Behind the Books – Book 18

Apr 21, 2023

When King Features was shopping Lisa’s Story to the New York book companies, two of the publishers they approached were Penguin Putnam and NBM. NBM was and is a publisher of graphic arts collections, and was a pretty small operation at the time. So when Penguin Putnam opted to publish Lisa’s Story under their Perigee imprint, I figured  NBM was at that point out of the picture, but they still showed some interest in putting out a Funky book of some kind. It seemed their thinking was that a Funky collection could ride on the coattails of a successful Lisa’s Story volume. I was given complete freedom to put together whatever I wanted, so I chose to put together work that would amount to a prequel to Lisa’s Story. 

Because I was now writing the strip in discrete story arcs, it was easy to pull the work into book collections that appeared to be unique stand-alone narratives. In fact, NBM’s publisher, Terry Nantier, said that the book read like a graphic novel. Having just been through the book shopping experience, ‘Could be a Book Deal Here’ seemed like an obvious title. I had also begun working with the comic book colorist Lee Loughridge on the Funky Sundays, and his coloring on this title’s cover gave it very nice professional look.

I was very happy with the book, but it didn’t do well. NBM did no real promotion for it, and when the Perigee collection of Lisa’s Story suffered a similar fate, it pretty much sank from sight without a trace.

Except… down the road, the NBM book, along with additional material, would eventually comprise the book Prelude which would be published as a part of the Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy.

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