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Notes from the woodshed

posted on January 30, 2008

A number of readers have wanted to know when new book signings for Lisa’s Story will be scheduled. As I stated elsewhere on the site, I’m pretty much spending January and February woodshedding it so that I can get caught up to where I’m supposed to be with both Funky and Crankshaft. And while I’ve been making some progress, I’ve still got a ways to go. That being said, new signings are now being booked and as soon as they’re solid, I’ll be adding them to the events calendar.

Speaking of Lisa’s Story, I was very pleased to see that the first royalties from the book have made their way to The Lisa’s Legacy Fund. I’d just like to once again thank King Features for agreeing to contribute their share of the royalties as well, and all those readers who contributed by buying copies of the book. The fund is doing very well, and at some later date I’ll try to provide an update on the fund and surrounding events.

Once last thing regarding books. When I’m totally fried and can’t face another evening in the studio, I’ve been enjoying the long Ohio winter evenings reading the new Walt & Skeezix collections from Drawn & Quarterly books. The work is amazing and a reminder of the kind of heights that this cartoon medium can reach. The collection of Sunday strips is a particular joy and worth every pretty penny. Check ’em out.

T.B.

Where’s Wally?

posted on November 9, 2007

The November 9th strip showing Becky married to John the comics shop owner seems to have raised a lot of concern among Funky’s readers. A lot of you are jumping (actually, running screaming and leaping) to the conclusion that Becky’s first husband, Wally, died in Iraq. In fact many visitors to the Funky web site have been jumping to that conclusion for a couple of weeks now when Wally didn’t show up in the cast picture that fronts the site. (A quick aside here to note that they were also concerned that Wally Jr. was missing as well. Wally Jr.’s omission can be explained with a term of art known as a big dumb mistake. I simply forgot to include him in the cast picture.) The explanation for Wally Sr.’s not being there is due to something else… it’s called writing.

As things move forward, I plan to reveal many of the backstories regarding what happened to the various characters in the strip during the ten years that were just jumped. All of this material will be presented, in good time, as the stories unfold. If a mystery writer revealed who did it on the first page, there wouldn’t be much reason to finish the rest of the book, now would there? Specifically regarding Becky and Wally, I’m not saying he died, that they were divorced or that he’s missing out there somewhere. For the moment, I’m not saying anything at all… almost. I wasn’t going to bring this up, and was going to leave it for those who really scrutinize every line of the strip to find on their own as a reward for their faithful and eternal vigilance, but your excitement is forcing me to be a bit of a spoiler here. There was a clue. A tiny clue, but a clue none the less. In the October 11 strip as a matter of fact. So, if you simply really have to know something, anything, right now, check it out online or at the library. Please don’t ask me to post it on the web site… I mean, you’ve got to do a little work here. Otherwise, you can simply kick back, relax, and let the saga unfold tomorrow, and tomorrow and the tomorrow after that. It’s called writing.

Back to the Future

posted on October 20, 2007

Okay, gang, buckle your seat belts and return your seat backs and tray tables to their full and upright positions, because we’re about to take off and head back to the future. At the completion of Lisa’s Story, the entire Funky cast will time- frog ten years ahead and that’s where we’re going to stay. For the first time, there are going to be parents in the strip because my core characters are going to be the parents of the freshman class entering the brand spanking new Westview High School. If you’ve been following the strip, you’ve seen the last toddler put into place with Bull and Linda’s adoption of young Jinx.

Why jump the strip ahead ten years? Well for one thing, I wanted to avoid an extended period of mourning with Les and Summer, and at the same time I didn’t want to gloss over it and treat it with a lack of respect. I also wanted to bring some light into the work and show that while Les and Summer have moved on with their lives, they haven’t forgotten Lisa. I also wanted to bring the characters ages more in line with the ages of my long time readers so that the lives they’re now leading will once again be reflected in the strip.

Before we take off, I have just a little tidying up to do. First, a lot of readers have been asking about the bust of the author in Central Park where Les scattered Lisa’s ashes. It’s by an area of the park called the Pond, and the bust is of Sir Thomas Moore. Also it was a poem written by Moore under a nom de plume that Les read at Lisa’s funeral. Regarding Wally in Iraq, following the time-frog all I can say is that what you think happened may not be what you think happened. Just relax, enjoy the view and let the story unfold in its’ own good time. After all, it only took me twenty years to get Darin and Lisa together.

After the time-frog takes place, the front page of this site will show the new look of the cast. There’s been a little hair loss and weight gain, but you should be able to tell who’s who. In case you can’t, however, just roll your curser over the character, click your mouse, and you’ll get a brief bio of that character. For a more detailed look at the characters, got to Meet the Cast where you’ll find the original style sheets that were used to create the new looks.

For long time readers, you’ll be coming home. For new readers, it’s the perfect jumping on place. So welcome on board and enjoy the ride.

Stay well.