Match to Flame 169

Mar 8, 2022

In the last year in this volume, you’ll find the story arc that deals with Funky’s alcoholism. It’s the second story I pulled from my “field notes,” and I approached it with my now established method. This time my research took me to an AA meeting to see and hear what transpired there. My notes from that meeting led to the Sunday strip where Funky stands up and tells the world that he’s an alcoholic. Choosing for this to happen to my title character made the alcoholism arc more impactful. It showed that anything could happen in the Funkyverse, and to anyone, even Funky himself. Again, having the advantage of knowing that this was coming allowed me plant the seeds and warning signs gleaned from my research very early on in the strip in small and more obvious ways. When Chuck told me that the house Bill Wilson, the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, lived in when he started AA was just around the corner from where Chuck lived, we put it in the strip. It’s in the background on the street where Funky and his sponsor Wade Wallace are walking. Wade Wallace, by the way, began his comic strip life in John Darling as a washed-up former news anchor who was living on the street. I waste nothing. 

Down the road this work, too, would be collected in a book, My Name is Funky . . . and I’m an Alcoholic, which was published by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. 

From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 10

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