John Hambrock at the Kenosha Public Museum

John Hambrock

John  Hambrock is the creator of the comic strip The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee.  It first appeared in newspapers on November 12, 2006, and is syndicated worldwide by King Features Syndicate.  He was at the Kenosha Public Museum this afternoon in the Artist’s Studio talking about and displaying his work.

His cartoon works and the works of other cartoonists are on display at the museum through September 29th.  The name of the exhibit is, “More Than Funny:  Cartoons and Comics From the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning.”  Cartoons and comics displayed are from such artists as Hambrock, Dave Coverly, Greg Cravens, Norm Feuti, Stephan Pastis, Hilary Price, and Michael Jantze.  Some of the cartoons even explain to the reader the exact steps the artist takes in developing his/her work.  On the 29th, a  fundraiser auction will be held at the Rhode Theatre, in conjuction with the Festival of Cartooning, auctioning off some of the artwork currently on display.

Here are a few pictures of some of the cartoons which are currently on display in the South Gallery of the museum (on the second level):

Dave Coverly

Bil Keane and Jeff Keane

Hambrock was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The youngest of three boys from a working class household, he would call Ft. Wayne his home until leaving for college at the age of 18. Hambrock did not have a career as a cartoonist in mind; initially, during his early years, it was marine biology. While he was interested in science, it was the arts in which he finally majored.

Hambrock was voted the most artistic male in his senior class in high school. He then attended Indiana University. He has a degree in Graphic Design, from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

While in college, he and a team of four other student team members won first place in the Philip Morris National Marketing Competition for college students. His creative team was honored at the headquarters of Philip Morris in New York City.  He also received numerous industry awards during his years as a graphic designer, both in Chicago and in Wisconsin.

In 1985, soon after finishing college, he was recruited by James Courtenay James, Inc., a small design agency in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1986, he moved to Chicago and went to work for The Hirsch Design Group, a mid-sized loop design firm.

Hambrock left Hirsch after 10 years to start his agency, In-House Communications. His company specializes in industrial advertising, packaging and print design, with a client list that includes major industrial and retail manufacturers, as well as one of the country’s leading law firms.

In 1986, Hambrock married Anne, whom he has known since high school. Anne became the driving force in helping him achieve success in his cartooning career. They have two sons and a daughter.

While at The Hirsch Design Group, Hambrock had the opportunity to work on the Keebler cookie and cracker account. It was here that he was introduced to the Keebler Elves.   Drawing Ernie the Elf opened his eyes to the passion of cartooning.  It was this passion, combined with a love of science, an interest in politics, and a flair for writing, that eventually led to the creation of The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee. Launched by King Features Syndicate on November 12, 2006, the comic strip is celebrating continued success in newspapers worldwide.

Click here to check out Hambrock’s website and to see some of his comic strips:  The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee.

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