The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume 6, 1987-1989
Tom Batiuk Roger Stern
The Kent State University Press
In this sixth volume, we see the changes in tone that now characterize Funky Winkerbean. The story arcs increasingly intertwine to mark the shift from the simple sitcom mode to a more complex narrative with subplots. At this point in its evolution, Funky Winkerbean is resonating with readers and its popularity is growing. Ed Crankshaft, the irascible and curmudgeonly school bus driver, has become a fan favorite—so much so that cartoonist Tom Batiuk spins off Crankshaft into his own comic strip. Westview High School band director Harry L. Dinkle, the World’s Greatest Band Director, takes the band to New York City for a gig at Carnegie Hall, and drum majorette Holly Budd performs her acclaimed flaming baton trick with catastrophic results for the hallowed hall.
New characters continue to appear. Cindy Summers, the most popular girl in school, and Bodean, Westview High’s resident hood, join the cast as the polar opposites of the high school continuum. Big hair was beginning to come in, and Cindy’s hair was the biggest of the big. Crossovers between Funky and John Darling continue, and with the introduction of Crankshaft, new crossover opportunities emerge. Change is becoming a palpable part of Funky, and some big changes unfold in this volume.
Tom Batiuk, who pens the continuing story of Funky Winkerbean and his pals, was recognized as one of three finalists in the cartooning category of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize awards competition for the series of daily comic strips that chronicled the death of longtime character Lisa Moore. His Complete Funky Winkerbean series and Roses in December: A Story of Love and Alzheimer’s were finalists for the 2016 Eisner Awards. He is a graduate of Kent State University. His Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft;i> comic strips are carried in over 700 newspapers throughout the United States. In 2006 he was honored by the American Cancer Society and presented its Cancer Cure Hall of Fame Award for his sympathetic work in highlighting the experiences of those with cancer in Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe.