Questions continue to come in about the comic book covers that I use from time to time in the Funky Sunday strips. It seems that there are a lot of folks in Funkydom who enjoy seeing the comics of their youth and the artists who created them paid homage in this way. So I thought I’d let you in on some of the thinking behind their selection.
When I arrived as a freshman at Kent State University, I experienced the usual traumas of being away from home and living on your own (more or less) for the first time. Once I was settled-in, I went looking for a place that sold comic books in Kent. Even though I had the vast resources of a university at my disposal, I needed to continue my comics education because I was still basically being home-schooled by Stan the Man Lee. There were only a couple of places in Kent that sold comics and both were quite a hoof. Making the journey often required the cutting of a class or two. The first place I tried was called the Kent Kozy Korner. It was the kind of small little drugstore/lunch counter establishment that was already fading from the scene, and was probably a year or so from closing at that point. It had one of those old fashioned comic rack/magazine stands, and when I walked in and saw the comics there, it was like encountering some long lost friends. While the place stayed open, it remained my source for all of the magic that was pouring out of Marvel Comics at that time. None, however, was more magical than this Jack Kirby/Don Heck cover showing the Red Skull becoming the master of the cosmic cube. That it’s a Kirby pencilling job there is no doubt, although the inking looks more like Dick Ayers or Syd Shores to me, but who am I to argue with the Grand Comics Database. What it certainly is is a masterful piece of work that exploded in my brain like a small thermonuclear device. The image never left me and was one of the first I thought of when it came time to give my due to the comic creating gods of my youth.
Sadly, instead of being designated a historic landmark, the Kent Kozy Korner was razed not too log ago to make way for a Speedway gas station… which doesn’t sell comics. However the memory of the Kent Kozy Korner does live on as the Komix Korner, the comic shop in the Funkyverse.
I’d like to close by thanking the Ohio Music Educators Association for the royal treatment this past weekend. It was the kick-off book signing for Volume 2 of The Complete Funky Winkerbean and I had a great time meeting with a lot of old friends and making some new ones as well. We’ve already made plans to do the kick-off for Volume 3 there next year. You should be able to order Volume 2 from this website in short order or you can go to Amazon right now where it’s already listed (and at a very nice price I might add). Also, some new book signings have just been added in the events section on this site. Check ’em out.