Summer’s Story

Sep 6, 2017





As part of the Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy box, readers will also get a digital chapbook called Summer’s Story  which tells the story of her birth and is the final thread in the tapestry of Lisa’s life. So, in essence, you could say it’s really a fourlogy. Or not.  Below is an excerpt from the chapbook.

Hey, you found it! Good for you, and, if you’ve gotten this far, then you’re exactly the person we had in mind in preparing this chapbook. Sensitive, inquisitive, and with just the ever-so-slightest touch of OCD (the good kind not the bad kind where you find yourself wishing that OCD was in the correct alphabetical order). Because what you have here in this chapbook is the final missing piece that ties together the tapestry of Lisa Moore’s life. If I may, let me briefly explain why this chapter in Lisa’s Story at first wasn’t and why it now is.

When Lisa’s Story was first published in book form in October of 2000, it collected the narrative which first appeared in Funky Winkerbean and that took her from her first cancer diagnosis to its remission. After her cancer returned in 2006, that second story from the strip along with the earlier work was collected in 2007 in a new book called Lisa’s Story – The Other Shoe. In the strip, during that six year interregnum between the stories, I stepped away from dealing with Lisa’s cancer to write different stories featuring different characters. Lisa, with only a coupe of exceptions, left the stage to others in the repertory while she patiently waited in the wings. One of those exceptions, however, was a fairly significant one. It was the story of the birth of Les and Lisa’s daughter Summer. It followed Lisa through the ups and downs of her pregnancy to Summer’s birth as a preemie and her battle for life in the neonatal intensive care unit, and, as such, it adds the final brush stroke to the picture I’ve been painting of Lisa. Once again we see Lisa’s courage in the face of adversity on display. And it makes clear why in The Last Leaf we see Summer going to her sweet sixteen NICU reunion at the hospital. Compiling only parts of a comic strip into a book can be a tricky bit of business since, what flows so naturally from day to day, can seem awkward and forced when rearranged and aligned in foreign juxtaposition to one another.* Such was the case with Summer’s birth in that it didn’t have a natural home in Lisa’s Story, coming too quickly following the first chapter and too close to the second. Even though it would have explained why there was no Summer in the first half of the book, and a young Summer suddenly appearing in the second, the juxtaposition would have been jarring. As well, the book would also have become unfocused. The story we were telling was Lisa’s cancer story. So the decision was made not to include it.

As a youth I always wanted to create a super hero. Little did I know that her name would be Lisa. With this chapbook story back in place, the entire arc of Lisa’s life is now complete. And, with it as well, I think my work on Lisa’s Story is done. I can’t imagine what more she could possibly want to have me tell. But, then, I never saw her coming in the first place.

*For that experience, I would humbly suggest seeking out the editions comprising The Complete Funky Winkerbean where each day follows like the next breath in the lives of the characters and absolutely nothing is left out which will be a balm for your ever-so-slight OCD.

From The Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy box.

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