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Comics Alliance Presents ‘Kate or Die’ in ‘What’s In A Name?’

CAStripGG-feat

Welcome to the latest episode of ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, a pair of wise witches contemplate some literally unspeakable troublemakers and villains. There are some horrors you should never invoke.

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FunkyWatch: February’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyWatchFeb

Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

I'm not going to lie to you, folks: Tommy B was in rare form last month. After crushing every ounce of hope I had left in me with January's monumentally disappointing Dick Tracy crossover, I assumed, having never learned my lesson about assumptions in the years that I've been reading this strip, that February would bring an upswing in quality. I mean, mathematically speaking, it would almost have to. And yet, Funky Winkerbean continues to defy all expectations. These strips might not have made me quite as angry as January's did, but believe me, folks: they get dark, even by Westview standards.

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FunkyWatch: January’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyWatchJan

Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

I have been writing this column for four and a half years now, and I can tell you with absolutely no uncertainty that I have never been as angry with Funky Winkerbean as I am right now. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've been mad at this thing before, but never before has it been the pure, incandescent rage of betrayal at declaring the crossover of the year, only to have it stink up the joint like a bucket of dead fish. But I think I'm getting ahead of myself. Fortunately, we've got all the usual misery to take my mind off it.

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Funky/Dick: The Crossover Of The Year Is Here

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Friends and neighbors, it is truly a blessed day: Funky/Dick is finally here.

A few months back, we found an announcement buried in an article in Variety, of all places, that revealed plans for ComicsAlliance's two favorite comic strips, Funky Winkerbean and Dick Tracy, to cross over at the start of the year. Now, the day has come, and there is a very good chance that Les Moore will either be violently murdered or framed for murder. If I was a betting man, I'd put money on the latter, but in my heart, I know I'm hoping for the former.

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Ask Chris #228: Dick Tracy, Annie, And The Ending To The Weirdest Crossover Of The Year

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: How did Dick Tracy solve the case of Li'l Orphan Annie's disappearance and was it appropriately insane? -- @willwise3

A: Oh Will. Will, Will, Will. I want to take a moment to thank you for letting me talk about what is unquestionably the single greatest crossover of the year. For those of you who may have missed it, the Little Orphan Annie comic strip ended a while back with what has to be the most harrowing cliffhanger to ever hit the newspaper page. After eighty years of adventures, Annie went out in the middle of a story where she'd been kidnapped by an actual war criminal called the Butcher of the Balkans, locked up on a boat bound for an unknown shore, with Daddy Warbucks wondering if he would ever see his beloved daughter again. Seriously, that was the last strip, and Annie's final fate until it was announced that Dick Tracy would step up and solve the case last summer.

As for whether or not that story was "insane," well, let me put it this way: It involves SUPER-POWERED MOON PEOPLE, ATOMIC WEAPONS, AND A TIME MACHINE.

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FunkyWatch: December’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyDec00

Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

The end of the year is always a time for reflection, and for me, that came today when I logged into Comics Kingdom and reupped for another year of the service that sends me each day's Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft strip first thing in the morning, thus ensuring that I start off each day by experiencing the worst of the human condition. So as we dive into this month's strips and all the reminders that death is the only respite from the horrors of life, keep in mind that I have once again done this to myself.

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FunkyWatch: November’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyWatchNov

Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

I've been doing these monthly roundups of Batiuk and Ayers's particular brand of smirks and sorrows for over four years now, but this month, I actually forgot I had to do it. I'm not sure if it was just the post-Thanksgiving food coma or the hectic transition into December, but for a few days, I was free. And then I remembered, and it all came crashing down. Which, coincidentally, is exactly what happens in this month's strips, so take a deep breath and read on for October's most soul-crushing newspaper strips.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Deluxe Edition Comics And Art Books

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If you’re like some of the ComicsAlliance staff, you have a great affection for deluxe edition books that offer historical overviews of various pop culture topics, reprint the great works of the comics medium, and/or collect classic storylines (and supplement them with all kinds of bonus material)… And with the gift-giving season now in full swing, you're likely looking for the perfect gifts for your follow geeks (or possibly, wanting to give your relations some suggestions for things you'd like this year, in lieu of another ill-fitting sweater). So as a public service, we've compiled this list of some of the best expensive, large, and mind-blowingly ornate titles that you can find at your local comic shop or from online booksellers.

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Funky Dick: ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Dick Tracy’ Are Crossing Over In January

Dick Tracy and Funky Winkerbean

For some reason, Variety, the Hollywood newspaper known mainly for a tendency to go hard on pun headlines, did a piece today on the endless march of depression that is Funky Winkerbean and how the creeping despair that infests every inch of Westview is actually something of a blessing for the floundering newspaper comics page. It's an interesting take on a brand of misery that we've become pretty familiar with over the years here at ComicsAlliance, but buried towards the end of the article is one of the most exciting announcements I've seen all year:

"In January, Funky characters are slated to meet Dick Tracy, who is published by a different syndicate, the result of a meeting with Dick Tracy artist Joe Staton at a comics convention."

Please, Santa Claus, if you're listening, let this be a story about Dick Tracy being called in to investigate the murder of Les Moore.

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FunkyWatch: October’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyOct

Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

A few days ago, I wrote a little about how there aren't a lot of characters that I hate as though they were actual people, but let me tell you: After October's Funky Winkerbean strips, There is not an amount of money in my possession that I would not give for a chance to punch Les Moore right in his stupid, smirking face. I've been doing this column long enough that even the most harrowing depths of the Funkyverse don't really depress me, but last month, I learned that his self-satisfied smirk can still provoke a white-hot rage. Join me, won't you?

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