Friday, February 22, 2008

Lynn Johnston interview

Pam Becker of the Chicago Tribune recently talked with "For Better or For Worse: creator Lynn Johnston and wrote this story.

Here's the short version:

Johnston says she will end the current plotlines of her 29-year-old strip by September.

Then she will start from the beginning again, rerunning the old strips — but tinkering with some to “augment” or “fix some of the stuff,” she says.

She had hoped to end the current story lines in September 2007, then segue into the old strips in the guise of flashbacks experienced by the present-day characters.

The hybrid strip debuted in September 2007. As of now, readers are seeing present-day strips on some days, and old strips — some from as far back as 28 years ago — on other days.

Some readers have expressed confusion.

Johnston has not been happy either.

So she made the decision to pursue this new course - revisiting the entire strip.

The Ventura County (Calif.) Star in January announced plans to drop the strip in the fall when the reruns begin. Editor Joe Howry was quoted saying that “rehashing old strips” is “unfair to our readers.”

Johnston and her syndicate believe strong demand for the older strip still exists.

The strip, which runs in about 2,000 newspapers, has had about a dozen cancellations since July, but eight new clients signed on in that time, according to Kathie Kerr, a spokeswoman for Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the strip.

Johnston does plan to say goodbye to her readers when she ends the present-day story. “There will be some printed material the day following the strip’s story line ... ending,” she said.

READERS: Let me know what you think of this idea!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put the word “new” back in newspapers and stop the policy of running legacy comics, comics by semi-retired cartoonists, comics by cartoonists on hiatus, and re-printed comics! If Lynn Johnson and others want to retire, then just retire! You had a good, long run!

At least the “Gazette” could show some honesty by giving credit where credit is due by including in the bylines of legacy comics the names of the new writers and artists in place.

And why would a cartoonist, who has had a great career want to turn his or her art into a commodity and let someone else usurp their voice? Do they not take pride in their own art?

The reason syndicates encourage this arrange is because an old cartoon strip like “For Better of Worse” that appears in 2000 papers will be replaced by a new untested cartoon strip that may appear in 25 papers. Some papers that purchase the new strip won’t even run it preferring to see whether the strip gains popularity. This is what happened when “Dilbert” was launched.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynn Johnston must be stopped.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

remove agnes & f minus; no meaning and less humor in either one.

7:52 AM  

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