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Old School is in Session

posted on October 21, 2008

So last summer I sold my comic book collection. I guess I was finally ready to do it. Except that the morning before they were due to be shipped, my wife found me going through the twenty plus long boxes pulling out certain issues. “This is very difficult for you, isn’t it?” she said. An understatement for the ages.

The books I was saving were key issues. Not first issues or important issues… but first issues and important ones to me. Books that carried for me something far and above the stories contained within. The first issue of Mystery in Space that I ever bought. The comic I bought as a freshman at college, and which had beckoned to me from the newsstand like an old friend. All were issues to which I had some kind of key emotional attachment. I was saving them (note the terminology) because I wanted to use them in Funky as an homage to the writers and artists who made my world spin around as a kid, and as a look at the books that helped to shape my thinking about comics.

Issue 115 if The Flash was the first one I ever purchased and it introduced me to the thoughtful editing of Julie Schwartz, the character driven writing of John Broom, and the extraordinarily beautiful artwork of Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. This coming Sunday, October 26th, I pay my tribute and debt to the cover of that particular book as Funky “pre-pears” for his class reunion. I did a similar Sunday earlier this year as a tribute to the Tales of Suspense book that had befriended me while at college. I hope to do others from time to time, because every time I do, it makes the twelve-year-old in me extremely happy.

Susan Smith Westbrook

posted on September 4, 2008

A number of readers with sharp eyes and long memories have been asking about Susan Westbrook the new English teacher at Westview High. Susan is indeed the the former student who had a crush on Les when she was a student, as well as the teenager who attempted suicide when she was in high school and who was rescued by Les.

Susan has done well, well… sort of well, in the interim, and is now rejoining the cast as an ongoing staff member at the high school. Her backstory can be found in the book Funky Winkerbean: Could be a Book Deal Here, which can be found here and there on the net, but not necessarily in bookstores, go figure. The book also serves as a prequel of sorts to Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe which is still quite available.

As to where things are going to go from here, well… let’s just say that I’m not at liberty to discuss it. Endings have to be earned.

Siegel Addendum

posted on August 21, 2008

Just a quick postscript to my blog about going to Jerry Siegel’s old house. For those of you for whom that just wasn’t enough, check out the NPR interview under Bio/Interviews for insights into my warped childhood.

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