Steve Richter is a cartoonist who grew up in Athens, and some of his first comics were published by The Post. After finishing his undergraduate education in political science and German at Ohio University, he moved to Seattle on a whim.
“(And) to get away from my family,” Richter said with a chuckle.
While in Seattle, he worked on illustrations, commissioned artwork and cartoons for 11 years. Over the course of his career, he has had three graphic novels and more than two dozen works of fiction and cartoon collections published.
Richter moved back to Athens in the early 2000s, married his wife, adopted some cats and they’ve stayed in the area ever since.
“For whatever reason, I think there’s a thing about Athens where you grow up here and kind of learn to love it,” he said.
Since moving back to his hometown, he’s obtained his masters degree in special education and has self-published more of his work.
Richter was always interested in cartoons when he was growing up, and two of his biggest inspirations were Dr. Seuss and Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.
“Every Sunday, I would get an allowance and go to the Little Professor Bookstore to buy one of the Peanuts comic books,” he said.
He also really enjoyed Dr. Seuss. Many of his works involve poetry as a result of this influence.
“I always liked the idea of illustrated storytelling and I liked the rhyming scheme,” Richter said.
Richter advised young, aspiring artists to “reach out to other artists, artists getting together to talk, and talking art can be really exciting and re-energize your own creativity.”
“You should do what you like and enjoy what you are passionate about and not try to do something that’ll please other people, because it can be inauthentic,” he said. “The more fun you have doing what you want, it’s likely that someone else will enjoy it too.”
Richter and several other artists will be at the Athens Public Library on Tuesday for the “Art in the Library” reception.
Todd Bastin, art coordinator for the Athens Public Library, expressed his excitement to be showcasing Richter.
“He has a very subtle style that draws a person in,” Bastin said.
The reception is open to the public and refreshments will be provided. Richter will showcase a collection of several bunny illustrations he originally drew for his wife as a gift.