Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What About Funky Winkerbean?

In response to the comics query in Tuesday’s paper, a reader asked about the Funky Winkerbean strip. This write-in vote is among responses to the discussion about daily comics. So far, 500-plus ballots have been registered online and received through "snail" mail.
If we were to start Winkerbean, the current dialogue and social commentary would add to approaches we see in Doonesbury.
To some, Winkerbean might add balance.
To others, it would add to the fray. A few suggest we move Doonesbury to the Conversations section.
Review the compelling efforts in the Winkerbean archive, especially the landmine story. To keep up with storylines, we’d have to consider it for Sunday too.
Take the survey and send us your "funky" thoughts.
Note: Funky Winkerbean is by Tom Batiuk. It was eliminated from The Sunday Times by Editor Buddy Baker in 1987 .


SmarterFunnies said...

The Times could lose Curtis, Mary Worth and even Marvin as far as I'm concerned, and out of the choices for new strips, none excite me very much, although Dog Eat Doug piques my interest very much. The best thing the Times has done in the last couple of years comic strip-wise is bring back Berkely Breathed and Opus, and then returning to a (somewhat) enlarged comics page on Sundays (although to do them justice you could still use to expand the size, as well as increase the number. Funky Winkerbean is, of course, by the same artist, Tom Batiuk, as Crankshaft, but with a surprisingly different sensibility, and a cast of characters and story line that has really developed over the years. 'Never did understand why it that one was removed, and I'd be happy to see it back.

A couple of my personal favorites that I subscribe to, offered by United Features Syndicate (UM), are "Pearls Before Swine" and "Get Fuzzy", both of which are hilarious, but the wickedly funny humor is probably over the head of most of the Times' readership unfortunately. The good thing is they're available over the 'net, as are other great strips which are better than most (but not all, e.g. Zits, Opus, B.C., Dilbert, Sally Forth, FBoW, and Crankshaft) of the strips carried by the Times. These other strips which should be considered include Ballard Street, Edison Lee, Retail, Buckles, Mutts, Mallard Filmore (which would be a great balance to Doonesbury) and even ol' Prince Valiant, which deserves a return to Sundays, simply because it's older than dirt with great artwork and the world's longest running storyline. Better comics would keep me subscribing when I debate each month about cancelling. As it stands right now the only parts of the paper I read regularly are the comics and the sports page, with an occasional glance at the front page (mostly only because it's right there). Otherwise my news mostly comes online (as do most of my comics, now, some of which I like so much I have a paid subscription for them).

MJ, Creator of the syndicated strip FIDDLESTIX said...

I applaud you for actually doing a comic change.
There are tons of strips out there that should get
exposure but some editors refuse to change. I
for one know of quite a few cartoonists that could
use a break into the dead tree versions. I think some
editors are afraid of change. Maybe you could give
some of us dedicated cartoonists a spot in your
online version. I can send some examples for your
viewing. Or you can see examples through the link
below. The cartoon strips are located on the Newspaper Strips page

bmoorres said...

I'd second the recommendation for Pearls Before Swine as a replacement for several of the comics currently being carried by the Times. I think it's time to replace a lot of the old generation of comics that have lost their creativity years ago.

Beetle Bailey? Oh, look, Sarge is beating up Beetle again, how funny. THAT hasn't been done before. And the general is drunk again and leering at his secretary, and on and on. Enough.

Same with Blondie. Dagwood is late for work, now's he's eating a big sandwich, now his boss is kicking him in the butt for sleeping at his desk. Same ideas being recycled since...what, 1950s or so?

Mary Worth? No comment necesary.

B.C. Shouldn't that comic be moved to the editorial/political commentary section? Or maybe the religion page? There's no humor at all, and the creator is so Christian conservative, he makes Bill O'Reilly look sane.

It's probably not a surprise that the only comic the Times carries that has an African-American influence (Curtis) is running high in the "dump-it" poll results. Draw your own conclusion about the state of race relations in Shreveport-Bossier based on that result; it appears to be self-evident.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Mary Worth is one of the weaker story comics out there.

I wish the Times could consider "Judge Parker" as a replacement. I used to follow the Judge in the Atlanta paper, before I moved here. Not a big Sally Forth fan, either.

Anonymous said...

While you are looking at the comics page, would you consider adding Jump Start?