After more than fifty years in syndication, the Funky Winkerbean comic is coming to an end after its creator, Tom Batiuk, announced his end date.
It’s a staple of newspapers around the world, but after more than fifty years, Tom Batiuk Funky Winkerbean coming to an end. Batiuk announced he would be retiring the beloved comic at the end of the year, capping off a truly transformative saga.
Funky Winkerbean began as a series of cartoons that creator Tom Batiuk drew while overseeing the study hall as an English teacher. He used the characters to create a one-panel strip called rap around for the Elyria Chronicle telegram. Just two years later, Batiuk sold a reworked version to Publishers-Hall Syndicate, creating a comic strip that would be read in hundreds of newspapers. Funky Winkerbean largely centered around the main character and his friends who attend Westview High School. But in 1992, Batiuk made the decision to age his characters, a move that not only changed the format of the story, but began the strip’s foray into exploring relevant and timely social issues.
Since Funky Winkerbean’s second jump in 2007, the tape continued to include storylines that touched on serious matters. But after a run of more than fifty years, Tom Batiuk has decided to put an end to the stories of Funky, his friends and his family. The comic book creator posted on his personal site, tombatiuk.com, that the time had come to end the ongoing story. However, the artist left the door slightly open saying that he plans to do from time to time Funky Winkerbean story on his personal website. Not only that, but Funky Winkerbean’s spin-off series crankshaft would continue with Batiuk and Dan Davis still at the helm. Batiuk even mentions that Funky and his cast can make occasional appearances in crankshaft. But as for Funky Winkerbean’s daily adventures, these will end at the end of 2022.
It’s the end of an era for Funky Winkerbean
It’s sad to see a comic that’s been around for so long come to an end. Funky Winkerbean was a comic strip that was published in over four hundred newspapers around the world. The strip also received literary acclaim when Funky Winkerbean was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her Lisa Moore character-centric cancer arc. Funky Winkerbean has undergone several drastic changes, some of which have been quite controversial. But his growth in storytelling cemented the strip and Batiuk’s place in comic book history.
Most comics are centered on a status quo that rarely allows its characters to grow or change. But Tom Batiuk changed what comics could be with his bold and creative choices. Batiuk’s comic evolved from a gag-a-day comic to a story that tackled serious issues such as drug addiction, suicide, abusive relationships, and more. It wasn’t the kind of stuff you found in the usual Sunday jokes, but it did Funky Winkerbean stand out even more. It’s been a long and strange journey for Funky Winkerbean and his pals, and readers can see for themselves how the story ends on December 31, 2022.
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