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Behind the Books – Book 6

posted on July 29, 2021

In 1984, a Funky book came out entitled You Know You’ve Got Trouble When Your School Mascot is a Scapegoat. In was in a new form that the comic strip Garfield had made popular, and, again, the book publishers were optioning a lot of comic strip properties to try to duplicate that success. The book unfortunately disappeared like a hammer in a lake. Lack of publicity and push both by my syndicate and the publisher were part of the problem. The other reason was that, even at the twelve-year-mark, Funky had already started to evolve and grow beyond being described in a one or two word sales pitch. With Garfield all you had to say was cat. If Funky was ever that simple, that was no longer the case.  The cast was exploding, the set pieces were multiplying, and tying a neat little bow on it was no longer possible. You can see the problem right on the cover where you have a study hall of students and a title that, while funny, is a bit too much to take in in a glance as you flash by the book stand. I was well into the process of making my work difficult to market. That was certainly not my intent, but the result speaks for itself. Even Irma Bombeck’s gracious introduction couldn’t help.

That being said, the book is a nice snapshot of the first ten or so years of Funky and was certainly the best presentation of the strip to date.