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Lisa's Story: The Other Shoe Hardcover – September 30, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Kent State Univ Pr; First Edition edition (September 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873389247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873389242
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,427,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Belanger on October 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I lost my mother to breast cancer on September 13, 2004. She was 52, and, like the main character of "Lisa's Story," her cancer had been in remission for many years until it unexpectedly metastasized. My mother, an artist, violinist, and sculptor, attended Kent State University with Tom Batiuk, the creator of "Lisa's Story" (and Tom's some-time collaborator, Chuck Ayers). Batiuk styles much of his fictional world off of my native northeast Ohio, and so the familiarity of his characters made me a fan at an early age. As I have grown, his characters have grown, and the scope of his storylines have grown along with them. "Lisa's Story" is perhaps the crowning achievement of this constant evolution, profound, compassionate, hopeful, and very, very real.

I could not help but think of my mother as I followed the story of Lisa's battle with cancer as it unfolded in the Cleveland Plain Dealer over the past several years. As soon as this collection came out, I made a point of buying it and reading the whole story from start to finish.

It was a hard read, not because Batiuk had erred in any sense as a storyteller. Rather, this book was hard to finish because Batiuk had succeeded so completely in capturing the rollercoaster ride that is life with cancer with such utter pathos and clarity. I was weeping by the end. Don't be surprised if you're weeping, too. But don't let the tears scare you. The moral of the story is something you should take to heart, whether your life has been touched with cancer or whether you have had the great good fortune to dodge that terrible bullet. Buy this book. Read it. You will never think the Sunday funnies are just trivial confections again.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
After reading this book, I felt a profound sorrow. Because of a comic strip character? While the character Lisa Moore is fictional, her experience with breast cancer rings so true! (I'm a survivor and a Reach to Recovery volunteer, so I know whereof I speak!).

From find the lump, going through surgery and treatment, Tom Batiuk explores Lisa's emotions and those of her husband Les. And GETS IT SO RIGHT! You feel her heartbreak when the cancer returns. And you feel, too, her pain as she agonizes over her treatment decisions, and wanting to leave a legacy for her daughter.

Many kudos to Tom Batiuk for being brave enough to turning the cancer experience into a strip, and treating it with poignancy, humor and love. You will love the fighting spirit of Lisa Moore - what she goes through is what women diagnosed with cancer go through, every day.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ayana Kats on November 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have never read a book that could make me laugh and cry all within 2 pages of it. I read "Lisa's story" for the first time in the comic strips and fell in love with Funky Winkerbean. Now every Sunday I look forward to getting the Sunday paper just so I can read it first thing and see where Tom Batiuk is taking the characters next. It's great having the whole collection because now I can see what happens in between the Sunday ones and it actually makes me feel like I'm living the story. I really genuinely feel like I knew Lisa and when I read the line "She's gone" I cried. The imagery that Tom Batiuk used to portray her dying was incredible because it's like saying that we don't know where exactly we go when we die or whose face we're going to see on the other side, but it's comforting in a way and when she said "I love you" as her last words, talk about rip your heart out. I also love Summer and how she reacted to her mommy being sick and then her passing, it definetly reminds you of the innocence of a child. You also feel so bad for Les losing Lisa like that after being by her side and sometimes you forget that it's not just the woman going through it, but it affects the whole family. Bravo to Tom for having him stick by her through the whole ordeal. I highly recommend anyone male or female to buy this story, it's like making a new friend that you can see anytime and grieve with. Also, if you're going through it or know someone who is, it helps you to understand how they are feeling and know that you're not alone. BRAVO TOM BATIUK, you're story of Lisa is very inspiring!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Avery on October 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had already been reading "Funky Winkerbean" on a regular basis and had read the first series, when Lisa was "cured," so kept reading as the second story unfolded.

One day I saw something on t.v. about how some people thought this comic strip was good, but some thought it didn't belong in a comic strip. I also saw an article about it in the newspaper. That prompted me to go on line at "Funky Winkerbean" and there I discovered the book(s) that had been written. I ordered the book and received it right away. The story hasn't quite ended yet, but I can keep up and look back to clarify what was is/was happening. I'm so glad I got it because I wasn't able to see the strip every day, but had the book and could follow along.

As I said in my title, this book is very heart-warming but also has reference materials avaible for those suffering breast cancer. I've read it over several times, and each time I cry. Every time I read the strip, I also get tears in my eyes.

This story makes you actually feel a part of Lisa's life, its ups and downs, etc. You feel as if you actually know her and are a part of her family and community. I also enjoy the other storylines in the strip.

I would encourage everyone to buy this book. I loved it!!
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