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Match to Flame 159

posted on September 18, 2021

Okay, that little hometown time anomaly aside, let’s move on to our discussion of big-city time. Without the element of time moving forward, omnipresent predictability is a constant in a comic strip. Every day the comic strip returns to “go” and starts anew. However, once time is introduced, everything suddenly opens up, and your options increase exponentially. The future of your characters goes from “there is no future” to a future of endless possibilities. The uncertainty can be daunting. As Yogi Berra noted, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” There are no physical limits to what you can do with time, so it was an ephemeral cosmic moment in the Funkyverse when all at once everything was possible. Suddenly I was able to be less linear and more digressive. I was no longer stuck in time but could begin to imagine things in anytime I wanted. Because Funky now had a future, it meant that it also now had a past. A past that I could begin to revisit whenever I wanted to tweak things a bit. I could go back and do a director’s cut, as it were, and add material that I hadn’t previously used or write completely new material that would add new levels of depth to a narrative, which I did with the piece about Lisa’s pregnancy in high school on more than one occasion, each time revealing more closeted aspects of the story. I could retcon (a comic book term for going back and retooling a previous continuity . . . like, Bucky was killed and now he’s better) to my heart’s content. Play God if you will (hey, if you’re going to identify, go big). 

From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 10