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Match to Flame 168

posted on February 15, 2022

Since I was a year ahead on the strip at this point, I was able to take the strips to my syndicate well ahead of publication to seek their support. I detailed this process most recently in the introduction to Volume 8 of this collection, but, in short, a package was put together for editors that included an overview of the work, sidebar information, and letters of support from the syndicate and groups like the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) that previewed it and then partnered with us to help present it to the editors. What we created was a bit more extensive than before because Lisa’s Story took things to another level, and, were we to simply dump the finished story arc onto the comics page, the result would have been akin to Custer’s Last Stand—except bloodier. With this process, we were once again able to take the art right into the commercial marketplace. And it worked. The response was bigger than anything that had appeared in Funky so far. Those who had been given the de facto power to define the artform (rather than those who create the art) were predictably incensed that I had once again broken my implicit deal with them. One reader went so far as to claim that I was ruining comics for everyone. Overall, however, the response to the work was very positive and supportive. One reader was both. He said that he applauded where I had taken my strip and that this was far enough and that I should stop here. A year after the strips ran in the papers, they were collected into a book called Lisa’s Story. This book is now hard to find and kind of pricey on the internet as I found out when I needed a copy upon returning to Lisa’s Story.