Thursday, January 11, 2007


OK, we've got to get the "FBOFW" news out of the way. Thanks to everyone for providing comments and links!

According to Editor & Publisher, Lynn Johnston will not be ending the strip come September (? had we ever heard that month named before?). Nor, I guess, will she be pulling a "Fox Trot"/"Opus" and going Sunday only.

Instead, she's planning a hybrid strip. (No, not like my car.) Some strips will feature new events, but in those strips, the characters will not continue to age. I'm assuming this means that unless Liz weds by then, she won't wed at all? And if she does get married, she won't have kids? And if Grandpa Jim makes it to next fall, maybe he won't pull a Farley and die saving Meredith (or something).

Blended in with the new strips, apparently, will be old ones--sometimes just reprinted, sometimes redrawn or recolorized. Readers may be introduced to those old comics via Michael (oh, why Michael? One of my least favorite characters...) looking at old photo albums. Johnston believes this will allow her to semi-retire, yet not give up the strip.

Longtime FBOFW readers will also get a kick out of Johnston saying that part of the reason she is giving it up is that she knows she can't stay up-to-date with technology--apparently she originally had Michael rushing back into the fire to save his paper manuscript, while someone had to tell her it would be more likely that he would want to save the laptop he had the book saved on.

Which, OK, not the worst idea ever, but it reminds me of the sitcoms where Claire Huxtable or whoever sits down on the couch and rubs her chin and says "When Theo got in trouble, it seems like it was just yesterday..." and someone puts in one of those wobbly fade-outs and whee! We're in a clip show!

The Toronto Star also has an article on the changes. They have some fun quotes (Johnston not a feminist, film at 11! Readers hate Granthony, sky still blue! Jim to stay old, not magically regress to babyhood!).

And they also have a poll, in which 745 poor deluded fools want Liz to end up with Creepthony. But most, it seems, want her with Officer Cheats A Lot, and Warren choppers into second place.


Anonymous said...

I like how Lynn says at the end that the comic wouldn't be her best work is she kept it up full-time. Like this Granthony stuff IS her best work?

PJ said...

When your email update said, "For Better or For Worse isn't dying, it's going hybrid" my immediate reaction was, "What -- it's turning into Mary Worth?" Because it's just an unfunny soap opera now. (I enjoyed your Test Pattern article on it too.)

john said...

Trudeau has had his charactes aging in Doonesbury for decades. I always found For Better or Worse to be disappointing. Every strip ends with some character with eyes agog at some remark made by another. Only the remark changes, though predictably. I would not have noticed its gone had you not mentioned it.

SeaBoy said...

I loved your Test Pattern article. Saw that before I made it to the blog today. Good for you, Gael!

I kinda hate this idea....hope Lynn brings some of the storylines to conclusion before she transition.

Anonymous said...

I'm really disappoint with LJ. I'm sick of her trying to push Liz and Creepthony together. The thing is, he was still in love with Liz when he married therese..he was emotionally cheating on her. I think he basically used Therese because he wanted a house and kids. I guess he didn't realize that, oh, it's important to pick the right wife too. Therese wasn't a saint, but I don't blame her for having an affair and leaving...Anthony was never in the marriage anyway.

I always thought Liz was independent and feisty; this wimping out and running away doesn't jive with the character. It just seems contrived to me. Of course, I think strip's been going downhill since Deanna oopsed Michael. She's supposed to be an intelligent, educated woman! It's ridiculous! I think LJ should just end the strip. I want to see what happens to everyone.

seth said...

somebody needs to explain euthanasia to lyn.

please, lyn, let it die. it's too late for the strip to die with dignity, but you could at least avoid going all weekend at bernie's with it.

Anonymous said...

De-lurking to say that I love your blog and I HATE that Lynn made Constable Wright a big cheater! I'm with everyone else in not seeing what Liz's appeal is.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that when Warren comes to pick Liz up, the helicopter will crash, sparing Liz but killing of course, Creepthony's left. The comic strip has just become so ridiculously melodramatic and stupid...people do marry people that aren't their high school sweethearts.

At this point, I would like to see Liz pick NONE of them. I hate that Paul's a cheater...I feel like LJ cheated her readers. If I had my way, Liz would still be Mitigawki with Paul. LJ could've still resolved the Liz-Anthony thing without having her run back south. I think this is what's called Jumping the Shark...and the Shark's WAY out of water and on land!

Anonymous said...

How come all of you are so bitter about what Lynn's done with her strip? A good number of you really seem to hate Anthony and think Elizabeth would turn into a housewife if they got together! Someone went so far as to criticize him for getting married to his now ex-wife while he was still in love with Elizabeth. That NEVER happens in real life, right? Oh wait, it happens all the time!

I have grown up alongside these characters and while they may have faults, they are more realistic than plenty of other strips I have read and if they reflect Lynn's values, what's wrong with that? I'm not a cartoonist, so I can see why others would like the slot to get their strips out there. However, I have been waiting to see how the comic deals with Jim and Iris dying and Elizabeth getting married to whomever Lynn wants her to be with (or not getting married at all). I happen to like Anthony since he's made mistakes in his life and the others suitors haven't been around long enough for me to have a connection.

So, while I hope she continues the strip as it has run, I'd rather see it end than this new hybrid idea. If Lynn wants to move on, then truly move on and let it go.