Slylock Funky

Thought I’d give you guys a little bonus treat between John posts.

When I got The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 8, I took the time to read the lengthy introduction by Batiuk. Most of these have been reprinted in the form of the ‘Match to Flame’ blog posts over at Tom’s site. Included in the introductions were these cute little Christmas cards.

Last but not least, sometime after moving Crankshaft to Universal Press Syndicate we started sending out Christmas cards to all of the Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean features editors at our client papers. I thought you might like to see what only editors have seen before, so we’re including the cards for the years included in this volume—I think. I never put any dates on the cards, thinking that they would come in handy if they were ever included in a collection such as this (again, who does that?). I’ve tried to order them to the best of my recollection, and, unless you’re a newspaper editor who got one, you’ll never know anyway.

Introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 8.

But I saw something in those cards that just had me hysterically laughing. I cannot believe this is printed in The Complete Funky Winkerbean volumes, the books that are supposed to be the background, true, inside scoop on all things Funkyverse.

So…a fun group activity!

What is wrong with this picture?

(I swear on my 25th Anniversarry Funky Winkerbean T-Shirt. I have not altered these in any way. Check here if you don’t believe me.)

How about this one?

Unless you’re a newspaper editor…you’ll never know anyway.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

64 responses to “Slylock Funky

  1. billytheskink

    Uh… that’s not what TB’s artwork looked like in 1994 or 1995, much less the apparent appearances of Lefty as a Montoni’s employee in 1994 and Donna and Summer in 1995.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    “So, at the end of 1995, Funky Winkerbean could move ahead without its forward thrust being blunted by the demands of the dreaded deadline doom, and I could settle down to doing the best work I could get away with. There were stories to tell and bridges to be burned.”

    Oh yeah, the big bridge-burning mega arc of 1996…there’s four months I wish I could have back. That one Sunday strip, though, the one where Lisa finishes rebuilding the bridge as her Christmas gift to Westview, it really made the whole thing worthwhile.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      “So, at the end of 1995, Funky Winkerbean could move ahead without its forward thrust being blunted by the demands of the dreaded deadline doom, and I could settle down to doing the best work I could get away with.”

      WTF does this even mean?

      • Epicus Doomus

        There’s always that massive disconnect between how Batiuk perceives (or pretends to perceive) himself, and what actually happened. I assume he’s trying to pretend that the intense pressure of “meeting deadlines” somehow stifled his “creativity” and left him unable to tell the kind of stories HE wanted to tell. Which is, of course, insane, as anyone who reads FW knows.

  3. Well, damn it all (apologies for swearing). I finished my Timemop cover but cannot connect to my webzone to upload it. And it has nothing to do with alcohol, the judge was quite specific in that regard, so I will thank you to stop referring me to the gossip columnists!

    Anyway, happy Saturday, and someday Timemop’s cover will appear. I’ve been told that the universe is infinite after all.

  4. Y. Knott

    “What is wrong with this picture?”

    Er, they’re at least vaguely amusing?

  5. Bill the Splut

    Oh my gourd, look at today’s.
    There’s been another timejump! It is now the distant year–2006! Blogs, I tell you, BLOGS!
    So, is he talking about places like here and CC? I’m sure he’s not talking about his own blog!
    So…the Midwich Cuckoos are recommending something while also denigrating it? Like a 75 year old man would? A thing he heard about 17 years ago? The same year that the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 was won by Finnish band entrant Lordi with the song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”? (sobs) BELGIUM WAS CHEATED!!
    I will admit, back around Day Two of this inexplicably 6 day long marathon, I thought today would be Lillian the Undead hitting “esc” and saying “Oh dear–I deleted the website!” so we had to relive this again.
    We’ll find out tomorrow, I guess. But this is how Bats hopes to integrate FW into CS? With a storyline of people CS readers have never seen, and an unbelievably boring and pointless story? This would not appeal to people over the age of 65! Or…under it?
    Retire, Tom Tom. Don’t try to take every reader down with you. Just hold onto your Best New Actress Oscar; you’ll be fine.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    Uhh, gang? Do you all recall back on Monday afternoon, when our esteemed CBH posted a mid-September 2016 “Crankshaft” strip where Mindy was suggesting that Lillian create a blog to promote her bookstore, to which Lil responded with “I really don’t have anything to say in a blog,” and Mindy hit back with the bon mot “That’s okay…nobody does”?

    A real side-splitter, right? Well, I was over on GoComics perusing Saturday’s ‘Shaft. In it Mindy suggests that Lillian create a blog to promote her new website, to which Lil responds with “A blog? But I really don’t have anything to say,” and the Grandy Twins hit back with the two-part bon mot “That’s okay…” “No one else does either.”

    Does it count as plagiarism if you rip yourself off?

    • Paul Jones

      Probably. It also counts as running a non-joke into the ground.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, I immediately knew that was a recycled gag.

      I do want to thank you for your comments over at GoComics, those people that respond to you have never heard of snark. I hope they don’t try to get you banned as your comments are the only reason I still follow Crankshaft.

    • The Duck of Death

      You see, it’s funny because thousands of people actually have lots to say, and maintain blogs with large audiences who check in every day. But P. Batty assumes everyone is like him — a guy who set up a blog and filled it with long-winded summaries of old Flash comix, covers posted without comment, and photos of empty signing booths.

      There are even excellent blogs about comix and 50s-early 60s nostalgia! But to read them, you’d need to use the internet, which paradoxically is a late-20th century technology, so no sale. As we know, anything invented after 1970 is the devil’s work.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        P. Batty assumes everyone is inferior to him. Especially when it comes to writing. This is his usual, snotty condescending attitude about something he doesn’t even understand, or even care about. Few people on earth have been given more of a stage, and said less than Tom Batiuk.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      A long running comic strip reusing a joke every ten years or so is fair game IMO. Is my mom, casual Crankshaft reader #283, going to remember or even have READ the initial gag? Probably not.

      But Batiuk is always pulling up some random bit of 30 year old trivia from his strip. That tells me he wants dedicated readers with long memories. So he shouldn’t be reusing jokes every seven years.

      UNLESS, you build the reuse of the joke into a running gag. That is the best way to ensure that both your close readers and your casual readers will accept the recycling.

      Lillian starting a blog twice….is not that.

  7. Paul Jones

    The irritating thing is having to remember why this stopped being a tradition: the unswerving and incredibly wrong-headed belief that he was doing his readers a disservice by lightening their load a mite.

  8. The Duck of Death

    Is the hilarious joke the lack of credit for Ayers, who may well have done these for free (as is typical for these sorts of non-paying projects)?

    Here’s a knee-slapper. When TB said he couldn’t continue without Ayers, I thought it was a transparent lie, because of all those years when he’d done the very Ayers-looking artwork himself. See, I never followed the strip till I started seeing it in the Comics Curmudgeon. And looking at old strips, I had the impression that at some point he’d evolved from his limiting, primitive monoclops style into the more realistic and expressive style of Act II and beyond.

    Silly me. Of course he hadn’t. He was just having Ayers do the art and then signing it himself with no credit to the artist.

    And that’s why I thought Batty had evolved the art style himself, and then handed it to Ayers to carry on in the same style when he got too busy to do pencils himself. Silly moi, eh? To imagine that Puffy would give proper credit where it’s due?

    • be ware of eve hill

      Batiuk blaming the demise of Funky Winkerbean on Chuck Ayer’s retirement is pure poppycock.

      How could Batiuk ink Ayers’s pencils for years and not learn anything from Chuck’s art style? Couldn’t Dan Davis teach Batiuk how to copy and paste?

      Besides, the Comics Kingdom roster features plenty of horribly illustrated comic strips. Have you seen the new CK feature Alice? Do schools even teach art anymore?

      • be ware of eve hill

        Cripes, the future of comic strips is doomed.

        The creator of Alice IS an art teacher. She’s an Adjunct Professor at Moore College of Art & Design.

        As the features editor, good ol’ Tea Fougner (a.k.a. Tea-Berry Blue, Mint-Berry Crunch) is responsible for hiring these people.

        Funky Winkerbean was replaced with Alice? I’m having difficulty accepting this reality.

        • The Duck of Death

          My son attends the same high school that Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella attended. They have a cartooning department. To say that the quality of student work has declined in the last few decades is to put it mildly, and these are the cream of the crop of cartooning students who had to submit a portfolio to even be admitted. 97% of the work looks virtually identical, like quasi-anime, quasi-cartoon-furry stuff you find all over DeviantArt. Draftsmanship, backgrounds, linework: fuhgeddaboudit.

          • The Duck of Death

            Replying to myself to add: Infantino and Giella were the artists for Batty’s molecule-rearranging Flash #115.

        • Gerard Plourde


          Now you’ve done it! Moore College of Art and Design is in my home town. I now have to check out that strip.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    Ha! It’s funny because he has a space in the newspaper to say something, and accuses bloggers of having nothing to say! Twice!

  10. ComicBookHarriet

    BTS got it in one, folks!

    I can understand not remembering the exact date.. and having to guess what it might be for some of the Christmas cards in the next volume. There’s some context clues in character’s appearances but I’d buy these could be anywhere from 93-97.

    Though I don’t know how he could put these AFTER the ones he pretends are 94 and 95. Mindy in 97 is YEARS younger than her appearance in 94.

    And yeah, I sincerely doubt Batiuk would have Ayers draw a Christmas card with a one armed Becky working at Montoni’s four years before her tragic accident in 1998. I’d date that card Christmas 1999.

    And 1995. That is the ultimate what the heck. That is BABY SUMMER, born August 2002. That is Christmas 2002. Pam has her trimmed hair and glasses! Donna is there! If you look at the card for one second you ask, “Who is the baby?” and the answer is easy. How could you get that wrong by SEVEN YEARS, Tom? The fact this made it to the publishing phase is baffling.

    The only one of these cards in the two volumes I’m thinking he got right is 1998. Due to the presence of a very Mopey looking Pete, Darin, Ally, Bulk, and Chien standing mixed in with ‘The Roughriders’. They were all introduced as Freshmen in 1998.

    • Green Luthor

      One would think that, if Batiuk intended to include the cards that covered the years featured in the book, he could, y’know, look at the comics in the book to determine if the cards match the characters for the time.

      One would think.

      (Oh, wait, maybe the difference is due to time being out of sync in Westview. Yeah, that’s gotta be it. A Timemop did it.)

  11. J.J. O'Malley

    You know, on the whole I’d still rather see the Okefenokee critters singing “Deck Us All with Boston Charlie.”

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    Speaking of bloggers saying nothing: Batiuk has another blog post about another fucking comic book cover.

    When I was twelve, I walked into a drugstore and saw a copy of The Flash #115 on the comics rack. I took it from the rack because… because I simply had to. I didn’t have a choice. The book simply rearranged my molecules and set me on a new course in life. Now, I’ll admit that that’s a rather extreme example of the power of a cover

    No, Tom, it’s an extreme example of your inability to write. You want to talk about a purchase you made when John F. Kennedy was still alive, and all you have to say about it is “I simply had to.”

    And “it rearranged my molecules”, which doesn’t even make any sense as a metaphor. The scientific concept you’re looking for is “DNA.” Most sixth-graders use this term correctly, both literally and as a metaphor. You’re trying say “it affected who am I at the most fundamental level”, not “it turned me into 2,2-dimethylpropane.”

    There’s also the problem that this choice of words implies a major change from something. What was your “course in life” before you saw the cover of Flash #115, Tom? Were you going to be an architect, or something? No, your nose was buried in comic books before and it has been ever since. But that’s the kind of detail that makes “changed my life” stories interesting: what were you doing before, what changed you, and why that thing compelled you so much.

    By the way, would you all like to see the cover of Flash #115?

    Uhh, Tom… that requires even MORE explanation.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Does Batiuk ever make it past the front cover? Does he just plunk down his $3.99 and slip the comic book into a bag because it has a purdy cover?

      Besides the cover, what did Batiuk think of Fire Power #16? Did he like the illustration inside? Was it a good story? Does he give it a thumbs up and recommend it to other readers? Should folks just buy the book and hang the framed cover on a wall?

      Image Comics is most likely unaware Batiuk featured one of their titles in his blog.

      Tom Batiuk, the world’s most irrelevant blogger.

      • The Duck of Death

        What gets me is that THIS is the cover that “rearranged his molecules,” changed his life, yadda yadda. And this is the very same guy that, six years later, raged at the 1966 Batman show for being too silly and campy, because comix must be taken seriously!

        Only possible conclusion: He believed this cover was deeply serious and profound.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Does Batiuk ever make it past the front cover?

        That’s a very good question. He reads The Flash, but other than that, I wonder. His “Cover Me” choices don’t have anything in common, like Asphalt Blues and Fangs and this hilarious thing. And he has absolutely nothing to say about the covers, much less the parts of the book that are mostly words.

        Sheesh, look at this. It looks it was like made in 1991 at Kinko’s for a class project. It might be fine for what it is, but why does it deserve recognition in a review of silver age comic book covers? And it’s a goofy vampire/werewolf love story, not TB’s usual oeuvre.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Batiuk doesn’t realize how much he sounds like a poseur. A total phoney.

          The “common man” can’t appreciate comic books the way he can. /s

  13. Speaking of comic books, while my webzone and I are having a bit of a tiff, here’s the cover anyway. Apropos of nothing, but then shouldn’t that be the Funky Winkerbean motto?

  14. The Dreamer

    On a unrelated note, TomBat’s friend Dilbert creator Scott Adams has come out as a horrible racist Newspapers across the country are dropping Dilbert Stop reading Dilbert!

    • Paul Jones

      He started blaming black people for the fact that he’s a hack no one likes when they cancelled his shitty cartoon. This is no real surprise.

      • Bill the Splut

        Given the down votes, I think this is a subject we can pass on here.
        It’s funny though, how no media has mentioned that 10 years ago, Adams said “Women are like retarded children!” Not a paraphrase, btw.
        Then he double downed, then triple downed, then claimed “It was SATIRE! You were all just too dumb to GET THE JOKE!”
        This is literally what he’s doing now.
        This is the same argument Alex Jones has used when taken to court. Over a child massacre.

        • Bill the Splut

          I, for one, congratulate all of you who “agree to disagree” by hitting a down button, rather than giving a cogent rebuttal. We appreciate your service.
          There are fanny wipes in the bathroom. Later, there will be juice boxes.

          Maybe let’s stop downvoting and move on to disliking Cranky Wankernoodle instead?

  15. The Duck of Death

    Good news! Arcamax today found a way to greatly improve Crankshaft. Dinkle and Lillian are far more tolerable now.

    • This speaks to the amount of quality control that goes into TB’s product. For those who absolutely must know what really happens in the Crankiverse today, the comic renders correctly over at GoComics.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        What happens is that Dinkleberg is back in the St. Spires choir loft, telling his Heavenly Harem of Harridans “how nice it’s been to be able to hold live rehearsals again.” Thing of the matter is, since Harry the D first took the organist/choir director job back in March of ’21, they’ve had nothing but live rehearsals, performances, sitting watching the Rose Parade online, jazz funerals, jazz Messiahs, and so on. I suppose some of these may not count in Batiuk’s mind since they occurred in “the other strip,” but once again the Silver Age comics fanatic chucks years of his own continuity out the window for a labored pun that switches a letter in “digital divide.” Ponderous, man.

        • The Duck of Death

          So help me, the only thing I could think of when I saw the bizarre phrase “digital divine” was the late film star Divine doing something very profane with her fingers.

          Anyhoo, what happened to the elegant “wrapping everything up in a bowtie [sic]” with the whole damn town at St Spires?

          I know. Timemop. Nudging.

    • Gerard Plourde

      (Chef’s kiss!)

      So glad that this site decided to continue. I’d really miss seeing the work of TFH, BC, CBH, BJr.6000, BTS, ED on a regular basis. Also the comments submitted by bwoeh. (I’m sure I left someone out.)