Article published June 29, 2010
Ex-Blade cartoonist [and former AAEC member] had distinctive style Edward Ashley drew editorial cartoons for The Blade.
By MARK ZABORNEY BLADE STAFF WRITER
MILAN, Ohio - Edward J. Ashley, editorial cartoonist of The Blade in the 1970s and early '80s whose distinctive style combined humor, commentary, and humanity, died Saturday in his home. He was 88. The family did not report the cause of death.
Mr. Ashley's cartoons often were about topics of the day: gasoline prices, Soviet-U.S. relations, and politics local and national. One cartoon shows a capsule from a NASA Apollo mission awaiting retrieval in the ocean, buffeted by waves labeled, "unemployment," "fear," "crime," "hate," "poverty," and "war." An astronaut peers forlornly at what's outside his window and says, "We're home."
His cartoons also could be self-referential. A cartoon after President Nixon's resignation shows the artist at work, a caricature of Mr. Nixon on the drawing board, a dart-festooned poster of Mr. Nixon on the wall, and Mr. Nixon walking away from the artist into a room labeled "political oblivion." The caption: "Come to think of it, there goes one of the best friends a cartoonist ever had." A gag for several Christmases running was the artist's struggle to find original ways to say "Merry Christmas."
Another cartoon shows a man and woman at the breakfast table. The man, holding an open newspaper, says, "It's Easter all right. The editorial cartoonist just laid another egg."
"He was a great guy and one of the best cartoonists," said Kirk Walters, who succeeded Mr. Ashley in 1985 and remains in that position. "He was one of those cartoonists whose work stood out because it was so original."
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