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Match to Flame 140

posted on January 19, 2021

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t help myself much by handicapping the strip with the name Funky Winkerbean. I’m pretty sure I told the name’s origin story in Volume 1 of this series (I did; I just checked), but recapping it briefly: Needing a name for my main character, I had my junior high art classes write down amusing or interesting names. I took all of these home, and Cathy and I went through them. One of the name/titles we came up with was Three-o-Clock High, and I have to say that I found the double entendre amusing. However, the Publisher’s Hall Syndicate didn’t, and the name from among the others we sent that won the lottery was Funky Winkerbean. Had I known that I would still be working on this strip forty-seven years later and the tone and temperament that the work would take, I would’ve gone back to school the next day and had the advance placement classes take a whack at it. For someone whose bent was to add some depth and seriousness to the work, Funky Winkerbean was not the best title choice to help get me there. But, it is what I’m afraid it is (whenever I’m giving a book talk these days, I live in fear that someone from one of my art classes is going to stand up . . . and then their lawyer is going to stand up, and the piper/lawyer will demand some appropriate tribute. Which is why I always arrive prepared with a fiver and a release form in my jacket pocket.)

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9