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Inspired by personal experience, HSE students have a rare talent for drawing cartoons • Now in publication

In first grade, Jason Funk picked up a book called Adventures in Cartooning and quickly developed a passion for drawing cartoons and telling stories.

Now a 16-year-old junior at Hamilton Southeastern High School, Funk has two comics published since the beginning of the year.

In March, he self-published “The Bath Seat,” which depicts an autistic protagonist on his path to independence. According to Funk, the character represents himself and his struggle with autism. His mom, Julie, said she didn’t realize the story was about her son until after she had finished reading it.

“It was a really cool comic about how Jason sees himself in the future,” Julie said. I will go to a comic convention in , take a bus by myself, and then live alone somewhere in the future.”

The comic ends by revealing that the protagonist had fantasized about his future life on the bus, said Julie. , found Jason’s fantasies to be the inspiration for his comics.

“We discovered that his fantasies really shaped his comics,” says Julie, noting that comics and comics are both about his world and how he sees himself. provided them with the insight of

“He was always in his own world, thinking in his head and drawing cartoons,” said Julie. “So it’s great that he can tell us that[through the comics].”

Part of Jason Funk’s 95-page comic Burger Quest.

Jason stated that he creates comics all the time. He never drafts, he sketches on paper or a tablet. His stories come from the world around him, but most of his ideas come from his head.

So his 7th grade art teacher suggested he enter the annual Nickle Plate Arts Comic Book in a Day contest. When he first went in his seventh grade, he was one of the few kids to be surrounded by adult artists. The contest ran all day, during which artists drew, wrote, and submitted comics. The deadline was 9:00 pm. He turned in his black-and-white comics by 2:00 p.m.

Jason won an award for his comic that year and caught the attention of comic artist Yuri Duncan. Yuri Duncan told his mother that Jason’s comics weren’t in color and didn’t look as professional as some entries, but he had a knack for storytelling and layout. Manga.

“He’s going to be the biggest thing in comics,” said Duncan. has also published and completed many works.He is far ahead of his time and has learned to use his autism as a superpower.”

Duncan quit judging after a few years and became Jason’s mentor, helping him with the illustrations for his latest comic, Merchant of Misfortune. According to Duncan, unlike some of his comic artists, Jason draws and writes. For “The Merchant of Misfortune” and “Seat on the Bus”, Julie sent him a photo of Jason’s painting, and Duncan digitally illustrated the painting.

“He’s been like a mentor to me and we’re really good friends,” Jason said. “He helps me draw cartoons and makes me look really nice.”

Jason said making comics is what he wants to pursue as a career.

“Yeah. I think this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Funk said.

On August 2nd, Jason spoke to about 4,000 HSE faculty and staff about his work and visited an elementary school to demonstrate how he works.

Funk has new releases on his website and two of his books are available online at “Bus Seat” sells for $5 and “Merchant of Misfortune” sells for $10.

Jason Funk shows children how to draw part of his cartoon “Burger Quest” at a seminar. (Photo credit: Julie Funk)

speed reader

Hamilton Southeastern High School junior Jason Funk creates and has a modest collection of comics, and also enjoys playing video games and reading.

According to his mother, Julie Funk, his son didn’t speak until he was three years old, so he could read before he could speak.

Now Jason is a speed reader. His father, Adam, said he finished reading the last Harry Potter book, over 600 pages, in less than a day when he was 12. Julie suspects that she read so many books that she couldn’t choose from a long list.