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Lynn Johnston is very talented artistically and has an ear for dialogue. Her series FBorFW has been a joy throughout the years. Watching the character s grow and change, suffer setbacks, prosper, and now finally, come to their logical conclusion with Elizabeth's wedding in August 2008. Here is the problem with trying to re-run the whole thing from the get-go, it makes the characters seem irrelevant and ageless (agelessness is not that interesting). To freeze-frame them in time is NOT what made the original so special. They were nearly like living people who aged and grew as they did. Michael's family is the most boring and to focus on him in the repeats (at least starting out) is really not the way to go. I think Ms. Johnston should have just ended it with Elizabeth's wedding and the storyline that told what all the characters did in the coming years. To repeat it all now is pointless. It ruins the wonderful memory of it like they did with the "Peanuts" strip. I don't bother with that and haven't for years. Ageless characters (like the "Family Circus" group) are just boring and dreary. Anyway, Ms. Johnston and her characters had a great run of it. Will miss them. But so nice if she's have left well enough alone and we could merely imagine how they all would have ended up a couple of decades from now when Michael's children are grown and perhaps getting married; Elizabeth's too; and April eventually getting married but perhaps choosing NOT to have kids and concentrating on career. And finally, the aging and senior-hood of she and John (way their beyond retirement), and perhaps them becoming great-grandparents.

jlt

Why bother any longer? The realistic aging and relatively realistic treatment of real world problems were the only things that kept this strip interesting, as it was never particularly funny (nor do I think it needed to be to be successful).

I think this is a bad choice and will make the strip completely irrelevant. If you can't keep it good, why do it at all? Nobody would fault you for leaving it at a good time; driving it into the ground only squanders the good will the strip's readers had for it.

kozad

I have enjoyed this strip, especially as it ages the characters, unlike most strips. (Not that I would have endorsed Watterson's aging of Calvin!!!)

But the abrupt denigration of the quality of the artistry took me by surprise. I guess I missed something, looking back on these comments: the fact that we were somehow expected to be viewing these lives throught different spectacles now...

Altogether, a rather clumsy semi-ending to the kind of soap-opera strip that had sucked me in, despite my preference for hipper strips (Bizzaro, Zippy, Monty, Doonesbury, etc.).

Kid Z

They still make this strip? Last storyline I remember was when Farley died, but then, I don't read the papers much anymore. Lyn Johnston's been putting this thing out for 30 years... not everyone's a Charles Schultz who can work and work until death... Lyn deserves some time off. At least she's going to still be doing some original material. As for the aging controversy, well it seems like it would just be too difficult to do anymore. Would you rather this strip end up like Gasoline Alley?

Kid Z

They still make this strip? Last storyline I remember was when Farley died, but then, I don't read the papers much anymore. Lyn Johnston's been putting this thing out for 30 years... not everyone's a Charles Schultz who can work and work until death... Lyn deserves some time off. At least she's going to still be doing some original material. As for the aging controversy, well it seems like it would just be too difficult to do anymore. Would you rather this strip end up like Gasoline Alley?

Gloria

I am heartbroken, FBOFW has been my favorite forever it seems and now my daily newspaper has dropped it along with others., I am going to cancel my newspaper and subscribe to another because of it. I have to find out what happens with Elizabeth and Anthony, I think they are a good match, he is very sensitive like her father. Gloria

Lydia

Thank you Mrs. Johnston for years of a great comic. I am delighted to have this opportunity to thank you - I feel that you are serving the world well in illustrating the true journeys and changes we go through in this life - such as Jim's stroke and the aftermath, Elizabeth's facing her attacker in court with the support of her friend, and subsequent romance troubles, the family adjusting to living together after the fire, etc. You are really providing a service and I really enjoy the humanness of your "family." What ever direction you take the strip in the future, I just want to acknowledge that and say a heartfelt "thank you!"

Gwen DeYoung

For the last 10 years or so I have been reading your strip. I don't always get to it regularly, but when I can I, I do. I want to thank you; your strip is a breath of fresh air. I feel that I know the characters, that they are somehow friends and that their lives are important and connected to mine. I have sometimes even forgotten that the characters are fictional and really just exist on paper--somehow that is the gift you have given to the rest of us. I know the thought of change is a bit hard on us, still I have full confidence that we will all be OK...Mostly, I want to say Well Done and Thank you for your wonderful gift to the rest of us.

No Please Not Anthony

Ugh, Anthoney seems like a squarer version of Ned Flanders.
I wish Lynn would just put away her pens instead of ruining the uniqueness of FBOFW.

rhh

I've been especially disappointed with Lynne's recent decision to pull Elizabeth away from her most interesting relationship ever (with Paul), projecting a message that intercultural relationships don't work -- apples with apples, oranges with oranges. Her interest in diversity stops at the Patterson family door. They are a pretty homogenous bunch. Lynne often has drawn comparisons between Anthony and John; it's obvious she's inclined to put Elizabeth and Anthony together. Too bad it's such a boring conclusion to her story - Elizabeth deserves better. Maybe Anthony will at least be redrawn without his dumb mustache.

I can imagine Lynne is ready to move on from FBoFW after 28 years, but I'm disappointed that she is not simply ending the comic strip, but instead has decided to stop the strip in time and focus on Mike and his family. I picture a lot of future strips will be like the gently-humored, "feel good" strips she runs on Sundays. These strips are not why most fans read FBoFW and why it has been so popular all these years. The telanovella-like story lines set it a part from other comics on the page.

Andree

If Ms. Johnston is unable to continue the strip as it has been due to needing a deserved rest, she should wrap it up the end of the year with a breakdown on what happens to the characters, and not discontinue the aging process and switch the family focus. The charm and delight was seeing the family grow up and change. Why not go to a Sunday only strip?

Steve

I'm thoroghly disappointed that the aging will stop. Too bad.

Jenny

She had a good run, though I agree with some of the others, who don't find Mike and his family very interesting.
It seems that it's alot of the same jokes being "modernized" to fit Mike's family....
Regardless, I hope there is closure with Elizabeth, I'm rooting for Anthony, and I always though that having Elizabeth in a relationship with a new child, would allow for even more material to be written. *shrug*
Ah well, it was good while it lasted...but I will miss my dose of FBorFW and Foxtrot.

~Jen

Never teh Bride

No more aging?

A strip centered entirely around Michael's "forever young" family?

Gag me.

The fact that the characters in FBOFW aged, grew, and changed was what made the strip, IMO. We grew alongside the characters and could relate to them.

No one can relate to one-off gags about a blessed writer and his one-dimensional brood.

Stooges Woman :-)

I realize it's tempting to keep the series going and appreciate the effort involved. But I too would prefer that Lynn just end it, perhaps with a combination of one of the first strips featuring Elly, Michael and baby Lizzie (perhaps struggling with the washing machine or chasing a naked toddler out into the street), and a new one showing Deanna going through the exact same situation.

mom2twoboys

Oh, how disappointing. I mean, I would have been shocked beyond words to find out it was quitting (so soon after Foxtrot!), but to focus on Michael and his family without aging them? Oh, groan.

I think Anthony is an idiot, but seeing how Elizabeth has chosen and has lived her life, that's probably who she'll end up with. She has made some really dumb choices, so I'm afraid that's who she'll end up with.

Much, much better to have some resolution to Elizabeth, grandpa, Michael's family and hope for the future for April and end it now. I won't continue reading, that's for sure. Michael's family is NOT the family to concentrate on! Why did she make this decision, I wonder?

M

Patrick Farrell

@wai: Right on. Lynn should just end it now. Go out like Seinfeld, not like Simpsons (will someday).

Julie Peterson

Focusing on the most boring family members and stopping the aging process will just make this strip an updated version of "Family Circus".

Irene

I hope that you reconsider changing the format of this comic. I find it a delight to have watched the family grow and change with time and face real problems that we all face.

Blah

Oh no! First Boondocks, then FoxTrot, now FBOFW? What next, Stone Soup and Zits decide to call it a day? Has anyone else noticed how awful most of today's comic strips are? None of them make me smile and laugh and love their characters as much as FBOFW and the others that I mentioned. These are classics that show real people in real-life situations, minus the political correctness garbage that has invaded the comics pages lately.

Anyway, I too am disappointed in the focus being shifted over to Michael and Deanna Patterson's family, I find them much duller than Elizabeth's storyline.

I'm probably in the minority when I say that I don't want Anthony to hook up with Elizabeth.

Susan V.

Such sad news to hear the ages of characters will be frozen. We have all grown with all the characters as we have all moved from specific stages in our own lives. I've been reading the strip for over 20+ years and can identify with the teen-age children situations, to new children in the family situations to even family pets who pass on (just re-reading about Farley in these blogs makes me remember the pointedness of the cartoon strip as being family personal.)

Instread of freezing the ages of the characters and moving the center to the Michael and family situation, it would be better to end the strip. Do a count-down about a month and a half before the strip could be ended and devote a certain timeframe to each main character of where they are going in their life to satisfy the readers to a positive end. The auxiliary characters could each have a "closure" timeframe, too. Then, as the final week could approach, all the characters could meet for a "cartoon strip" farewell and sign off with their ages frozen. End of cartoon. Closure for your fans. Life moves on.

O-Dizzle

The charm of the strip, I thought, was growing old with the characters. Please, I think the idea of freezing the ages and doing this entire old/new idea is terrible. Either kill off the entire strip (give us resolution and closure) or find an artist to carry on your work. Tom Wilson found someone to carry on Ziggy (his son!) and Pat Brady found a new artist for Rose Is Rose...you can do it, too.

FBOFW is my favorite strip. I even have the DVDs from the TV show...but this is just terrible.

Fresno Dude

About aging, I wonder if those who market comic strips got go Lynn Johnston. This is like the mad rush for plastic surgery to stave off aging with the possible complications of surgery, or the need to diet to the point of pathology like those with anorexia nervosa. Lets be real about life. At least the modeling industry in Spain recently got it right with no models allowed who are less than a dress size 8.

Ann

I had obviously missed something when the FBOFW changes were first announced so this was totally crushing when I read about it this morning. I'm with those who would prefer a "last strip" ending. Mike and family are not the characters that involve me - other than I was really concerned about him saving his laptop from the attic. (Only a writer could understand how essential that was.) Too many other facets of the Pattersons' lives would be needed for me to maintain my devotion to the strip - the first one I've read for years and the first one I linked with online when I moved to a tiny town with no daily paper. I cannot imagine caring much about an ageless Michael and family strip. Better to end with a bang than fade out with a whimper.

MS

Please continue to age your charactors or stop the strip completely. I was saddened to hear that your strip was slated to end, but then was relieved to hear that you were going to continue them in the hybrid fashion. Until I read you are going to stop aging them.

This sets you apart from Foxtrot, Heart of the City, etc.

I'm sure you can find plenty of interesting things for Mike, Dee and the kids. Just age them. Please.

kelly b.

I'm sad to say it won't be the same enjoyable comic strip without the characters aging. Elizabeth is the most interesting. Will there be justice for her attacker? Will she finally find the one and only? What about April? How can she grow if she remains in high school? Mike and his family are not that cute.

AC

This is my favorite comic strip of all time. I really hate to see the characters not age. It's the most interesting part of any comic strip. I can't imagine enjoying it so much if the focus is on Mike & his family. They are boring. I really would like to see Elizabeth end up with someone new. Warren & Anthony just don't cut it. What about April? She'll get tired of the band and will grow further than any of the kids. I'll still read it until I tire of the usual "Family Circle" bit. I love this comic strip as is!!

Lewis Hardbone

Thank god, this strip was and still is a travesty.

Antonie Might

This is my favorite comic. I'm not a youngster either. I'm 74 years young.

I'm so happy to know this won't end. Good luck to Ms. Johnson.

JustMe

Ok, I'll have to admit, I can't wait to see Elizabeth with Anthony, John and Elly move into the little house down the street, Michael and family take over what is now John and Elly's house, and so forth. And I also call for resolution with the main cast before this all goes to pot.

But I can't see not aging the characters. Are we forever stuck with Mike's kids being a toddler and a baby? I hope she at least bumps them a year or two. Otherwise I know it'll just be a bundle of over cutesy crap.

Marlane

This is crushing news! I had no idea any of this was in the works. Turning to FBOFW first (and exclusively save an occassional Cathy strip), and before reading any of the day's (usually horrible) other news is like o.j...the sunshine part of my day! I'm probably Elly's age and I adore watching her and her family navigate the different stages of life. And as in real life, I agree that the spotlight should move from them to their children, but not completely! They all have so many valuable lessons to impart to us! I can only hope that Lynn will find retirement boring and continue. At least give us some resolution to the story lines we've followed for years! Who will Elizabeth marry??? Will her attacker go to jail?? Will Grandpa recover his ability to speak? Oh, this is complete saddness...

Natasha

Mixed feelings about the new change with For Better or Worse. I have been reading this cartoon since I was just a child. I have grown up with Micheal and Elizabeth and enjoyed seeing them grow just as I have. It will be sad to see that they will not age as that was the highlight of this cartoon. April going to highschool, Elizabeth graduating from university and so on. I understand why things have to change, its just going to be a sad chapter when all the things change. Shfiting it to Micheal is not bad but I would prefer that the cartoons shifted to not only Micheal but Elizabeth as well. When Micheal got married I waited on baited breathe for the day Elizabeth got married, or she had a child. I truly hope that Elizabeth's story line will show all this. Also with April maturing it would be nice to hear about her too. Of all the changes that is being done, I truly had hope the aging cartoons was the one that would stay, sadly it is not. I hope that the freshness of them not aging will remain. I will still hope that things might change and she keeps the aging of the cartoons going.

nicole

I have been reading FBOFW for years, I have always loved that the characters aged, it was different from other comic strips.
I think is a mistake to have the main focus on BORING Mike and his family. It will be better to end the strip than just being another family focus strip.

Michelle

I have mixed emotions at the thought of no more aging - but I'd rather have FBOFW than none at all....there will be story lines, and, it may be that there will be some slight aging - old habits die hard!

Kristen

Ah Ha! Then there IS something missing. Because we can see her on the bed in that position, but there is no way that facial features would translate to what is drawn. The "skirt" is missing from her face in bed-drawing!

Wai

Uhh...Kristen, the "nub" you refer to as Teena's nose is her chin. She's lying in bed, head tilted backwards, off the side of the bed, with the eyes hand-drawn on either side of the "nub." The camera phone Gordon is using is obviously "filming" Teena's "face" upside-down. This technique has been used in real life, only the performers wear some kind of "skirt" to cover up the real nose and eyes that would be below the mouth in this orientation.

Kristen

FBOFW has been my favorite comic for years. I still remember the real fear I felt when April fell into the creek, the anxiety of waiting for the newspaper the next day, and the tears I shed at the conclusion of that segment. I guess freezing the characters is better than no new episodes at all, but I hope she changes her mind ...

On to why I came to this website on this day. I have studied and studied the PreTeena strip for Jan 20, 2007, and for the life of me, cannot figure out what angle her face has been drawn from.

If the nub at the top is a nose, with an eye on either side, mouth under, and chin at the bottom, then we should be treated to large nostril holes just above the mouth.

Since they are not there, the next choice is that the nub at the top is the chin (or the nose as seen from the top of the head). But wait! That would put the eyes in the cheeks and/or the mouth in the eyebrow location.

The only conclusion I can come to is that Barrows was trying to multitask as she drew the comic, and was paying no attention to where the facial features should be!

Anne

I've been reading this comic daily from a few years prior to April's birth, whatever year that was. It's a fantastic strip - now that Bloom County, Calvin & Hobbs, and Foxtrot are gone, it's the only one left that I adore.

Stopping the aging is TERRIBLE. It would amount to the evisceration of the strip.

Dear Lynn:
Please reconsider - you were right the first time when you decided to end the strip. All those people who cried and wailed and begged you to keep the strip going didn't want this - their pleas were just their way of praising your work and being sad that all wonderful things eventually end. "Something is better than nothing" is not true. Don't turn your strip into a Frankenstein that anybody can draw. Like the loss of Farley, stop while the strip is still great. Get out in Sept instead of having your fantastic story die this weird hybrid death. If we want to read old strips, we'll buy more of your books.

Nobody wants to see an ageless Michael and family strip. Please don't do it. Boxers, actors, politicians.. the most successful have a horrible time getting out while they are still on top, still fully capable, but it's always the very best decision, most highly praised, always looked back on with admiration. Always the wise and happiest choice.

Charles Shultz wanted his strip ended with his death and made this very clear, but sadly failed to put it in legalese, so now the greedy keep his strip running just to collect. And, it's sad. Very sad.

Anne Hills
Windham, Maine

Wai

I hate the idea of the characters no longer aging. People only stop aging when they die. And it will feel to me that the entire Patterson family will have died when the new story line goes into effect. The fact that the characters aged, grew and developed was the reason I fell in love with the comic strip in the first place. This is how much I love the comic strip: not only do I look forward to the next day's installment, but I stay up till 1:00 AM so I can read it as soon as it posts in one of the online newspaper's comics section, before I go to bed. If the aging aspect of the storyline is gone, then the spin-off strip won't amount to a hill of "Peanuts."

John Pattison

This is a most beloved comic strip and, indeed, a profound work of evolving art beloved of our society. In many ways, it fills the classical function of great literature. I eagerly await each new strip, and I will be very sorry to see it change. Much of its great value is the way it has always dealt with the real and private things that happen in every functional family and in daily domestic life and, at the same time, explores important social, economic and philosophic issues as well. As with all great art, it holds up a mirror of ourselves and our society and assits us better to understand both.

Indeed, I think it may be a mistake to have it carry forward as a kind of "spin-off" of the original, with no real-time ageing of the characters and with the primary focus moved to a new family.

Hard as it is, it might have been better to have a true, "last strip" and end it - completely. Appropriate closure is initially more of an emotional challenge, both for the readers and the creator, but a subsequent "half-life", with fundamental features changed or gone may, in the long run, diminish the power and memory of the original. Closure comes to us all in real life, and so it should with For Better or For Worse as well.

Lisa

I've been following the strip since 1990 and I was really hoping we'd find out what April would grow up to be and who Elizabeth would choose (I'm hoping for Warren...Anthony seems dorky). I guess I find them more interesting than Mike and his family, and would have liked solid closure a la Calvin and Hobbes. But maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. Regardless, I want to find out what happens to Liz, because we're the same age.

Lisa

I've been following the strip since 1990 and I was really hoping we'd find out what April would grow up to be and who Elizabeth would choose (I'm hoping for Warren...Anthony seems dorky). I guess I find them more interesting than Mike and his family, and would have liked solid closure a la Calvin and Hobbes. But maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. Regardless, I want to find out what happens to Liz, because we're the same age.

Danial

I've enjoyed this strip for years. I don't see it being nearly as interesting however, once the characters stop aging.

Bill Wands

For Better or Worse has been the highlight every day of every week, for years and years now, when I read the newspaper or get on Yahoo comics. It may not be the most popular out there, but I am sure it is probably one of the most well known. Having read Lynn Johnston's creation for so long, her characters feel almost like family to me. From long before Farley died at that river, (if memory serves me correctly), long before April was born and Elizabeth was a little girl aggravating her big bro Michael, FBOFW has been an entertaining, heartfelt, very realistic comic strip, mirroring everyday real life and experiences. Too bad we in real life have to age, but at least these characters have aged with us.

Will it be the same after this coming year? We can only hope so. Lynn, it will be hard seeing life in ink, so much like our own, changing, but please, keep it going for us, your fans...

And thank you for almost 28 years of a wonderful comic.

Allan G

I really don't care for this change, not at all. First, the ageing of the characters was what made the strip special. I wonder if freezing the ages of the characters would inevitably lead to other things, like ignoring death? The strip wouldn't have the same appeal if Farley was still around (the death of Farley was sad, but memorable, and well handled). I wonder if this is Lynn's way of avoiding dealing with the death of the grandfather...

Second, I'm not crazy about Mike and his family. Oh, they're nice enough, but kind of dull. A little too perfect (I have writer friends, and no one gets the kind of breaks he's managed in such a short span of time). With the lack of ageing, I'm not sure I'll bother reading it after the change over.

Third, I can't stand Anthony! Something about him just bugs me. He came over as too wimpy when he got married, and the moustache does nothing for him. I'd rather she Elizabeth hook up with Warren. Or leave it open.

To be entirely honest, I wish she had just ended the strip with some finality rather than compromise its integrity.

Jason

Maybe it's more of a 'passing of the torch' in that, when the strip started, it concentrated on Elly and John, with a very young Michael and Elizabeth. Now, it's almost a parallel: Michael and Deanna have two young children, and are at nearly the same point in life that J and E were. I'm just glad that the strip is continuing, as much as the loss of 'the aging process' will be, but things may change in the future. As for the concentration on Michael's family: there can be cameos by other characters, and some story arcs (since I'm sure that everyone wants to know who Elizabeth will end up with). Remember in the beginning when Phil (Elly's brother) was a large part of the strip as were her neighbours. Now, they are just periphery characters. I hope the new twist will work out.
For Better or For Worse has given us 28 yrs of excellence, and for that I'm thankful and I trust that she will continue to do so.

Betty

Big sigh,,,,,,
The Pattersons are the perfect everyday family. Problems and all. I shall miss the trials & tribulations of the ever growing families there in. But as much as we'd like them to stay as they are,, we all know nothing stays the same or lasts forever. I am sure glad Elizabeth has found out the truth about "Paul" & Susan. She was much more mature about it than I would have been in her shoes at that age.

Leesa

I'm sad to hear that the characters aren't going to age anymore...
That was part of the appeal of FBOFW for me, watching the characters mature and change with age...
Watching their lives and stories move forward.

While I'm glad that the comic isn't going anywhere - I'm not happy with this change.
I also hope that Elizabeth will continue to be in the comic - because I've also enjoyed the story line that comes with her.

I have very mixed feelings about this :(

Roberta

I'm old enough to remember when April was introduced into the strip ... essentially, Elly and John had another baby because the publisher was worried that with Elizabeth outgrowing toddler baby-talk, the strip might lose its "cute" appeal. I'm glad Lynn Johnston has achieved that coveted artists' prize, the right to slow down and still get to continue her creative endeavor. I'm suspicious, though, that the "decision" not to focus on John and Elly, or age the characters is a result of that more insidious form of ageism -- ignoring the ageing process, as if people go from being vivacious but vulnerable young adults to venerated wise elders magically over night. As a middle-aged woman whose parents are in their 80s, I greatly admire the depiction of Elly's father and stepmother struggling to maintain independence in the face of his stroke. I am saddened that this wonderful depiction of life as it really happens is going to take on the Dagwood and Blondie 50s-quality that has turned me off of other comic strips. I am not worried about what will become of April; I am curious to see how Johnston depicts who own contemporaries, Elly and John, as they enter the final stage of life with the experience that only comes with age.

Jason

Sigh....

First Foxtrot and now For Better or Worse.... I have almost all of the books and have followed the story since I was a young lad. But 28 yrs as a completely successful comic is nothing to be sneezed at.

A big thanks to Lynn for entertaining us over the years and a hope that this will continue.

Becky

Kind of sad to hear the comic is going to be based on Mike and his family. Never really found him very interesting. I've been more interested in Elizabeth, even though Mike is my age bracket. I would actually like to see Elizabeth with the pilot, of course, noone asked my opinion either. Guess I would like to see the characters age as well. To be able to see the changes and new challenges of an ever changing family, getting older, having children, having children start to date, that sort of thing. I am thrilled that the strip is still going to be run. And am going to look forward to my Better or Worse daily fix.

Jess

I'm glad the strip will continue, though my family and I had speculated she might continue the chronological story through books rather than under the pressures of syndication. One thing which does bother me about the aging process ending, is that we won't find out what becomes of April.

I always figured ending the strip when April finished high school and was ready to go out into the world and do... whatever, would be a logical place to wind up. The timing would give time for closure to basically all the characters.

Of all the characters, April is the one I want to see age... at least a few more years.

Mike E.

Well, OK, if it has to be that way. But PLEASE bring some kind of resolution to ALL of the main characters before moving to concentrate on Mike and family...I mean, I've been watching Elizabeth and Anthony NOT get together for so long, here's hoping that now things are moving in their direction. Finally. I haven't been disappointed with their story, but I always hoped there'd be a way -- and when he married that shrew, well, my hopes were raised. Anyway...my two cents.

veronica

Hello, so sorry to here that the characters are not going to age anymore :-( that is one of the reasons i never missed reading for better or for worse. It is a wonderful comic and it has brought me much enjoyment.
thank you,
veronica

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