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Breast Cancer in Comics: Inspiring or Crossing the Line?

Legendary comic strip cartoonist Tim Batiuk, creator of Funky Winkerbean, made a bold move in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Lisa Moore, wife, mother, and lawyer, was a fictitious cartoon character and one of the stars of Funky Winkerbean. She died last week from breast cancer. Lisa had been battling breast cancer in the comic strip since the 1990s and recently she chose to stop chemotherapy and die in hospice care, all while the newspaper readers looked on.

While many people are praising Batuik's efforts to promote Breast Cancer Awareness in such an uncommon medium, others are angry at his lack of compassion for those that are going through cancer themselves.

I do like that Batuik is trying to help those that are facing their own real life battles with cancer, but I am not sure how I feel about doing it in the comics (aka the Funnies) section of the newspaper. What's your opinion? Do you think it's inspiring or do you think Batuik crossed the line?

(On another note, University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland has unveiled a fund called Lisa’s Legacy Fund for Cancer Research and Education, named in honor of Batiuk’s character.)


Kelly-O Kelly-O 10 years
I think this was handled in a very respectful way. If you go back and read her storyline, it was definitely done in a tasteful way. My father died at a young age of cancer, and although there were times I got teary-eyed reading Lisa's struggle with the disease, I never once found myself offended. And if it causes one person to take their symptoms seriously and seek treatment, it's done a world of good. Maybe my perspective is skewed, but during Daddy's illness we laughed. A lot. We found things to laugh about. When we had bad days and things kept piling on, he would laugh. "Laugh to keep from crying, because crying doesn't do a lot of good."
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
As a REAL LIFE child of someone who ACTUALLY died of cancer i find this deplorable and crossing the line.
shoegirl365 shoegirl365 10 years
The story of Breast Cancer told through any medium is inspiring.
Novaraen Novaraen 10 years
Its weird...the idea that this is supposed to be a comic strip...and "funnies" are usually funny. was a brave thing to tackle a very touchy but real subject in his storyline. I am sad to hear that he chose to in a sense kill her off of the comic...he could have made it a bit more inspiring and give women with breast cancer more hope...than to just have Lisa die from it.
merymery merymery 10 years
While his comic is in the "funnies" section, it's actually a pretty serious comic. There are funny parts, but it's almost always about family life, and the characters deal with unemployment, the war, and yes, cancer.
HistoryGeek913 HistoryGeek913 10 years
I think if it inspired even one woman to make sure she did a self-exam or went to get a mammogram then he's done a good thing. It was pretty hard to read at the end. Reminded me of my father's last days with cancer.
Jinx Jinx 10 years
I read alot of these comics, and I don't mind that he felt compelled to do it. I didn't realise she died. I never found them educational, and it was rather a heavy subject for the funnies. The "funnies" are supposed to be funny, and put a smile on your face. I imagine there are better ways they could have contributed.
yoyankbmars yoyankbmars 10 years
i think its great that he's using a uncommon medium to promote awareness of such a serious condition that affects millions in the us. The comics, to me, have never been funny they're entertaining and if you can entertain and educate at the same time then why not!
rosey_y rosey_y 10 years
It doesn't sound like he made a mockery of the disease, or breast cancer sufferers and their loved ones. I have no problem with it.
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