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Batom Comics – The Untold History Part 10

posted on February 13, 2016

Tank Thompson B&W Russ Heath3

In the late summer of 1955 as Fall loomed around the corner, Brady suddenly realized that his young prodigy, Mitch Knox, would soon be heading back to school. He began worrying about all of the scheduling problems that this might entail, but they were nothing compared to the problem that Mitch would run into his first week of school.

In her English class at Grafton Jr. High, Mrs. Adams had been handing out the same opening day assignment for over a decade. Presenting it as thought it was the first time that she had thought of it, she would announce to her class that their first writing assignment would be to prepare an essay on what they had done over the summer. Since Mitch’s summer had been spent writing scripts for Batom Comics, he did what came naturally and wrote all about the experience of working with his editor Brady Wentworth and the artist on his books, Coy Dockett. A couple of days later, Mrs. Adams called Mitch up to her desk ash the class was leaving. She said that she’d read his essay and congratulated him on being a very imaginative writer. However, she said, the assignment had been to tell what you had actually done over the summer, not what you imagined you had done. Over Mitch’s protestations in vain, she handed him his essay with a large red D across the top.

Mitch left determined to prove his innocence and after class the following day he went up to Mrs. Adams’s desk and handed her copies of Charlie and Chuck and Tank Thompson. When she saw his name credited as the writer on both books, she apologized for accusing him of having concocted the whole story of working for Batom Comics. Then she gave him a detention for the next day after school for bringing comic books to school, and said that she would give him another one if she ever caught him working on one of his comic book scripts in class.

Match to Flame 15

posted on February 10, 2016

Match 15-Rapping Around

A number of the themes that first appeared on the Chronicle- Telegram’s Teen-Age page later showed up in Funky. My very first cartoon dealing with a high school band appeared in Rapping Around, and several other ideas would later find themselves directly converted into Funky strips.
As things progressed, I found that I really enjoyed the challenges of working on a humor panel and, even more important, working on something that was all mine. As a result, all plans of going back to Marvel comics were shelved and replaced by a new one. Since I was starting to get favorable responses to the panel from people other than my mom, I began considering it for national syndication. It so happened that a national newspaper syndicate, the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), was located practically in my backyard, in Cleveland. Over the holidays I gathered the best of my panels and set off to see what sort of reception they’d get in the wider world.

*From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. One

John Darling – Take 15

posted on February 8, 2016

John Darling - Take 15

Chef Mac Aroni debuts.