Edwards Joe LiljinxMark Evanier reaport on the death of Archie artist Joe Edwards:

Another of the great artists of Archie Comics, Joe Edwards, has left us. Details are a bit sketchy but Mr. Edwards had been in poor health for some time. He died this morning at the age of 85.

Edwards was an amazingly prolific artist. After education at Rome Academy and something called the Hastings Animation School, he began drawing comic books in the late thirties, about the time the medium was first established. He worked at first for the Demby Studios shop, then did funny animals for Dell and Timely. He began working for MLJ (which was later known as Archie Comics) in 1942, initially doing several funny animal strips, including Squoimy the Woim, Cubby the Bear and Bumbie the Bee-tective. All three of these appeared as short features in the first issue of Archie Comics.

UPDATE: Archie has sent out an announcement:

Veteran comic book artist Joe Edwards died on Thursday, February 8. In a career spanning over 65 years, Edwards wrote and drew comic book stories for various companies, most prominently Archie Comics. After studying art at Rome Academy and Hastings Animation School, Edwards landed a job drawing for Demby Studios, one of several outfits generating comic book stories for various publishers in the fledging days of the industry. After drawing comics for Dell and Timely, he joined Archie, which was then known as MLJ Comics. Edwards’ animation training made him perfect for “funny animal” features including Squoimy the Woim, Cubby the Bear and Bumbie the Bee-tective, all of which have the distinction of gracing the pages of a milestone comic from MLJ: Archie Comics #1 from 1942. When the Archie comic series took off, Edwards drew many stories featuring the flagship characters as well. Over the years, he continued to contribute to the company with stories and art on features including Super Duck, Captain Sprocket and the series he is most associated with, Li’l Jinx. The mischievous little girl was so named because, like Edwards’ son, she was born on Halloween. The feature appeared for years not only as its own series but also as a backup in such titles as Little Archie and the Archie Giant Series. Joe Edwards was 85 years old. Funeral arrangements have been made for Sunday, February 11. We art Archie Comics send our deepest condolences to his family.