Monday, September 01, 2008

For Better or For Worse - Better/Worse?

It was hard reading the Sunday funnies yesterday. It marked the final episode of "For Better or For Worse." As promised, after 29 years Lynn Johnston closed out her saga of the Patterson family. Long-running strips have ended before, but as far as I know, this is the first time one's been rebooted.

Lynn Johnston will restart the story of a much younger John and Elly Patterson with their (then) two children, Michael and Elizabeth, from the beginning. Although Johnson did a good job tying up the loose ends, I was sad to say goodbye to so many of the characters I've read about and watched grow up over the years.

It's not likely that Johnston, starting from the beginning of the Patterson story, will get up to the birth of April, so we've seen her for the last time. So too, all of her friends. And we've seen the last of Michael's wife Deanna (and her parents). Grandpa Jim's first wife will still be alive, so his second wife Iris will disappear from the strip. And so will Weed, Michael's friend from college, Gordo and Lawrence, his high school buddies, and Elizabeth's high school sweetheart (and later husband) Anthony.

"For Better or For Worse" is Johnston's creation, so she can do as she likes -- even end the strip. I respect that, but I'm still sad. I've enjoyed the Pattersons, their friends, and extended family since the strip started 29 years ago. I'm sure the reboot will be good, too, but I wish the story had continued.

Better for Johnston -- she's excited about working on the strip again. Worse for the reader -- we have to say farewell to some old friends.

- Ralph

Day 79 of the WJMA Web Watch.

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