Walking into NEA’s offices in an old warehouse on West Third Street was like walking into a time machine. The bulk of NEA’s roster was relics of a bygone era. Big blowups of strips like Our Boarding House and Alley OOP hung on the walls around a large open bullpen filled with desks and drawing boards covered with paper and comic strips. I met with the manager of their comic art department, the guy with the coolest name in the newspaper business, Flash Fairfield. Flash was a lanky character right out of a Hollywood B movie. The only thing missing was an eyeshade and garters on his shirtsleeves. Flash was also the perfect guy for a budding young cartoonist to run into. He sat down with me, I showed him my samples, and we spent the rest of the afternoon not only talking about the work I’d brought in but about comics in general and about how a good comic strip was constructed.
*From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. One