50 Funky Years & Done – Batiuk Retires Winkerbean

Cartoonist Tom Batiuk has given notice that he will end the
Funky Winkerbean comic strip on the last day of this year.


More than fifty years ago, the cast of Funky Winkerbean began their journey on the American comics pages, and as the official chaperone of these special characters, they took readers with them as they traveled from the Tournament of Roses Parade to the White House. However, nothing goes on for infinity, and so this wonderful odyssey will reach its conclusion on December 31 of this year.

Tom makes clear his Crankshaft comic strip will continue:

New, original Funky stories will post at the newly designed tombatiuk.com website from time to time, along with my ongoing collaboration with Dangerous Dan Davis on Crankshaft … I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Funky and friends popping up every now and then in that irascible school bus driver’s strip. The two strips have always existed in a shared universe.

The Akron Beacon Journal and The Cleveland Plain Dealer (cleveland.com) carry the story.

Mike Rhode

The strips shown on this page are from the current Funky Winkerbean retirement story.

© Batom Inc.

12 thoughts on “50 Funky Years & Done – Batiuk Retires Winkerbean

  1. It’s about time. The show ran out of things to say a long time ago. Please don’t tell me it’s going to be replaced with a “Dead St. Lisa” strip.

  2. I had always wanted to read this comic strip and pretty soon I’ll be sad to say I never did. Happy trails, Frankie Wilkerbeen!

  3. I came to Funky later in life, but he was still an aggravating teen. Having suffered through three little brothers, a stepson and my beloved but IRRITATING daughter, I could appreciate the strip. Unfortunately, I missed the intervening years and am thus taken aback at his aging. This never happens in cartoons! So long, kiddo!

  4. I recall when Funky started, I was in High School, which must mean that I’m old. I read it in various papers through the years, and once the internet started running newspaper comics, I started reading it there. Not all gags and stories were good, but enough of them were. Recently I posted a Funky strip (from the HS reunion storyline) on Facebook much to the surprise of some folks who didn’t know it was still around. They saw Crankshaft, but not Funky. I wondered at the time if the name Funky was hurting it. Like those comic characthers still wearing spats and top hats, 30 years too long. Well at least he wasn’t Groovy or HepDaddy. Nice long run though, a hard achivement, particuarlly these last few decades.

  5. Being in Hihh schoolbwhen this strip debuted in our paper, I always related well with the characters. Both teenagers and Ohioians.
    Later un life as I lived un other states, brought me comfort when I would read Ohio references, even seeing the state seal from time to time.
    Been back in Ohio for over 30 years and staid a fan. Hated when I would miss a few days because there’s almost always a story going on and I would be temporary out of the loop.
    Was wondering when they were closing the pizza shop.
    Good luck Mr. Batiuk, , Will miss your work.

  6. Like all daily comics, some days it was interesting or funny, some days it was not, but I’ve been reading it every day for many, many years. That has to count for something. Thanks Tom.

    As for the negative comments, this is not the time or the place, but I do understand that some people live for the chance to make a negative comment, even if it doesn’t apply to this post. So sad for them and their families..

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