Entertainment

Archie comic artist Joe Edwards dead at 85

Archie illustrator Joe Edwards, who worked on the 1942 debut issue of the popular comic, has died at age 85.

Archie illustrator Joe Edwards, who worked on the 1942 debut issue of the popular comic, has died at age 85.

Edwards died Feb. 8 at his New York home after years of treatment for heart problems, said his son, Todd Edwards.

Edwards had a 65-year career as an artist and created the character Li'l Jinx, based on his experiences with his own sons and daughters.

Todd Edwards recalled his father always carried a sketch pad, even when his health was failing.

He used to draw sketches for the doctors and nurses, his son said."He loved it when he could make people smile."

Born in Manhattan, Edwards served in the army in the Second World War, illustrating training manuals. His assignments includeddrawing animated cartoons warning of minefields in the Naples area of Italy.

Edwards studied art at Rome Academy and Hastings Animation School, and landed a job drawing for comic producer Demby Studios. He later moved to MLJ Comics, the precursor to Archie Comics.

Archie, pals steal the spotlight

MLJ Comics produced superhero series such as The Comet and The Shield, but it was red-headed Archie Andrews and his friends Betty, Veronica and Jugheadwho stayed popular.

Edwards' animation training made him perfect for "funny animal" features including Squoimy the Woim, Cubby the Bear and Bumbie the Bee-tective, and he later worked on Captain Sprocket and Super Duck.

Edwards created Li'l Jinx, a precocious girl, born on Halloween Day, who had her own comic book for a time and still appears as a character, said Victor Gorelick, vice-president and managing editor of Archie Comics.

"He was a very funny cartoonist, and a good ideas man," Gorelick said.

Edwards is survived by his wife, Eda Selnick, sons Todd and Ken, a daughter, Naomi, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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