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Match to Flame 124

posted on July 1, 2020


In a very nice gesture, King Features feted Funky’s 20th anniversary with a wonderful party atop the Stanhope Hotel in New York City. Considering that I hadn’t expected Funky to make it to ten years when I was starting out, it was quite a celebratory feeling that evening with Cathy and our son Brian by my side to realize that I had lapped my earlier expectations. It was a great evening, and maybe it broke some ice because it wasn’t long after that I received a call from the syndicate offering to renegotiate the contract and we started talks. I began to realize that the people who had presented me with that first contract weren’t the evil empire but just businessmen doing what businessmen were supposed to do, which was take care of their business and make it as profitable as they could. By the same token, it was up to me to take care of my own needs. Once this understanding was in place for both sides, things could move forward. It took awhile and there were a lot of ups and downs, but when we were finished I had a contract that acknowledged me as the owner of my characters. The copyright would read “Batom, Inc.,” which was the name I had given my imaginary comic book company when I was in the fifth grade. I was poised and prepared to move forward with a comic strip that was ready to play for keeps.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 7