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Match to Flame 88

posted on December 13, 2018

As they say in the movies, the idea was so crazy that it just might work. And so, along with everything else I was doing, I added writing a musical to my to-do list. It would be called Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. The plot revolved around the fact that through some sort of scheduling quirk, Westview High School’s homecoming game had been scheduled as an away game. Everything was thrown into turmoil and comedy ensued. Writing the musical was revelatory in that it confirmed for me the notion that longer form story arcs were the kind of writing that I now preferred to do. Instead of writing stand-alone gags, you could produce a story from which the humor could flow in a more natural fashion. In short, I had more fun writing Homecoming than I’d had in a while.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Five

Match to Flame 87

posted on December 3, 2018

With all of this craziness flying around, I decided to do the only reasonable thing a person could do under the circumstances. I wrote a musical. Put more correctly, I wrote the book for a musical. Andy Clark, the publisher of my band cartoon collections, and I were in Chicago during the holiday season for the Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference, when over dinner at the Berghoff he floated the idea of the two of us creating a musical featuring Funky Winkerbean. It would be a musical designed for high schools to perform. I would write the book and lyrics and Andy would write the music.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Five

Match to Flame 86

posted on October 31, 2018

Another milestone contained in this volume is the marriage of Ann Randall and Fred Fairgood. As I mentioned in the last volume, their relationship was one of my earliest attempts at a longer form narrative, and this story arc brought it to its natural conclusion. The part in the story where Fred forgets to get the marriage license was based on a real event (ahem, mine). Instead of having to have someone hack the courthouse records like Fred does, I was able to take advantage of the fact that our landlord’s husband was a judge in Elyria who had the power to waive the usual seven-day waiting period. Sometimes it just pays to be lucky. It also shows how a comic strip forces you to strip-mine your past for material, no matter how embarrassing.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Five

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