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Edison Lee Celebrates 11 years!

The first daily strip, Monday, November 13, 2006.

On November 12, 2006, I started down an uncertain path as a syndicated cartoonist. I had no idea what to expect, how long the path would be, or where it would take me. Eleven years later I’m happy to report that it has been a tremendously satisfying journey, second only to my marriage and raising my kids. Looking forward, I have no Idea where I’m headed, but I’m not worried because I’ve always let the characters chart the course and drive the momentum, and so far they haven’t let me down. The moment the strip becomes predictable is the day I call it quits.


In 2015, the National Cartoonists Society created a Star Wars themed poster that was sold at their booth at the San Diego Comic Con. Many cartoonists from the NCS created their own take of George Lucas’ famous characters, often including their own characters that they are known for. The NCS is happy to be offering the original EDISON LEE art used for this poster, along with other original comic art from some of its members.



The first comic, Sunday, November 12, 2006.

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.

A behind-the-scenes peek at today’s strip

Today’s strip was actually conceived 8 weeks ago. The problem with working so far out on deadline is a lot can happen in 8 weeks. If you’re doing political jokes, this can be risky. Years ago I wrote a strip about a presidential candidate I thought for sure would be in the race by the time the strip ran. A week before it was to be published, that candidate dropped out. It was too late for me to pull it from newspapers, so it had to run. Today’s strip was a safe bet.


trump-zucchiniWhen I wrote this strip back in August I had no idea we’d be looking at a Trump nomination. Like almost everyone else, I figured he’d be gone by the end of the year. Boy did I get THAT one wrong!

I love including political humor in the strip, but unlike editorial cartoonists, I have to work weeks ahead. When I’m writing about a specific topic, I have to hope that what I’m saying will have any relevancy by the time it’s published.

Wait Wait…

WAIT-WAIT...Anyone who listens to NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” will often hear the show’s host Peter Sagal mention an animal study of one sort or another. The comments that follow from the panelists are often hilarious.

Soon after I created the above strip (the idea was Anne’s), she suggested I present it to Peter. The show was going to be in Milwaukee a few weeks later, so we arranged to attend the taping of the program and to meet him afterward to give him the original. The show was fantastic, and we had a blast meeting the panelists. It now hangs in the “Wait Wait” offices in Chicago.

Star Wars Meets Star Trek – And Beyond…

One of the perks of writing a comic strip is that you can let your mind wander into all sorts of wild places. You sit down one day and ask yourself, “What would happen if….”

In my case the recent question was what would happen if Edison’s Star Wars Holospheric adventure were infused with some outside DNA. I started with just the idea of adding some Star Trek but it quickly spun into some unanticipated territory.

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