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Review: Zig-Zagging

March 27, 2009


Tom Wilson, Jr’s beloved father was the creator of the Ziggy cartoon, so Tom grew up feeling like Ziggy was his younger brother.  Tom would sit in the basement with his father and create drawings of his own.  Tom attended Miami University and fell in love with Susan, a very spiritual woman.  Tom and Susan settled into a quiet, stable life and had two boys.

When Tom’s father became ill, Tom took over drawing the Ziggy cartoon because he felt like no one else knew Ziggy like he does.   When Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer, Tom felt like his world was falling apart, yet Susan remained rock steady.  Susan fought the cancer for years, but finally succumbed to it and Tom sank into a deep depression.

Zig-Zagging: Loving Madly, Losing Badly. . . How Ziggy Saved My Life by Tom Wilson is the story of Tom’s struggle out of the depths of despair.  This book is full of raw emotion – anger at God, love for his wife, sorrow for his children having to grow up without their mother.  Tom is very honest in sharing his feelings.  The love for his late wife is evident throughout.  His faith in God is too, yet the book doesn’t come across as preachy.  This book would be great for someone who is mourning the death of a loved one or the friend of someone who is mourning the death of a loved one.  It gave me a deeper understanding of the grieving process.  This is one of my favorite passages in the book:

The real superheroes are the single parents doing their best to raise their kids alone.  They’re the faithful husbands, the loving mothers, the understanding friends who are always there in the time of need and crisis.  These superheroes wear no impenetrable suits, yet they never hesitate to face life’s bullets, even thought their only armor consists of the scars from previous battles often fought but not always won. In spite of their human imperfections, or maybe because of them, they never think twice about doing “the right thing,” no matter what the odds against them.

Zig-Zagging: Loving Madly, Losing Badly . . . How Ziggy Saved My Life by Tom Wilson is published by HCI Books.

This review is part of a TLC Book Tour.  Here’s the schedule for the tour:

25 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2009 8:53 am

    This sounds like a powerful book. The quote you shared was very touching. I have fond memories of Ziggy from my younger days. I didn’t realize Tom took over the Ziggy cartoon from his father. What great talent that family has!

  2. March 27, 2009 9:09 am

    This sounds like such an inspirational and heartwarming story. I loved Ziggy as a kid. I even made a cross-stitch of him!

  3. March 27, 2009 11:59 am

    I just heard about this book the other day. I am a big fan of Ziggy and I’d love to have the chance to learn about the creator of this character.

  4. March 27, 2009 12:03 pm

    i read about this book on a few other blogs and remember ziggy fondly from childhood. the book really sounds like a good read…and i plan to check it out! nice review.

  5. March 27, 2009 1:19 pm

    Hi Kathy, Thanks for a great review and for participating in Tom’s tour. So many of us can relate to what he went through- his anger at God, etc. Sounds like a good read.. thanks again!

  6. March 27, 2009 2:03 pm

    I’ve seen this book in passing and wondered what it was about. Sounds like an amazing story.


  7. March 27, 2009 3:30 pm

    Sounds so touching and moving. Great review 🙂

  8. March 27, 2009 4:14 pm

    This looks like such a cute book! I also came to say Hi! I gave you an award you can pick up at
    and I am sorry I don’t know how to make that link in a comment box…but congrats! I love coming to your creative and intelligent blog! I called you Kathy on my post but wasn’t sure if that was correct or OK with you…if not, I apologize!

  9. March 27, 2009 4:26 pm

    oh gosh I haven’t thought of Ziggy in years. I used to want to name everything Ziggy and always wished it was my nickname. Great review. I love the title of this book.

  10. March 27, 2009 4:37 pm

    Man, I just couldn’t (and still can’t) stand Ziggy. I’d have to pass on this one no matter how great.

  11. March 27, 2009 5:04 pm

    I knew you’d do a great review of this. It was a touching and courageous story.

  12. March 27, 2009 5:29 pm

    I thought this book was just wonderful. Great review, Kathy!

  13. March 27, 2009 5:49 pm

    Sounds very interesting. Great review!

  14. March 27, 2009 5:50 pm

    It’s always interesting to discover the faces behind the comics, and to realize that they often face serious personal struggles whle making us laugh.

  15. March 27, 2009 6:32 pm

    What a difficult juggling act – caring for his father during illness, managing the Ziggy empire, and caring for his ill wife. Yet Tom Wilson managed to do it without it his personal life spilling over into the cartoon.

    Nice review, Kathy! I’m not sure I’m up to a “sad” book right now, however well-written. I may save this for a summer read.

  16. March 27, 2009 7:10 pm

    WOW — I am so glad that I read your review. The book is nothing like I imagined it would be. I think this would be a good book for me to put on my summer reading list.

  17. March 27, 2009 9:34 pm

    I was unaware of his story. What a compelling book this must be.

  18. March 28, 2009 11:00 am

    Great review Kathy. I really liked this book. Love the quote you used.

  19. March 28, 2009 1:05 pm

    I’ve visited a few stops on this book tour. Somehow I don’t remember growing up reading Ziggy (I did have a few Ziggy toys though, go figure) but this still sounds like a good story for those unfamiliar with him.

  20. March 28, 2009 11:52 pm

    This sounds like it would be an emotional book, but also a good read. Nice review!

  21. March 29, 2009 12:36 pm

    Great review!

  22. thekoolaidmom permalink
    March 29, 2009 5:07 pm

    I remember when Ziggy was everywhere! Not just in the comic strip and on posters, but classmates would draw his nose and fingers over the wall and other Ziggy-inspired doodles. I remember hearing about how Ziggy had helped the author with his own depression, but I didn’t know it was the son who had taken over for his father. It makes it all that much more special 🙂

    Thanks, btw… I am feeling much better today 😀

  23. March 29, 2009 7:53 pm

    Saw this one at the library this weekend, but didn’t pick it up. Now I wish I had – it looks good!

  24. March 30, 2009 12:20 am

    This book looks like it will be a tear-jerker. I’m putting it on my list. Thanks for the review.

  25. April 1, 2009 6:44 am

    Drat. Just missed the drawing. I’ll see if the library has a copy. I always loved Ziggy. Who knew there was such a story behind him?

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