The year kicked off with me crisscrossing the country in support of a Funky book collection entitled Funky Winkerbean: You Know You’ve Got Trouble When Your School Mascot Is a Scapegoat. You also know you’ve got trouble when something like that is the title of your book. The ever-expanding repertory company of characters collectively known as Funky Winkerbean was never an easy brand to wrap your arms around and market. It lacked the one-cat-fits-all mentality. When you couple that with the direction in which I wanted to take the work, the picture for licensing the strip didn’t look rosy. In a period when licensing dollars were falling from the sky like snowflakes in an Alberta clipper, not many stuck to Funky. Of course, if I had to deal with tons of licensing, the work and time dedicated to that would have splintered my focus and inevitably caused the strip to suffer. When you add to that the fact that a large market presence would have no doubt dictated that the original Funky gang remain in high school forever, endlessly repeating their high school hijinks, you would have found me to be quite the unhappy camper. Granted, I’d be camping in a much bigger house on a massive estate with a horse in the Kentucky Derby and whatnot, but unhappy nonetheless. But while the book tour wasn’t about to land me on the New York Times Best Sellers list, it did have one fascinating spin-off.
From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Five