For Better or for Worse
Lynn Johnston's "For Better Or For Worse" is my favourite comic strip by a very large margin. It's the only strip I read daily and I've been reading it since I was a little whipper-snapper.
Not only is it well written with a great balance of humour and reality, but the characters have aged in real-time. Sadly, the end is near. Lynn Johnston will freeze the characters' ages next fall when she takes a well deserved break from it all. "I feel I've done the best I can do for as long as I can do it," she said. "It's time."
It saddens me to think there will soon be mornings when I can't check in on The Patterson's. For the first time I will age while Michael Patterson stays in his early 30s. The long rumoured ending for the series will be Elizabeth marrying Anthony and uttering the words "for better or for worse" in the final panel. However Lynn decides to end things, I'll be there reading.
Other entries about For Better or For Worse:
It doesn't happen often, but it happened today. For only the second time in recent memory, I'm unsure about a For Better Or For Worse strip.
If you read today's strip, you'll see the final frame is Elly's employee staring at a telephone book that appears to have been bitten. There's a chunk of the phone book missing with teeth marks indicating someone chomped into it. In the previous frame, Elly is sensably acknowledging that "the key to successful salesmanship is not to take rudeness personally".
Are we to believe Elly was so frustrated by the rudeness of the two women loitering in her store that she took a bite out of the white pages? Is it even possible to do this without losing your teeth? As I did last time, I'm reaching out to you for some answers. What's the joke here?
I'd like to thank Farley, the Patterson's sheepdog who passed away a few years ago. It's no secret that I read For Better or For Worse every day and have since I was a very young lad. Lynn Johnston's strip has that perfect blend of realism, humour and Canadiana and the characters age in real-time enabling fans to literally watch the Patterson's age and grow.
Farley was a member of the family, always there. He'd play with Michael, Elizabeth and April, get into mischief and perform general dog duties. When April was four, we were witness to a heart wrenching story line that elevated Farley to martyr status. April was playing by the river and fell in. Farley jumped in to keep her above the water until help arrived. Farley saved her life, but the exertion and cold was too much for the old dog. His heart stopped and John ended the strip by saying "I didn't think that a heart so big would ever stop beating".
This story line might be my all time favourite in the series, and there have been some exceptional ones. Thanks again, Farley.
The first theory is that John is upset because April mentioned she had the best fishing day when he felt it was more of a father/daughter day. As happy as April was when she stated "Know what, dad? That was the best fishing day I ever had in my whole life!", John found a fault in her statement, displeased that she celebrated the fish more than her love for him. This is probably what Lynn Johnston was going for, but it seems awfully harsh of John and rather out of character. April is young and is happily remarking on the great day she had. This should make John smile, not scowl!
Another theory is that John is selfishly upset that he didn't catch any fish and April caught many. There's no way the John I know would be upset at this fact. As you'll see in the strip, complete with my annotations, John was extremely happy in every previous frame, helping with the net and taking pictures. What father wouldn't be happy watching their child succeed in this manner? Again, John should be happy.
I'm still interested in hearing your theories as to what this strip is about. I still don't quite get it.
I've been reading Lynn Johnston's "For Better Or For Worse" for as long as I can remember. It's the only comic strip I read daily. After reading thousands and thousands of FBOFW strips, this weekend was the first time I can honestly say that I didn't get it.
Here's the strip. Am I missing something? I don't understand why John is upset that April had a great day with him. He seemed to be enjoying himself in the boat. Will someone please explain this one to me...
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