Behind the books – Book 21

May 26, 2023

With the success of the first part of the story about Lisa Moore’s battle with breast cancer as it ran in the newspapers, my syndicate, King Features, began to seek a publisher for the work. They found one at Penguin Putnam under their Perigee imprint. At the time I was certainly excited to have this material in a collection from a prestigious publisher and was eager to work with them on it. Didn’t happen. The book was put together with zero input from me. Allow me to immediately contradict myself. I did write a very brief foreword, but, other than that, I never had any contact at all with the publisher, the editor, or the art director.

And they put together a terrific book! They had seen a copy of Safe Return Home, and as was done with that volume, quotes from readers were interspersed with the cartoons. Then, at the back of the book, they partnered with NABCO (National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations) to provide a resource guide to breast cancer groups across the spectrum of the disease. Although, no doubt much of that information is now dated, it was a wonderful addition to the book. The dust jacket design definitely drew some inspiration from the Safe Return Home cover to equally dramatic results. However, great packaging without great promotion, isn’t going to take the book very far. To be fair, promoting the book a year after the story arc’s run in the papers, was a bit of an uphill slog because, by the time the book came out, the heat of the story arc had pretty much dissipated, which was a shame because the book deserved a wider audience.

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