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


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 ongoing 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.

You might think that February might not lend itself all that well to the Funkyverse's usual brand of complete and utter soul-crushing despair. I mean at the very least, there's Valentine's Day, and we should at least get a few strips about lovey-dovey romance and happiness, right? Wrong. So, so wrong. February may be the shortest month, but that just means that Batiuk and Ayers have to work even harder to cram every ounce of existential dread into their comics -- and just in case you think I'm exaggerating, consider that DEATH ITSELF MADE AN APPEARANCE last month, and that's not even the weirdest part.

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Ask Chris #160: Gettin’ Older



Q: Does it ever bug you that comics characters don't age in any significant manner? --@sackobooks

A: I'm not gonna lie to you, Sacko: The first time I looked at this question, I dismissed it almost immediately, because to me, the answer seems pretty obvious. I mean, I am a guy whose career is defined by being super into a guy who's been in his early thirties for the past 74 years, so it's clearly not that big an issue. But then I got to talking to Matt Wilson about it, and he made me realize that there's actually a lot there to talk about.

After all, some characters do age. But do they need to?

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