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Mailboxes beware: Crankshaft's just around the corner!
Ed Crankshaft, the lively creation of Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers, stars in this Crankshaft collection. It's a hilarious depiction of an irritable but endearing school bus driver and life with his daughter Pam, son-in-law, Jeff, and grandchildren, Mindy and Max.
With cynical wit and biting humor, Crankshaft sees the world in absolutes. Although he comes across gruff and grumbly, Ed's really an old softy with a keen sense of humor that sometimes surprises even himself. The crafty curmudgeon isn't always tough—relationships with his grandchildren, his cat, Pickles, and the problems of growing older in a rapidly changing world show Crankshaft's more sensitive side.
Batiuk (creator of Funky Winkerbean) and Ayers's unique portrayal of life at the wheel of a school bus has delighted readers since the strip began.
By Chuck Ayers
The school bus driver everyone loves to hate is back with another collection of his crotchety antics. Ed Crankshaft, the man who enjoys nothing more than parking in the middle of a puddle or making kids lose their lunchboxes, is more obnoxious than ever in this new set. But he isn't all bad—underneath his crusty exterior lies a fun-loving romantic. And Crankshaft is gaining new converts even as he ages. Tom Batiuk (creator of Funky Winkerbean) and Chuck Ayers continue the saga of one of the most distinctive characters in the world of comic strips in ...And One Slice With Anchovies, a timely collection that includes Crankshaft's award-winning series on illiteracy.
"Crankshaft has touched on a raft of senior concerns with humor and often poignancy, including illness, mortality, making out a will, literacy, physical deterioration, vulnerability, security, and, recently, muggings and Alzheimer's disease." —The Telegraph, Alton, Illinois
Cranky Ed Crankshaft is at it again, gunning his school bus so he can outdistance the little Johnson girl, backing over the Keestermans' mailbox, and holding up a record-breaking line of cars. It's just another day for the sixty-something curmudgeon who's earned a soft spot in the hearts of millions of readers.
Originally spun off from the popular Funky Winkerbean strip, Crankshaft is an enormously popular character in his own right. Writer Tom Batiuk and artist Chuck Ayers combine their talent and insights into a strip that deals with aging in a heartfelt and funny way. "After sixty, it's just patch, patch, patch," says Crankshaft as he waits at the doctor's office.
In this Crankshaft book, I've Still Got It! , readers can follow their beloved grandfather figure as he struggles with new challenges, from a friend with Alzheimer's disease to another friend who's been mugged. Along the way, Crankshaft continues his quest to finally read all the Popular Mechanics magazines daughter Pam has given him over the years.
Although readers love Crankshaft because the strip makes them laugh, they also cherish the panel's honesty about issues faced by people of all ages, from literacy to illness to crime. They also appreciate the real feelings that linger just below the surface between Crankshaft and his housemates—daughter Pam, son-in-law Jeff, and their kids Max and Mindy, his stray cat, Pickles, and his girlfriend, Grace.
He blusters and grumbles. He rants and raves. He tries to outgun the school kids chasing after the bus on his route. But in his heart, Ed Crankshaft has a decent streak a mile wide. Patiently explaining death to his grandson Max. Comforting his friend Ralph as Ralph's wife descends into Alzheimer's. Thrusting flowers and candy at his son-in-law on a nearly forgotten wedding anniversary. The star of the hit comic strip Crankshaft is a gentle soul stuck in a cantankerous mood. With a supporting cast that includes Ed's two daughters, Chris and Pam; Pam's husband, Jeff; and their kids, Max and Mindy, Crankshaft appeals to families everywhere who steadfastly deal with intergenerational cares and conflicts. As one critic said: "Crankshaft is a witty, thoughtful commentary on the trials and tribulations of today's senior citizens." But, of course, Crankshaft is so much more. The strip's approach to Alzheimer's generated countless letters and e-mails, as did Crankshaft's near-death illness. Hilarious and clever, honest and moving, Crankshaft both keeps readers laughing at the curmudgeon's pranks and pondering life's real meaning in this collection, Your Favorite...Crab Cakes! It's a balancing act that's rarely attempted in the comics—and with Crankshaft, it works admirably.