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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » "Lyme Loonies" new book

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Author Topic: "Lyme Loonies" new book
Ann-Ohio
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This looks like just what we all need.
I split up the text for easier reading.
Ann

{ You can see cartoons and send a message to David on Facebook.
www.facebook.com/lymeloonies
He is also on twitter. }


September 14, 2015
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/09/prweb12953847.htm

Page Publishing
New York, NY 10309


David Skidmore, author and cartoonist, has completed his first book "Lyme Loonies": a passionately crafted work that aims to use laughter as medicine.

Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, David Skidmore’s poignant tale is a heartfelt work and biography that uses animated characters to open a window to Lyme disease.

Life is either a comedy or tragedy. "Lyme Loonies" is a little bit of both. In the first cartoon book about Lyme disease, creator David Skidmore captures and illuminates the struggles faced by those with Lyme.

The cartoons are a way of expressing hope, humor and revolt at the tug-of-war in which the Lyme community find themselves regarding diagnosis, treatment, education, funding, prevention, public apathy and a cure.

"Lyme Loonies" is a book created in solidarity with those familiar with Lyme disease. Readers will laugh and maybe even cry, definitely shake their head, then most likely smile.

Readers’ palms also might hit their face a little too hard a couple times, but a sense of relief will follow knowing that they are not alone.

It is a book to share with family, friends and those who are unaware of Lyme, because education and awareness will bring the change we all want, need and deserve.

If laughter really is the best medicine, then a daily dose of Lyme Loonies is just what readers need.

Readers who wish to experience this informative work can purchase "Lyme Loonies" at bookstores everywhere or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play or Barnes and Noble.

[ 09-16-2015, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Ann-Ohio ]

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Ann-OH

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Keebler
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This may be intended in solidarity with those who have lyme and an "inside" sort of empathetic lighter side jokes - but I'd never want anyone who thought ill of those with lyme to even see this title or the cover illustration for it can cement their ill will toward those who are ill with such a complex and discarded diagnosis.

The thing about such a nickname and hideous cartoon cover is that is could be used by those against the very population it is intended to help to cement in their minds the notion that those with lyme are lunatics and imbeciles. Very powerful image, this book cover presents. And it is horrifying to me.

I hope no one I know - and no doctor I'd ever come face to face with - would ever see this book. How does one cancel that in their brain? The brain takes things literally and this can have a very negative effect in a lot of brains out there.
-

[ 09-14-2015, 03:19 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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beaches
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This is deplorable, insulting and a slap in the face to those who have suffered with this disease.

Substitute "cancer crazies" and see just how many would find it humorous.

This guy is yet another idiot, in a sea of many.

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Ann-Ohio
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Here is David Skidmore's story:

[From ILADS.org - I split it up for easier reading.]

"David Skidmore...My Story

There is nothing funny at all about this illness, but going on four years with Lyme myself, I have learned probably the two most important things to hold onto, hope and a sense of humor.

I will keep my story short, as anybody with Lyme disease is familiar with the need, having lived through this themselves.

The onset and progression of my Lyme started with a hike in the woods of Pennsylvania in November 2009.

The next day I felt a little bump on the back of my arm which was not visible. Like any new bump on one’s body, I examined it in the mirror and there he was...or she, burried into my arm having its meal.

The second thing I noticed was the bulls-eye rash surrounding the tick. I did the tweezer thing and removed it as best I could.

My thoughts were, “no big deal, a little antibiotic and I’ll be good to go!”. I knew nothing of the horror I was about to experience.

I was given twenty days of oral Doxycycline, and thought no more about it. Until about three weeks to a month later, when I started coming down with the flu like conditions.

Probably thirty doctors and almost two years later, a doctor finally looked at me and said the magic word...tick! “Have you ever been bitten by a tick?” to be exact.

Well here I am today with all the goodies, including severe neurological symptoms.

Through the bad, I have been able to find good with my Lyme disease cartoons.

I started creating them and posting online to try and cheer up those suffering from this horrible disease.

The feedback was so gratifying that I haven’t looked back.

In fact the cartoons have been picked up by ILADS (International Lyme and associated Diseases Society) to help in their efforts to reach out to doctors and patients regarding education and training.

I have also had the honor of working with Lymedisease .org, and now, Inanna House.

There is a lot of controversy regarding Lyme disease and the diagnosis and treatment of it.

I truly hope that one day, it will all be sorted out, and we will get the help we need and deserve."

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Ann-OH

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beaches
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His "story" is irrelevant when he makes a mockery of a life-threatening disease.

Perhaps his perspective wouldn't be so lighthearted if he witnessed his children suffer needlessly for years as so many of us have.

Again, substitute "cancer crazies" and see how much humor and lightness that term would generate.

This article is a disgrace.

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droid1226
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I see both sides. On the one hand it does sound like he's making light of it but I know Dave and he's really sick. He definitely didn't intend it.

On the other hand, at this most recent rally at the CDC there were people dressed up as ticks & "Lyme Avengers" in green suits & everyone seems just fine with it. All over youtube there's raps & skits with people making light of it. I don't really get it.

Just so people know, he's doing this as a sick patient, he's definitely not mocking anyone. And his messages in the book are great for advocacy. They may be cartoons but they convey a clear message of suffering and ignorance by the gov't and medicine.

So I think for any disliking of the name of the book, it's canceled out by the advocacy. At least in my opinion.

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beaches
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Since when does mocking a disease count as advocacy? Again, "Cancer Crazies" - imagine how that would go over.

And "Lyme Avengers" and people dressing up as ticks is just plain STUPID. This does nothing to promote knowledge or further advocacy.

I for one am highly insulted that my and my childrens' horrendous struggles throughout the years could be turned into some kind of perverted humor.

This isn't funny. It isn't a joke. It is disgusting.

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Keebler
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droid,

would you please share this with your friend? And, truly, this is not intended to upset him or cause him harm. It's just that as this circulates, it has potential for great harm to many very ill and tender adults and children.

This nickname and image will go beyond the book. Once some kid in school hears this term, if a bully, the term will move well beyond those who even know this book exists. And many children could be so deeply hurt. These terrible nicknames have a way of snowballing.

Okay, so the author is a nice guy, a good guy. And he's been very ill for four years. I'm sorry about that, truly. It's not right. And I'm sure the author has encountered a share of medical abuse by dismissal and name calling that no one deserves. It's no one's "fair share"

Still, that does not negate the fact that this title cover is

abusive. Not just insulting, but abusive.

and it perpetuates that abuse by giving permission to all who see it, or even see its title on their computer screen as they simply do a search on the topic of "lyme"

or who browse the books at Amazon or other vendor outlets - or (please say it's not in bookstores, too) in public places. Even in this way, the title can be a sad trigger, too, for those ill with lyme, in addition to a permission slip for those who don't deal with it.

The publisher of this book has failed in their duties, as has the editor (who should have reviewed the cover). You deserve money back and their financial help in finding a solution.

They should have understood the history and potential damage that this term - and the image - convey.

They should have known that all those who see this cover - or a poster promoting the book - well, they won't have the back story. They may not buy the book but what effect will SEEING the cover / poster have on their perception?

I would urge nothing short of withdrawal of this book from market

until such time as some kind of solution for a large sticker over it might save it - and save those who could be not just offended - but abused.

You can bet that this will cause - not just offense - but more verbal abuse to those with lyme, including children.

There IS a solution to this - some how. Just not sure how. And, please, do not say that it's "oh, just lighten up."

This brings back decades of abuse by doctors and name calling by family, friends, classmates of many out there. And it gives permission to all who see this cover to continue such name calling and to keep the image of the imbecile in their mind of those who have lyme.

The cover image, alone, can do that without even buying the book. And those who will take this and run with it are not about to become educated in lyme. With the permission to call others "loonies" -- the damage can go on in doctors' offices, homes, school grounds, etc.

Real advocacy now would be to recall the book and figure out a way to fix the cover - the back cover and anyplace the term "loonies" might exist inside the book.

And true understanding would also be to know that - yes, sadly - due to the nature of lyme, the sheer devastation of it coupled with lack of acceptance, those with lyme have been required to make fun of themselves at times and may not understand the deep implications that has on:

others with lyme who have been insulted and verbally abused

and the wider population.

I understand how this could happen. Lyme devastates and humor can be a survival tool. Yet, it does not always translate well to mass market.

So, now, I hope that some cadre of cartoonists might be able to come to the rescue and suggest a way out of this that will not insult and abuse. It is possible. A challenge, yet possible.

1. Reach out to cartoonists for help. Many of them have found ways to shine a light, add a little "oy, vey" humor, all while keeping the dignity of those affected.

http://www.cagle.com/

The Cagle Post - a collection of cartoonists whom you might contact


2. Then, run any ideas past at least three truly ILADS educated lyme literate therapists and

3. parents' groups of children with lyme

4. those who lead LymeDisease.com, a wonderful patient advocacy organization.

Remind them that this is being circulated throughout a greater mass market (Amazon, etc. - and that a copy will go to Library of Congress -- as all books in print do . . . maybe even the intra-library loan system).

The cover image and words will go well beyond a tight inner circle. And one cannot assume everyone is going to read inside or become "educated" - they may only see the title page. What, then, do they take away from that?

I have faith that there are some mentors our there who might help turn this around to share good art by a talented illustrator - while also protecting (and maybe even perhaps enhancing?) patient dignity.
-

[ 09-16-2015, 02:19 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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droid,

please also share this with your author friend.


Upworthy is a website that shares heartfelt stories, situations - many of which have been "turn around" situations from bullying, etc.

While not exactly what they do primarily, the page below has me hope that, perhaps,

these folks might be very interested in helping to brainstorm for suggestions as to how to just turn this around so no one gets hurt. Creativity & humor abound in their work selections, along with getting to the matter via true connections of the heart.

And, if they don't "do" this sort of thing they may have other ideas. They've seen a lot go through them where some very harsh situations turned out to be very positive.

http://www.upworthy.com/contact

UPWORTHY- Contact

Collaborations

We partner with foundations, nonprofits, and forward-thinking brands on the stuff that matters to them. We call it Upworthy Collaborations.
-

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Ann-Ohio
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From 2013
https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-loonies-2/


TOUCHED BY LYME: When "Lyme Loonies" is a badge of honor

.......................Finally, he’s undergoing treatment for neuro-Lyme now. But that’s not what this column is about. In the midst of all the challenges that come with long-term Lyme treatment, David has found a new calling. He’s using his considerable artistic skills and quirky sense of humor to document the trials and tribulations of living with Lyme disease.

He started churning out cartoons in a series he calls “Lyme Loonies.”

(For you newcomers, that’s how a federal official in charge of Lyme disease research programs once famously referred to Lyme patients and advocates. Skidmore uses the phrase like a badge of honor.)

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Ann-OH

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Ann-Ohio
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http://thebrightersideblog.blogspot.com/2014/10/meet-david-skidmore-lyme-patient-and.html

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2014
Meet David Skidmore, Lyme Patient and Cartoonist. Part 1 - The Evolution of Lyme Loonies
[From a longer Q&A with some of his cartoons.]

[Q]"Have you ever had people criticize you for your work because they feel offended, like you are making fun of a serious situation? How do you respond?"

{A] "I'm happy to say there have only been a couple along the way (that I know of) that have not liked my approach. I would say that laughter is good medicine.

Much like Lyme disease itself, Lyme Loonies has had its share of controversy beginning with the name. I was told by a major organization that someone had come forward to say the name was making fun of Lyme patients.

I chose the name after reading about a high ranking doctor who wrote an internal e-mail bidding goodbye to his co-workers. He wrote: “I will certainly miss all of you--the scientists, but not the Lyme Loonies.”

I chose the name in all of its irony, hoping that when and if this particular doctor ever sees a cartoon, he will be reminded of what a shameful and harmful statement he made.

I know all too well what this disease can do and the collateral damage regarding families, jobs, money and overall suffering. Making fun of this community is not my agenda, and I think most know that. ''

If you want to know who first came up with "Lyme Loonies" go here:

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130520/NEWS01/305190007/ICYMI-VIDEO-Chronic-Lyme-disease-real

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Ann-OH

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Keebler
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That's his take-a-way but how will others use that title when they think it's okay to call others that (when it is not okay to call others that)?

The imbecile woman on the cover (while well drawn) is not going to help the image of women with lyme, either. The images will stick in people's brains. Images do that.

And the cover image is not just for those of us who know all about the mistreatment by doctors. This is going public now.

How will others who are ill with lyme (especially kids) feel about being called a lunatic, crazy, nuts, or the other implications of that nickname?

Many using this label, holding the image of the imbecile, will not have the backstory. The cover image, standing alone, can perpetuate pain.
-

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Ann-Ohio
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I think the best thing is to let David know how you feel.

I posted this above if you would like to contact David about your concerns.

{ You can see some of the cartoons and send a message to David on Facebook.
www.facebook.com/lymeloonies
He is also on twitter. }

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Ann-OH

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Keebler
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I'm not registered at Facebook. I can't figure it out and it's just too hard to manage times I've tried. I asked droid to convey the concerning posts to him as droid says he knows him.

I'm not sure any author or illustrator can know, on their own, how their work will be perceived by the wider audience or how just the cover will stand alone and be interpreted. That is why editors and publishers are supposed to consider all this.
-

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droid1226
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I'm going to keep this kinda quick because I can see where this is headed & it's just an argument of not understanding where someone is coming from.

A lot of new members, including myself, were told to keep their illness quiet from friends, family, and other dr's. Or to tell them it was MS or something else.

I did this for the first yr & it was the worst advice I ever got and one of my biggest regrets because when I finally came clean, I confused everyone around me and destroyed my credibility.

I'm just saying this because people advocate in different ways. Dave may have not chose a great title, but his heart's in the right place. The same way Keebler told me in 2011 to tell other's I had MS just to avoid being stigmatized & insurance reasons.

There's a point when someone finally says "screw it all!" I'm telling everyone about this thing that's ruined my life.

I don't have to imagine a kid getting bullied. I lived with my niece when she had to drop out of high school because she was too sick to go anymore. She actually had the whole grade pull behind her & did a fund raiser and all. But I'm sure there's another side where kid's do get bullied.

This forum has helped me immeasurably but it also has it's faults in the advocacy department. My point is Dave isn't pointing at lyme patients & calling them lyme loonies. He's actually laughing instead of crying. Like the sad clown syndrome.

Yes, he could have & probably should have chose a different title.

Let's not forget Dr. H sells his "Ballad of a deer tick" which is a parody song with a loony tunes theme which he sells on iTunes.

All I'm saying is we're all on the same side whether you agree with a person's advocacy or not. I despise people's choice to not advocate at all but I understand everyone just wants answers and to get better.

We all have different situations & obviously different sensitivity levels.

I'm not friends with Dave BTW. I've talked to him before. He does work for ILADS too.

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beaches
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1. I understand where he is coming from. We all need humor. What HE doesn't understand is that perception is reality for many. He apparently does not have a grasp as to just how damaging this title and this cover picture will be and how it feeds into IDSA dogma. Before anyone even reads his story, an opinion is formed: Think about the impression that most will walk away with just from looking at the book itself: Lyme Loonies and some crazy woman on the cover of the book. Mmmm.

2. Not once EVER did I hide from Lyme, Chronic Lyme, Tick-borne disease. I ALWAYS was upfront and truthful whether at an ER or at an ignorant doctor's office or a school meeting. I tried to use those times to educate and advocate on behalf of my children and myself. Did it work? Mostly not and my family paid the price. But I did what I had to do and I am still doing it.

3. Kudos to your niece. It is amazing that she got classmates behind her. My kids were dropped like hot potatoes by their peers and there were all sorts of rumors circulating about them. I'm sure a title like "Lyme Loonies" at the local bookstore would have helped them tremendously.

4. You reached back to 2011 to see what advice keebler recommended to you? That's quite a stretch. I am sure keebler didn't put your feet to the fire. Your decision to not state that you had LD was yours alone. Why would you even bring that up? Personally, I find it a bit passive-aggressive and perhaps a way to shut down keebler's excellent points, all of which I agree with.

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droid1226
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He calls it Lyme Loonies because he can't remember his own children's names most days.

He's also paying for his treatment with the money he makes from it. So when I see a bunch of hypothetical scenarios of kid's getting beat up because of the title of a book. To me, that's a stretch.

Also when you say "Just another idiot in a sea of many" I also take issue with that. I wouldn't even call that passive aggressive, I'd call that aggressive.

Why did I bring up Keebler's (and others)advice to not tell anyone about their lyme? Because I saw it echoed again & again to new members. I believe that keeping quiet about such a horrific illness is wayyyy more damaging than the title of a book that actually is conveying a good message. If I'd have never found a bunch of people who were going through the same thing as me, I'd of killed myself.

As soon as I told everyone I knew the truth, I found 4 other sick people then have been approached by so many more who were able to catch it early because of my experience.

Sorry if I don't agree with you. Call me an idiot or whatever you want just make sure you guys stay consistent & call Dr. H an idiot too.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvOSDTSM-Vw

We're all sick & I'm not trying to pick fights, just trying to defend someone who's not here to defend himself.

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Ann-Ohio
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If you would like to read the introduction to the book and see quite a few of the cartoons, go here, click on "Look Inside" and scroll down:

http://www.amazon.com/Lyme-Loonies-David-Skidmore-ebook/dp/B014LQOW7U/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442452068&sr=1-1&keywords=Lyme+Loonies


Here is the publisher's e-mail address, if you wish to contact them.:

[email protected]

Also, the doctor who came up with "Lyme Loonies" in the first place is now the director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation - a favorite of the Infectious Diseases Society of America [IDSA], which wrote the nasty guidelines, most doctors follow and has been protested yearly by a lot of us.

http://aldf.com

Contact Us

Phillip J. Baker, Ph.D.,
Executive Director,
P.O. Box 466, Lyme, CT 06371
[email protected]

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Ann-OH

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beaches
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Well I guess you and he would have to know what it's like to watch your own children suffer for months, weeks, years and now on the verge of a decade, with neuro-lyme, intractable, unrelenting pain and a whole host of other symptoms.

It's "easy" when it's "just" you dealing with a disease. Watching your kids deal with it? Whole other ballgame. Know it because I've been there.

And funding your kids' medical expenses? OMG let's not even go there. And you are right. I am not passive-aggressive. I am openly aggressive and in-your-face. I have had to be with sick kids. Nicey-nice just doesn't cut it when your kids have a chronic illness.

And for the record, I'm no fan of H. He is much worse than your average idiot, but I digress.

Perhaps your buddy should join this forum so he can get some valuable and realistic feedback.

I am not looking to pick fights either. But I'll be damned if any book, article, whatever, will make a mockery of my and my childrens' struggles with this devastating, life-altering horrific disease.

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beaches
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Hmmmm.... Why would ANYONE IN HIS OR HER RIGHT MIND repeat a derogatory term used by a denialist??? Much less produce a book with that title?

In whose world does THAT make sense?? Anyone here?

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droid1226
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Repeat a derogatory term? He's never heard it. How can he repeat something he's never heard?

I have a daughter who I haven't seen in 5 yrs because of my health. So I wouldn't know if she's suffering or not. She's five states away. But you've made multiple assumptions throughout your posts & it's apparent talking to you is futile.

Just remember, you aren't the only one who has seen family members die or suffer, who's spent hundreds of thousands out of their own pocket, who suffers from the second they wake up to the time they go to sleep, who's been berated & belittled by dozens of Dr's and family members. You aren't the only one who's lost everything.

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poppy
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I like the cartoons.
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beaches
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Droid, I said "derogatory term" because Baker used the term "Lyme Loonies" Scroll up to see what Ann-Ohio posted. How and why would any of US use a term used by a denialist? That was my point.

If you're not his buddy, how do you know what he has heard and what he has not? Perhaps you shouldn't be speaking for him?

I didn't make any assumptions at all in my posts. I voiced my opinion, which is a very strong one.

And for the record, I most certainly realize that I am not the only one who has been through this hell. Far too many have--which is WHY I am SO offended by this book, its title and its cover "cartoon."

I haven't "lost everything," nor did I ever claim I had. I STILL have my family, my home, good food on the table, and my dignity, all of which I am grateful for.

Please do not put words in my mouth or make assumptions about me.

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droid1226
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The term "loony" isn't exclusive to lyme patients. Dave was a cartoonist who became sick so his "loony" reference is from cartoons being silly & crazy.

Yes you have made assumptions that I had it easy cause it was just me. Lol. What does that even mean? You've said I was a friend of Dave's. Lol. Huh? He called me once & we talked for a few hrs.....That's not why I was standing up for him. I was trying to get you & keebler to understand he wasn't coming from a malicious place.

You were calling people idiots. That's uncalled for. If you disagree with something, have a little respect.

Obviously everyone doesn't share your opinion because the book is doing well.

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beaches
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Again, I refer you to what Ann-Ohio posted re: Baker, the denialist. Scroll up, please!

You speak for him, yet you are not his buddy. I don't get that at all. I never said I thought he was coming from "a malicious place." And I don't think keebler said that either! I think this guy is coming from a place of profound ignorance. But hey, why don't you invite him to post here so he can speak for himself.

I never said it was easy on anyone. What I said was basically, if you think it's hard being sick yourself, try watching your kids being sick. You being sick is NOTHING compared to watching the HELL your children go through. Got it now?

And yes, I did say he was in a sea of idiots, and I don't take that back. It's not about me disagreeing with something, it's about me not tolerating ignorance or insults regarding this horrific disease.

I bet that book is on display at IDSA headquarters. Go him.

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droid1226
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I'm not speaking for him. You've forced me to take his side by being so irrational.

I don't care what Baker said. It has nothing to do with Dave's title choice of the book. I'll scroll up all day, it won't help. You apparently don't understand context.

And yes, you did say I had it easy cause it was just me. What exactly are you talking about? I have a child. How would you know anything about that or how "I have it?"

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beaches
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Oh geez. How could I force you to take anyone's side?

Please explain to me how I am being "irrational?" Opinionated, yes, irrational, nope, don't think so.

Baker, the denialist, is the one who coined the term "Lyme Loonies" and isn't that the very same phrase used by Skidmore??

I did not say you had it easy! For God's sake man, please re-read what I posted!

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droid1226
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It's "easy" when it's "just" you dealing with a disease...Idk how else to take that.

Yes it is the same phrase used by baker but Dave has no idea about that. It was his twitter handle then his facebook then he started making them all the time as a way to keep his mind working. Idk why I'm defending him. I don't even like it either but I understand he's not being ignorant and calling us loony like we are faking it.......he's calling the cartoons loony, not us.

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beaches
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Droid, I understand that he means no harm, really I do. I don't think he thinks any of us are "faking" this. But I believe he has made a big mistake.

I want to clarify for you what I mean when it comes to being sick and having sick kids: I have been sick for decades with "pick 1 from column A and 2 from column B" and it has changed over the years. When I say I have been sick, I'm not talking mild illnesses.

But as sick as I have been, NOTHING compares to watching my sick kids suffer with this horrendous disease. So yeah, it would've been a hell of lot easier if I just had to deal with me and my illnesses. But when you have sick kids, YOU are placed on the back burner. THEY come first - their health, their schooling, every need they have---that becomes number one, as it should.

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Keebler
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This is neither about the author, his skill, or even the badges of honor and ordeals those with lyme - or posters here are / have been dealing with.

All that matters of course.

The point is the COVER OF THIS BOOK as it's released to the GENERAL PUBLIC - and also the effects on those dealing with lyme who do not wish to label themselves lunatics or all wrung out.

The cover of the book, as it stands alone, is the issue is. Image, two-word label. A FLASH CARD. And flash cards work well to put ideas into brains and have them stick. I can still draw up images of flash cards I used as a child. Those flash cards do not go away.

The WAY THE BRAIN WORKS, when seeing an image and two quick words . . . the brain latches onto that and it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove the biases formed that very first instant of the first impression.

It's also not about whether the person who sees this will or will not become lyme educated. That is not likely to happen for most who stumble upon this book cover. Most won't buy the book (again, not due to any reason other than of the dozens of book titles we may see in a week, how many does anyone buy?).

The brain goes on pictures and the picture of the woman looks like an imbecile - and the neon lights effect of the title confirms lunatic static. That is the image that will be seared into many brains who lay eyes on this book cover.

Not the issue, yet, yes . . . those who will take it farther may learn a lot and laugh, too. Again, that some can get past this cannot possibly negate the damage it can do for those who take this as a flash card to the brain.

The point: in a split second - how the average person will register the book cover image & the bold nickname given to those with lyme

In one second. What will stick with them from that flash card?

That one second - maybe two - is just how long before someone either looks further or moves on. Of great concern: those who move on, carrying this flash card now imbedded in their brain.

And also, of those in the other population (those with lyme), some will be very hurt by this cover. I am. Not just offended, deeply hurt. This cover cuts deep, bringing back so many instances of medical abuse, lost relationships, lost family, lost career, lost income, poverty that just keeps getting worse as rents rise and the years of being homebound increase.

This cover cuts deep, indeed.

That is a different matter and the collection of his work, which is heartfelt and humorous. But it's this cover image and nick name that make it the poster with a damaging punch. Because that is how so many have seen me over the years and how so many still do. This book COVER just makes me so very sad. I am certain that mine will not be the only heart saddened by

this cover image / nick name as it's now presenting us to the world this way. In one second - maybe two - that's all it takes to burn this image into a brain that is all too willing to leave it as just this and move on.

Images stick. Nick names stick. And they have very sharp points.

Dignity is my goal. For myself, the ship has pretty much sailed - and capsized. However, for others out there - and I know there are some who can be hurt by this - I still stand strong in the idea of dignity.

The book cover conveys the opposite of dignity. In one - maybe two seconds - what's the average person going to take away? In the blink of the eye. That's the window of opportunity.

A lot can be taken in, in the blink of an eye - perception wise. And it matters greatly. I urge a change of cover, and dropping of the nick name.

There must be a different cartoon that conveys dignity to a person with lyme, I would hope. And some other name that can't be used as a weapon (when out of context or as a book title). I do hope.
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[ 09-18-2015, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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droid1226
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I get it. I understand that the cover is in poor taste. I understand it hurts. All I've been trying to say from the beginning is there is a positive aspect at the same time.

It seems the conversation about how bad we've been screwed & how much suffering there is in the lyme world is an incestuous conversation that only the sick talk about with each other. It hardly ever reaches other people unless they get sick. This is a way to get people to pick up a book & at least plant the seed in their heads about the corruption & suffering in the lyme community. And it's cartoons. It makes it easier for the uninformed to pick it up. That's all.

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Keebler
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And, for those who do not pick up the book?

The cover has just blink of any eye to send them along with a perception.

This book is just as important to those who will not click, pick up or order. The message may be even more important - in the blink of an eye, they'll get (but not in the proper context).

Advertising, or any promotional tours / interviews also need to be considered. The name / cover image is out front. [Sigh]

It's at Amazon, and general vendors now. No longer in a closed circle. But now this is mass market.

The publisher should have prevented this (as authors are often too close to their material &/or too accustomed to their closed circle groups to consider the first impressions of a wider audience).

And the publisher could work to offer some kind of correction, perhaps a flyer that would be put onto every book cover ordered before it ships out. It could be done. With the correction replacing the first image on the web links - and promotional posters / ads.

Usually, publishers put a great deal of time and effort - and thought - into the covers. This time, it just appears that the publisher let down with author. It's not just a cartoon book and not just for those with lyme.

And cartoons about those who are ill should convey (or at least allow) dignity in this case the cover does not - not in that blink of an eye.

The cover has a higher requirement: in the blink of any eye. Without the advantage of context inside the book. The cover must stand alone.

It's one thing to make light of one's self. But it's not okay to make light of others and then put their image front and center and tell everyone it helps to laugh.

The cover is not the image of the author but of every woman with lyme, whether she wants (that interpretation of) her image there or not. Whether she wants to be called a "Loonie" or not . . . whether any woman, man or child wants to be called a "Loonie" - it's being foisted upon them. Big sigh.

This book has real power to educate (and provide much needed chuckles - I'm not negating all that)

yet the cover image / nick name are insulting and can perpetuate nasty behavior by others ("Loonie" is such an insult it should never be embraced / encouraged to be taken up as a nick name to call others - but that is what the cover does).

Indeed, the cover image and title has a much higher & noble requirement to convey a message: in the blink of any eye.
-

[ 09-18-2015, 07:23 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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beaches
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Keebler, this is most certainly about "ordeals" as well as everything else you have pointed out.

I have watched my children suffer for years, needlessly, due to plain evil.

When there is a book entitled "Lyme Loonies" and then I realize that this specific term was coined by denialist Baker and then on top of that, I see a ridiculius caricature of a crazed woman on the cover of this book...

It makes me angry that some ignorant person thought that my children's struggles and those of many others could be reduced to some stupid cartoon.

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Keebler
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Indeed. Good point. By focusing on the issue of the cover, I guess I left out my thought that no ordeal or backstory can justify or give anyone permission to use such a demeaning image and derogatory label in work that stands alone (separate from any text) as cartoons do, as labels do.
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Ann-Ohio
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I hope some of you have expressed you opinion and feelings to
the publisher:

Here is the publisher's e-mail address, if you wish to contact them.:

[email protected]

Here is a way to see the prints David donated to ILADS to help raise money for training doctors to treat Lyme disease
patients:

http://ilads.org/fundraise/lymeprints.php

Click on each cartoon to see a larger, more readable version.
It doesn't mean you are going to buy it.

[ 09-19-2015, 12:16 PM: Message edited by: Ann-Ohio ]

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droid1226
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Haha. Ok. Whatever.

All this time venting, you guys could have sent off all your complaints to Dave like Ann suggests.

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Keebler
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Ann,

Thanks for that link. Yes, I find those funny and to the point. No where, though, [on that page] are these characters called "Loonie" . . . and none are seen as wrung out as the cover of the book.

The main point, though, is that the ILADS cartoons, and even a Facebook page of the cartoons is for a very tight audience who is already lyme educated. Tight venue, curated audience.

Yet, as they appear on that linked page (with no nick name), all but one of those particular cartoons would fly fine, alone, presented to a public audience the with "blink of an eye" take away.

The book cover illustration / name does not.

None of those cartoons have the same impact as that cover and nick name of the book for the general public.

The book is being presented to the mass market with a cover illustration and name calling is a very different effect.

This is the unveiling to the general public of a lyme "character" that is made to look like a fool -

and the blasting nick name (book title) instructs readers / public that it is very much okay to call anyone with lyme a "Loonie" as, in that blink of an eye that is all the time any book cover has to make an impression. It is not okay to call anyone a "Loonie" - ever.

The book cover character and name are presented as to represent all who are affected by lyme. And that's a very damaging effect.
-

[ 09-19-2015, 01:49 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Ann-Ohio
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I posted the e-mail I sent David and the response I got from him.[From David Skidmore in response to my e-mail - [see posts 1. and 2.]

Here is the part of his response with the e-mail for contacting him directly:

"….Again, thanks for reaching out. If you would like me to answer these guy's in my own words as I've done above I will do so or anyone can write to

[email protected]…"

[Ann here, again]

I am glad we had this good discussion and I do hope you will contact David about your reactions to the cover and title.

….And maybe you could tell him what a talented cartoonist and
generous human being he is.

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Keebler
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" ….And maybe you could tell him what a talented cartoonist and generous human being he is." (end quote)

Surely, that is true. That is not the point. Yet, are those who are insulted by this cover also not nice people? I'd say they are.

Even if unintended . . .

The point is that the cover of this book is insulting both in the name calling / label attachment and the illustration in the manner in which portrays those with lyme (particularly women) - especially in the eyes of general public.

Many will see only the cover - or promotional materials that usually enlarge the cover. In an instant, this shows the world who those with lyme are -- and this portrayal is not going to be helping anyone with lyme.

It's good to have ways to contact the author & publisher, so thanks for that. Yet, awareness does not rest solely there. Ideas for possible solutions (to correct this injustice, for this cover is that) might come from a variety of places.

A good hearted solution is always possible.
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[ 09-20-2015, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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The link to this thread and the concerns of some has been conveyed to the author in postings here and some emails as well.

Apparently, and although ". . . the book has yet to actually be on sale" the author has no intention of considering a solution the book cover. That is very sad.

The cover, posters, promotional materials stand alone - small print gets lost. And, as presented, this cover stands against those with lyme both in nick-name label and image.

I wonder if those who have given endorsements have actually seen the book cover and considered

1. how that will look / read / be interpreted by the general public in one to two seconds of time? Just the cover, standing alone in public - without any explanations from inside.

2. And how those very ill with lyme will receive such an insult and handing down of label / image.

Is this book cover / and label a fair representation of someone ill with lyme ? If they think so, I'd have to question their reputations.

It may the case that the "endorsements" were from just a few of the cartoons, in a lyme conference. But, in public, and with the cover as presented, that can be a very different picture.

Ann-OH posted this:

Topic: 2. David Skidmore's response about cartoon book

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=035427;p=0

Here is David Skidmore's response to me (see another post). It includes a address you can use to send him your feelings about "Lyme Loonies" as a title and the book cover cartoon.

[From David Skidmore in response to my e-mail - see other post]

"Trust me when after four years of doing these cartoons I am not offended nor upset that I rattle some chains out there.

I have learned from the start that Lyme loonies, the name given to us or what we we're called By Dr. Philip Baker caused some controversy, but that said, one of the most famous LLMD's said some people just don't have a sense of humor.

Nor do they understand the irony in using this name almost against the establishment or in particular, Dr. Baker.

I wanted to let he and his cronies know every time they saw Lyme loonies that the Lyme community, or some of us as sick as we are still have a sense of humor despite their treatment, or lack of. I kind of wanted to show them that we are stronger and not going to be put down by their name calling.

I've concluded that some will get it, and some will not.

It has been my honor to make and continue to make any one who wants to get a laugh with a Lyme cartoon and or political statement.

You can't please everyone.

Thanks so much for writing to me and trying to make a statement about Lyme loonies. One thing for sure, it is and I dare say, the only cartoon book out there on Lyme!!

Again, thanks for reaching out. If you would like me to answer these guy's in my own words as I've done above I will do so or anyone can write to

[email protected]

As an aside, few know this yet as the book has yet to actually be on sale, but I have gotten endorsements from Eva Sapi, Holly Ahern, (Close to home) Cartoonist and Lyme patient, John McPherson, Mary Beth Pheiffer (famous journalist for Lyme disease) and many more.

One more thing these people should know, I did 800 limited edition prints of some of the cartoons for ILADS to raise money, I have never charged a dime in the four years of contributions.

Thank you,

Dave Skidmore"

(posted by Ann-OH)
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[ 09-20-2015, 10:29 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Robin123
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I can kinda see both sides of this - folks feeling it's framing Lyme patients very poorly, and the pov that it's using humor to defuse our struggles.

Perhaps a cover without a Lyme patient on it, as in the idea of loony tunes cartoons, the cartoons are the loonies rather than putting the loony focus on the patient?

Maybe I'll communicate with David about that.

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Keebler
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The point is that the general public will not know this is humor - not at first glance. Oh, they may chuckle but the brain is very literal.

Consider the brain science at work here.

When that cover registers in the brain - in just one second - it will have the image and title. The brain sees / hears in "facts" - it just registers at that point as the person passes by (either on web, a bookstore, etc.)

This brain science has benefited advertisers for decades. Show a picture, a label and hook them.

Wants & desires . . . but also biases and judgments are seeded in that first instant.

Humor only comes after a lot of education on the matter. But, for many, the trauma of lyme makes this not humorous but painful and the fact that the cover has the potential to affect others' attitudes is a double edge sword.

Might as well hand out razor blades with a cover like that. It's how I felt when I saw it - fleeting but it swelled to the surface. I just want to die when this kind of image magnifies the various levels of pain. And that's no joke.

If I have that feeling, after all the years of learning about this, it should not take someone of extraordinary empathy to consider that others might feel all kinds of pain, insult, hurt, despair about this, too.

There should be no labeling of those with lyme by this name, no question at all about it. The "LL" should be only for lyme literate.

The cover image / name is hurtful in various ways.
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droid1226
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Since the hypothetical situation of kids getting beaten up by this book, we can also suppose that if someone actually opens it, they may rethink their mom's so called "mental illness" or their sister's "lupus" or whatever....They may rethink their own illness & learn to question their own diagnosis or lack thereof.

The content of this book is tragedy presented in a way that appeals to people who aren't familiar with the lyme controversy. Unfortunately it takes bright colors & funny drawings for the a lot of people to even pick up a book, especially children. It may be reframing their view of the entire medical system.

If you take offense to the title of this book, I get it, I really do. But you can't call for the author's head or it being pulled from the shelves because you are offended.

The name of the book isn't "lyme patients are loony". The cartoons are loony.

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beaches
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I wish there was an icon for "whoosh, those points just went over people's heads."
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Keebler
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There is still time to put into action a solution.
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beaches
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From your lips to God's ears, Keebler.

Based on responses by the author, I don't think anything will change.

Despite numerous posts and points from both of us, there are those who remain clueless, including the author.

Whoosh...

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A.G.
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If you changed the title to "Lyme Hysteria!" with the same pic; it would give off the same vibe.

Yes, you could say "It's because "hysterical" means funny and this is a book of funny cartoons.

Yet, matching up with the pic, the frazzled lady freaking out over ticks is seriously in hysteria. "Her problems are all in her head. She just needs to get some rest, an antidepressant or a valium and everything will be all better." Says so many IDSA Drs.

That's what I mean. There are so many other great cartoons but this particular combo of pic and title is quite triggering to me.

It's taking away from the awesome book.

And no, I haven't emailed soneone I don't know. I bet anything the author had glanced at this thread.

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