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For Better or For Worse ending details

As reported yesterday, August 31 will be the last new story-line For Better or For Worse before it lapses into redrawn re-runs. In an interview she gave to Nancy Beirman, who attended the Doug Wright awards, were FBOFW creator Lynn Johnston was inducted into the Hall of fame, Lynn gives a few details on what to expect in the end and after the end.

On why she decided to end FBoFW:

The drawings were becoming stiff. I couldn’t move. And I couldn’t make jokes about little kids any more. Michael has children…but I have no grandchildren…and I couldn’t really see it any more. It’s better to end it when it’s time. It all comes full circle.”

What’s to be expected after the original run:

New material drawn in the old style will be added when the strips repeat. I want to go back and fix things! I draw so differently now…but you do the best that you can possibly do.”

“…The comic strip page is called ‘real estate’. Other syndicates are going after my papers!

Go read the rest.

Community Comments

#1 Barry Smith
August/12/2008
@ 3:38 pm

She’s going to re-draw the old strips? That seems … odd.

#2 J.G. Moore
August/12/2008
@ 4:13 pm

yawn…

#3 Quint Nelson
August/12/2008
@ 9:08 pm

Well, she should roll up the carpet and let some other people have a shot at her “real estate”. However, she doesn’t want the cash flow to dry up.

Hopefully, readers will grow tired of the retread soap opera and move on. After all, I don’t think reruns of Dallas or Dynasty are big money makers.

#4 Garey Mckee
August/12/2008
@ 9:29 pm

Is it just me? I can’t keep up with this entire FBOFW deal. I thought it was going to continue in hybrid form. Then it was too much work to do the hybrid form. Now it’s going to end. But now the old strips are going to be redrawn, so it’s not really ending yet?

At first I was in support of trying new and innovative ways to produce the strip or reinvent it to keep it fresh if that’s what Lynn Johnston wanted to do. I thought, more power to her.

I really try not to be a naysayer when it comes to any cartoonist and their work, but jeez just end it already. I’m tired of the dizzying yo-yo ride.

#5 R. McCabe
August/12/2008
@ 10:04 pm

If newspapers are actually going to buy redrawn reruns they deserve to go out of business.

#6 Larry Levine
August/13/2008
@ 3:19 am

I think Lynn is not realizing the old strips in their original form is what attracted readers to FBOFW in the first place.

#7 Mike Peterson
August/13/2008
@ 3:33 am

I was emailing an editor whose paper is making changes in their lineup and told him about what was happening with FBOFW. He had no idea. (He’s someone I know in another context than comics)

Editors get their information primarily from the sales reps. It may be that the competing sales people are now telling editors to get off the train before the wreck, but this was only about three weeks ago. I also suspect that the reps spend more time and get more attention at the larger papers than at the ones where there may be an editing staff of half a dozen with a lot of people competing for their attention.

Don’t assume the editors have the information and are making bad decisions. Not only are they not as up-to-date as comics fans but they are frequently completely in the dark. That’s not a defense of the decisions they make, mind you — just a description of the situation.

#8 R Pyle
August/13/2008
@ 8:57 am

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again:

End the strip, take a bow, and leave gracefully.

#9 Ben Gordon
August/13/2008
@ 11:25 am

Re-drawing seems like a slippery slope. If I re-drew my old stuff, I’d constantly tinker with the writing, and new ideas begging for attention would emerge.

I hope LJ has rehearsed this concept.

If I were a cynical man I’d say it sounds like a sales pitch to attract interest in the reprints.

#10 steve s
August/13/2008
@ 12:06 pm

By putting out redrawn cartoons, she in effect is saying she no longer has anything to say.

When you stop having anything to say, you are basically done as a cartoonist.

If you are done, let someone else have a shot. There are a lot of really ownderful strips out there wanting to find a few papers.

#11 Larry Levine
August/13/2008
@ 12:37 pm

I think readers will reject this latest format as they did the hybrid.

#12 mark mason
August/13/2008
@ 12:40 pm

I agree with Steve Skelton (who just happens to be one of the most talented cartoonists I’ve never met).
I hope that Lynn will eventually take FBOW off life-support. It’s been an amazing run for her work, but it’s time to let it go.

#13 Bob Staake
August/13/2008
@ 2:55 pm

Lynn Johnston is under some sort of delusional belief that she’s F. Scott Fitzgerald wrapped up in James Joyce. If the only newspaper readers left are the ones who give a flying fig over a sorry excuse for a strip like ‘For Better Or Worse” then it’s no small surprise why the printed newspaper (as we know it) is going belly-up. Jeez, sometimes I think an old windbag strip like ‘Beetle Bailey’ is more “revelant” than Johnston’s strip.

#14 Mike Cope
August/13/2008
@ 4:15 pm

In light of the above comments, I’ll just say this …

Try dedicating your entire life to something you truly love — a childhood dream. In the process, create something that many (dare I say ‘millions’) of readers around the world enjoy and look forward to reading each and every day. Become recognized as one of the best in your field — not only by your peers, but by numerous groups and organizations. Overcome physical barriers, as well as emotional challenges.

Then try to let your dream go while you’re still alive and dreaming.

Personally, I like the idea of Lynn sticking to the battle … It gives us younger ones a worthy rival and inspiration.

#15 anne hambrock
August/13/2008
@ 4:16 pm

Since the whole thing started about ending the strip I have had the impression that each of the “solutions” hybrid, reruns etc. were an attempt to compromise with the syndicate rather than a true desire to keep the strip going. If readers reject this latest incarnation of the strip, it will all become a moot point – redrawn or not.

#16 Garey Mckee
August/13/2008
@ 5:53 pm

Mike, I understand your point and I do agree with you. However, I feel that Lynn Johnston is now just hurting her previous work with this new scheme to redraw her older strips.

Personally, I do think that Lynn Johnston is a great cartoonist (when she actually draws her own cartoons). I believe she has a background in medical illustration? I can’t remember where I read that so please correct me if I’m wrong. But I’d love to see WHAT ELSE she can do besides FBOFW.

#17 J.G. Moore
August/13/2008
@ 7:35 pm

double yawn.

#18 Bill Kellogg
August/13/2008
@ 7:39 pm

Lynn is the Brett Favre of the comics world.

#19 Eric Burke
August/13/2008
@ 8:56 pm

Bill, at least Favre has that big NYJ O-line keeping him upright. The editors at Lynn Johnston’s syndicate aren’t doing the same for her. They’re letting her tarnish a great strip’s legacy when they should be advising her against what she’s doing.

I know…the syndicate just wants the FBorFW revenue. I wish that greats in their respective fields could go out on top like Watterson and Larson in comics, or Michael Strahan in football. Too many hang around to long.

…and I can’t wait for the Patriots to expose Favre as the aging, overrated QB he is! TWICE!!

#20 Rick Stromoski
August/14/2008
@ 9:56 am

>>>â?¦and I canâ??t wait for the Patriots to expose Favre as the aging, overrated QB he is! TWICE!!

Just as the Patriots were exposed as the cheating asterisk laden frauds they are .

#21 Beth Cravens
August/14/2008
@ 2:30 pm

I just don’t think I would want to go back and redraw my old stuff. I don’t understand what this will accomplish for FBOFW.

#22 Eric Burke
August/14/2008
@ 6:14 pm

The Pats took what most teams were doing(stealing/studying plays) and took it to the next level. Under the microscope, they went 18-0 before losing to a NYG team that played great football. Hardly frauds. Even if they knew the other teams plays, they still had to stop them and score on them, which they did. Often.

Rule benders? Sure…

…but if Shawn Merriman can test positive for steroids and still play in the playoffs, then the Pats and Spygate are the least of the league’s worries..

#23 Rick Stromoski
August/15/2008
@ 5:50 am

���The Pats took what most teams were doing(stealing/studying plays) and took it to the next level.

I’ve heard this argument ad nauseum…where’s the evidence of other teams doing what the Pasterisks did? There is none.

>>>Rule benders?

Is that what outright cheating is called these days? The only football fans in the country that believe that any of the Cheatriots super bowls are legitimate are in New England. They will forever be known as cheats who won their super bowls by a grand total of 3 points and had to cheat to do it.

Oh yeah and they choked when it came to when it really counted. The 2007 Patricheats will be remembered not as a great team who went 18-0 but more like the 2003 Yankees who choked against the Red Sox.

This sums it up

#24 Wiley Miller
August/15/2008
@ 6:37 am

“Iâ??ve heard this argument ad nauseumâ?¦whereâ??s the evidence of other teams doing what the Pasterisks did? There is none.”

Well, there’s circumstantial evidence. During that entire episode, did anyone hear any other coach, general manager or owner from another team condemn the Patriots over the allegations? I didn’t. If this was something so heinous that no other team would even think about doing, I would think there would have been an avalanche of criticism and demands for driving the coach and general manager of the Patriots out of the league, banning them for life. Instead, there was dead silence, not wanting to draw any attention to what they, the other teams, were doing.

The Patriots got caught. End of story.

#25 Rick Stromoski
August/15/2008
@ 12:49 pm

The silence was not one based on collective guilt, it was based on protecting the product of the NFL brand. If The facts were disclosed regarding the true extent of how New England cheated in all of their super bowl runs including playoffs, it would have seriously crippled the credibility of the NFL , hurting what is now a billion dollar business in ticket sales, tv contracts, licensing and betting. That’s why Goodall destroyed all of the evidence within days of recieving it. If the fan base thought for one minute that the NFL brand was not on the up and up it would fold like a house of cards. NFL ownership saw the danger of full discloseure and swept it under the rug to protect it’s finances. They don’t give a damn about rings and Lombardi trophys…the bottom line is what really matters…New England nearly turned the NFL into the WWF.

#26 Eric Burke
August/15/2008
@ 5:09 pm

Sports are run and played by people willing to cheat and lie, period. The Pats just did it better than most for a few years. Steroids are a problem on every major sports team regardless of sport, and coaches/managers of every sport are always trying to steal oppossing teams plays and calls probaly since the first pick up game was ever played. It comes with competitive athletes always looking for any andvantage they can get.

Sports are dirty, and the filth varies. The Pats are dirty…the Colts are dirty…Lance Armstrong is dirty(no, I’m not French!), Bulgarian female powerlifters are dirty…most of the field of the Tour de France are dirty…and I’d be willing to bet that golden boy Cal Ripken is dirty!

And I agree: The Pats choked in the Super Bowl. But the Giants D had alot to do with that. They were just better on that day, that’s all. And again:

The Pats went 18-1 with the world watching their every move. Not too shabby. Hard to cheat last year under those circumstances, wouldn’t you agree?

Even during the years in question, the Pats still had to execute. The arrogance of teams like PIT, STL and OAK did them in…just like it did the Pats in last year.

Now, the Arlen Specters of the world will look for every and any excuse as to why their team lost to the Pats, citing Spygate of course, but also probably because they hate Belichick(probably like most NFL coaches do. He’s not gracious.) and because Tom Brady dates the hottest women on the planet.

Now…none of this helps or hurts Lynn Johnston, I realize, but it’s far more interesting than discussing redrawn reruns or hybrids or whatever else is going on there…AND we got John Lynch now!

What’s that old sports adage? “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying to win!”

Go Hoody!

#27 Eric Burke
August/15/2008
@ 5:14 pm

And that’s right, JG, I said the Colts were dirty just to make you stop yawning! ;)

Seriously…Peyton is damn funny in those commercials!

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