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Funky Winkerbean taking second run at character with cancer explained

The Evansville Courier Press has a very informative article about Tom Batiuk, his Funky Winkerbean comic, and why he’s brought cancer back into the life of his “Lisa” character – who was initially diagnosed with breast cancer back in 1999.  In short, since that first episode, Tom was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago which was successfully treated.  He’s mum on whether or not “Lisa” will survive this round of cancer. In real life metastasized breast cancer eventually wins.

Putting Lisa’s life on the line hasn’t been easy. Batiuk feels emotionally attached, personally involved in the fictional lives of his “Funky Winkerbean” characters, “but particularly Les and Lisa,” he says. “I think they’re my stand-ins sometimes.”

“I found that this ’emotional landscape’ was nothing,” says the cartoonist. Cancer “was a real kick in the stomach. It brought to fore a whole bunch of emotions for me I hadn’t dealt with before.

“I realized more than anything, I had another story to tell. I realized there were things I hadn’t even scratched the surface of before with ‘Lisa’s Story.'”

The article also mentions a goal of Tom to have the series published in a book in October of 2007. The cancer series back in 1999 was published as a series and the proceeds went to the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations.  This planned book will also include strips from the 1999 series and include a resource guide for early cancer detection.

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Community Comments

#1 Ann Stokes
July/15/2007
@ 11:07 pm

Thank you for your courage to approach this subject in a format that so many people will see. There are small moments of humor. I especially enjoyed today’s strip about the Browns. I’m so glad you are in remission and continue to consider your book on this subject.

#2 Ann Stokes
July/15/2007
@ 5:07 pm

Thank you for your courage to approach this subject in a format that so many people will see. There are small moments of humor. I especially enjoyed today’s strip about the Browns. I’m so glad you are in remission and continue to consider your book on this subject.

#3 James Green/Sandy Brady
December/29/2007
@ 3:55 pm

Our local paper featured the “Snow Angel for Lisa to see” episode on December 23rd. So poignant and of course the tears (ours) followed. The years have passed (comic strip time) since Lisa’s death but Les is still remembering. Tom, please don’t forget Lisa at various holidays during the year. We all want her remembered…We will never forget.

James and Sandy

#4 James Green/Sandy Brady
December/29/2007
@ 8:55 am

Our local paper featured the “Snow Angel for Lisa to see” episode on December 23rd. So poignant and of course the tears (ours) followed. The years have passed (comic strip time) since Lisa’s death but Les is still remembering. Tom, please don’t forget Lisa at various holidays during the year. We all want her remembered…We will never forget.

James and Sandy

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