In 1953, a massive tornado roared through the heart of the town I grew up in. Waco, Texas, would never be the same.
Other winds were blowing, too, ones that would bring equally wrenching changes to the community and to the nation.. A long history of racial and religious intolerance was being challenged. Women working for the first time outside the home were not willing to go back to being mere housewives when World War II ended. Our post-war euphoria had given way to Cold War unease. The decades of the 50s and 60s would transform Waco and America, for good and for ill.
Sleeper Ave. is the story of coming of age in those times.
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In January of 1978, I gave up on my lifelong dream of becoming a caped superhero. Realizing that I couldn’t fly, but that I could draw, I joined the staff of the Rocky Mountain News as its editorial cartoonist.
This proved to be a good career move because, although I still can’t fly, my cartoons, which were syndicated to daily newspapers by United Media and later by Universal UClick, appeared in all the really important publications, like The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, USA Today, US News and World Report and People magazine.
During my career as an editorial cartoonist, I managed to bag a number of awards for my work, including the 2006 John Fischetti Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award, the Dragonslayer Award and numerous Colorado Society of Professional Journalists and Colorado Press Association Awards. My work also has been honored by the Headliner Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award and the Best of the West Award. Most recently, I received the 2009 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, for cartoons about torture and the economy.
In 1997 I began drawing Denver Square, a daily comic strip about a fictional family living in Denver. I ended the strip in 2008 to spend more time with my real family. When the Rocky Mountain News ceased publishing in 2009, I reimagined the comic strip as Freshly Squeezed, which appeared in 65 newspapers until I decided to end it in October, 2014.
Two collections of my work have been published: Stein’s Way, a collection of his editorial cartoons, and Denver Square; We Need a Bigger House, a compendium of Denver Square comic strips.
I’m a former president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. I live in Denver, Colorado, with my wife, Lisa Hartman and Max the perfect dog. My children, Gabriel and Natasha, are off doing whatever grown children do, and I don’t really want to know all the details.
When I’m not working on Sleeper Ave., I spend my spare time practicing my takeoffs and landings.
If you’re interested in my work beyond Sleeper Ave., you can visit my website, EdSteinInk.com, follow me on Twitter @edsteinink, or like my Facebook Page.