Thursday, June 21, 2007


A career-spanning interview with Tom Batiuk. Written by James Renner for the Cleveland Free Times, "A Funkier Winkerbean" tells about a guy who wanted to cartoon, how he sold his strip and interviews friends and, one prominent critic, Josh Neufeld Fruhlinger (the self-titled "Comics Curmudgeon").

The story reminded me of those moments of sacrifice in your life, when you come to that "fork in the road and take it."

Here's a paragraph detailing his life in the early 1970s, when Tom was drawing the strip, as well as teaching full-time.

"Batiuk was determined to prove himself worthy. He poured his soul into the strip. That took time and energy. But so did teaching. Something had to give. And even though the syndicate didn't offer health benefits, Batiuk knew he might never get another chance like this, so he abruptly quit Eastern Heights Junior High over spring break. The move cost him his teaching license."

This is a very interesting and heartfelt story about Batiuk and the chances that he has taken. It also talks about his relationship with cartoonist Chuck Ayers, a friend since college days. They work together on the strip CRANKSHAFT.


Mark Anderson said...

Just printed that out to go read! Thanks for the heads up!

Josh Neufeld Comix and Stories said...

Huh? Josh Neufeld? That's me! I'm a cartoonist, but I don't believe I'm a "comics curmudgeon"!

Mike Lynch said...

Gee whiz, Josh. I got mixed up!

I corrected the name and please tell your lawyers to stop calling. Thanks and I apologize!

Josh Neufeld Comix and Stories said...

heh. no problemo. the dangers of self-googling, i suppose