Archive for Monday, September 3, 2007

New phase of comic strip begins today

September 3, 2007

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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."

Comments

Keith 10 years, 1 month ago

In keeping with the new format, the 'comic' strip will now simply be titled "For Worse"

Steve Jacob 10 years, 1 month ago

"For Better or For Worse" is the worst comic in the JLW.

deec 10 years, 1 month ago

Why in the world do you dislike this strip?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 1 month ago

I love it, especially because it moves in time.

Deb Stavin 10 years, 1 month ago

I nominate "The Family Circus" for worst strip.

sourpuss 10 years, 1 month ago

I love "FBOFW." I am the same age as Michael and I basically grew up with him. It was great that someone in the comic strip was doing the same things I was - getting a locker, graduating from high school, going to college, looking for a first job... I am really sad that the strip is changing, but I also understand that it has been going on 30 years, and Lynn is probably ready to slow things down.

What ticks me off is that Peanuts piece of trash. Why is that taking up valuable real estate on the page? If you want old Peanuts strips, go buy a book. Clear out and make room for a new artist!!

walkdog262 10 years, 1 month ago

Family Circus is mind-numbingly bad. FBOFW is only moderately tolerable.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 1 month ago

Those people who hate Family Circus and For Better or Worse, probably do not have good family lifes, and can't stand to see people living real life. They probably prefer the pathetic antics of that strip about the sports addicts who are trying to get laid all the time. They can relate to the losers.

waydownsouth 10 years, 1 month ago

For Better or Worse used to be funny but lost steam or good humor awhile ago. I prefer Lio he reminds me of my kids.

classclown 10 years, 1 month ago

americorps (Anonymous) says:

For Better or Worse deals with issues with humor and compassion such as suicide, gay and lesbian issue, cancer, divorce and a host of others:

Some people really hate compassion.

====================================

I doubt it's a loathing for compassion. I think it's more a case that most people turn to the comics for a momentary escape from all the issues of daily life. They don't want the issues of life jumping out at them while they're taking a break from it.

If people want want compassion, they can just get on the LJW blogs.

Now that's one for the funny pages!

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 10 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, this IS pretty hilarious.

I think some folks just dislike Family Circus, Peanuts, FBOFW and others like it because the humor is gentle. Current entertainment focuses on the vulgar, shocking and venomous. But some of us don't need that for a staple. I really appreciate Boondocks and Doonsbury for my daily dose of sociopolitical humor. But sometimes I just need a grin and a chuckle. It's not necessary for me to be shocked or offended to entertain me.

Yrs,

THB

Keith 10 years, 1 month ago

dorothyhr: "Those people who hate Family Circus and For Better or Worse, probably do not have good family lifes, and can't stand to see people living real life. They probably prefer the pathetic antics of that strip about the sports addicts who are trying to get laid all the time. They can relate to the losers."

You do know we're talking about comic strips here, right? Not real life? As for FBOFW moving forward, well now it won't. The article says the story line will stop and then just be reruns. First Peanuts, then BC, now FBOFW. All these reruns taking up declining comic page space that could be used to introduce new talent. For the record, I used to be a fan of Lynn Johnson's work.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 1 month ago

Read the whole article. It will stop until next year.

Keith 10 years, 1 month ago

dorothyhr: "Read the whole article. It will stop until next year."

And then start over again, from the beginning?

sourpuss 10 years, 1 month ago

Okay, I like FBOFW, I dislike the Family Circus (I find it insipid), I REALLY hate Marmaduke because while I love dogs, I really hate BAD dogs and that strip just celebrates a very bad dog and it ticks me off, BC used to be funny but is terribly preachy now, Peanuts was fine, but Schultz is dead, so give another artist a chance.

Current favs: Luann, Preteena, Dilbert, Doonesbury, Opus, Zits, FBOFW.

walkdog262 10 years, 1 month ago

Re: "Those people who hate Family Circus and For Better or Worse, probably do not have good family lifes, and can't stand to see people living real life." No, I have a great family life. I just don't find it funny that, for the 834th time, we have to see the path Billy takes around the neighborhood or that moronic "Not Me" ghost or Billy filling in for his dad while on vacation. It's insipid. And to even lump Peanuts into the category of strips that need to be put to bed is blasphemy, because it will never be equaled, especially in terms of real-life lessons.

Bill Chapman 10 years, 1 month ago

I have never liked The Family Circus - it just seems a little too much "perfect world: according to Oral Roberts". I generally read the comics for escape from the worlds' problems. I even read Doonesbury for this because I can laugh at the way current events/ concerns are satirized. FBOFW is more of a dramatic strip then a comedic strip, and I do occasionally read it but am not a avid follower of it. My all time favorite comic strips are(not in this order):Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes, Far Side, Non Sequitur, Get Fuzzy, and Sluggy Freelance( which is an online comic and may require reading of many past comics to get up to speed). As you can see, I tend to prefer the sarcastic, smart-ass type of comic strip. The truly sad thing is, the comic strip publishers push the artists so much(1 - 2 weeks ahead of the current strip, editing the strip so it no longer makes sense, etc.) that many artists are going to the Internet to publish their work. Some are subscription, some are free - but the loss is to the people who read them, not the publishers who forced the artist(s) to find other venues for their work.

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