No question about it:
This is my most
"different" book.
  • It's not a comic book; It's an illustrated fable.
  • It's not a "Cruse book"; it's a collaboration.
  • It weighs in at a slim 'n tasty 70 pages.
How did it come to be?

Well...

45 years ago, when I was in college, a distinguished Alabama composer named Jeanne Shaffer shared with me a compellingly wry fable of her own devising that embodied eternal truths about religion and human folly.

The story stuck with me long after life had taken us in different directions. Then in the mid-'80s I began seeing pictures in my mind that felt right for her tale. I contacted Jeanne to see how she would feel about letting me bring my own style and embellishments to her creation. She generously and enthusiastically agreed.

For more years than I would have wished my adaptation of Jeanne's story persisted as a on-and-off-the-back-burner endeavor, perpetually giving way to the more professionally pressing demands of first Wendel, then Stuck Rubber Baby, then other, smaller projects that kept elbowing it off my drawing table. It took an horrific tragedy to create an opening for its completion: in the wake of 9/11 New York went into near paralysis for weeks. With no other jobs to do, I finished The Swimmer With a Rope In His Teeth.

It took a couple more years to find a publisher, but finally Prometheus Books stepped up to the plate.

In a severely divided world bedeviled by great chasms between those who live serenely and those who don't...
...a heroic Swimmer takes it upon himself to seek a remedy by crossing a dangerous river.
The consequences are not what he would have predicted.

Was Swimmer a best-seller?
Well, not quite. In fact,
it's been out of print for a while now.
But it still holds a special place in my heart.

So if you're intrigued, you can still order a copy of this book directly from me. I will be happy to sign it (or inscribe it personally, if you like) and send it to you directly.

What about reviews?

There were almost none — NONE!!! — when the book first came out, unless you know about some that I didn't hear about. It's enough to discourage a fella. But Alex Bernstein and Neil Kleid at PopImage bucked the trend by offering some kind words (click here to read them), as did author/playwright Chip Deffaa.

And who knows? Maybe waves of enthusiastic word-of-mouth will begin sweeping the nation and lead to a new edition someday. Ya never can tell!

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