Tom Batiuk is the creator of the popular nationally syndicated comic strips Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft. Tom graduated from Kent State University in 1969 and taught junior high art until beginning Funky in 1972. Ever since his first groundbreaking series in 1986 about the teenage pregnancy of his character Lisa, he has been hailed as an originator of a new genre in comic strip art. His unique style of narrative humor allows him to explore major social issues and led him to tell Lisaʼs Story, a story dealing with the emotional and physical consequences of breast cancer. The story was a Pulitzer Finalist in 2008, and was collected into an award winning book by the Kent State University Press. Tom employs a gentle humor found in mining the common experiences of everyday life to push the envelope in his exploration of all that the comic art medium can express.
In 2012, Funky Winkerbean will be celebrating its 40th anniversary, and, in conjunction with that, the Kent State University Press under their Black Squirrel imprint is publishing Volume One of The Complete Funky Winkerbean.