E&P’s Dave Astor has talked to Lynn Johnston about her impending “retirement” from the funny pages this year and learns that the For Better or For Worse feature isn’t going away after all – but will morph into a hybrid type feature that will have both new cartoons mixed with old.
As Dave describes it:
In the hybrid, many previously published “FBorFW” strips and scenes will be reprinted. The jumping-off point for those comics (which could include some redrawn and recolorized content) might be Michael looking at old photos or scrapbooks.
Tom Spurgeon also opines about this announcement:
I’m sort of conflicted about the news as a fan and industry watcher. On the one hand, Johnston seems genuinely pleased by the direction, which is always nice, and you want to be supportive of that. Additionally, the 28-year run of FBoFW pretty much justifies her doing any darn thing she wants, even if it were panel after panel of Anthony kissing Elizabeth for six months after she brought everything else to a halt. On the other hand, I can’t imagine the hybrid form unless very cleverly done will please fans in the same way — there’s a reason why television soap operas are judicious with using old footage — and history has made me not a fan of strips, even great ones, sticking around on the comics page invested with anything less than the cartoonist’s full commitment.
Like Tom, I’m a bit worried about the execution of feature. As much as I’d miss the Patterson family – and I truly would, I was also happy to know that Lynn was going to end the strip so that it doesn’t turn into a tired ol’ legacy strip and to have 2,000+ openings for other features to grow would have been exciting. I guess I’ll have to see what the feature will look like before passing such grim opinion.
UPDATE: The Toronto Star interviews Lynn about this hybrid feature.