by Tom Batiuk [741.5 Bat]
Call me a softie, but sometimes I can be "moved" by the oddest things. Including the fates of comic strip characters. For years, I've been more a fan of the organic comic strips than the static -- I've liked strips like "For Better or Worse" or "Doonesbury", where the characters are aging more-or-less in real-time, rather than the vast majority of strips where the characters never age at all. Because this inevitably leads to real-world issues coming to life in such strips, I can get choked up when a comic strip character meets their end. It happened in For Better or Worse when Farley the dog was written out of the strip in a sad but meaningful way. And it happens again in Lisa's Story: The Other Shoe, a compilation of storylines from the Funky Winkerbean strip. I grew up with Funky back in junior high and high school, and have only occasionally touched base with it again in the years since. A storyline began in the late 1990s in which Lisa Moore, the wife of the series de facto central character, Les Moore, develops breast cancer. After initially beating the cancer with a mastectomy and chemotherapy, the cancer returned in a new storyline in 2006. Writer/artist Tom Batiuk, channeling his own issues after facing a prostate cancer scare, forewarned readers of Lisa's ultimate fate, but reading the entire storyline in an almost graphic-novel format is still a wrenching experience. This book's approach to exploring the topic of cancer is sensitive, emotional, serious, humorous and frank...all at once. It's hard to say I "enjoyed" this book, but, in the end, I did. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library
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