Funky Winkerbean logo

Batty Batom Bullpen – Frank Brunner

posted on April 15, 2017

Frank Brunner’s Black Ghost cover and the most recent cover to be revealed in the Komix Korner Gallery is an amazing piece. In choosing artists for my Batom covers, I not only sought out artists whose work I admired, but I also tired to “cast” them to a certain extent by giving them characters that I felt played to their strengths. Franks’s legendary run on Doctor Strange made him the obvious choice for a character called the Black Ghost. I only had a couple of rough incomplete sketches to give to Frank so this pitch perfect powerful piece is all his. It arrived with instructions to float the Black Ghost logo over the top of the art and not block it out with a solid logo. I hope I did okay, Frank.

Frank Brunner is, of course, associated as well with Howard the Duck which only speaks to his versatility. And now he’s a member of the Batty Batom Bullpen. As with the other covers, it will be auctioned off for the benefit of the Lisa’s Legacy Fund in November. For more info on that, please check out the Komix Korner Gallery and the Lisa’s legacy Fund on this website.

Match to Flame – 41

posted on April 11, 2017

This period became one of rapid expansion in the Funkyverse in other ways as well. There occurred a number of recurring set pieces such as The Guide to Taking Tests, course descriptions from the student curriculum guide, final exams on Shakespeare the Hard Bard, Les’s Record Roundup, the Winning With Wine series, the Winning Tennis series (these last three obviously reflect the author’s interests at that time . . . hey, a guy’s got to have some hobbies, right?), and the How to Win at Basketball series, plus Crazy Harry’s Secret Cases of Sherlock Holmes and his Monstrous Limericks. All of this ran alongside stories about Arab sheiks buying the oil rights to the football field, a nuclear power plant blowing up, the school’s computer playing Star Trek and beaming people around the building, Harry L. Dinkle’s The World’s Greatest Band Director’s encounter with Santa Claus, Fred Fairgood running in the Boston Marathon, and the longest story arc yet attempted about a teachers strike, which led to some of the Westview teachers ending up in jail. (This story was based on a teachers strike that took place in Brunswick, Ohio, during which some of the striking teachers were jailed. Among those sent to jail was a teacher who would later become a judge in my home town and who would end up as the presiding judge when I filed my lawsuit to regain the ownership and control of my creations. File that one under small world, and stay tuned for Volume 7 for all the gory details). The Funkyverse was expanding almost exponentially and was threatening to come apart at the seams. And then it did. The crossing over into other universes started quietly at first when in the summer of 1979 the Funkyverse showed up in the Marvel Universe. Jarvis, the butler at the Avengers Mansion, comments on wanting to see what’s new with Funky Winkerbean as he picks up the morning paper in that summer’s X-Men Annual.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Three

Les and Cayla

posted on April 10, 2017

I feel I should say something about some of the things being said about yesterday’s Funky Sunday. Clearly the intent was for Les and Cayla’s comments to taken as playfully innocent bantering between a married couple and nothing more. To interpret it differently belies not only the context of that particular strip, but the body of my work over the years as well. The simple fact that I have a biracial marriage in Funky speaks to where my head and my heart are at on this subject. That being said, while it clearly wasn’t my intent, I should have been more conscious of the fact that comments I regarded as benign could have been given an unfortunate interpretation, and for that I’m truly sorry. It’s certainly something I will endeavor to see doesn’t happen again.