That being said, after going through the three years of strips in the volume, it seems those sentiments may have been something of an overreach and it appears I have to walk things back a bit. True, I did deal with the topics of dyslexia and steroid abuse, and my adult and student relationships with others were starting to leave the surface jokes on the surface and beginning to dig down to the strata where a more natural and interior behavioral humor resided. These weren’t huge reaches, but significant nonetheless. However, along with that we still have things like a talking scapegoat, talking leaves and watermelons, a Star Trek convention being held by a school computer that accidentally invites Dr. Spock instead of Science Officer Spock (actually, that’s kind of cute), along with me not only breaking the fourth wall but doing a complete demo of it on some days (I’m thinking here of the Halloween watermelon arc where I’m being investigated to see if I actually use watermelons for jack-o’-lanterns and the daily strip where I’m hiding in my studio as Mike Wallace from Sixty Minutes knocks on my door), and, yes—even Les still getting stuck on the cursed rope in gym class. The strip seemed to be running on two tracks and was kind of schizophrenic at this point. So it raises the question that you were about to, you clever devil—is there a real Tom Batiuk in these pages somewhere? Yes, there absolutely is. To para-song-check Pete Townshend, my dreams weren’t as empty as my conscience seemed to be. What we’re seeing in these pages is an artist in transition, and it’s called a transition for a reason, people. It’s, to quote my Aunt Merriam, “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.” What my dear auntie is saying is that these things don’t happen overnight. You necessarily have to travel through a period of flux to get there. One foot planted where you were, and one planted where you want to go. Thus what we have here is Funky the flux years, but it wasn’t only the strips that were in flux. Back then as far as my work and career were concerned, everything was in a state of flux.
From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Six