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Where’s Wally?

posted on November 9, 2007

The November 9th strip showing Becky married to John the comics shop owner seems to have raised a lot of concern among Funky’s readers. A lot of you are jumping (actually, running screaming and leaping) to the conclusion that Becky’s first husband, Wally, died in Iraq. In fact many visitors to the Funky web site have been jumping to that conclusion for a couple of weeks now when Wally didn’t show up in the cast picture that fronts the site. (A quick aside here to note that they were also concerned that Wally Jr. was missing as well. Wally Jr.’s omission can be explained with a term of art known as a big dumb mistake. I simply forgot to include him in the cast picture.) The explanation for Wally Sr.’s not being there is due to something else… it’s called writing.

As things move forward, I plan to reveal many of the backstories regarding what happened to the various characters in the strip during the ten years that were just jumped. All of this material will be presented, in good time, as the stories unfold. If a mystery writer revealed who did it on the first page, there wouldn’t be much reason to finish the rest of the book, now would there? Specifically regarding Becky and Wally, I’m not saying he died, that they were divorced or that he’s missing out there somewhere. For the moment, I’m not saying anything at all… almost. I wasn’t going to bring this up, and was going to leave it for those who really scrutinize every line of the strip to find on their own as a reward for their faithful and eternal vigilance, but your excitement is forcing me to be a bit of a spoiler here. There was a clue. A tiny clue, but a clue none the less. In the October 11 strip as a matter of fact. So, if you simply really have to know something, anything, right now, check it out online or at the library. Please don’t ask me to post it on the web site… I mean, you’ve got to do a little work here. Otherwise, you can simply kick back, relax, and let the saga unfold tomorrow, and tomorrow and the tomorrow after that. It’s called writing.

Back to the Future

posted on October 20, 2007

Okay, gang, buckle your seat belts and return your seat backs and tray tables to their full and upright positions, because we’re about to take off and head back to the future. At the completion of Lisa’s Story, the entire Funky cast will time- frog ten years ahead and that’s where we’re going to stay. For the first time, there are going to be parents in the strip because my core characters are going to be the parents of the freshman class entering the brand spanking new Westview High School. If you’ve been following the strip, you’ve seen the last toddler put into place with Bull and Linda’s adoption of young Jinx.

Why jump the strip ahead ten years? Well for one thing, I wanted to avoid an extended period of mourning with Les and Summer, and at the same time I didn’t want to gloss over it and treat it with a lack of respect. I also wanted to bring some light into the work and show that while Les and Summer have moved on with their lives, they haven’t forgotten Lisa. I also wanted to bring the characters ages more in line with the ages of my long time readers so that the lives they’re now leading will once again be reflected in the strip.

Before we take off, I have just a little tidying up to do. First, a lot of readers have been asking about the bust of the author in Central Park where Les scattered Lisa’s ashes. It’s by an area of the park called the Pond, and the bust is of Sir Thomas Moore. Also it was a poem written by Moore under a nom de plume that Les read at Lisa’s funeral. Regarding Wally in Iraq, following the time-frog all I can say is that what you think happened may not be what you think happened. Just relax, enjoy the view and let the story unfold in its’ own good time. After all, it only took me twenty years to get Darin and Lisa together.

After the time-frog takes place, the front page of this site will show the new look of the cast. There’s been a little hair loss and weight gain, but you should be able to tell who’s who. In case you can’t, however, just roll your curser over the character, click your mouse, and you’ll get a brief bio of that character. For a more detailed look at the characters, got to Meet the Cast where you’ll find the original style sheets that were used to create the new looks.

For long time readers, you’ll be coming home. For new readers, it’s the perfect jumping on place. So welcome on board and enjoy the ride.

Stay well.

Lisa has her legacy

posted on October 4, 2007

When I finished Lisa’s Story last summer, my hopes for the work were rather modest. Maybe it would serve as a cautionary tale about the importance of early detection, or perhaps as a cathartic or inspirational tale. If I really let my imagination run, I’d think that some small community somewhere might actually inaugurate a Lisa’s Legacy Walk to help raise money for cancer research. That would’ve been cool.

Nowhere on the radar screen was a national fund to raise money to help find a cure and increase knowledge in the fight against cancer. So when University Hospitals of Cleveland and home of the Ireland Cancer Center came forward with the idea of incorporating Lisa in a fund to raise money for cancer research and education.. well, let’s just say that I haven’t stopped smiling for days. To know that even once she was gone from the comics pages that Lisa would continue to live on in the real world fight against cancer was more than this story teller could imagine. From this point forward, Lisa will be telling the story, and I’ll be looking forward to following it with interest.

So I’d like to take a moment to thank University Hospitals for creating the Lisa’s Legacy Fund for Cancer Research and education, and also King Features for joining me in contributing the royalties from Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe to the fund so that her story can continue to help others.

And while I’m thanking people, this week has brought another outpouring of response from you readers that has outstripped my ability to keep up. Rest assured that I am reading them all, and I appreciate the kindness and courage of everyone who has taken the time to share their story and to let me know what Lisa’s story has meant to them. For those of you missing Lisa today and wanting to do something, in lieu of flowers…

Stay well.

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