David Finkle to Retire Mr. Fitz

David Finkle has decided to end his Mr. Fitz comic strip next year.

Mr. Fitz, which chronicles the world of a high-school teacher, has been written and drawn since 2000 by David Finkle, who extensively uses his own career as a teacher as inspiration for the comic.

The strip debuted March 28, 2000 — running the past three years in The West Volusia Beacon after The Daytona Beach News-Journal decided to drop it.

But Finkle has decided the strip will end next March 27 — the last day of the comic’s 22nd year.

“Twenty-two years is a big chunk of life: I was 33 and had been married for nine years when I started the strip, and my children were 4 and 5. I am now pushing 55, I’ve been married for 30 years, and my children are now in their mid-twenties,” his post says. “My teaching career will be 30 next year.”

When he came up with the concept of Mr. Fitz, he shopped around a six-week sample — unsuccessfully — to syndicators, as well as The News-Journal. After initially turning Finkle down, an editor at the Daytona Beach paper later asked him if he wanted Mr. Fitz to be a replacement for another strip that was ending. Mr. Fitz graced its comics page for more than 18 years.

After being told The News-Journal was going to drop Mr. Fitz, Finkle and his wife, Andrea, were in Downtown DeLand on business. Andrea suggested David stop by The Beacon to see if it was interested in picking up the strip.

“[Publisher] Barb Shepherd said ‘yes’ within 15 minutes!” Finkle said.

The news is carried by The Beacon.

More background and strips at the Mr. Fitz website.

© David Finkle