Funky Winkerbean logo

Match to Flame 149

posted on June 3, 2021

At the same time, the editor position at King Features changed hands and Jay Kennedy came on board. Having only recently gained editorial control of my work, I was wary of anyone with the title of editor and tried my best to keep them at arm’s length (octopus arms). I only learned after the fact that Jay had been one of my supporters from the start. When a printer threatened to not run one of the Sundays in the teen suicide series, it was Jay who stepped in to protect the piece and make certain that it ran. I only found out about this years later over dinner with Jay. He said he’d been afraid I’d get mad if the strip didn’t run and then also proceeded to categorize my work in a way that modesty prevents me from repeating. Suffice it to say, I wisely did nothing to disabuse him of either notion. It was Jay who also encouraged me to submit my work to the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award which would result down the road in my being a Reuben Awards Division nominee in 2004. He also nominated two of the stories in this volume for a Pulitzer Prize. Jay would continue to have my back as he shepherded my most difficult work to the comics pages until his untimely death at far too young an age.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9