Behind the Books – Book 26

Mar 6, 2024

Following the success of Lisa’s Story, in 2009 I once again approached the Kent State University Press with some thoughts about publishing, not one, but three other possible book collections. The first was called Roses in December which gathered the strips from Crankshaft dealing with Alzheimer’s. The second was a book collecting all of the baseball stories from Crankshaft. Together, I felt these books these books comprised two of the better story arcs from Crankshaft and the folks at the Press agreed deciding to publish beautiful editions of both. 

The third book proposal I brought in was a different beast altogether. I took in a sheaf of 75 emails or so that I had printed off from readers asking, cajoling and few demanding a collection of the strips from Funky Winkerbean. Quite honestly I didn’t have high hopes for that pitch, but the staff at the Press surprised me by saying that they wanted to embark on the almost biblical undertaking of publishing a complete collection of the Funky strips. My first reaction was elation at their wanting to do that, my second was “what on earth have I gotten myself into”? The simple answer was that you just needed to do it one book at a time, and, after all, you had a year for each book to do that. I also decided that, for each volume, I’d pull the curtain back and provide a sort of behind-the-scenes” biography” of the work contained in each volume. It’s turned out to even more fun and fulfilling than I’d imagined, and The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 1 was the first of a collection that would stretch well into the future.

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