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Match to Flame 144

posted on March 19, 2021

Quickly moving on, there’s also Les and Lisa’s wedding with all of its promises, fears, hopes and dreams, and more twists and turns than could have been predicted by a drunken gypsy fortune-teller. Plus, they’re married on Halloween dressed as Batman and Robin (there’s that comic book stuff again; maybe they do rot your brain). It’s here that I also begin expressing time in a nonlinear fashion by starting a story, walking away from it for a spell, and then picking up the threads of the story again, much the way these things happen in life. So we see the early discussions about marriage and the preparations, the near derailment of the wedding more than once, and the wedding itself—life all moving along in an approximation of a real lifetime as fate and fortune weave themselves into time’s fabric. By allowing my characters to have a time-driven existence, I get to explore everything that flows from that . . . goodness and evil, happiness and sadness, weakness and strength, failure and success, love and grief, youth and age, and the quest for meaning. And the vehicle for all of this is story.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9

Match to Flame 143

posted on February 26, 2021

One of the early examples of this change was the retirement of my football coach Jack Stropp (yeah, I know, dumb name . . . although, I think I’ve already established that names aren’t my strong suit). In the November 17, 1996, strip, where he dwells on his regrets, and, in the November 23, 1996, strip, where he reflects on his coaching life as we see him turning out the lights on an extinguished (intended) career. And then he’s gone. Forever. Well, okay, maybe not quite forever because he does show up in a couple of brief two-off turns as a Foot Locker shoe salesclerk and life insurance salesman . . . but, then after that, forever . . . I think.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9

Match to Flame 142

posted on January 29, 2021

I was engaged in challenging work that required all the craft I could muster, and I couldn’t have been happier with the way it was unfolding. If someone at the time had offered me a million dollars to pretend that what I had done in the strip was just a dream, and to return my creations to their Westview High setting, I swear I wouldn’t have done it (if they had offered me all the money in the world, I would have done it in a heartbeat, and I’m sorry you know that about me now). For almost twenty-five years I’d written about my kids in high school, and now I was writing about my grown-up kids out in the world. Having my characters grow up afforded me a cornucopia of ideas and opportunities that wouldn’t have otherwise been available. Once I’d started the clock ticking, the passage of time became the current in the river that carried all of these stories forward. Things began to take place that for better or worse would forever alter the lives of my characters (I said, trying my best not to sound like the latest Marvel Comics superhero crossover event).

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9

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