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Grief is the price we pay

posted on July 11, 2007

Any chance I had of keeping up with your e-mails was buried under the tsunami of comments that I’ve received in the past week. The range and depth of your feelings has been both heartening and daunting. Sadly, given the other constraints on my time, I can’t personally answer them all. However, what I can do is this… thanks to the kind permission of James Renner of The Cleveland Free Times, I’ve posted his recent interview from that publication in the Bio section of this site. It’s a fine interview and gives a pretty nice snapshot of things in the Funkyverse at the moment as well as addressing most of the questions many of you have. No links, no muss, no fuss, so check it out.

To those of you who still feel that I’m breaking some immutable rule of the cartooning profession by striving to do something of substance, I’d like to say that while trying to entertain is certainly a worthwhile goal, sometimes you have to go a little further and try to get at the heart of things. The expectations that some readers have for modern comic strips is rather limited. They feel that the artist owes them only a certain narrowly defined style of work. In actuality, what I owe them is the very best work I can do. I think that as an artist I owe it to my readers to challenge my expectations of myself and those of my readers as well, even at the risk of offending some. I don’t believe anyone should harbor the expectation of going through life without being offended by something. On a really good day, I’m offended a half dozen time before breakfast. Expression, even when we disagree with what’s being expressed, remains our best and sanest method of understanding one another.

For those of you who want a miracle, here’s the real miracle in this story. At it’s core, this is a love story. Grief is the price we pay for love, and this is a story about how you do that. We live in a Match.com world where most love stories focus on the initial burst of emotion, and not so much on how that emotion endures after time and fate have had their say. In a rather cold and indifferent universe, the triumph this sort of loving relationship is to me one of the great miracles of our existance. Lisa’s Story is celebration of that miracle and how even death can’t diminish it.

Once again, my thanks for all your personal good wishes and especially for the stories you’ve shared.