A couple leftover band director gags in an otherwise “At Home with the Winkerbeans” week. Holly still needs crutches, although in Tuesday’s strip she appears to be completely fine without them.
Cartoonist Batton Thomas visits the Komix Korner to chat with John.
Les shares with Summer how Lisa used to feed the backyard birds, and confides in his daughter that he’d seen Lisa filling the feeder even after she died (turns out to be a kindly neighbor lady).
January 30-February 6
Becky and Dinkle attend the OMEA conference.
Comic book creators Flash and Phil come up with villains to compete with the characters of their Elementals Force.
Marianne learns that her portrayal of Lisa in Lisa’s Story has earned her an Oscar nomination. Not from her agent, but from Mason, who read it in Variety. The costars celebrate over calamari and red champagne at Musso and Frank.
February 28-March 6
Flash ‘n’ Phil try to come up with new villains to face the Elementals Force. Pete suggests that the Force “battle human inaction” versus “climate damage.” Pete remind Flash about a column he
wrote plagiarized from Stan Lee, about the human race’s impact upon the environment.
Marianne wins the Best Actress Oscar, which she brings to Ohio to present to Les, along with the Lisa videos that she studied for her role.
Funky once again regales his AA meeting with wacky stories of life during Covid.
March 28-April 16:
Maddie Klinghorn reappears after a lengthy absence, and on a car ride with her parents learns about Donna’s childhood alter ego Donald, aka ace video gamer the Eliminator. Donna retrieves “Donald’s” trademark, gender-concealing space helmet; Crazy Harry places the helmet on his head and is transported to the Westview town square of 1980. He stashes the magical helmet under the park bench, then proceeds to Montoni’s to risk a “time anamoly” and meets his Crazy, teenaged, Act I self.
Harry swings by Westview High School and fails to warn Lisa to get regular mammograms, then to purchase a comic book worth a potential fortune (and unknowingly encountering his future spouse). He retrieves the helmet and puts it on, “blipping” back into the future but leaving the comic on the bench, whence it is recovered by little Johnny Howard. Crazy finds himself back in the present; apparently it was all a dream induced by fumes from the helmet’s “out-gassing” plastics.
Batton Thomas visits the Atomik Komix studio and talks “climate damage” with Flash, Phil, and Chester.
Funky and Les attend the funeral of their high school classmate Mary Sue Sweetwater.
Crazy Harry laments the fact that he is no longer “hip.”
Westview High’s Class of 2022 graduates.
May 30-June 12
At a graduation party, Malcolm asks Logan out to a date at the mall. The two browse at a clothing store, where they are accosted by a white sales clerk who accuses them of stealing. Cayla happens by and intervenes.
June 13-July 3
After an eight year betrothment, Cory and Rocky arrive in Westview for a wedding that includes comic books, pizza, and G.I. Joes.
Dinkle and fellow band director Andy Clark reminisce about their band director days.
Gallery owner Kitch Swoon visits Atomik Komix, and approaches Phil about a one-man gallery show of his work. Phil tells the story about his tryout to replace Prince Valiant cartoonist Hal Foster, and he and Flash reminisce about making their own comic books back in their high school days.
Funky and Holly attend a financial seminar; Funky spends the entire time busting the presenter’s chops.
Funky and Les play tennis and discuss pickleball and getting old.
Crazy Harry visits Summer to return the Lisa tapes; in a flashback, we learn that it was Crazy Harry’s idea to record these tapes for her loved ones to watch after her death.
Aug. 22-Sept. 3
Funky and friends gather for their fiftieth–fiftieth!–high school reunion. Cindy, 68, is there, with her much younger movie star husband. Also in attendance is Rolanda, née Roland. The gang realizes that none of them felt like they fit in during their high school years.
Sept. 4-Oct. 2
Jessica watches reruns of The John Darling Show on Channel One, and decides that she’d like to have a memento of her murdered father’s show. She and Darin visit the home of eccentric Mitchell Knox, who as a twelve-year-old wrote for Batom Comics, and whose home is a museum of Cleveland TV memorabilia, including the stage set of The John Darling Show. Darin discovers a handgun in a drawer of the stage set. Mitchell tells them it’s the gun that was used to murder Darling, and presents it to Jessica, along with a JD coffee mug. Darin has the gun melted down, and recast as a metal toy spaceship for Skyler.
Batton Thomas still hanging around Atomik Komix, where he discusses climate damage with Phil, Flash, and Chester.
Funky and Les join a game of pickup football with some teens.
Flash back “several years ago” (actually 11) to Susan Smith following her departure from Westview. She pulls her car over on a high bridge. Who should happen by but Crankshaft in his school bus, thinking she’s about to jump.
Oct. 23-November 6
During a jog through the park, Summer tells Les she plans to take a “gap year” from her graduate work to write a book: an “oral history” of Westview. Afterwards, the pair visit Montoni’s to learn that Funky is preparing to close the pizzeria and auction off the restaurant’s contents, citing losses suffered during the covid pandemic.
Batton Thomas tells the Atomik Komix staff that “climate damage” is making it difficult for him to obtain his Silver Age omibus books. Ruby announces her intentions to finally retire (which happens to coincide with Tom Batiuk’s announcement that he’s ending Funky Winkerbean).
November 21-December 11
Summer’s research for her book brings her to Westview High to interview Harley the janitor. We learn that Harley has traveled from the future (via “the Eliminator’s” helmet, which young Donna stole from him) to ensure that Summer writes her important book. Harley relates to Summer that he gently “nudged” peoples minds to influence events, such as the meeting of teenage Lisa and Les, to make sure that Summer would be born and write her book, which will somehow turn out to be of great value to future generations.
Summer wakes up and realizes her entire conversation with Harley was “one crazy dream” (“or was it…?”) She then takes a walk around Westview in the snow to reflect.
Dinkle, the church choir, and the Bedside Manorisms present a “Jazz Messiah” concert at St. Spires Church.
Jump to the future: on her birthday, a teenage girl and her mother travel by solar scooter to an “antiquarian bookstore.” The young girl is Summer’s granddaughter, and her mother gifts her with “old tree copies” of Summer’s Westview book, and of Lisa’s Story: the Other Shoe. Back at home, the mother tells the girl, whose name is also Lisa, that she must stop reading and go to bed; after all, “the books will still be there tomorrow.”