PAPER TRAIL

Funky Winkerbean Comic Strip To Feature Gay-Teen Storyline

The long-running comic strip Funky Winkerbean will be tackling a gay storyline, reports the Chronicle-Telegram, one of more than 400 papers that caries the series.

“I was reading a story over breakfast about a protest by a parent group at a school in Hilliard, Ohio, that seemed to be about tolerance toward gays,” says Winkerbean creator Tom Batiuk, 63. “…My overall impression is that the younger generation’s attitudes toward gays is more open and accepting than their predecessors. It’s not perfect, but it shows promise for an emerging generation that will bring [intolerance].”

The storyline, beginning April 30, is about a gay-teen couple that wants to go to prom together at Westview High School. Over the past 40 years, Batiuk has covered teen pregnancy, suicide, alcoholism and breast cancer, the subject of a Pulitzer-nominated series in 2008.

Photo: King Features Syndicate