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Summer in the Funkyverse

posted on July 25, 2012

I’m putting up this post because it says a lot of things I wanted to share. Life has stepped in to make it less timely and an explanation follows in the next post. However, it’s most salient points still hold. The videos haven’t been posted as promised, but I hope to get them up shortly. They’re also out there elsewhere on the net if you just can’t wait. Not as tidy as I wanted, but life seldom is. What follows is the original post.

Life in the Funkyverse is moving at light speed ( 299,792,458 m/s ) these days as I try to catch up on events that seem to have overtaken me. The first thing want to do is thank the folks at my alma mater Kent State for the Funky mural they put up in their student center, and it really is a Funky ( and Crankshaft mural ). Both Chuck Ayers ( the artist on Crankshaft ) were totally blown away by be asked, and totally thrilled by the result. To see for yourself, check out the photos posted in the archive. Also, the Philly comic con has come and gone and, as usual, Wizard World did their usual stellar job with the event. They treat their guests and their guest artists with the same outstanding courtesy and, if you’ve never been to one, you owe yourself. It was great to meet Funky’s readers from the Philly area ( including getting to spend time with a former high school classmate – hi,Terry ) and I even found a collection of the Hunter stories from Eerie magazine. Also while in Philly, I also got to spend time my friend from college who was the inspiration for Les which made the trip especially enjoyable. You can’t ask for a better weekend than that.

That all came on the heels of a boatload of interviews throughout the month of May regarding the prom story arc. Two of the interviews, CBS This Morning and the AP Wire story are now cached at the Bio/Interviews section on this site if you want to check ’em out.

When I got home, I dug right into a story arc for next Spring featuring the return of a long lost Funky character. Plus, I started work on Volume II of the Complete Funky which will come out next year. And,  in two weeks, my wife Cathy and I are off to the San Diego Comic Con International. So like I said, light speed. I barely have time to kick back and enjoy Les and Summer’s climb of Kilimanjaro. I’m looking forward to meeting more of you down the road this summer so for now, cheers.

Funky’s Fortieth

posted on April 26, 2012

Things are a little crazy here in the Funkyverse as the serious book signing season gets underway. If you check out the events page, you’ll see that the San Diego Comic Con International has been added in July. The San Diego con is truly the preeminent comic con experience in the world. I was fortunate to be there a few years back and it’s only gotten bigger and better since then. I’ll be looking forward to not only geeking out in the dealers room, but to meeting Funky fans from the San Diego area and seeing if they’ve downloaded our free 4oth anniversary wallpapers. Colorist Alex Sinclair, who colored the Lion’s share of the Sundays in Lisa’s Story, will be joining me on my panel so it will be fun providing an insider’s look at how that work came about. And along with that, we’ll be taking a walk down memory lane and 4o years of life in the Funkyverse.

Speaking of which, I just wanted to thanks all of the kind and generous emails that have poured in concerning Funky’s 40th anniversary. I even heard from several students that I had in art class at Eastern Heights Junior High way back when. They all seemed to have turned out okay, so I’m not going to worry about ’em any more. It was great to hear from one and all. When I was starting out, I remember reading that Red Ryder had run for forty years and thinking I’d give a small nonessential body part to have Funky run that long. In hindsight, I probably should have made my deal with the devil for fifty. It’s as if I sat down at my drawing board, shifted into the Funkyverse, and, when I shifted back out and looked at the clock,  it was forty years later. I think there’s something seriously wrong with the space time continuum, but it will have to wait for this book touring year to be over before I can sit down and figure it out. For now, that’s about the size of it.

A Couple of Things

posted on March 14, 2012

I gotten a number of inquiries about an apparent discrepancy in my basketball story line. The trophy that the team is holding up in last Sunday’s strip says that they are the Division III champs. The very next day, however, they are congratulated for being the Division I champs. Frankly, I don’t see a problem here. It’s obvious that the team simply got a lot better over the weekend. See how simple that was? I would like to caution my loyal, and perhaps slightly beady-eyed readers, that they’re going to ruin their eyesight  squinting to read things that small. So just be careful out there.

I’ve also been getting a lot of questions about Fred and Ann and their position in the Funky firmament, so here’s a little trip in the wayback machine to bring new readers up to speed. Fred Fairgood appeared in the strip from day one as the counselor at Westview High. Ann joined the faculty as teacher a few years into the saga. When the faculty went on strike, Fred and Ann were partnered on the picket line, and, as a result, got to know each other a lot better. So much better in fact that they became engaged and were later married even though Fred neglected to get a marriage license. It all worked out when the Eliminator hacked the courthouse records and obtained a license for them. The wedding reception, of course was at Montoni’s. Still later, they adopted the baby that Lisa gave up for adoption in high school and who is now their son, Darin. As I mentioned in the intro to Volume One of The Complete Funky Winkerbean, in going over the early strips, I found that Fred had actually been married before, and so some serious retconning is currently under way.

This will all be so much easier when everyone has Volumes two and three in their hands and can just read all of this for themselves. Speaking of which, the first book signing at the Ohio Music Educators Convention was a total blast and I want to thank everyone involved for the royal treatment I received. It felt good to be a part of that again.To find out if a signing is coming up near you, just check out the Events section on this site. New signings are being posted as soon as they are confirmed. For now, that’s about the size of it.