Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New phase of 'For Better or For Worse'

Wondering what's going to happen to the most beloved strip in The Gazette?
We announcd many months ago that creator Lynn Johnston was planning a semi-retirement, and would be weaving in old storylines with contemporary characters and filling in some gaps in the Patterson family's tale.
That is set to start next week. And, updated from earlier talk, it appears it won't last all that long.
Here's the latest description of what's to come:

“For Better or For Worse” begins a new phase Monday as character Michael Patterson looks through a family photo album with his 5-year-old daughter, Meredith. With this strip, Michael begins retelling the Patterson family story by recounting the courtship of his parents, John and Elly, the central characters in the 28-year-old comic strip.

In a mixture of new, old and retouched work, readers will begin to see scenes of the past -- Elly reading in the library at college and catching the eye of the young dental student who will one day become her husband.

“This was an opportunity to give my readers new material, as well as my being able to pick and choose through the original art and making it different, making it a new entity, as it were,” says Johnston.

Johnston will keep fans engaged with a mix of special strips from the past and newly drawn panels that will help reintroduce favorite storylines. The strip’s current storyline will be interlaced with Michael's remembrances until it gradually reaches a natural closing stage sometime early next year.

When that happens, time will stop for the extended Patterson family, but not their stories. The stories will be relived by a current generation of fans and introduced for the first time to a new generation.

Right now, Johnston is still exploring the budding romance between oldest daughter Elizabeth and an old high school flame.

"I'm interested and readers are interested to know what is going to happen with Anthony and Elizabeth," she said. "That resolution can't happen too fast. They've only just started to see each other again after a long time apart."
If you're a FBoFW fan, what do you think? What do you like best about the strip?


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Funny on many levels

A wire piece on Dilbert creator Scott Adams reminds me: If you love a certain comic, poke around to see if he/she/they has/have a Web site. In the case of Adams, you can check out his Web site and his blog.

The blog is what writer Jessica Milcetich called a dumping ground for Adams' thoughts on life.

He talks about what he's doing and thinking and also posits ideas, asking for readers' input and reactions. I think I'll join the dialogue; it already seems as if Adams has been hanging out in every newsroom and office I've ever worked in.
Have you ever sworn a colleague sent him a memo you'd just received and he'd written that day's strip about it?


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A kid I can relate to

The folks who are voting via mail to keep/drop some of our old standby comics by and large detest "Lio," which I think is one of the most inventive strips to come out in years. They largely ignore "Frazz," too, my current favorite strip. What gives?
Lio reminds me of Charles Adams, Edward Gorey. Creator Mark Tatulli says he has always been intrigued by the artwork of an obscure 19th century artist, A. J. Volck.

"He was a political satirist during the Civil War, a Southern sympathizer, and I was always so fascinated with his darkly detailed illustrations. Every time I looked at his spidery pen-and-ink drawings I found something new. And maybe because his politics were 180 degrees from my own, often depicting Abraham Lincoln as a demonic figure, I was repulsed but still appreciated the craft of his work. I wanted to capture something like that with LIO…art that immediately stirs an emotion, simply by pen technique, even before you know what the strip is about. I don't know if I was successful, but I'm pleased with the results."


Monday, August 13, 2007

So Sweet

I ran into Rich Stevens, creator of online and in-print "Diesel Sweeties," at Comic-Con, the international convention of comic artists and fans and TV, movie, game and pop culture geeks in San Diego.

He was funny and self-deprecating, just what you'd expect. Didn't have much time to chat, as we were at the end of a long day - after a long day's drive - and he'd already been standing around talking to people for three days.

Thought of him this morning cuz when I saw the Batman theme. Batman's a fav.

I get a lot of negative comments about the strip from older readers. Not that unexpected. Lots of younger fans, especially pop culture fans. I love the computer drawing - in a different way than I love the drawing in Mutts or Lio or Baldo, for example. And I love Clango and his big heart.