Meet Halle Dinkle

From The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) website:

Funky Winkerbean made its debut on the comics pages in 1972, and today appears in more than 400 newspapers worldwide. [Tom] Batiuk chronicles the lives of students and faculty at Westview High, including Harry L. Dinkle character, the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Band Leader.” Batiuk, a former middle school teacher, is such a fan of music education that he created the comic strip Halle Dinkle just for [NAfME] members. Halle is Harry’s daughter, and the strips chronicle the trials and triumphs of a general music teacher.

This seems less a spinoff than just something nice TB wanted to do for the music teachers. There are only a handful of Halle strips to be found online, so I’ve taken the liberty of collecting them here.

The strip has all the hallmarks of a Tom Batiuk joint. Note the smirk on the little girl to the left of panel 2:

The below strip has almost no hallmarks of Batiuk’s work. Those weird, cracked faces were probably penciled by TB’s sometime stand-in, famous comics artist John Byrne. The subject matter, school funding, particularly for music and arts programs, is pure TB.

Here, Batiuk must really have been pressed for time: he just rewrites the first strip!

Summer and Keisha guest-star here. Surprisingly, Ed Crankshaft is not driving the bus.

In this 2010 strip, Halle’s mushroom-head hairstyle in all its glory.

Halle crossed over to Funky Winkerbean to celebrate Harry and Harriet’s 50th wedding anniversary. TB took his time with this September 2013 strip, softening Halle’s looks and adding color. Those hideous twins have a future either in music or as serial killers:

A Christmas “holiday” themed strip:

And a back-to-school strip from 2014:

5 responses to “Meet Halle Dinkle

  1. beckoningchasm

    Gah, that sentence in the one with the school bus is just godawful. I’ve never seen something sewn together so awkwardly, using such terrible parts. It’s like a monster Dr. Frankenstein would put together after a drinking binge.

    The jokes themselves aren’t too bad, though I’ve never seen a female named “Noel.”

  2. billytheskink

    I especially like the subtle changes between the first strip and the one that reused its artwork.
    – The girl with the Pac-Man-sized smirk in panel 2 has traded her butterfly/flower shirt for a Christmas star one.
    – The bespectacled girl in panel 1 is much happier to be in Ms. Dinkle’s class in the second strip than the first.
    – The houseplant (surely that is not supposed to be someone’s hair) sitting behind bespectacled girl in panel 1 is fuller in the second strip.
    – The bunheaded girl in panel 2 finds Shermy’s observation that many Christmas carol titles contain words also commonly used as female first names to be smirk-worthy, but not his much-funnier General Music/Private Lessons joke.

  3. @billytheskink I loved Shermy. Th’ fuck ever happened to him?


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