From Publishers Weekly
Batiuk, creator of the long-lasting Funky Winkerbean comic strip, subjects one of his supporting characters to cancer in this collection of very special strips. Lisa and her husband, Les, have a pretty good life in their hometown, until Lisa discovers a lump in her breast. She beats back the cancer once, but when it recurs after remission, she has to prepare for the worst. In the meantime, the son she gave up for adoption eighteen years before finally decides it's time to locate his birth mother. While Batiuk's attempt to take on a difficult, life-changing event should be applauded, trying it in the context of a gag-a-day newspaper strip may not have been the best choice. Batiuk works hard to tell a realistic, engaging story of a woman facing one of life's trials, but the relentless demands of a daily strip—and occasional mugging by the characters—cramps his pacing, forcing him to prolong some vignettes, cut short moments that could have used more room to breathe, and pause every few panels for, if not a joke, then something with a jokelike appearance. Artwise, Batiuk's simplified realism has a good sense of detail in the later strips.
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From the Publisher
Tom Batiuk spent several years as a middle school art techer before creating the comic strip Funky Winkerbean
in 1972. Originally a "gag-a-day" comic that portrayed life in high school, Funky
has evolved into a mature series of real-life stories examining such social issues as teen dating abuse, teen pregnancy, teen suicide, violence in schools, the war in the Middle East, alcoholism, divorce, and cancer.
Batiuk, unsure about dealing with the serious subject of cancer on the funny pages, decided to go ahead with the story line. He approached the topic with the idea that mixing humor with serious and real themes heightens the reader's interest. Lisa and husband Les faced the same physical, psychological, and social issues as anyone else dealing with the disease.
Lisa's Story: The Other Shoe is part of the Literature & Medicine Series published by Kent State University Press. Additionally, it contains resource material on breast cancer, including early detection, informtion sources, support systems, and health care.