On November 12, 2006, “The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee” made its official newspaper debut. At the time, I wasn’t sure how I would manage the daily grind of producing a comic strip. One comic a day, for better or worse, in sickness and health — it was like getting married, only scarier. But something interesting happened in that first year that I did not expect. The characters began taking on a life of their own. I found that all I needed to do was summon one or more of them to the front of my mind, and they would explain to me what was going on in their world. Sounds crazy, but this is how it continues to work for me.
Edison began as a germ of an idea in the late ’90’s. At first, I wasn’t sure how to handle him. He was a very smart, precocious kid who liked science and engineering, and that was pretty much all I had. Then the 2000 presidential election happened. The circus of events in the months that followed, and the eventual Supreme Court decision in favor of Bush shifted my focus toward creating a more politicized comic strip. Not wanting to abandon Edison’s roots, I started merging scientific and political themes and watched as interesting things emerged. The writing was as close to my inner voice as it had ever been. Fortunately, Brendan Burford at King Features saw Edison’s potential. The strip was still very much in its raw form, but he understood my vision and felt that it had something to offer. Eighteen months later, The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee was launched into newspapers — sold as a science strip with a political edge.
And so here we are. Another contentious election has come and gone, and we are about to embark on an interesting journey under new and controversial administration. You can count on Edison offering up his usual, pointed commentary during the next four years, and hopefully beyond. He still has much to say. After all, he’s only ten.
I want to thank the fantastic sales, editorial, and production team at King Features Syndicate for their hard work on my behalf, my loyal readers, the newspaper editors who have given Edison a space on their comics pages, and especially my wife Anne for her support and the talent she’s put into coloring over 3000 comics.