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Holidays Coming

posted on May 18, 2022

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, little brothers and sisters day, and Funky Winkerbean readers day are all just around the corner. Okay, those last two aren’t really “Day” days as such, but I think you see what I’m getting at. All of those days are just numbers on the calendar without a Funky book to open and enjoy. So visit the ‘Books’ section on this site if you’re looking for a surprising, enjoyable and a get-you -off- the-hook gift for your loved ones. If you order early enough, you’ll be able to read the whole thing before you have to give it away. Win, win!

Behind the Books – Book 13

posted on May 11, 2022

One of the conceits in Funky over the years was the idea that Harry L. Dinkle, The World’s Greatest Band Director was always working on one volume or another of his biography Gone with the Woodwinds. So when my editor at Norman Lee Publishing came up with the idea to publish a best of Harry L. Dinkle collection in a larger sized format, lifting the title of Harry’s imagined bio seemed like the only appropriate thing to do. We decided to take things one step further and include some new material as well for those loyal souls who had purchased all of the previous Dinkle collections. Once again the Christmas signing at the Midwest Band Directors convention was a great success. The highlight for me that year, aside from signing all of those books, was getting to sketch a menagerie of cartoon animals on an overhead screen as the North Shore Orchestra performed Saint-Saen’s Carnival of the Animals in the grand ballroom of the Hilton and Towers. That memory’s a keeper.

Behind the Books – Book 12

posted on March 9, 2022

This Crankshaft book was published by Andrews/McMeel in 1992 and came about as a result of my moving the strip from Creators Syndicate to Universal Press Syndicate. It features a beautiful wrap-around cover by Chuck Ayers my co-conspirator on Crankshaft. It depicts the most iconic trope from the strip… Crankshaft backing into George Keesterman’s mailbox. The school bus, when our son was in school, used to turn around in our driveway, and one day the bus driver asked me if I was in love with the bush that’s at the end of our drive. I chuckled at the joke, but the driver wasn’t joking… one day the bush was gone, the victim a backing-up mishap.

It turned out that Andrews/McMeel was a pretty compulsive compiler, so rather than being a best-of tome, this book was compiled from day one. The subsequent book would all pick up where the previous one had left off, so, for completists, these Andrews/McMeel books are a nice  comprehensive collection of Crankshaft’s early years.

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