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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.

Duets

posted on February 15, 2012

I’ve been receiving some nice comments to the website the past couple of days about the recent February 12th Funky Sunday featuring one of my Silver Age comic book pastiche/homage’s to a favorite old comic book character and the artist who drew it. I’ve talked about this before and why I enjoy doing it, but watching the Grammy Awards that same Sunday provided a new perspective on why it’s such fun. Tony Bennett received a Grammy for an album of duets that he had done with a number of contemporary singers, and I suddenly realized that with my old comic book recreations, I’ve been doing something similar. Once I have the idea for one of those tributes worked out and know what my characters are saying and doing, I take the art from the old comic book and re-ink it, sometimes inserting my own characters into the older cover. When I was preparing the very first comic book homage, I was talking with comic book artist John Byrne about it and he suggested blowing up the old art and  inking over it. He said it would be a lot of fun and it is. In a way, it’s like getting to do a duet with some of my old artistic heroes and the process only increases my respect for their talent. Inserting my own characters along side the older ones simply completes the duet. It’s a chance to work alongside artists with whom I would never have the opportunity to work. A lot of these older artists dreamed of doing a syndicated strip, and I always dreamed of doing superheroes, and, in our duet, we both get our chance.

Hitting the Road

posted on January 25, 2012

As I sit snug and comfy in my studio sanctum sanctorum here at the cartoon castle with the snow softly landing on the window panes, I know that soon this Shivago-like winter idyll must come to an end. Even as I relax with my copy of Volume One of the Complete Alex Raymond Flash Gordon Sundays (with the Jungle Jim topper -zow!), somewhere off in Somewhereville the first volume of The Complete Funky Winkerbean is on the press and about to be released on a world breathless with anticipation. As I mentioned in a previous post, the book is a ton of fun all rolled into a smart looking package by the Kent State University Press under their Black Squirrel imprint. You can recheck a previous post for the wonderful details about the book, but, frankly, I can’t imagine anyone not loving it… although I suppose anything’s possible.

All of this means, of course, that I’ll soon be hitting the road to talk about the book and to meet with my good and gentle readers. A list of the initial signings has been posted under the “Events/Links” section on this site with locations and maps right there. It all starts with the Ohio Music Educators Association convention in Columbus, Ohio in February and will end in Chicago at Christmas time at the Midwest Band Directors Convention. Since the book contains the first appearance of Harry L. Dinkle The World’s Greatest Band Director, it will be fun to talk about it with my friends in music education. I want to also give a shout out to my buds at Wizard World for inviting me to be a part of their comic con schedule for this year. The Wizard folks put on a great comic con and it’s exciting to attend and to meet Funky fans from around the country (not to mention filling in a few holes in my comic book collection along the way). Rest assured that more signings will be added as they become finalized, and hopefully there will be one near you. So feel free to keep checking as we keep posting and maybe I’ll be seeing you somewhere down the road.