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Match to Flame 176

posted on June 15, 2022

Magic.

That’s what happened when my dad and I would sit on the florally festooned couch in our home on Herman Avenue in Akron, Ohio, Sunday mornings after church. I’d settle in with a piece of buttered, still warm, pumpernickel bread that we’d picked up at a bakery shop on the way home, while my dad read the Sunday comics to me. The comics that interested me the most were Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, Terry and the Pirates, and of course the ineffable Prince Valiant by Hal Foster (shoe drop alert—the significance of the strips I’m mentioning here will drop later on, so hang with me and all will come out in the shoe store). Especially Prince Valiant, wherein classical Renaissance figures, rather than being frozen in time, came to life and moved from panel to panel. Even at that tender age, I recognized something mysterious and wonderful was happening on those pages. I had no way to wrap my head around what I was seeing and explain what was taking place. But it was magic, and magic I understood.

From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 11

Match to Flame 175

posted on April 27, 2022

This collection contains some of my work on Funky that gave me my deepest satisfaction so far as a writer/artist. I had firmly established the strip where I wanted it to be, and I was exploring all of the possibilities that choice offered. In a lot of ways, I’d made my job more difficult, but I’d also made it way more interesting. In terms of taking the work to a new place, Lisa was the character at the tip of the spear. Starting with the story of her high school pregnancy, Lisa was the character who shepherded my most ambitious efforts to the comics page. Opening new doors seemed to be her specialty. And Lisa wasn’t finished.

From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 10 

Match to Flame 174

posted on April 21, 2022

While all of this was transpiring, I was honored to be the recipient of an Inkpot Award from the San Diego Comic-Con International. Coming from comics fans, the award had a special meaning for me. I had never been to Comic-Con before, and the highlight of the convention for me was getting my picture taken next to another award recipient and one of my artistic heroes, Murphy Anderson, who had inked the Flash comics that I read as a kid. Again, the twelve-year-old kid in me was over the moon. It was like your best Christmas ever, cubed. 

From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 10

 

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