Funky Winkerbean logo

Lisa’s Legacy Continues

posted on June 21, 2009

A few weeks back, I got to take part in an event that will remain for a long time as a very special moment in my career. University Hospitals in Cleveland held a topping out ceremony for their new Cancer Hospital, and, as a part of that event, I got to draw a picture of Lisa on the final girder put into place. This wasn’t as hard for me as it might be for some other cartoonists since I work on steel sheets at home and all of my work is sent in that way. The mailing costs are back-breaking, but it left me well suited to the task.

I won’t go into all of the details here, but, if you want to read about it, it’s posted along with cool pics under the Lisa’s Legacy Fund section of this site. So Lisa will not only be a physical presence in this new structure, but, more importantly, it’s in this building where Lisa will help to fund the cancer research and education that will be taking place there in the future.

Work with the Lisa’s Legacy Fund is ongoing with a 5K Lisa’s Legacy Race scheduled to take place in Clevelands’s University Circle in the Fall. Part of my ongoing rehab from my accident is targeted at making sure that I’ll be one of the runner’s taking part. As it draws closer I’ll be filling you in on all of the details, and, with a little luck, I hope to see a lot of you there.

Crankshaft

posted on April 15, 2009

A number of people have been contacting this site with questions about Crankshaft, the strip that I do with Chuck Ayers. That makes perfect sense and it’s as if they already knew that I one day plan to have a Crankshaft site neatly tucked into this one. Crankshaft doesn’t have its own site because the domain name was taken by a company that makes, if you can believe this… crankshafts. I figure they probably need the domain name more than I do in this economy, so, for the moment, I’ll use these blogs to answer some Crankshaft questions and pass on a little Cranky info.

First, to all of the readers who wanted to know if the story that recently ran regarding Lucy and Lillian McKenzie would be collected into a book along with the previous Alzheimers work that ran in Crankshaft, the answer is that there are no plans for that at the present. If I hear from enough readers looking for something like that, I’ll certainly consider pursuing it, but, for the nonce, the only book available is the previous Alzheimer collection Safe Return Home… and it’s not really all that available except to the very determined reader with fairly deep pockets. Second, for those readers who were interested in purchasing original art from that story… they are availableÊand inquiries can be made by e-mailing this site.

Finally, in a bit of Crankshaft news, the Crankshaft story dealing with the black baseball player Jefferson Jacks has been nominated for a Glyph Award in the Best Comic Strip catagory by the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention which takes place on May 16th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia. Just a bit of backstory here… a good friend, Tony Isabella, had suggested I write a story about a black minor league ballplayer who would have played with Ed Crankshaft on the Toledo Mud Hens. I was out of pocket on the Lisa’s Story book tour around that time, so I suggested to Tony, a fine comics writer in his own “write”, that he do it… and he did. Later, when Tony’s scripts came in, I wrote the Sunday strips to wrap around the story and they were then beautifully illustrated by Chuck Ayers. If I say so myself, it’s a fine story and I’m very pleased that it was nominated by the judges.

Finally, part two… the current Jefferson Jacks story was written by me as I recuperated after my accident last year, but Tony and I had such a good time with J.J., that we’re working on some new stuff for down the road. Thus endith this update on all things Crankshaft.

Woodshedding

posted on March 1, 2009

A number of my good and gentle readers have expressed concern of late that things might not be well in Funkyland since I haven’t been posting any blogs here on the site. While I’d never intended this to be Twitter exactly, I did plan to be a tad more consistent than I’ve been. So, not to worry, things are going well. I’d sort of pared things back to catching up on the strips and doing my rehab from the car accident, and found that I kind of liked the quieter pace. So this winter has consisted of the aforementioned along with sitting by the fire reading books. The best of which has been The Complete Scorchy Smith by Noel Sickles. It’s truly some of the most amazing work that’s ever been done in the comic strip medium. I’m also working my way through all twenty-four Tarzan books plus a book of correspondence between Edgar Rice Burroughs and Herbert T. Weston. So, hey, I’ve been pleasantly occupied… but thanks for the kind concern.

I’ve also gotten a number of requests from readers wanting me to archive all of my past strips on the site. This I can say with some certainty won’t be happening. While I appreciate the interest, if I took the time to archive every Funky, John Darling and Crankshaft strip in the site, I wouldn’t have time to do the strips let alone finish all twenty-four Tarzan books.

I will be out and doing some speaking appearances starting next month, and that along with some other interesting bits of news will be posted here as the time draws closer. In the meantime, I’m going to quietly enjoy my remaing weeks of firewood and hibernation.