Crankshaft by Tom Batiuk and Dan Davis

Type: Comic Strip
Frequency: Daily

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Since its debut in 1987, Crankshaft has engendered reader loyalty with its engaging storylines and Crankshaft’s muddled aphorisms.

Created by Tom Batiuk and drawn by Dan Davis, the strip is a spin-off of Batiuk’s immensely popular high school comic, Funky Winkerbean. Written in the same “narrative humor” vein as Funky, the strip offers plenty of humor, but also tackles tough issues like adult illiteracy, Alzheimer’s disease and school violence.

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Tom Batiuk and Dan Davis

After graduating from Kent State University in 1969 with a BFA and a certificate in education, Tom Batiuk taught junior high arts and crafts in Elyria, Ohio. While teaching, he began drawing a panel called Rapping Around for the teen page of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram in 1970 which led, in 1972, to the creation of Funky Winkerbean.

In 1979, he launched into syndication John Darling, showcasing the misadven-tures of a fictional talk show host, with artist Tom Armstrong. This was followed in 1987 by his third comic strip, Crankshaft, with artist Chuck Ayers, and now currently with Dan Davis.

He received the Ohio Governor's Award in 1996 and received an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International in 1999.

In October 2007, The Kent State University Press published Lisa's Story: The Other Shoe, which compiled the entire Lisa's cancer story arc. In 2008, Lisa's Story was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Funky Winkerbean ended on Dec. 31, 2022. Crankshaft is currently syndicated by Andrews McMeel Syndication.

He and his wife, Cathy, reside in Ohio, and their son, Brian, works in television in Cincinnati.


Dan Davis joined as artist of the Crankshaft comic strip in 2017. He is a two time Eisner nominated comic illustrator and has also co-penciled the Garfield comic strip since 2012. He began his comics career as an inker primarily for DC Comics before moving into penciling and inking for DC and Bongo Comics (The Simpsons), illustrating the Harry Potter Coloring books for Warner Bros., and full color art for Scooby-Doo books at Scholastic.

In 2012 Dan was nominated for an Eisner award as part of the creative team for the Batman Brave and the Bold series at DC Comics, following up a 2011 nomination for "The Death of Comic Book Guy" mini-series at Bongo Comics (The Simpsons).

He currently resides in Celina, OH with his wife Lisa.

Website at dandavisart.com

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Meet the Cast of Crankshaft

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