Lynn Johnston Concludes Her Story

FBOFWThe final daily For Better or for Worse strip was published today. If you read the strip in the Toronto Star, you'll see this strip in tomorrow's paper. This concludes Lynn Johnston's 29 year story about the Pattersons in fictitious Milborough, Ontario.

Forever I assumed the story would end with the words "for better or for worse", but I assumed they'd be said by Elizabeth at her wedding. I'm guessing everyone thought that so Lynn threw a little curve ball by having Iris say them about her and Jim. I was also pretty sure Jim would pass away, but as we learn in the final Sunday strip, he lives another two years.

I just realized I have a whole bunch of For Better or for Worse entries so it's time they get their own category. On the day this 29-year ritual ends for me, someone who started reading them daily only a few years after they debuted, I introduce you to my Foob entries.

For Better of For Worse

Update: I went downstairs to check out my copy of today's Star. That let me see what happened to the characters. It seems, everything works out for the Pattersons. Elly and John retire, Grandpa Jim dies at 89, Elizabeth teaches and has a son, Michael signs a film contract, Deanna begins a sewing school and April works with the Calgary Stampede.

This final insight into For Better or for Worse reminds me a great deal of the final ten minutes of the Six Feet Under series finale. I loved that show and thought the final ten minutes were stunning. April is the Claire of FBOFW and the only difference is Six Feet Under showed us the death of each member of the Fisher family where Lynn wisely stuck to the life. To see the final ten minutes of Six Feet Under and that amazing scene, shoot over to this entry.

It's over.


Update #2: It seems we Toronto Star readers didn't get the whole story! They edited the final destiny strip for space so my scan above doesn't show the first row. Below is the actual unedited final new strip of For Better or for Worse.


Share this entry

Comments (8 - click here to join in!)


I like her self-portrait.

August 30, 2008 @ 1:27 PM


FBOFW is a significant comic in the annals of newspaper strips. She had the first gay character come out of the closet and dealt with death and tragedy with candor not usually seen on the comic pages. While I didn't necessarily enjoy the comic with any regularity, but as a comic artists and daily strip connoisseur I recognize its value and wish mS. Johnsonn well.

(I secretly love that its based in Parry Sound)

August 30, 2008 @ 2:00 PM


PS: I'm not so enamoured with the re-runs of the strips and her desire to tinker with the story-lines. It would be better to free up the space for the next generation of comic page artists.

August 30, 2008 @ 2:04 PM


Read it carefully. Lynn isn't stopping.

In an interview in the latest issue of McCleans, she clarifies her message in the last strip.

She'll continue to publish her strip, starting from the beginning, with new insight. It's almost as if she's been given the oppurtunity to "try it all over again".

August 30, 2008 @ 8:29 PM


Yeah, but she won't be evolving the characters in new ways.

Lynn hasn't had the fantasy life that the characters in her series had... despite the last line being "for better or for worse", didn't she divorce her husband? Maybe this helps solidify that FBOFW was the life she truly did hope to have. They're basically the Beaver family in comic strip form, no?

August 31, 2008 @ 1:00 AM

Toronto Mike

In reality, her husband Rod left her for another woman. Maybe this ending is a shot at him.

August 31, 2008 @ 9:51 AM


Parry Sound...I thought it was North Bay???

If you ever visit North Bay Ms Johnston hand painted a mural on the larger of the two Merry Go Rounds at the waterfront.

on another note...the 6 Feet Under series finale is my all time favourite episode and or finale of any show I have ever watched...Now hooked on Dexter with a 6 Feet alum in the starring role! Just watched 3 episodes from season 2 in a row..

September 1, 2008 @ 11:37 PM

Toronto Mike

I watch Dexter as well. Season 3 starts later this month on TMN.

And I concur. That Six Feet Under finale is my favourite, although I've now watched that final diner scene from The Sopranos 873 times.

September 2, 2008 @ 9:01 AM

Leave a comment

Only 8 comments? C'mon, we can do better... Leave a comment above and let's keep this conversation going!

« Time Lapse Video of Yonge and Dundas Scramble Celine Dion's Special Flight Service »