When Ed Wilson joined Myrtle Beach, South Carolina's Waccamaw Papers as its editorial cartoonist in January, 2014, it was literally the achievement of a lifetime's ambition.
Ed comes from a family of artists. While he attributes his sense of humor to his late father, Ed's brother and sister are both artists. His mother, Jeanne, is still going strong in her 90's as a watercolorist in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.
It was a long road to editorial cartooning for Ed when he graduated from Jewett High School in Jewett. Ohio. A 1981 article about Ed in the Richmond' News Dispatch described him as a "Renaissance man" for his experiences in banking, the medical field and state and national politics.
But what showed Ed's real long-term interest was his attendance at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
The interest in becoming a full-time editorial cartooning endured, as did a lifelong interest in people and politics.
In 1981, Ed visited the Richmond TImes-Leader's editorial cartoonist, Jeff MacNelly. MacNelly inspired him. Other encouragement came from Milt Priggee of the Dayton Journal, Jim Borgman of the Cincinnatti Enquirer and Mike Peters of the Dayton Daily News.
In 1988, Ed began drawing at least one editorial cartoon a day. Twenty-seven years later, he is still doing that.
Ed describes his philosophy of cartooning as follows:
"I tend to lampoon mayors, councilmen, governors, Congressmen and Senators on local, state and national issues. Whether you agree with my viewpoint or not, I hope my cartoons will make you think about the issue at hand.
"We need to respect all viewpoints, whether you like them or not. If we don't, our freedoms as Americans will have been taken away.
"Making people laugh is the best way to get that across."
Ed's publisher, Steve Robertson, echoes these points:
"[W]e feel blessed to have a cartoonist of Wilson's caliber to help inspire the communities we serve about important issues."
Since joining Waccamaw Papers in 2014, Ed has won the South Carolina Press Association's award for editorial cartooning (which he shared with Robert Ariall).