In 1998, Robert Mankoff-cartoon editor of The New Yorker-asked Marisa to contribute work to the magazine, and her cartoons, which focus on women and their relationships to fashion, men and the world, have been appearing there ever since. Bob (as the cartoonists call Robert) assigned Marisa a reportage piece on opening day in the New York Knicks locker room. When her story appeared in The New Yorker, it caught the eye of editors of the New York Times Sunday Styles section. They hired Marisa to write and draw a cartoon strip called "The Strip," which was the first ever regular cartoon feature in the Times; it ran from 2000-2001.
In addition to The New Yorker and Glamour, Marisa has had ongoing cartoons in Talk, Advertising Age, Modern Bride, and ESPN magazines. Since 2002, her single panel cartoon "Glamour Girls" has appeared monthly in Glamour's "Dos & Don'ts" section. In 2004, three weeks before getting married for the first time at the young age of 43, Marisa was diagnosed with breast cancer. When her Glamour editors found out, their second reaction was to ask Marisa to document her battle with the disease. Cancer Vixen originally ran as six pages in Glamour in May 2005, and a story about the spread was featured as a front page Arts story in the New York Times. Cancer Vixen, the graphic memoir, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in October 2006.
In October of 2006, Marisa was awarded The Humanitarian Award at The Breast Cancer Research Foundation Symposium and Awards Luncheon, which was presented by Sheryl Crow at The Waldorf Astoriain New York City.
Marisa has donated a percentage of the proceeds of Cancer Vixen to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and to underprivileged women at the Comprehensive Cancer Center affiliated with St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan.
Recently Marisa established The Cancer Vixen Fund at St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is the Co-Chair along with Grace Dos Santos. The Cancer Vixen Fund is dedicated to help women who are uninsured receive the best breast care. It is crucial that everyone, whether they have insurance or not, receive the proper screening to catch breast cancer early so they have a greater chance of successfully kicking cancer. As Evelyn Lauder says, "Early detection saves lives."
Today Marisa is grateful to be happily married and healthy. She is now working on her third graphic novel, which thankfully is fiction, and not about cancer. Her dream is that one day we will all be cancer free, and she will not have to write a sequel to Cancer Vixen any time soon.
Been Through It in Breast Cancer