Crankshaft Comic Strip Joins Andrews McMeel Syndication

Media Contact:

Kathy Hilliard
Vice President, Marketing
Andrews McMeel Universal
(816) 581-7497

Kansas City, MO (November 17, 2022) Andrews McMeel Syndication (AMS) will assume sales and distribution of Crankshaft by Tom Batiuk, announced Brent Bartram, Chief Strategy Officer and General Manager of AMS. The effective date is January 1, 2023.

The eponymous star of the comic strip, Ed Crankshaft, once believed major league baseball was in his future. When those plans fell through, he traded in his cleats for the steering wheel of a school bus, where he has transported students to and from Teddy Roosevelt High School for more than 30 years. His no-holds-barred zingers and cantankerous disposition veil a more sensitive temperament, which occasionally slips through the demeanor of a tough outer crust.

Since its debut in 1987 (as a spin-off of the enormously popular high school comic Funky Winkerbean), the cartoon, created by Batiuk and drawn by Dan Davis, has attracted a loyal following in more than 300 newspapers with appealing storylines and Crankshaft’s muddled aphorisms. Crankshaft’s entertaining entanglements with students as well as his loving family engage readers through narrative humor, but Batiuk weaves more serious issues into the stories as well, including adult illiteracy, Alzheimer’s disease and school violence.

Crankshaft has been a reader favorite for 35 years,” said Bartram. “Tom’s mastery in presenting Crankshaft as a sometimes crotchety but endearing character is without peer. His ability to address more challenging issues in the strip is remarkable as well.”

Batiuk has received numerous awards for his work, including the Ohio Governor’s Award in 1996 and an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International in 1999. His book collections, The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. 4 and Roses in December, were Eisner Nominees at San Diego Comic-Con International in 2016.

In October 2007, The Kent State University Press published Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe, about the Funky Winkerbean character Lisa Moore, which compiled Lisa’s entire cancer story arc in the strip. In 2008, Lisa’s Story was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

In addition to daily and Sunday newspapers, the strip will also appear online on GoComics, and the feature is available for print and digital syndication internationally. For sales inquiries, please contact Jan Flemington, The strip was formerly syndicated by King Features.

About Andrews McMeel Syndication:
Andrews McMeel Syndication (AMS), now in its 52nd year, is the world’s largest independent newspaper feature syndicate. AMS is a division of Andrews McMeel Universal (AMU), an integrated media company based in Kansas City, Missouri, and home of iconic comics such as Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, Peanuts, The Far Side® and Garfield, and contemporary favorites Sarah’s Scribbles, Breaking Cat News and Phoebe and Her Unicorn. Other divisions include global publishing house Andrews McMeel Publishing, and Andrews McMeel Entertainment, the film and television division. No matter the medium, AMU aims to bring joy and inspiration to people’s lives through the work of our talented creators (


Founded in 1970, Andrews McMeel Universal is an independent, multi-faceted, global entertainment company. Distinguished by a creator-first approach and the uncanny ability to tap into the zeitgeist of popular culture, Andrews McMeel specializes in comics, illustrated humor and inspirational content distributed across multiple platforms, with a remarkable roster of talent across syndication, book, calendar and greeting card publishing, digital consumer experiences, and entertainment licensing, including dozens of New York Times bestselling authors and Pulitzer Prize-, Reuben Award- and Emmy-Award-winning creators.