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Preview of Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee
The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee Â© John Hambrock. Used by permission of King Features. All Rights Reserved.
I received the sales kit for John Hambrock’s The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee Thursday and with permission from King Features, I wanted to show you a bit about the new feature and share my initial first impressions.
Those that complain that features launched in the last few years have been amateurishly drawn (Unfit and Pearls Before Swine being the poster children of this feared trend) need not worry about John’s new feature. As you can see from the last panel of a Sunday strip, Edison Lee is drawn very well. Back when I posted the story regarding this feature’s launch there was some discussion in the comments about whether John’s feature was a Calvin and Hobbes knock off (young child talking an animal, pontificating on social issues, etc.). After reading the first month’s worth of material, I’m not too worried about the Calvin and Hobbes similarities. This feature will be able to stand on its own and the social commentary in Edison Lee will make Calvin look like a Neo-con.
Regarding its social/political commentary, it is unmistakably left of center and frequent. The promotional material describe this as “a pinch of science, a drop of politics, and a grain of absurdity,” but make no mistake – this is a political feature. Those strips (like the one above) may use science, but mostly as a vehicle to make a political comment. The one thought I had on it’s political premise is where editors are going to place the strip? By having the main character an adorable 10-year old kid – it hardly seems like this feature would be appropriate next to Mallard Fillmore or State of the Union on the opinion page, but this strip may be too partisan to sit next to Garfield. It will be interesting to see how editors approach this. None of the papers I read here in Salt Lake City run Scott Stantis’ Prickly City, a similar, though conservative feature, so I’m not sure where Prickly City ends up. I think this feature may become the antithesis to Mallard Fillmore – the left’s daily reinforcement that those on the Right are spawns of Satan – just as those who read Mallard think that those on the left are.
All in all, I think this feature has some staying power.