Teton Mountaineering has a collection of Anderson originals framed in the stairwell of the shop.
He also would know the location of Mr. Dumais, who, I believe, is now at Crane Creek Ranch near Wilson. Dick still deals outdoor books.
Mr. Kelsey should be returning to the Hole within the next month as the snow around his cabin begins to melt (hasn't started yet..)
Knight now carries the torch. All hail Tami.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 26, 2008 - 06:45pm PT
I think that Sheridan liked drawing Royal more than anyone else. As you work through your memoirs RR, this one's for you!


Not there
Jul 26, 2008 - 07:48pm PT

Trad climber
Jul 26, 2008 - 10:39pm PT

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 20, 2008 - 11:42am PT
Cartoon bump!

Who is Millis?

Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Sep 20, 2008 - 01:00pm PT
By Royal Robbins
Mountain #101 – January/February 1985

This cartoon was used to illustrate an extended review of a
Michael Tobias book by Mike Thompson and highlights Sheridan's
amazing ability to come up with the right cartoon for the right

Sheridan Anderson died the evening of March 31, 1984 of an acute attack of emphysema, a chronic illness from which he had long suffered. His death came as a sad surprise to his friends because he had recently over the telephone sounded stronger and healthier than he had seemed for some time. An added poignancy is that Sheridan, his age somewhere in his late forties, was living at the time with his grandmother, whom he had often described as "indestructible". She survives her grandson.

Sheridan's personal life was not such that one could recommend it to youth as a path to longevity. He ate a lot and drank a lot, and he wasn't too keen on exercise, health foods, or abstinence. His habits doubtless helped do him in, but his answer to that would have been, "A short life, and a merry one".

Although Sheridan was never a serious climber, he was intimate with the climbing scene for over 20 years. In fact, he was one of the chief chroniclers of the foibles, vanities and pretensions of many of the stars of the period. Sheridan had a double talent: the ability to read character, and the skill to render it with precise, satirical strokes. He was also a gifted cartoonist, and his drawings lightened the pages and enlightened the readers of many a climbing magazine and journal.
Sheridan's precision of pictorial rendering found valuable expression in four books: my two rockclimbing texts, and two of his own works, "Baron Von Mabel's Backpacking", and "Curtis Creek Manifesto", a fly-fishing primer. In these books, each considered outstanding in its genera, Sheridan mixed whimsey, earthy humour, and outrageous imagination, with clarity of presentation and accuracy of detail in a unique and original way. His backpacking book, for example, was done entirely in cartoons.

Sheridan took pleasure in cultivating an image of rogue and debauchee. Often it seemed to fit. Less obvious was another side of his nature, an aspect shown by his love for the mountains, his delight in the peace and communion of fly-fishing, his abiding loyalty to his friends, his appreciation of literature, and, rather unexpected for a satirist, his fondness for heroes. He once gave me a book he highly prized, about the life of Wyatt Earp. There was, in fact, in Sheridan's nature an ineffable touch of grace, a certain primal innocence, and even gentleness, behind that rough exterior. Like most of us, he was caught in the mud and yearned for the sky. Hence his aspirations for the peaks and his association with those who climb them. Indeed, the cynicism shown in his caricatures of climbers may have been fueled by his learning that climbers themselves were, on the whole, not as elevated as their goals. There seems little in Baron Von Mabel's make-up but an amusing cynicism. But the yearning showed through, as in Sheridan's poetic "Song of the Sierras".

Sheridan will be mourned by many friends, but will ever be part of them. What we will miss mostly are his sense of humour; his chuckles rising into guffaws and erupting finally into rich rolling laughter; his keen lively, artist's eye; and the vividness of his presence. His ashes were sprinkled over a part of the southern Sierra he loved. I am sure Sheridan would have been happy to think his friends would all quaff a few to commemmorate his passing. Here's to you Sherry.

A Note on Sheridan's Cartoons
by Ken Wilson

Royal Robbins' tribute pinpoints Sheridan's character and work with eloquence, love and respect. However it might be valuable to list the scope of his work as an annexe to his obituary. Although many of his more timeless cartoons are collected in the books 'The Games Climbers Play', 'The Winding Trail' and 'Mirrors in the Cliffs', a fuller appreciation of his work over the past 20 years is only gained by scanning the pages of the magazines.

In Summit he was particularly preoccupied by the activities of the leading climbers of the mid-sixties, notably Robbins and Harding - the former cast as a shining Superman, the latter as a mischievous Mephistopholes.

Ascent was graced with a more cultured 'New-Yorker' style of wit - Fakir's using jumars for Indian Rope Tricks, mileage meters used by mountain rescuers etc. For Vulgarian Digest he supplied a rich selection of irreverent sketches underpinned by the sexual innuendo and bacchanalia, which was that magazine's core philosophy.

Mountain commissioned him to illustrate lan McNaught's Davis's satirical articles. Despite the problem of long-distance communication in explaining the intricacies of the affairs of another country, the bite of his illustrations was unaffected. He produced a ridiculous series of farcical character studies that uncannily sent up the victims: Sir Jack Long-Gland groaning under his mountain-safety insignia. Sir Donald 'Sup-up' Williams with his beer flower, the avaricious leer of Lord Bonehead as he makes off with the loot, Nero Mystri, Joe Beige and Godzilla, Dr. Colin Knoblock, Hamish McPiton in the embrace of the dreaded Bullshitmaster snake, and Sir Isaac Hoont presiding over the Audleygate enquiry, his sage head nodding with boundless patrician wisdom.

Readers of the now defunct Mountain Gazette were regularly entertained by Sheridan's strip-cartoon hero. Baron von Mabel, a thinly veiled image of himself. Von Mabel took part in a series of zany adventures assisted by Hives, his incompetent Harpo Marx-like butler. The Robbins instruction books were greatly strengthened by. amusing but unambiguous technical illustrations. In the last few years as Sheridan's contacts with the climbing world grew more tenuous he concentrated oil fishing and mountain travel and produced two admirable books on those subjects.

His cartoons repay repeated study. Well disguised by self-mockery, whimsy, farce and sexuality, all delivered with a frenetic energy and highly competent draughtsmanship, it is easy to overlook more profound qualities. In truth he was an astute and affectionate observer of the world of climbing, celebrating the rich procession of personalities and events that it displays. He was also deeply wedded to the historic western tradition of the backwoods (epitomised by Ansel Adams, the
Sierra Club) while at the same time finding its pomposity continuously amusing. He might have chosen as a legacy his drawing of Von Mabel, doubling as Moses, bestriding some Oregan Sinai clutching a tablet inscribed with the memorable aphorism "Thou Shalt Not Wreck the Place". A bronze of that would not look out of place in •the headquarters of the American Alpine Club, a memorial that would doubtless cause Sheridan endless mirth.


Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 20, 2008 - 01:28pm PT
Cool stuff. That first pic of the Summit cover has a kinda R. Crumb feel to it. S. A. sounds like one of those guys I would of liked to have met.

Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Sep 20, 2008 - 01:32pm PT
I put this up an another thread and then killed my web space sometime after that, so this is just to repost over here where the celebration is going on. I think he would have been a great guy to sit down and have many beers with.


Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 21, 2008 - 01:46am PT
steelmnky - ZILLIONS OF THANKS for your massive effort to post the calendar. It was inspirin'. It reminds me of what Sheridan had to offer us from 25 years ago. I believe his humour is ( imho ) lost from climbing and it's attendant media in more recent years.
Anderson provided savagely brilliant commentary rippin' on The Day and The History. I really like his cut & pastes of steel engravings with his own brushes&strokes.

Again HUGE thanks for your post. A diamond amidst some real corn chunks.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 21, 2008 - 11:56am PT
Ditto that Steel! Thanks for the spread.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 21, 2008 - 09:25pm PT
Wow, and, yikes, I'm embarrassed to say I don't think I have the calendar in the archives (aka "man cave").

Couple more covers that I didn't see already posted:

Was this his first Summit cover? I think Roper alludes to it in "Camp 4". October 1964:

June 1968:

October 1972:

Sorry for the poor scans (er, point and shoot digi photos).


-Brian in SLC
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 4, 2008 - 01:04am PT
Early Galen Rowell survey from Mountain 25 January '73.


Dec 4, 2008 - 02:05pm PT
What an archive!

Thanks to all who labored to get this stuff up. Great effort. A very nice tribute to a super talented guy.

I'd missed this thread earlier, so thanks for the bump.
Captain Aubergine

Social climber
Dec 13, 2008 - 05:49pm PT
Howdy folks,

I have been trying to replace my copy of "Climbing Cartoons of SA" for years, ever since some $%^&$"$£% nicked my car. If anyone knows where one might obtain a copy, I have a Grandmother to sell.

Tami - 2 questions: Firstly, have you made any progress with the reprint thingy??? Secondly, you seem to have been quite quiet this side of the pond for a while - wots wrong, nothing bad left to say about ice climbers???

Social climber
Dec 13, 2008 - 08:36pm PT
Need Batso statues?

Go to Blitzo's thread.
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