From the beginning, Flash stressed the importance of having just a few main characters with distinguishing traits and appearances. He pointed out the strong characters in strips like Peanuts and Freckles and his Friends. Looking back, I’m sure this is why I did things like have the band director always appear in uniform. With his earnestness and genuine interest in my work, Flash made quite an impression on me. In fact, a note he sent reminding me of these points remained taped to my drawing board for a number of years. Eventually it disappeared, and shortly thereafter I began breaking most of Flash’s rules, but at the time it was advice that I needed to hear, and it helped me build a solid foundation for the work. Feeling that my writing style would work better in a strip form, he sent me home with instructions to turn my panels into a comic strip with three or four main characters. He followed up by sending me copies of the samples I’d left graded, marked up, and broken down into strip form.
*From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. One