Starting work on another seven strips for the week led me to wonder just how many I’ve created in the 8 1/2 years I’ve been creating “The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee”. The answer: Approx. 3000, give or take a handful. Below is the very first Edison Sunday strip that launched in newspapers on November 12, 2006.
And here is the Sunday that ran last week.
And in between are 3000+ little daily vignettes of the fictional family living inside my head.
If I were to take every Edison Lee daily and Sunday strip I’ve created and stack them end to end, they would reach as tall as three Sears Towers (as a former Chicagoan, I can NOT bring myself to call it by its new name, the Willis Tower).
I have nearly seventeen 1-1/2″ three-ring binders full of copies of every strip. Two binders is a full year.
It’s gonna take 882,308,003 comic strips stacked end to end to reach to the moon. I better get to work.
I have a love/hate relationship with our banks. I say banks, because over the years, Anne and I have managed to open a number of different accounts with various banks, for a number of reasons. Several years ago we decided to open up a new checking account for our youngest son, who was about to head off to college. Naturally, we chose to do it through a bank we’d been doing business with for over 20 years. It was a shared account, which means Anne could deposit money as needed for school expenses, etc. One day, she and I went into the local branch of this bank to make a deposit (I won’t say the name of this bank, but I will tell you its logo has three initials in it), only to discover that our son, thinking Anne had already put in the money, had written some checks, which he assumed were good. They weren’t. The first check he wrote would’ve cleared with the amount he had in the account. But what the bank did was bounce the large check he wrote later first, and then proceed to bounce the smaller checks. When we asked the teller for a breakdown of the account, we discovered that there were $140.00 in bounced check fees (fees totaling more than the amount of the checks in question!). Our son should’ve gotten confirmation from us that the money had indeed been deposited, so this was partially our fault. How the bank handled the whole situation was unacceptable. It’s widely known that banks will (or at least used to), in the event of insufficient funds, often clear the largest check first, so that all of the other smaller checks bounce as well. When we explained the situation to the teller, and told her we were long-time customers, she was not able to offer any sort of break on these fees. This was an unfortunate mistake on our part, and the bank took advantage of it. Shortly after, we closed all of our accounts with this bank.
I wrote this strip after it was all over. And this bank lost some very good customers over $140.00.
Like many, many radio-listening fans of “Car Talk”, I was saddened to hear of the loss of Tom Magliozzi. http://www.npr.org/2014/11/03/357428287/tom-magliozzi-popular-co-host-of-nprs-car-talk-dies-at-77
I can’t count the number of programs I’ve listened to over the years. Tom and Ray were like friends, stopping by on Saturday mornings to dispense car advice and truck loads of laughter.
I was scheduled to be in Boston over Memorial Day weekend in 2010, and with the help of Doug Berman, tried to coordinate a day when I could present Tom and Ray with the Sunday strip below. Unfortunately, they were leaving town for vacation the day before I was to arrive.
So long, Tom. We’ll miss you, and that infectious laugh of yours.
Yes, it’s true. Edison will be traveling to Mars on November 28th, and he’ll be in good company. Stephan Pastis, Goat and Rat will be riding along as well. Cartoonist Scott Stantis also has a boarding pass, and at this point, I’m not sure which of his Prickly City characters he’ll be sending.
Here’s the scoop. Scott, Stephan and I were contacted by Alan Stern, Principal Investigator for the New Horizons Mission to Pluto, and founder of the education & research group UWINGU, and asked if we’d help get the word out about the “Beam Me To Mars” program, which was set up to beam messages and/or images to Mars from folks here on earth. We all three agreed to participate, and in doing so will be waving goodbye to our characters as they head off at the speed of light to our rusty neighbor on November 28th.
If you’d like to join us and write your own message to send, simply go to http://www.uwingu.com/ and click on the “Beam Me To Mars” button. George Takei, Seth Green, Homer Hickam and a host of other celebrities will be sending messages as well, so here’s your chance to be a part of something really amazingly cool.
The doors to this digital space ship will be closing on NOVEMBER 5TH, so put your creative thinking caps on and join us!
A Prickly City strip that ran in July of this year talking about the New Horizons Mission.
Edison has accepted Dustin’s Ice Bucket Challenge. I nominate my cartoon buddies Sarge from Beetle Bailey (Mort and Greg Walker) http://beetlebailey.com/ and Rob or Jill Kaplan from Pajama Diaries (Terri Libenson) http://pajamadiaries.com/
PLEASE, donate today! ALS CHALLENGE
This short video segment was created entirely by my daughter Katherine. I think she has a bright future in animation.
Back in January, King Features’ amazing Countess Tea posted a blog featuring the studios of some of the King cartoonists. comicskingdom.com/blog/2014/01/15/ask-a-cartoonist-caution-creators-at-work Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get my act together in time to submit photos of mine. Well, it’s been six months, and I’ve finally managed to round up a few shots.
We moved into my current studio 3 years ago. Our office at that time was nice, but it was more space than we needed (some of you may have seen images of it on my Cartoonist Studio page), so, we moved to this cozy Harborside space. It sits above the harbor overlooking Lake Michigan, and is close to some of the best restaurants in the area. Best of all, it’s quiet. Guests are always welcome, so if you’re a local, or just passing through, give us a call and be sure to stop by.
My cartoonist “wall of fame”
More cartoon art
and more cartoon art
My very uncomfortable juror’s chair from the Lake County, Illinois courthouse
Misc. Edison props
An Edison “Price is Right” strip, signed by host Drew Carey and announcer George Gray, and a “NOVA Science Now” strip signed by David Pogue. I sometimes put celebrities in my comics, and I’m flattered when they write to tell me they like the strip.
Last year I had the privilege of doing a Hogan’s Alley Q&A with Tom Heintjes. Read on. You may learn some new stuff about Edison. I know I did. While you’re at it, check out http://cartoonician.com and subscribe to the print edition of this great magazine!
I was considering turning this idea into an daily strip, but my wife vetoed it. I’m glad one of us has some common sense in this house. A light tap to the shoulder is really a better way to wake someone.
I created this fold-in in 2008. I recommend printing it out before you try to fold it. Attempting to fold your computer screen may damage it.
What do you do when you wake up at 5:00 a.m. with a great idea, but you don’t want to wake your lovely wife by getting up to grab the laptop? You grab the Netfilx envelope that happens to be within reach and write down your ideas. Fortunately a nub of a pencil happened to be in the vicinity as well.
I’ve written enough strip ideas on bank deposit slips, grocery receipts and gum wrappers to fill a drawer.