John Hambrock


The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee offers a contemporary view of family life from the perspective of a precocious young boy, his lab rat assistant Joules, his middle-class parents, an innocent cousin, his absent-minded grandfather, and an equally intelligent and provocative classmate.

The comic strip centers around an inquisitive 10-year-old boy genius who is obsessed with science and curious about our world. Edison has well-informed opinions on many of the big issues facing our world today, and he doesn’t hesitant to express those opinions to anyone within earshot. He often illustrates his thoughts with elaborate inventions that he creates with Joules’ assistance.

In an age when we are bombarded with information and a 24-hour news cycle, The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee offers a refreshing and disarming view of our world from the perspective of a child who is both a brilliant genius and an eternal optimist.

Awards and Distinctions:

Nominated "Best Comic Strip" of 2009 by the National Cartoonist Society.

The first book collection of The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee comic strips was published in 2010.

Guest of honor and speaker at the 2010 Toonfest in Walt Disney's hometown, Marceline, Mo.


Carol Lee

Carol Lee is Edison’s mother. She’s a part-time substitute teacher and aspiring author, as well as the juggler of the family finances. While she excels at bargain hunting, she is a frequently frustrated consumer. A patient parent, Carol knows where to draw the line when it comes to Edison’s crazy schemes.

Don Lee

Don Lee is Edison’s father. A blue-collar worker with a union job, he is happy to be employed but frustrated with his lack of upward mobility. Don makes it a point to spend time with Edison whenever he can, either in the basement workshop, in the living room in front of the TV or out hiking in the woods. While Don is extremely proud of his son’s gifted talents, he is often perplexed by Edison’s homemade inventions and brilliant observations.

Edison Lee

Edison Lee is a 10-year-old boy genius obsessed with science and curious about our world. Politically astute and able to spot propaganda from a mile away, he is torn between his left-of-center social sensibilities and his deep-seated greed and desire to get ahead. Fueled by brilliance, ambition, and a child’s eternal optimism, Edison looks at the world around him and invents devices designed to make it a better place. His inquisitive nature and entrepreneurial spirit are reflected in his many inventions and often pointed observations about society’s pressing issues.


Harley is Edison’s younger cousin. While less intellectually curious than Edison, he is, in some ways, more street-smart and able to see the flaws in Edison’s schemes, to Edison’s great frustration. Raised in a single-parent household, Harley enjoys spending time with Edison but has learned from past experiences to be cautious when agreeing to participate in his cousin’s outlandish experiments.


Joules is Edison’s lab rat assistant. He is Edison’s only companion in the laboratory and frequently plays the role of fall guy for Edison’s grand schemes. His only knowledge of the outside world is filtered through Edison’s opinionated perspective.

Orville Lee

Orville Lee is Edison’s paternal grandfather. He is a “slightly” overweight senior whose interests include sleeping and watching "Gunsmoke" and game shows, as well as eating bacon and Twinkies and spending time at the all-you-can-eat buffet. He has health issues typical of an older, less active person and is continually unhappy with the cost of his medications. While he uses a computer to access the Internet, he is hardly tech-savvy..


John Hambrock

John Hambrock was born and raised in Ft. Wayne, Ind. As a boy, he displayed a unique talent for art, receiving numerous awards for his artistic achievements. John continued his education at Indiana University, and later, Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., graduating with a degree in graphic design. He won his first major marketing award while still in college, taking first place in the Philip Morris National Marketing Competition for college students.

In 1985, within months of completing college, John was recruited by James Courtenay James Inc., a small design agency in Chattanooga, Tenn. Loving the South but longing for the big city, he moved to Chicago in 1986 and landed a position with the Hirsch Design Group, a well-established Loop advertising and design agency. That same year, John married Anne, a woman he had known since high school. Years later, Anne would become a driving force in helping him achieve success in his newly emerging cartooning career. After almost 10 years as an art director with Hirsch, John decided the time was right to start his own agency, In-House Communications. Specializing in industrial advertising, packaging and print design, his client list includes major industrial and retail manufacturers, as well as one of the country’s leading law firms.

In 1999, John began developing the idea of a boy-genius character named Edison. He spent five years honing his drawing and writing skills, occasionally submitting samples to King Features Syndicate for development consideration. King Features saw potential in the precocious 10-year-old and in November 2006 launched The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee in newspapers. Three short years later, the feature was nominated “Best Newspaper Comic Strip” by the National Cartoonists Society in 2009. In 2010, The Edison Files, the first collection of The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee comic strips, was published.

When not cartooning, John loves sailing Lake Michigan and spending time with his wife, daughter and two sons.



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