I mentioned in an earlier post that Volume 9 of Complete Funky Winkerbean is the first one where the Sunday strips appear in color. I alluded to the fact there was a very unfortunate reason for this and now I’m here to spill the rest of the beans. It’s that at sometime in mid 1995, the company that was the paginator responsible for a large complement of of the newspaper Sunday comics sections in the country, decided that they no longer had the space to store all of the decades worth of Sunday comic strip files that they held. When I was working on the first volume of the Complete Funky Winkerbean, I wanted to get the Sunday color files for the book, and when I checked, I was told that the company had purged all of the files prior to mid 1995 from the system. Just like that, a large swath of this unique American art form suddenly was gone… forever. The utter thoughtless lack of consideration and foresight behind this decision is staggering. Decades of the art form disappeared from sight never to be seen again.
The good news is that The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9 is a luminous edition that features my coloring and also marks the first time I worked with an outside colorist, and showcases the beautiful work Lee Loughridge who I considered to be one of the best color pickers around. I’ll be digging into how that all came about in a future post.