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Ross Griswold
Ross "the Freak" Griswold has been many things in his life. He's a ghost hunter and an artist, as well as a self published author. He's an avid RPG'er.

In 1997 he won the Crest Area Theatre member of the year award. He has been a professional wrestler, winning the IPW tag team titles as well as the MXWA Extreme Title.

He currently works as a Special Education classroom associate, and lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife Christine, his black pug Rose, and his Russian Tortoise Groot.
  • Real Name
    Ross Griswold
  • Age
    41
  • Gender
    Male
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Great comic
I just discovered your webcomic while on the road for Easter. This is some pretty funny stuff. I look forward to catching up.
Making a Webcomic is like Going to the Gym
Making a webcomic is like going to the gym. Once you get out of the habit of doing it on a regular schedule, you just stop doing it at all. I am guilty of this, both with gyms and with Anchored.

The birth of my daughter Lizzy has completely obliterated my schedule. This strip was meant to be posted in early December, leading to some conflict between the characters that would end with holiday joy around Christmas. This was not to be.

Even after I started to get over the lack of sleep, I was so far off schedule that I just couldn't see a way to work through it. It started depressing me and I considered even canceling Anchored. I just didn't have time for it.

It also sometimes frustrates me that I don't have more time for novel writing. I'm trying to hash out a Mafia/supernatural story that some friends and I cooked up. I also recently participated in a short story collection of Iowa authors, and it really got my desires flowing to write more Staff-Master (a superhero I've written two novels about).

Creatively, I've been burning with frustration these past ten weeks. I've been lost at what I should do. Well, today with the new year I have made my decision.

Anchored will continue to be published, but I am cutting its schedule down to once a week. I'm thinking Friday's, but the exact day is up for debate if anybody has suggestions. I might adapt the posting day for holidays, say for example if Valentines Day is on a Tuesday or something. But in general you can now expect Anchored once a week.

Unlike my past policy on running late, I will NOT be backdating comic strips. Once the holidays are past, it just feels silly to post a story of conflict leading up to the holidays. The current storyline has already been adapted to fit into the new stuff.

Thank you everyone for your patience with me.
Wow, having a newborn is even harder than I expected. I don't think Anchored has released on time since the real life Lizzy was born.

This upsets me. Anchored has built up quite an audience over the past year and a half, and I despair at seeing its audience dwindle away.

Exhausted, in the late night hours holding a screaming baby, I have often considered just quitting Anchored. At least for a time to put it to bed so that I have one less thing to stress about. After all, had I not stepped away from so many other people and activities in preperation for her birth?

I can't do it though. I can't quit Anchored. It is too important to me. This is my line in the sand. I just won't give it up.

That said, I am just going to state outright that I will not be on time for the foreseeable future. I hate it, but it is simply not possible. I can get MAYBE two panals done between tantrums, diapers, and the day job.

Come the new year I am going to be reconsidering my publishing schedule. A year ago, publishing three times a week was a nice, realistic pace. With a baby in my life that might no longer be true. I'm hoping that once she starts sleeping regularly I might be able to continue that pace, but realistically I'm not sure if it's possible.

Keep your eyes here for more news.
Hope
Awhile back, I put up a post on the Anchored facebook page, asking for feedback on what I should name Leroy and Dana's baby. That storyline was mirroring my wife's real life pregnancy, but in real life we are naming our baby Lizzy. The problem was, there is already a character named Lizzy in Anchored.

I asked feedback and two suggestions rose to the top of the heap: "Jelly Bean" and "Hope".

I really liked Jelly Bean. It was a reference to the fact that in an early ultrasound my baby looked less like a person and more like a jelly bean. It's cute, and it feels very "comic strip" to me.

I ended up picking Hope though. For those of you that have followed Anchored from the beginning, or read interviews or facebook posts by me....You know that in the beginning Anchored was my way of dealing with an earlier miscarriage that devastated me. To say that I was emotionally crushed would be an understatement. I was really messed up, and way too many people that I know and love have been going through the same thing. This second attempt at having a baby worked out OK though.

We have a new baby girl, both in real life and in the comic strip. Every breath that she takes proves that there is always hope, even when everything seems hopeless.

So, I named Leroy and Dana's baby "Hope", to help people remember that hope does exist.
New Baby
Having a newborn daughter is harder than I thought. I took a week off and I STILL fell behind 3/4 of a week on my schedule. In my defense I've barely been sleeping, and life in general has just been far more difficult than I anticipated. This is not a complaint however. I am happier than I have ever been in my life.

With this comic, I am 1/2 way caught up.
Hiatus is a much-feared word in the webcomic community. All too often "hiatus" is the death rattle of a webcomic.

Yes, Anchored is on a brief hiatus, but I assure all of you it is not dead. On Saturday, October 17th my wife gave birth to our first child. I am taking a week off my day job to adjust, and I have decided to take the same week off from Anchored.

Just so people understand what is going on though, here is a picture of my new baby. :)
Thank you John de Lancie
Awhile back, I did a comic strip where Bookworm was asked which was his favorite Star Trek captain. The strip mentions my all time favorite Star Trek character Q, so when promoting Anchored on Twitter it seemed a natural fit to tag John de Lancie, the actor that played Q.

To my immense delight, Mr. de Lancie tweeted back, correcting an error that Bookworm had made. Apparently in a recent game Q did indeed meet Captain Kirk.

Today's strip is my thank you to Mr. De Lancie, and obviously a reference to that tweet.
Bookworm really isn't much of an author...
Bookworm really isn't much of an author, but he sure does try. Sometimes I feel that way. *LOL*
True story
True story. Yes, I ranted about it just like Bookworm is.
Irony
When I first came up with the idea of an orb as a character, I figured I'd have a running series of dust jokes. Instead, I created a far deeper and interesting character. But I still love my dust jokes.

I'm saddened by the ink blur in this comic. I colored it with cheap markers and THEN decided to ink wash the background. The failure of the visuals here (and especially in the next strip) are a huge driving force behind Anchored's new digital look.
Netflix Binge
If you can't tell from the comic strips.....yes, lately I've spent waaay too much of my summer break watching Star Trek: the Next Generation on Netflix.
True story
This comic is a true story (other than the thought bubble at the end of course). A few days ago, my tortoise Groot was asleep in her hollowed out log. As I approached with her food dish, she bolted upright, and I SWEAR that she somehow smiled! There was just such an expression of joy as she watched me set the food dish down and run for it.
A New Era for Anchored
Welcome to the first comic strip in a brand new era for Anchored. From here on out, I plan to use digital inks, lettering, ect. I've resisted this upgrade because I really enjoyed doing it all on a piece of actual paper. But it is time for an upgrade.

One of the biggest weaknesses of Anchored has always been my lettering ability. My handwriting is not a thing of beauty, even when I do my best.

Also, I am a fan of vibrant colors. I have bought quality markers when I can, but the bulk of my work has been using fairly cheap art markers.

Good markers are expensive. The bristol board that I've been drawing on is expensive. With a baby on the way, those are expenses that I really should do without. And honestly, I think that doing things digitally gives me a better finished product in the end. On a personal level, it's less enjoyable for me....but I'll get over that.

Now, with digital coloring, the sky is the limit. And it means that when I finally give up and pack away my drawing table to make room for baby stuff, I can do it without sacrificing too much.

I hope you all enjoy the new look.
As you can probably tell, I am waaay behind schedule. Today is March 13th, and I am finally posting the February 25th strip.

In a nutshell, I have gone far too long without getting my eyes checked and apparently my glasses are badly out of date.

At first I had an eye lid twitch, which I chalked up to mere stress. Then one day at work I had a strange hallucination type thing with bright lights. Apparently it was a migraine.

I hadn't noticed any vision problems before the migraine. Ever since it though I've been getting real bad eye strain if I read or draw for too long. At one point I even had to take my glasses off to read something on a D&D character sheet.

I am getting my eyes checked this coming Monday, but I will have to wait until April to get glasses. My insurance apparently covers a checkup, but not glasses. And my wife's vision insurance through her new job doesn't kick in until next month.

So this is why Anchored is so badly behind. I still intend to go back and publish every strip I had planned. I'm just not going to promise WHEN.

Thank you for your understanding.

-Ross Griswold
Here is the Anchored for today. Please remember that I am now publishing only three times a week, on Mondays. Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Enjoy!
The Start of a New Year
Recently, Peter and Little One met Santa. The Jolly Old Elf mentioned that Peter would have an interesting year ahead of him. With today's strip you see that somebody else is taking interest in Peter's deeds, and thus both a new year and a new story line for Anchored begins.

Remember, Anchored will now be released three days a week on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule. Check back here Monday the 5th for my next comic strip.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I am way behind schedule again. Stress from my day job carried over into my turkey day vacation, and I just shut down much of this weekend. I needed the rest. I'm not going to feel bad for that.

Anchored will be catching up to it's daily schedule over the first half of next week.
A lot of credit for this strip goes to my wife Christine. The idea was hers, although she wanted Peter, not Big Dead, in the punchline. I just couldn't see Peter sitting down while people put makeup on him. Big Dead however would be an easy mark.

Christine also inked in the background for me again. That plain black backdrop is more time consuming than you'd think. She helped out a lot with that.
November 8, 2014
Artistically, this is probably my most simplistic comic strip ever. It's just a circle. A talking circle on a black background. For those of you that maybe don't know me however, this is actually the deepest, saddest, most painful comic strip thus far.

I started making Anchored last May as a way to deal with emotions that were boiling over at random, just tearing me apart inside.

On my birthday (March 1st) my wife took a pregnancy test. We had succeeded. I was going to be a father. The week that followed was one long, nonstop panic attack, but despite my terror I was happier than I probably ever had been in my life.

A month later, we went in for our first ultrasound. The fates were especially cruel, because this horrible day was April 1st, 2014. It was April Fools Day, and we found out that our baby had failed to grow. It had made it maybe 5 weeks, probably less. The ultrasound tech explained this all to us, and I am still to this day unsure if it was her techno babble or my own stupidity that caused me to not understand what was going on. I just sat there and anxiously waited to see my baby....until it dawned on me that there was no baby. That's what the tech woman was trying to tell us.

Since that day, I have been broken inside. I haven't really been happy since unless D&D, Marvel Comics, or mead were involved. Life is just so hard now. I mean, it's always been hard, only now I find it nearly impossible to care about most things.

About the time this happened, I had been reading a biography on Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts. I really sympathized with that man's life. Many of the commonalities weren't exactly comfortable. Some of that man's greatest weaknesses are similar to my own. His insecurities and fears and depression spoke to my own demons and I was really inspired.

For much of my life I dreamed of being a comic book artist. I even sent a submission to Marvel Comics once just to see what a rejection letter looked like. I wanted to add it to my collection of comic stuff. The down side of that dream is that, try as hard as I can, I'm simply not good enough to make it at that level. I probably could be if I had the resources to dedicate myself to professional training...but I don't have that.

The simpler style of Peanuts however inspired me. I drew two round, Charlie Brown-looking heads and the next thing I know Sugar and Peter were looking back at me. They were somehow real people, based out of my own feelings that were so powerful in my grief. Very quickly, creating Anchored became my way of continuing to survive.

After several weeks of Anchored, I decided that I wanted to do an Orb joke. Orbs are photographic anomalies that fascinate and/or annoy ghosthunters everywhere. I rolled the idea around in my brain, deciding that my Orb would be a shy, insecure creature "because everybody keeps disbelieving his existence." In other words, in Anchored, an orb really is a ghost.

I got to thinking though...Why is it an orb and not a human-looking head and torso like the other ghosts. Why does Orb not have shape or form?

One of my more darker moods gave me a horrendously sad thought. Orbs are ghosts like my own child. They were alive, but they never had gender or form. I was somewhat repulsed by the idea, but it was so very compelling at the same time. I was plagued with questions however. Should I have dead babies in Anchored? Would that be taking it too far? Should I really personify my pain so clearly in this comic strip?

Hindsight makes it obvious, I made Orb a character. I gave it the name "Little One" which was my affectionate nickname for my unborn baby. I didn't hide the "dead baby" aspect of the character, but neither did I harp on it too much. Instead I had the rest of the cast adopt Little One, and he became one of the happier characters in my strip.

I even used the lack of gender as a subtle show of support for gender equality. Yes, I generally call Little One a "he", but that is out of clarity and habit. When Orb realized that he could chose to be a boy or a girl, he chose to identify as a turtle. He essentially said to heck with social norms. I'm gonna be whatever I want to be. That is an attitude that I can respect.

Fast forward to a couple weeks back. I was working on the last couple Halloween strips, when my wife mentioned that November 8th would have been her due date. She's since revised this thought and is thinking that it would have been November 6. Whether or not it is the 6th or the 8th doesn't really matter though. What matters is that it was a horrible, sad day that needed to be survived. And Anchored continues to be my coping mechanism.

It ended up being a coping mechanism for my wife as well. Due to by running several days behind schedule, she inked in the black background for me on this strip. In her words, "I was giving Little One a hug...with ink."

So, enjoy your talking circle on a black background. I realize that it isn't visually very much, but intellectually and emotionally this is about as deep as I get.
Poetry
To be clear, I wrote this poem months ago. It's been sitting, unloved, in my journal this whole time.

Every so often I feel the need to try my hand at poetry. Unfortunately I have NEVER had the gift of that type of writing. I so admire poetry, or even the somewhat poetic works of Dr. Suess....but I've never been able to emulate them. I try for the kinds of deep emotions that I express so effortlessly here in Anchored, and I end up coming across more as a mopey, illiterate teenager.

I thought it might be funny however to take my poetic slop and say that Bookworm wrote it. That way it can still be funny, even though in truth it is just unintentionally bad. :)