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2014 Bombeck Workshop faculty: Tom Batiuk

Tom Batiuk, creator of the popular nationally syndicated comic strips Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, has been hailed as an originator of a new genre in comic strip art. Funky, which celebrates its 42nd anniversary this year, chronicles the lives of students and staff at Westview High School. Mr. Batiuk employs a gentle humor to sensitively explore such social issues such as alcoholism, cancer, teen-dating abuse, teen suicide, guns in the school and teen pregnancy. His compelling breast cancer storyline, Lisa’s Story, was a Pulitzer Finalist in 2008 and collected into an award-winning book by Kent State University Press. Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, created with Chuck Ayers, are carried in more than 600 newspapers worldwide and have an audience of more than 60 million readers. The Complete Funky Winkerbean, volumes one and two covering years 1972-1977, have been published by Kent State’s Black Squirrel Books. A total of 14 volumes are projected, “assuming I can find copies of everything,” he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I know they’re around here somewhere. Probably with my missing Mink DeVille CDs.”

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