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Match to Flame 156

posted on August 17, 2021

A Brief History of Time . . . or, We Have Ways of Making It Tock

I’d just spent the past couple of years in the late nineties throwing my creative elbows around a bit, which now allowed me to travel the newspaper comics’ outer lane relatively unchecked. At the same time, I was working on some backstairs strips that were different from anything I’d attempted before. I began Funky writing about cartoon characters, and I was now writing about human beings. The schtick and the tropes that had sustained the strip through its early years were now fading shadows on my drawing board as I moved from entertainment and escapism to something more confrontational and grown-up. The work was propelled by instinct and impulse without much conscious attention paid to the underlying elements that buttressed it. I had advanced my characters in time and was playing with the clock without fully understanding what made it tick. However, I’m aware that my readers have inquiring minds, and so, just for you, gentle reader (and because this book requires an introduction), I’ve decided to give the temporal problem in question some thought and make it tock. I’ll get to those backstairs strips I mentioned as well, but not until I’m warmed up. 

I made a big deal in my previous introduction about how the decision to allow my characters to age had introduced time into the strip’s equation. My plan going forward was to fearlessly take them through young adulthood, to middle age, to older middle age, and eventually, if the cards turned up right, to being elderly (it’s funny how easily the poignancy of old age comes to you when you’re young). 

From the Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 10