Funky Winkerbean logo

Flash Fridays – The Flash #279 November 1979

posted on June 25, 2021

The cover to this issue picks up exactly where the last book ended with Yorkin about to do away with the Flash. Yorkin is succeeding as the Flash begins to slip into a delirium. When the Flash does so, he begins to conjure loving images of Iris. The images in Flash’s mind cause a feeling of revulsion in Yorkin who then releases him and runs away.

Shaken but not stirred, Barry shows up at the police lab with a surprise for Detective Frank Curtis. Melanie is there and she’s using her psychic powers the Sandman costume from the masquerade ball to see if she can help track the person down. They do and Barry and Frank confront the man in his flophouse hotel. Barry and Frank corner the guy in his room and he confesses to dosing Barry with the angel dust. The hotel is being spied upon from across the street, and just as Barry and Frank are about to get a confession from their man as to who set Barry up, the guy across the street sets off an explosion. The flophouse man is killed and Barry is just able to save himself and Frank as the Flash.

Yorkin proceeds to go on a rampage and proceeds to kill more people than I’ve ever seen killed in a Flash comic before. I had to look on the front of the book to see if the Comics Code Authority stamp was still there. It was, but obviously things had changed. A lot! In fact, when I first showed up on Marvel’s doorstep looking for work, my stories were aimed for their horror mags (I aimed low figuring that they would immediately move me to Spider-Man once they saw how well I could write) and I had a lot of stuff like vampires, werewolves and some people dying, all of which I was informed were verboten by the Comics Code. My timing was just a little off, because not long after the code was revamped to the extent that you could not only mention vampires… they could have their own book for Jiminy Cricket’s sake. Shed no tears for me, gentle reader, because my timing would improve. But it is interesting to see the comic book I loved more than any other begin to embrace the growing darkness.

The story cliffhanger this time is provided by Melanie as she tracks down Yorkin… and finds him!

 

 

Match to Flame 152

posted on June 24, 2021

As all of the aforementioned was going on, Harry L. Dinkle, the World’s Greatest Band Director, and his adventures with the band were a continuing running side story under everything. A new collection of the band strips came out called Attack of the Band Moms, and I continued in my role as a de facto band chaperone as I traveled the country giving talks about Harry and the Marching Scapegoats Band. In December 1996, I traveled to Chicago for the Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference, where I was awarded their Medal of Honor, although I realize that I was only a stand-in for Harry. Although things were about to change, for now, Harry continued to reign as my most recognizable and enduring character.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9

Ghosts

posted on June 22, 2021

I’m at the moment writing a story where the action takes place at the Palm Restaurant in New York City. The walls of the Palm were covered with drawings that spanned the historical breadth of American cartooning and cartoonists. In a small corner by the bar on a wood panel, there was a Prince Valiant sketch by Hal Foster, a Steve Canyon by Caniff and a Buzz Sawyer by Roy Crane. The holy triumvirate SIDE BY SIDE!

The last time I was there, I sat at this table with executives from King Features following the signing of a new contract surrounded by the drawings of every cartoon character imaginable, including a certain Funky Winkerbean. 

As I researched some pics for my story I found this. The same room with all of the magazine photos gone and the cartoons whitewashed from the walls. Nothing there but the ghosts. This one’s going to leave a mark.