So, to the work in question and particularly the artwork in question . . . while the story was told in greater detail in a previous volume, allow me a quick recap to bring everyone up to speed. For the first twenty-four or so years of Funky, artistically, everything was generally seen head-on through the proscenium arch. It was a simple approach, no doubt heavily influenced by Charles Schulz, that worked perfectly for a simpler style of writing. But then something happened. The writing began to get ahead of the art. At first it was just a jogging pace, but it wasn’t long before it became a full-on sprint. When Chuck Ayers and I started working together on Funky, a couple of things occurred. First, we got a year ahead on the work, which afforded me the breathing space to spend more time with the writing, and which allowed me to develop longer thoughts. At the same time, Chuck’s more cinematic approach to the art was more closely matched to the type of writing in which I was now engaged. I had aged my characters, and Chuck was working to hew his drawing to their new look while at the same time moving the camera around and lending more believability to the work. But, as that was happening, or maybe because that was happening, I became increasingly ambitious on the writing side and started advancing toward an even more mature writing approach. The first art changes made by me were no longer going to be sufficient for carrying the kind of work I wanted to do, and I was already looking beyond them. I could feel the tug of a particular story beginning to reassert itself, and along with it came the nagging need to have the art complement the writing to an even greater degree than it already was doing. I wasn’t sure I even knew exactly what I was looking for. It was just a sense that there was one more step that needed to be taken. It took a painful tennis toe to make that happen.
From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 11