For Better or For Worse

For Better or For Worse, but mostly For Worse.


I take the funnies way too seriously.  The comic strip For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston used to be one of my favorites as I was a teenager (in the late 80’s), but for the past ten years or so, it has been one of my least favorite in spite of it being overwhelmingly popular with the general public.  (It’s at the very top of the page in my local paper.)  One of the reasons why it has been one of my least favorite is the branching out into the “all cultures are equal” type stories.  Also the introduction of a homosexual as a fairly main character hasn’t really brought any humor to the strip, only subtle equality statements.


But now, Lynn Johnston has completely revamped the strip.  She has gone back to the Patterson family as they were before Michael and Elizabeth started growing up, had April as their third child, had the Farley episodes, had Michael and Deanna get married, etc. etc. etc.  If you follow the strip, you’ll notice that Michael and Lizzie are now kids again, but there are some serious differences in the strip.


I read a note from Lynn Johnston on why she decided to do this.  She put forth her appreciation to her readers who pointed out inconsistencies in her story lines which sometimes contradicted another storyline.  So she has decided to go back and rewrite the story from scratch – however she wants to write it – without having to worry about contradicting other storylines that she has written.


Here is something to ponder.  Could Johnston want to go back and rewrite the strip to recreate the characters and develop them in a different way?  Does she want them to turn out differently this time?  Or does she want to write in things into the childhood of Michael, Lizzie, and Lawrence (the homosexual)?  To me, this is the easy way out.  Instead of doing her homework as a cartoonist and studying what she has already written, she is “taking a bold new step” and essentially canceling out the ramifications of 25 years worth of storylines.


In just a couple of weeks, it is quite obvious that Lawrence is going to be a major part of the new, revamped strip.  He is Michael’s age (maybe 6 or 7?) and is appearing in the strip on a weekly basis.  Lawrence’s mother, Connie, is Elly’s best friend, and is also playing a major role.  Before the revamp, Connie was a good mom to Lawrence, playing a very hands-off role in his choices as a homosexual.  How will Johnston portray Connie and Lawrence in the revamped strip?  To me, it’s obvious that homosexuality is going to be a major part of the new strip.  You will notice the storylines develop toward these ends.  Just watch.


Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13


-The Orange Mailman

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