Lynn Johnston's popular comic strip "For Better or For Worse" begins a new phase today as character Michael Patterson looks through a family photo album with his 5-year-old daughter, Meredith. With this strip, Michael begins retelling the Patterson family story by recounting the courtship of his parents, John and Elly, the central characters in the 28-year-old strip read by millions each day.
In a mixture of new, old and retouched work, readers will begin to see scenes of the past - Elly reading in the library at college and catching the eye of the young dental student who will one day become her husband.
"This was an opportunity to give my readers new material, as well as my being able to pick and choose through the original art and making it different, making it a new entity, as it were," Johnston says.
Johnston will keep fans engaged with a mix of special strips from the past and newly drawn panels that will help reintroduce favorite storylines. The strip's current storyline will be interlaced with Michael's remembrances until it gradually reaches a natural closing stage sometime early next year. When that happens, time will stop for the extended Patterson family, but not their stories. The stories will be relived by a current generation of fans and introduced for the first time to a new generation.
Right now, Johnston is still exploring the budding romance between oldest daughter Elizabeth and an old high school flame.
"I'm interested and readers are interested to know what is going to happen with Anthony and Elizabeth," she says. "That resolution can't happen too fast. They've only just started to see each other again after a long time apart."