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Mark Stiver with a selection from his full cartoon magazine, Energo.

Aug. 12, 1993

Mark Stiver is a deceiving guy. Quiet and reserved, he's well-liked at work and seems to be a regular Joe, except for one little-known trait — Mark Stiver is a closet cartoonist.

Stiver's down-to-earth sense of humor reflects in his panel comics and in a full magazine called Energo. Stiver has been cartooning since 1987.

"I always wanted to cartoon in high school," said Stiver with a sly grin. "I never really got the chance until I went to college."

In 1987, the Cayuga County Community College student newspaper, The Cayuga Collegian, asked Stiver what he wanted to contribute. Although he had never cartooned before for publication, the Collegian staff gave him carte blanche to create and develop a funny strip, one that developed quite a following.

His first comic strip, "Campus Comedy," was born. Following the adventures of a college student named Mike and his meddling, know-it-all dog Fred, Stiver brought these characters to hysterical life in the newspaper for two years. The cartoon garnered rave reviews from his peers and staff alike.

After college, Stiver began to work at Ponderosa to pay off his loans, but he continued to cartoon, this time for his co-workers.

"I began to spoof some of the behind-the-scenes things that happened and left the cartoons on the bulletin board in the employees' area."

— Compiled by David Wilcox