About Tom Batiuk

After graduating from Kent State University in 1969 with a BFA and a certificate in education, Tom Batiuk taught junior high arts and crafts in Elyria, Ohio. While he was teaching, he began drawing a panel called Rapping Around for the Teen Page of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram in 1970 which led, in 1972, to the creation of Funky Winkerbean.

In 1979, he launched into syndication John Darling, showcasing the misadventures of a fictional talk-show host, with artist Tom Armstrong; followed in 1987 by his third comic strip, Crankshaft, with artist Chuck Ayers, and now currently with Dan Davis.

He received the Ohio Governor’s Award in 1996, and received an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International in 1999. His book collections The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. 4 and Roses in December were both Eisner Nominees at San Diego Comic-Con International in 2016.

In October of 2007, The Kent State University Press published Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe which compiled the entire Lisa’s cancer story arc. In 2008, Lisa’s Story was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. 

March of 2022 marked Funky’s 50th anniversary. Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft are currently syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Tom and his wife Cathy reside in Ohio, and their son Brian works in television in Cincinnati.