Home > Lankville Action News: YES! > Death Claims Cartoonist Werley; Author of “The Astonishing Sphere”

Death Claims Cartoonist Werley; Author of “The Astonishing Sphere”

By Elliott Cumber-Lanny

By Elliott Cumber-Lanny


Famed cartoonist Wayne Werley, creator of the long-running syndicated series “The Astonishing Sphere”, has died. Werley was 74.

The Lankville Savannah resident passed away outside on a patio after a long illness.

Werley was a political cartoonist with The Lankville Daily News from 1969-1974 before he began drawing the wildly successful “The Astonishing Sphere”.


A panel from Werley’s “The Astonishing Sphere”.

In a 2005 interview, the artist claimed his comic was inspired by a real-life incident.

“I was standing in line at a Pappy’s Chicken and this guy came in rolling this giant inflatable beach ball. He told everyone that it was “astonishing” and that it had special powers. Obviously, he was crazier than a pig in a peach orchard and I think they later put him in a cage but I thought to myself– what if there was a guy that ordered fast food and had an actual astonishing sphere? And that was how it all began.”

The comic, which ran until Werley retired in 2010, was made into four films, two television shows and a series of action figures.

The unnamed protagonist, who entered a fast food establishment with his sphere in over 2,000 4-panel comics, became a hero to many Lankvillians.


Wayne Werley: 1941-2015

“You were always holding your breath, wondering if he would reveal why the sphere was astonishing,” noted terrorist attack novelist and comic enthusiast Dean T. Pibbs. “When Werley was in his last year, you really were on edge– thinking this would be the day that the magic of the sphere would be disclosed. It never was– in the last comic the protagonist just ordered a soda again. That may be the genius of the comic.”

Werley is survived by his wife Gretchen of 48 years (rated about a 6 of 10 based on older photographs) and his three children.

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