Characters suddenly began proliferating in Funky like aunts at a family reunion. There was the black cheerleader Junebug Jones; Melinda Budd, Holly Budd’s ambitious stage mother; Jerome the drum major; Nancy the school librarian; Ron the tennis pro; Irma, Rita Righton’s tennis partner; Senator Noah Vale; Neal, the director of the Lighthouse, a home for status offenders; Channel One reporters Brenda Harpy and Minnie Cameron; news anchor Charlie Lord; Phil the Forecaster; talk show host John Darling; and program director Reed Roberts. This along with numerous inanimate forms suddenly achieving sentience, such as the talking trees and leaves, talking clouds, talking school desks, talking video games, a talking jack-o-lantern, and even a talking tennis ball machine that goes on to play at Wimbledon. It seems I managed to ignore Flash Fairfield’s thoughtful and well-intentioned advice on almost a weekly basis.
From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Three