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Humor

The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 8, 1993–1995

| Filed under: Art, Black Squirrel Books, Comics, Humor, Recent Releases
Funky 8-Tom Batiuk

In this eighth volume, Funky Winkerbean continues to move forward in real time, tackling issues of relevance and substance with characters whose lives are increasingly fateful and destined. Funky has placed Batiuk at the forefront of a new genre in comic art history as the strip pursues stories ahead of their time: guns in schools and teen suicide. The humor in Funky continues to grow as it evolves from sitcom gags to a deeper and more engaging behavioral style of humor.

 


The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume 7, 1990–1992

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Comics, Humor, Recent Releases
Batiuk Funky 7

In this seventh volume, we see the changes in tone that now characterize Funky WinkerbeanFunky becomes more of a reality-based comic strip that depicts contemporary issues in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner. In 1992 Tom Batiuk did something even more radical: he rebooted and restructured the strip, establishing that the characters had graduated from high school. From then on the series progresses in real time.

 


The Last Leaf

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Humor
Batiuk-Last Leaf cover

To be published simultaneously with Prelude, The Last Leaf is the sequel after Lisa’s death from breast cancer in Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe. The Last Leaf recounts how Les and family cope with Lisa’s death and continue their lives. Creator Tom Batiuk brings Lisa back in Les’s imagination, and she helps him work out difficulties and decisions in his life and in the life of their daughter Summer. Fans will recognize Batiuk’s gentle mix of humor and more serious reallife themes that heighten the reader’s interest.

 


Prelude

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Humor
Batiuk-Prelude Cover

Prelude is a collection of the early comic strips that bring Lisa and Les together. Introduced to readers of Funky Winkerbean in late 1984 as she experiences SAT test anxiety, Lisa becomes Les Moore’s best friend and a pivotal character. Les and Lisa go to the prom, begin steady dating, and then break up. Over the summer, Les realizes how much he misses Lisa. When he gathers his courage and goes to her house, he is stunned to discover Lisa is pregnant with a child fathered by a jock from Walnut Tech. Lisa asks Les to be her coach in childbirth classes, and their friendship explodes from there. Prelude takes fans from the early days of their deep friendship through the birth of Lisa’s baby and the baby’s adoption.

 


The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume 6, 1987–1989

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Humor
Batiuk Funky 6 Cover

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.

 


The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume 5, 1984–1986

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Humor
Batiuk cover

By this point in its evolution, Funky Winkerbean is resonating with its readers and its popularity is growing. Crankshaft, the irascible bus driver, and Betty, Westview High School’s secretary, are introduced. Crankshaft quickly became a fan favorite, with many readers responding to the trauma-inducing, surly old curmudgeon. Not since the introduction of band director Harry L. Dinkle had a new character received such a positive response. Betty soldiers on at Westview until Batiuk finally sends her off to the cartoon character’s retirement home.

 


Roses in December

and | Filed under: Art, Humor
Batiuk cover

Roses in December is a touching collection of two Crankshaft storylines of characters who find themselves dealing with the incurable condition of Alzheimer’s disease. First, Ed Crankshaft’s best friend Ralph is confronted with the trauma of his wife Helen’s worsening Alzheimer’s. He never knows if the love of his life will recognize him on those days that he visits her at Sunny Days Nursing Home. Ralph and Helen’s love story unfolds with humor and heartbreak.

 


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