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“She’s gone.”

The day before Lisa Moore dies
(Click for larger view) Posted online by special permission of King Features Syndicate

In what may be remembered as one of the most memorable deaths in comic strip history, the Funky Winkerbean character, Lisa Moore, has passed away bring this story-line closer to a definite conclusion. Tom Batuik’s portrayal of Lisa’s second battle with cancer – and especially the decision not to have her fight the disease has provoked readers across the country to debate its appropriateness on the funny pages. While the debate may continue, it’s clear to me that Tom has succeeded in reminding readers that comic strips are fundamentally storytelling and not all stories end with a smile and a quip. When we think of comics as only “the funnies,” we’re selling the art form short. It has a much greater capacity to touch and inspire readers than we often give it credit. Meaningful drama can be had 3 or 4 frames at a time.

It’s not a coincidence that Lisa’s death comes during National Breast Cancer month. The story-line was not only able to elevate the visibility of the strip but has also elevated our awareness of the disease at a time when a national campaign is underway to raise money for medical research to find better treatment options for those with the disease. How many of you would have passed though this month without any pause or knowledge of the campaign? But you know now, and hopefully you’ll find a way to help the cause.

And lastly, I hope the story demonstrates that there can be a certain dignity in dying and that opting for quality of life over quantity of life when faced with an inevitable death should be respected.

This story-line isn’t quite finished. It won’t end until October 24th. For the next couple of weeks, we’ll see the aftermath of such a tragic death. I’m sure Tom will treat the topic with as much respect as he did with the story thus far.

UPDATE #1: The New York Times writes a brief of the passing in their Arts, Briefly section.

Community Comments

#1 Chris Myers
October/4/2007
@ 9:06 am

She’d dead Jim.

Poor little Lisa has finally assumed room temperature while being led away by the masked angel of death on hiatus from playing Phantom of the Opera.

YES! Let the party begin as this overextended and bloated exercise of condescending self importance is finally done.

The creator and writer of this strip needs some therapy.

Dibs of what she has in her purse!

#2 Neal Obermeyer
October/4/2007
@ 9:46 am

I don’t even read Funky Winkerbean but that was a poignant three panels right there.

#3 Norm Feuti
October/4/2007
@ 10:15 am

Whether you want to see this subject matter on the comic pages or not, I think it would help if we all took advantage of the publicity the strip has generated here and point to ways people can help fight the war against cancer. Here’s a cause that’s personal to me. I hope others will follow.

THE NATIONAL MARROW DONOR PROGRAM:

“On any given day, more than 6,000 men, women and children desperately search the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry for a matching bone marrow donor or cord blood unit. These patients have leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases that can be treated by a bone marrow or cord blood transplant.

Even with a Registry of millions, there are many patients waiting and hoping, unable to find a match. Donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are especially needed.”

FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN JOIN THE REGISTRY AT:

http://www.marrow.org/

#4 Cindermain
October/4/2007
@ 1:30 pm

I was initially against this storyline. It seemed too grim, too depressing, and too much of a departure from the fun FW I used to read.

While I still don’t like the turn this strip has taken, I have to give Batuik props for this strip.

Nicely done, very classy.

#5 abby frantz
October/4/2007
@ 1:31 pm

I feel that the first comment was a little heavy-handed in it’s rhetoric. Although I was a little annoyed by the story as it progressed to it’s inevitable finish, realized that I was uncomfortable, as well. Having had an experience with cancer, I’ve realized that there’s a feeling of loss of control when one has cancer. Not only the patient, but the family, as well. With a lot of types of cancers, there’s really nothing you can do to prevent death from happening. Once you’ve been there, as a patient, family member or close friend, there’s a lot of emotion to experience, most of it not very pleasant.

perhaps, the writer of the first comment hasn’t been this close to someone who has basically “withered on the vine” in view of his or her loved ones.

regards,

#6 Tom Wallace
October/4/2007
@ 9:22 pm

To Chris Myers,

Let’s see how you feel after 6 months of chemo for incurable cancer. Or having to watch someone go through that. I’ve done both.

I doubt very seriously that your response to a story arc such as this, even a fictional comic strip, would not be so shallow.

Incidentally, just from personal experience, it’s worse watching someone you love have cancer than having it yourself. It is my hope that you don’t have either experience.

#7 Chris Myers
October/5/2007
@ 6:09 am

Tom,

You are assuming that I have no experience either personally or within my family with cancer. That’s a bold and condescending statement which is also quite incorrect.

The fact that I refuse to become I or family members refuse to become a “victim” and a self righteous cancer nanny that feels the world needs me to keep them informed and throw on the guilt because of losing the health roll of the dice.

Sorry, preach where it is appropriate, not the comics page. Yes, I completely agree, it is beyond difficult watching someone go through cancer. More difficult than it being trivialized for entertainment purposes and reduced to a comic strip so those who can’t accept what life has thrown them can have a group hug and a cryfest.

#8 Richard Sutton
October/5/2007
@ 10:44 am

This story line hits to close to home. My sister (who’s name is also Lisa) is recovering from cancer. Here I sit as a grown man crying because of the death of a comic strip character.

#9 Danny Burleson
October/5/2007
@ 11:34 am

I haven’t really followed this storyline directly, but I applaud Tom Batuik for pushing the arbitrary boundaries of the comics page. I’ve always been of the opinion that “Comics” don’t always have to be funny. It’s generally about making a point in general; whether that point is serious or humorous, it’s still a comic strip.

#10 Sandy
October/5/2007
@ 4:30 pm

Chris hit the nail on the head about condesending self importance, and the author needing therapy. May this fictional character rest in peace, and may the next generation actually be funny.

Any gum in that purse? And gimmee some of the loose change!

#11 Dawn Douglass
October/5/2007
@ 5:45 pm

To Chris Myers and Sandy,

1) Seems to me there is nothing more self-important than demanding that cartoonists and newspapers must abide by your dictates of what’s acceptable in a comic strip.

2) Since the creator of this comic strip is male, not female, I can only assume that you are wanting to loot a dead woman’s purse, not the cartoonist’s. Even though Lisa’s a fictional character, such cold and callous greed, even as an attempt to be funny, suggests a demented personality and that the authors of these statements need therapy.

#12 Chris Myers
October/5/2007
@ 7:40 pm

Dawn,

I’m not the one that needs therapy as I am not the one wishing for needing to take part on a group hug and cry-fest in the comic pages. Those who wish to be the health nannies and needing a comic strip to teach you something as simply as obtaining regular check-ups, appreciating those you care for in the present and saying what should be said now, not after they (or you) die, if you need a comic strip to teach these things, you are in serious need.

Some of us don’t need to be reminded of that which should be simple common sense and don’t need a colored ribbon as a show of solidarity.

Also, nobody has expressed how strange the circumstances that a dying wife and mother would not think of her kid, have her kid around, etc. Did the goofball husband do something that the FBI will be looking into? For the first time this strip might be interesting.

I still have dibs on the purse, though I’ll share.

#13 Shane Davis
October/5/2007
@ 11:04 pm

Wow, so much grief over a few drops of ink.
I guess the fact that Lisa is FICTIONAL and a CARTOON character are not important. No, we have to feel grief over the expired, dead scrawl called Lisa and make believe this ridiculous story that Batiuk has inflicted on us is ‘sensitive’ and ‘touching’.
What crapola.

When Rat or Pig dies, I’ll cry.
When Bill the Cat dies, I’ll cry (I forgot, he did once).
When Lisa ‘died’, I rolled my eyes.

You don’t hear the Rolling Stones doing opera and you don’t see William Shatner doing Hamlet. The funny pages should not try to redo Bette Davis in ‘Dark Victory’.

Why was Les mumbling around anyway? Where was he when she kicked off? Lisa was holding his hand in her creepy dream with the tuxedo clad Michael Meyers, but where was he? 10 yards away jerking around with his pocket protector, or what? This was the loving husband whose only reaction to his wife craoking was to warble something like “Duh, did she say something, duh…”. The hospice nurse oughta have spit on him.

Les is a nancy. Lisa would of lived if she had a reason to, like being hitched to a man. She should have married Steve Dallas…

#14 Rick Stromoski
October/6/2007
@ 4:45 am

â?¥â?¥â?¥â?¥Even though Lisaâ??s a fictional character, such cold and callous greed, even as an attempt to be funny, suggests a demented personality and that the authors of these statements need therapy.

No more so than those who feel compelled to write condolence letters over the death of a cartoon character.

#15 Chris Myers
October/6/2007
@ 7:29 am

Three days in and Lisa is still dead, the daughter is still missing, the son she gave away is not to be seen and her husband is still a goober.

#16 Dawn Douglass
October/6/2007
@ 9:09 am

For those who hate this story so much, I can’t help but wonder why you are following it, much less spending time writing about it.

The only explanation I can see is that it’s feeding your inner troll. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be wasting your time on something you don’t like.

Healthy, mature people understand that different folks with different life experiences have different tastes. Self-absorded, narrow-minded, immature and ultimately insecure people looking for attention spend time trolling and trashing.

#17 Shane Davis
October/6/2007
@ 11:50 am

Hey Rick, take a valium.
How spineless is it to squeeze yourself into such a squishy, moderate position: “Ohh, ohh, both sides are wrong! You both need help. Ohh, ooh, be like me, I’m too smart for everyone.”

…said the guy scolding people on their opinions of a CARTOON DEATH. Ha ha ha ha! You need to go to work for the U.N.! Yes, you’re post was that inane! Behold the great moderator!
Get the Middle East now, Rick! The world needs you!

#18 Chris Myers
October/6/2007
@ 2:10 pm

Dawn,

People were asked to post about their feelings about Lisa dying, that’s what everyone is doing. Just because some people don’t think that victim status is granted because something unfortunate and terrible happens in your life, does not mean we are wrong. People get sick, people die. It stinks, it’s not easy but when it happens it does not mean you automatically are awarded a pulpit from which to cry from.

Illness hits everyone and when it does you fight as best you can. That does not mean everyone has to have a cryfest and group hug while we exchange colored ribbons as a show of solidarity.

Those who laugh at the ridiculousness of a comic and those who are “touched” both have legitimate feelings.

My feeling is that the strip is/was/will be dribble.

#19 Kathy Hughes
October/6/2007
@ 3:47 pm

Questions:
What is wrong with wanting solidarity during painful times? What’s wrong with needing to cry? What’s wrong with physical affection, particularly as it provides comfort and connection? What’s wrong with wanting to educate people about cancer, no matter where? Sure, some things are very “common sense” to me or to you but there are some people who don’t know what we know, and if a comic strip helps them learn, so be it. If the information saves a life, who cares if it was from the funnies?

I mean, I understand that some people are very stiff- upper-lip and only hug someone as a prelude to sex, but that’s not for everyone.

And yes, I’m well aware that Lisa is fiction. But I cried when Mystery Science Theatre 3000 got taken off the air, so perhaps I’m “too sensitive” for most people. Would you criticize someone for crying after reading Les Miserables? The Grapes of Wrath? How about after watching Terms of Endearment? Isn’t one purpose of art, out of many, to trigger an emotional response?

#20 Dawn Douglass
October/6/2007
@ 5:38 pm

Kathy, Chris and Shane (probably the same person) are just being hyper-political with the “victim status” nonsense, which has absolutely nothing to do with the strip or anybody here. He/they have proven with all the “still dead” stupidity that they are just trolls looking to inflict insult and response. Best at this point to just ignore them.

Hey, I’ve been known to cry at commercials. My mother was the same way and so is my daughter, much to her annoyance. It can be inconvenient at times to be an empathetic person who wears emotions on your sleeve, but there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s actually a lot healthier than many of the alternatives, like the jerks who make fun of people who are reliving or anticipating the cancer deaths of loved ones.

#21 Sandy
October/7/2007
@ 12:19 pm

Chris, myself, and whomever else may be considered to be demented in our attempts to be funny….ain’t it a shame we aren’t cartoonists? Because it takes demented minds like ours to be funny. Tom Batiuk must not have those qualities because he is not funny. Lisa’a husband is definitely a goober, lol! And if their (missing) daughter could be born 3 months early, yet end up growing into a chubby healthy bouncing 5 year old, then Lisa could surely have survived, because the chances of beating cancer are better than coming out of prematurity as healthy as that kid did.

I still want that gum in Lisa’s purse. And if there’s any make up I’ll take that too!

#22 Sandy
October/7/2007
@ 1:03 pm

Re: Shane telling Rick to take a valium

Shane, you are funny and I like you and agree with your view on this issue. But I really think Rick was just responding to a quote that was made about people with our views needing therapy, by pointing out that they are mourning a fictional character.

Is there any valium in that fictional purse? Maybe we can share it :p

#23 Shane Davis
October/7/2007
@ 3:33 pm

Dawn,
Nope, just me here, no Kathy or Chris – not even split personalities plotting the overthrow of the People’s Republic of Shangri La or anything (although that would make a great ‘Funky’ story line, as long as someone dieeesss…ALERT KATIE COURIC AND TOM BATUIK IMMEDIATELY!)

Kathy,
Les Miserables? The Grapes of Wrath? Terms of Endearment? Are you seriously equating Funky Winkerbean with the above? Hug as prelude to sex? Huh? If not for your MST3K comment I would you have assumed you were a spy sent by Vladmir Putin to infiltrate this blog and test the strength of our funny paper mettle & resolve. You know, if you people laugh at Lisa Moore taking the big dirt nap, then the terrorists win.

Sandy,
You’re sweet. No fictional purse to rob here, nor any valium to split. I would however hope that those like yourself and me who found the whole story contrived, emotionally manipulative, condescending, arrogant, ill informed, tacky, creepy and disgustingly self serving, be given respect for our opinions.
The funniest thing I have seen on this blog yet is that those who disagree with us (and according to GWB they have that right to until found guilty and shot) are actually giving MORE REPSECT AND CONSIDERATION TO A DEAD CARTOON CHARACTER THAT REAL HUMAN BEINGS THAT ARE ACTUALLY COMMUNICATING WITH THEM!!

Did you get that,Rick & Dawn? You’ve missed the whole point. We aren’t laughing about a cancer patient dying. We aren’t mocking suffering and grief. We are having fun with the fact that some people are getting stoked up mad that a FICITIONAL cartoon character does not make us weep and cry when it has ceased being drawn.

Simply put,
You’re upset that we’re not upset.
You’re offended that we’re not offended.
WHY DO YOU CARE!?!? LISA DID NOT DIE!! THE INK LINES FORMERLY KNOWN IN THEIR COLLECTIVE AS ‘LISA’ HAVE CEASED TO BE DRAWN!! THAT’S ALL!

I’m no troll because I think it’s funny for you to get wrapped up around the axle over an extremely mediocre cartoon strip retiring an extremely mediocre character in a shameless, attention grabbing way.

Tom Batuik is the troll for using the subject of cancer death to try ot get some attention on his worn out, boring, dessicated, dust covered strip that ought to have been put out to pasture at least a decade ago, along with Hagar the Horrible, Blondie, Born Loser, et al.

You know, maybe that’s why he keeps jumping 10 years ahead in his strip. It pleases the fans. Since all of his characters need to die and end the painfully unfunny thing, why stop at ten years? Just jump 75 years into the future, show a big color Sunday spread with all their weed covered tombstones and end the thing. He’d get my vote for the Reuben for that.

(BTW – that is the real issue here. Batuik must be eaten up that other strips have won it like, oh…
1991 LYNN JOHNSTON (For Better or For Worse)
1992 WILEY MILLER (Non Sequitur)
1993 BUD GRACE (Ernie)
1994 GARRY TRUDEAU (Doonesbury
1995 RICK KIRKMAN (Baby Blues)
1996 PATRICK McDONNELL (Mutts)
1997 SCOTT ADAMS (Dilbert)
1998 JERRY SCOTT & JIM BORGMAN (Zits)
1999 JERRY SCOTT & JIM BORGMAN (Zits)
2000 BUD BLAKE (Tiger)
2001 BRIAN CRANE (Pickles)
2002 DARBY CONLEY (Get Fuzzy)
2003 STEPHAN PASTIS (Pearls Before Swine)
2004 GLENN MCCOY (The Duplex)
2005 BROOKE MCELDOWNEY
It must eat him alive his crappy strip has been around since what, 1970, and never won. Oh yeah, let’s kill someone cancer! That will win it for me!)

#24 Kathy Hughes
October/7/2007
@ 4:38 pm

Shane,
You found me. My real name is Natalya Ironosky and I work for the Kremlin.
I have a question for you.
Did you feel the same way about Bill Watterson’s story arc about the little raccoon?

For those of you not in the know–in Calvin and Hobbes (brilliant strip) Calvin found a baby raccoon that was either badly injured or sick, and, although Calvin and his parents tried to save it, it passed away. I’m sure there are those out there who called it maudlin and melodramatic, but I still get a little misty-eyed re-reading that story arc.

And I’m certainly not equating Funky Winkerbean with Les Miserables and Grapes of Wrath. I was just using those as examples of works of fiction that trigger emotions because of the plot and characters, just as this strip is doing. Yes, they are better than Funky Winkerbean (not on the same planet, really), but the characters of these works are nevertheless FICTIONAL, which is the point you and Chris and Sandy are trying to make: We shouldn’t have any emotions about anything fictional.

To tell you the truth, I’m not a huge Funky Winkerbean fan (or, as my father calls it, Preachy Preacherbean) but I think I understand the intentions behind the Lisa strip , and the feelings behind those who mourn the character.

If you don’t care, then by all means, read FoxTrot (another strip I like better than Funky) and go on with your day. Just don’t be so judgmental about people who are saddened by the strip. You accuse us of being judgmental, but if you read over the comments, you will see it is the “she’s just FICTIONAL” camp who has been a little more acrid than those who came here to express empathy and sadness. And I repeat–what’s wrong with needing solidarity, and needing to cry?

Oh yes, and the whole hug as a prelude to sex thing came about because Chris apparently is disgusted by group hugs. Not said in so many words, but certainly by the tone. There are some people who are disgusted by hugs (not saying that Chris is, but his tone says otherwise), unless they come before sex. I personally see them as a good thing.

#25 JeffM
October/7/2007
@ 5:56 pm

Those of you who are crying the Batiuk ruined the “funny pages” ever read Mary Worth, Rex Morgan M.D., Prince Valiant or the other serious strips that have graced the papers for decades?

geesh…

#26 Eric Burke
October/7/2007
@ 6:10 pm

What I think is easily the most gut wrenching fact in all of these threads on the current Funky storyline is that Scott Adams won a Reuben! I didn’t know that…I consider Dilbert one of the all time worst strips. I hate everything about it…what next, Adam Sandler wins an Oscar?

Criiiiiipes….

#27 Shane Davis
October/7/2007
@ 7:01 pm

I should clarify.
Batuik did not ruin the funny pages. He merely pollutes it. The aforementioned ‘drama’ strips, Mary Worth, Rex Morgan and so on, are just that – drama strips.

Funky Winkerbean is a *comic* strip that veers into emotional manipulation for the sake of occasional drama. And, in my trollish opinion, fails miserably on both comic and dramatic ends. This is the strip that used to have Les sitting with a maching gun as hall monitor and had people living in lockers. It used to be funny. Now it’s just bad.

Also, I retract any acidic or ascerbic venom – the Anti-Funky forces were only having fun and the expense of the emotional upheaval over an extremely mediocre character punching her ticker in a very miediocre strip.

As for Watterson and his dead racoon and dead bird bits, well, I thought they were just a bit thick. Kind of like choking to death on raw Coca Cola syrup. Not my thing. However, it came across as much more endurable because Watterson was GOOD. Batuik is a washed up never was that really oughta do what Breathed did when he lost it. Hang it up. Oops, I forgot, Opus is back. And just a hilarious as ‘Outland’ (n)ever was!

And I still stand by what I said – you watch. Batuik will probably FINALLY get his Reuben after this sick little story, and I think the whole rotten thing was calculated from the start for just that purpose. No different than Jimmy Carter campaigning himself into a Nobel prize. He didn’t need it, didn’t deserve it, shouldn’t have got it, but the weepy forces of ‘feel good’ gave it to him anyway.
Just like Batuik will probably win for his ‘Lisa Diieeeeeesss’ story.
Maybe this is Batuik’s yeoman effort, but the flat bottom line is just that wasn’t that well drawn, written, executed or convincing.

And I have had a family member succumb to this disease. This strip is a hollow attempt to demagog a disease for a comic strip’s purposes and benefits. That’s just sick. No one needs a stupid third rate comic character to tell them cancer is bad and loved ones dying from it is awful. If he wanted to be so prfound, he should have written it up in graphic novel form and released it seperately, so he could use BIG colorful panels, showing her every painful vomit, panic attack, loss of bowels, all of it. But he’s a coward who only wanted to try to show a bitter sweet kind of death painted pretty for his own purpose.

That d$&%*%* thing was an outrage.

#28 Sandy
October/7/2007
@ 9:51 pm

I’ve given the impression, as someone quoted, that I’m cold and callous. And that I’m a troll. Maybe that’s somewhat true. At a young age I watched my dear grandfather slowly die of lung cancer. I can remember visiting him in the hospital near the end and he couldn’t talk or even get up to pee. It toughened me up for sure. Since then I’ve known countless others whose lives ended with cancer. I also know the stress of waiting for biopsy results after my husband had a tumor removed (it was benign). And his cousin went thru chemo in his early 20’s for testicular cancer (14 years later he is still here).

The world, national and local news has enough sadness in it. I read the comics to laugh and get a little escape from the pressures of life. Although it was never my favorite, 20 years ago it was pretty funny. It had a representative of every type of kid in school: Les the geek, Cindy the queen bee, Funky – who was just himself, and their antics were amusing. But then the author went on this mission to tackle serious issues, issues with to much depth to be covered in a comic strip. And it just became more and more ridiculous. And it brought back personal memories. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was funny. But I’ve figured out what is funny about it. The way this comic strip is done is just really so stupid it is funny. And seeing this forum is a riot! Chris and Shane…I had to clean the Diet Coke off my screen I spit out when I read your comments. LOL.

Okay, heck with the purse. I’m going thru Lisa’s closet. And her kid that’s dissapeared off the face of the earth…I want her Barney videos, so I can make my teenage and preteen kids watch them. Actually forget the closet. Les can keep the clothes so he can dress in drag. Maybe now he and the guy who owns the comic book shop can be lovers.

#29 JeffM
October/7/2007
@ 10:22 pm

“What I think is easily the most gut wrenching fact in all of these threads on the current Funky storyline is that Scott Adams won a Reuben! I didnâ??t know thatâ?¦I consider Dilbert one of the all time worst strips. I hate everything about itâ?¦what next, Adam Sandler wins an Oscar?”

Reubens, Oscars, Emmy’s, Golden Globes, Nobel Peace,…..to me, they mean nothing anymore since so much politics are involved.

I will NEVER watch the oscars again after witnessing Al Gore win for a bad propaganda piece. That was a disgrace.

#30 Dawn Douglass
October/7/2007
@ 11:34 pm

Eric, Dilbert isn’t a bad strip…it has a great set of characters, the drawing matches the tone of the strip, and the writing can be brilliant. It does repeat itself too much, but that’s because he ran out of new things to say a long time ago. I admit that I quit reading it years ago because of that, but it was one of my favorites when it first came out.

Some strips, like Cathy, rely on fresh readers, not on fresh writing. Dilbert has become one of those. People who are just entering the work force, esp. if it’s cubicle life, still think it’s brilliant. Even many older readers still enjoy Dilbert a great deal, because the characters each have such a strong voice. And the anti-management schtick has given the strip a “we don’t care how bad it gets, we’ll always love it” cult following.

Twelve years ago, Scott Adams said he’d only be doing Dilbert for ten more years. But it’s very unlikely that he will quit any time soon IMO, because he makes so much money from it.

#31 Shane Davis
October/8/2007
@ 2:59 am

King Features
300 West 57th Street
15th Floor
New York, NY 10019-5238

Press Statement: For Immediate Release.
October 8, 2007
RE: Impact of death of amin character

To all feature editors or editors accountable for comic sections,
Due to the negative feedback received from readers concerning the recent death of ‘Funky WInkerbean’ character Lisa Moore, an immediate rewrite will occur beginning on Sunday, October 14, 2007.
Author Batuik has revised the bresat cancer story arc and will perform a ‘reboot’ of character’s end in order to mitigate the story in a manner designed to soften reader’s emotions as a result of the character’s tragic end. Please note revised full color Sunday strip will be arriving late Friday PM, October 12.

Text of rewritten story conclusion below.

Hospice Nurse: Bring out your dead!
Bring out your dead!
[clang!clang!]
Les: Here’s one — nine pence.
Lisa: I’m not dead!
Hospice Nurse: What?
Les: Nothing — here’s your nine pence.
Lisa: I’m not dead!
Hospice Nurse: Here — she says she’s not dead!
Les: Yes, she is.
Lisa: I’m not!
Hospice Nurse: She isn’t.
Les: Well, she will be soon, she’s very ill.
Lisa: I’m getting better!
Les: (to Lisa) No, you’re not — you’ll be stone dead in a moment.
Hospice Nurse: Oh, I can’t take her like that — it’s against
regulations.
Lisa: I don’t want to go in the cart!
Les: (to Lisa) Oh, don’t be such a baby.
Hospice Nurse: I can’t take her…
Lisa: I feel fine!
Les: Oh, do us a favor…
Hospice Nurse: I can’t.
Les: Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? She
won’t be long.
Hospice Nurse: Naaah, I got to go on to Robinson’s — they’ve lost
nine today.
Les: Well, when is your next round?
Hospice Nurse: Thursday.
Lisa: I think I’ll go for a walk.
Les: (to Lisa) You’re not fooling anyone y’knowâ?¦
Look, isn’t there something you can do?
Lisa: I feel happy! I feel happy!
[Whack!]
Lisa: Uggnnnâ?¦
Les: Ah, thanks very much.
Hospice Nurse: Not at all. See you on Thursday.

#32 Rick Stromoski
October/8/2007
@ 7:48 am

>>>Did you get that,Rick & Dawn? Youâ??ve missed the whole point. We arenâ??t laughing about a cancer patient dying.

I’m not sure why Shane is lumping me in the sensitivity camp. I find the outpouring of grief over a cartoon character and the public display of personal tragedy over this, pretty ridiculous and somewhat tacky.

Tom B. winning a Reuben, that needs clarification. The Reuben is the top NCS award given to “The cartoonist of the year”. I think what you’re referring to is the “Best in Comic strip” division award.
Those are not “Reubens”. There’s only one Reuben. Tom has been nominated for a Best in Comic strip award in the past but has yet to win one.

And although all awards are subjective ultimately, Scott Adams deserved his Reuben award since the NCS membership voted to give him one of the largest margins of winning votes in it’s history. It may be so that politics can be a contributing factor in awards, as NCS awards chairman for several years in my estimation politics rarely, if ever has anything to do with NCS awards. Watterson, Larson and to some extent Adams historically were either indifferent or outwardly hostile to NCS and many of it’s members (although in Adams’ case I suspect it’s more due to shyness) and the organization still found it’s way to award them it’s highest honor and in Watterson and Larson’s case, twice each.

Jimmy Carter, regardless of the humanitarian work he’s done since being president, and it was given to him much too late, he wholeheartedly deserved his Nobel Peace prize for brokering the peace treaty between Isreal and the leader of the arab world, Egypt.

#33 Danny Burleson
October/8/2007
@ 11:17 am

I think a handy solution for the whole “How Can We Pigeon-hole the Appropriate Scope of the So-called Comics Section as Much as Possible?” debate, is to create three separate strip sections: “Comic Strips”, “Dramatic Sequential Art” and “Political and/or Offensive Toons”.

And print them is separate sections of the paper, so like peas and mashed potatoes on an anal-retentive person’s divided plate, they never risk touching each other and people can read what they want.

That way, if people don’t want to read about the realities of life in a comic strip, instead of, I don’t know, NOT reading the strip, they can simply avoid the “Dramatic Sequential Art” section entirely.

“Comic Strips” will only contain ‘funny’ strips for the rest of forever. And “Political and/or Offensive Toons” will simply contain Boondocks repeats and Doonesbury.

That way, a series about a cancer patient dying in order to raise awareness about the disease can be tucked away in a safe corner of the paper without it gracing the eyes of those that only want the funny.

#34 Sandy
October/8/2007
@ 11:34 am

this just in from the Funky Winkerbean spoiler thread

on Thursday Oct 18

Hospice Nurse: I’m back. (checks Lisa’s blanket to make sure she’s warm enough, despite the October heatwave that’s gripping the northeast)

Lisa: I’m still not dead yet.

Les: We’re working on it though. How long will you be here Nurse Hospice Nurse?

Hospice Nurse: All day. Unless they start dropping like flies at the Robinson’s again.

Les: mind if I go downstairs for a bit?

HN: no, that’s fine.

…..last block shows Comix Corner’s door with closed sign and door locking.

#35 Chris
October/8/2007
@ 12:12 pm

Hey Danny,

Who needs awareness raised about cancer? If anyone is moronic enough to benefit from a comic strip and a fictional character dying of cancer, if that’s called awareness, that person is too stupid to live.

#36 Chris
October/8/2007
@ 12:25 pm

Kathy,

I am not impersonating anyone else, nor are they me. The only name I post under is “Chris” or “Chris Myers” (what a shock, my name!

Like I told the previous poster, if anyone is actually influenced by a comic strip, they are simply a stupid person.

I still go with, terrible strip, terrible story arc, it’s simply an attempt to make the strip be something it’s not, important.

There are too many people who seek a victim status, and many who have been sick willingly do so.

Guess what, getting sick does not make you special, neither does getting better. W are all going to croak, some sooner rather than later.

Comics are meant to be funny and/or entertaining. Using a strip as a several month long painful death sequence is an insult to the reader.

Again, where the daughter? Some mom lisa is/was, does not even think of her daughter when she was assuming room temperature. Or could it be that Lisa popped out so many illegitimate kids from a loose lifestyle like her son (who was nowhere to be seen as well) that she lost count and doesn’t care about her offspring?

Is her husband an insane murderer who will have he FBI digging up the yard? Is Lisa really dead? They showed her bald head but are we sure it was Lisa? Was this an insurance scam

Now, I heard that Snoopy is ill, time for all of yo to run off and create a colored ribbon for my dog is sick victims recognition week. Make sure to use good material as the massive cry-fest and hug-fest will ruin cheap material.

#37 Alan Gardner
October/8/2007
@ 12:35 pm

Chris, I’m not sure who appointed you to the final arbiter and judge of all things comic strips, but you’re posts are the equivalent of farting loudly at a funeral and standing up in the pew and saying, “Yeah, it’s like that!”

We get it that you weren’t moved by the story line; we get it that you don’t like certain features; we get it that you don’t thinking highly of those who connected with the story, but it’s time to move on to something else. You’re not contributing anything anymore to the discussion.

Thanks,
Alan

#38 Danny Burleson
October/8/2007
@ 1:33 pm

Not to keep the grumpy ball rolling, but I find it ironic that the trolls… I mean, posters on this thread who talk about it being silly to be influenced by a comic strip, were themselves *influenced* to post about said comic strip. Weird.

But I guess the Horse-blinder Society’sâ?¢ definition of “influenced” only applies to people being weepy. And remember, “If YOU know about something, EVERYONE knows about it, so using art, films, books, news, comics, the Internet and all media in general to highlight an issue is unnecessary.” We’re all born knowing about everything, right?

Sorry, Alan, I just had to say it. And I have to ask, did you intend “pew” as a pun, or was that an accident? lol

#39 Kathy Hughes
October/8/2007
@ 6:39 pm

Chris–
I must have a different definition of “victim” than you do because I believe that simply talking about something happening–being raped, getting sick, etc., and finding solidarity and comfort from people who have gone through the same experience does not make you an attention whore, which I think might be what you mean when you write “victim.” Are the people who participate in cancer marathons attention whores? How about the women (and men)who have survived rape who participate in fund raisers to better educate nurses and doctors on how to take care of recent victims of rape? Are they attention whores? Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t mean attention whores, I mean “victims” because obviously victims deserve scorn and contempt for not keeping a stiff upper lip and never mentioning their hardship.

While we are on the subject–should Ellen never have come out of the closet? Should Margaret Cho just sack all her material becomes she turns personal pain into a way to reach out to people, by making them laugh?

Now, whether Tom Batiuk is trying to lure in more readers and thus more money by a making one of his characters die, I don’t know. I don’t know Tom Batiuk personally and so I can’t be certain of his motives. But if something good comes from this strip–maybe in the form of someone donating to cancer research, for example, I know, you shouldn’t need a comic strip to remind you to do that, but there you go–I don’t really care what his motives are.

But while we are on the subject, I’d like to mention something about media as a whole, not just the comics–
I’m happy that cancer gets attention, but I would like to see some concern about Alzheimer’s disease, or diabetes, or heart disease, which actually kills more people per year than cancer does. Again, I’m not saying that I’m sick of hearing about cancer, but it’s not the only disease out there. Again, cancer should get attention, but I think Alzheimer’s and heart disease should too. And not just in the comics, I’m saying that Alzheimer’s should get an awareness month and heart disease should have walk-a-thons and diabetes should have fund raisers too.

#40 Sandy
October/8/2007
@ 7:12 pm

Hopefully before lisa is burned up, she had an organ donors card. Since she won’t be needing her limbs any longer, perhaps Becky could have one of her arms.

#41 Mike Johnson
October/9/2007
@ 11:48 am

Amazing how this comic strip has elicited such responses.

The fact is this is a comic. No real people have died in this strip. However the idea that a comic should be funny is just as absurd. There are many comics that are not funny. Look at Phantom or Prince Valiant.

As for the debate whether the author shouldn’t be writing such a grim story, especially about a sensitive subject like cancer is a moot point. He has the right to his 1st amendment rights.
As long as he is not spewing obscenities or inciting sedition, it is no one’s business but his.

If the newspapers or the advertisers in those newspapers have objections, then they can pull the strip.

I know people who have survived and died from cancer. Cancer is real. It shouldn’t be trivialized but in the case of the comic, I don’t think the author is deliberating trivializing it.

Also, if you are posting, don’t lie and tell people you don’t read this comic. You wouldn’t be commenting if you didn’t.

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