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Match to Flame 163

posted on November 9, 2021

Which I guess begs the questions: What was compelling me to pursue work like this? Where did that attitude come from? Like all of those History Channel shows that dangle an intriguing question only to fail to deliver by announcing at the end of your wasted hour with them that “we may never know.” I’m not sure I can exactly say why I wanted to take a bigger bite of the forbidden apple. I was fifty-two and hardly at the point where you’d anticipate this burst of creative activity or that my muse would suddenly show up, but show up she did and in a very fast car with her foot firmly pressed on the accelerator (I just described my muse as a she driving a fast car—let’s take a moment to reflect on that). There was something fascinating and a little scary about the unshakeable confidence that I felt. As a kid, I remember invariably wanting to rewrite the stories in the comic books I read to make them somehow better, more realistic. It was always married with the thought about what I would do when I got my shot. Perhaps it was the advancing years at this point that made me want to make sure that I honored those youthful ambitions, and more determinedly than ever try to write the kind of comic strip that I would want to read. It could be what Ecclesiastes was thinking when he wrote, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (Let me be perfectly clear here; I don’t read the Bible, probably should, but I don’t . . . nevertheless, it seems to me that Ol’ Ecc, in his Bible-speaky way, just might have nailed it.) Or possibly it’s simply that art is made for unknowable reasons (Ha! I’m the History Channel!). 

From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 10