Cartoonist Tom Batiuk creates cartoons for the MENC website that visit the general music classroom of Halle Dinkle. His latest strip appears here.
Batiuk is best known as the creator of the comic strip Funky Winkerbean. A 2008 Lowell Mason Fellow, Batiuk was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for the comic strip, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2012. The Kent State University Press will publish The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. 1 in 2012, the first of a series of volumes surveying all of the Funky comic strips.
"It’s an odd feeling to look up from the drawing board and realize that somehow forty years have slipped by. When I think of all the things that the strip has brought me, the one thing that stands head and shoulders above everything else is the relationship I’ve enjoyed with band directors, bands, and, of course, MENC,” Batiuk said.
“I’d like to thank all the music educators out there for their kind and generous support over the years. Harry [Dinkle] appeared in the very first year of Funky so next year will be his fortieth anniversary as well. I’d better get to work on a party or I won’t hear the end of it," he said with a smile.
The book will cover the early career of Harry Dinkle, director of the "Westview High School Scapegoat Marching Band." Harry is Halle’s father.
In 2009, Batiuk created a special cartoon for Education Secretary Arne Duncan, presented at MENC’s Rally for Music Education.
—Roz Fehr, April 7, 2011. © MENC: The National Association for Music Education