Tuesday, March 10, 1970

Author - Johnston, Lynn

Birth: May 28, 1947.

Death: Still alive and channeling Elly Patterson.

Comments: Lynn Johnston is a Canadian cartoonist best known for the long-running strip For Better or for Worse that ran with new material from 1979 to 2008, and in a modified format from 2008 to 2010. Mrs. Johnston no longer produces new material for the strip, and is officially retired. Johnston attended the Vancouver School of Art. She worked as a medical illustrator and published a couple of books of single panel cartoons about being pregnant and having a baby.

In 1978 she was approached about doing a regular comic strip, and came up with For Better or for Worse, a strip about a suburban family told primarily from the perspective of Elly Patterson, a married mother of two (later three) children. The strip was mostly about the humor that can be found in domestic life, but tackled some serious issues such as divorce, homosexuality, and disability. One interesting element to the strip which I think set it apart from many others, was that the characters age in real time - every year that the strip was produced, the characters got a year older. Consequently, unlike some strips which seem to exist in a perpetual "now", the Patterson's grew and changed over time, developing their own history. This made the strip much more of an ongoing story, and as a result it was interesting even though the primary subject matter is so mundane. Sadly, the strip stopped advancing a few years ago, and began recycling old stories.

Johnston won the Rueben Award as Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1985. She has a website dedicated to the strip titled For Better or for Worse.

My reviews of Lynn Johnston's books:
Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad! The First Twelve Months of Parenthood

Other books by Lynn Johnston that I have read but not reviewed:
Graduation - A Time for Change
I've Got the One-More-Washload Blues...
If This Is a Lecture, How Long Will It Be?
Is This "One of Those Days," Daddy?
"It Must Be Nice to Be Little"
It's All Downhill From Here
Just One More Hug
Keep the Home Fries Burning
The Last Straw
A Look Inside...For Better of For Worse: The 10th Anniversary Collection
Pushing 40
Remembering Farley: A Tribute to the Life of Our Favorite Cartoon Dog
"There Goes My Baby!"
What, Me Pregnant?

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