Saturday, September 15, 2007

Trouble In Foobadise

On September 3rd, Mike Patterson opened a scrapbook and starting reminiscing about the days when his little sister and not his grandfather was the family member wearing diapers. Unless you had been forewarned, you wouldn’t have noticed the transition from the old real-time paced For Better Or For Worse to the fozen timeline of the semi-retired era.

The new format will be a hybrid of new strips, repeats, and redrawn old strips. It seems the original artwork of some of the older material isn’t usable. The older material is being introduced by every bad clip show cliché: looking at scrapbooks, running across old friends, bad acid trips. Just about everything except for Wayne and Garth waving their hands in front of their face going “didididididi.”

There has been a mini-flurry of publicity marking the occasion including this article in USAToday. The writer also conducted a very in-depth comprehensive interview with Lynn Johnston on his podcast. The interview has been thoroughly fisked by the fine folk at the Foobiverse Journal. Among the very interesting revelations:
  • The syndicate didn’t want Liz and Eric cohabitating too explicitly, leading to years of speculation about the state of Liz’s hymen.
  • She defends Mike running into the burning house for his manuscript instead of his laptop, oblivious to the criticism that he shouldn’t have run into a fire for any reason.
  • One reason for freezing the strip and going to more repeats is that Lynn realizes she is having a harder time staying relevant to families with small children that don’t make more than a million dollars a year. No argument here.
  • One topic she might want to explore is the effect of divorce using minor character Annie whose ex-husband is a philandering cad. Hmmm, interesting.
One of the juicier tidbits to emerge from the press coverage is that Lynn and her husband have separated and are expected to get divorced. The stories hint that Rod has already found a new and presumably younger girlfriend. He must have gotten as annoyed with two decades of arm flapping hot flashes as we were. Or he might have gotten tired of being a kept man with Lynn subsidizing his vanity toy train business. I wonder if Lynn will rerun the vintage strip where John hires a hygienist just because she is hot.

Thank goodness Rod/John was a dentist instead of a gynecologist or that recycled punchline would have not been newspaper friendly.

The silver lining in this domestic tragedy (or the insult added to injury, depending on your point of view) is that Lynn has much more time on her hands now than she thought she would. This allows her to put a little more effort into the strip than just randomly selecting old bits out of the hat.

The new strips will continue to tie-up some loose ends. Officially, Lynn is still being coy about the long-term status of the Lizanthony merger, but the handwriting is on the wall. Granthony’s upper lip has been shaved as clean as Ellie’s sheets. Those wedding bells are ringing. Weddings are a time honored shark jumping tradition. Along with an excessive number of nostalgic reminders of how things were when it was new and fresh.

This is how the Foobiverse ends, not with a bang or a whimper, but with a flashback.

BlatantCommentWhoring™: Is the inclusion of new material a good compromise or a sad cop-out?


TBG said...

Oh... much worse than a sad cop-out. It just shouldn't happen at all. Whatever happened to going out on top? Or at least in real time.

LJ should take a cue from Bill Watterson and Gary Larsen.

My eyes are still drawn to FOOB for some reason. I guess the same way no one could resist reading Nancy in the old days. I'm hoping the Post decides they need room for more of their silly puzzles.

Thumper said...

She changed her mind about retirement...since her husband took off her vision of retirement changed...apparently she's going back to all new material.

I read that on the Internet, so of course it's true.

(I hope...I really like FBOFW)

2fs said...

I cannot comment on your query until Internet 3.0 - which will allow streaming vomit.

Cedar said...

I can't imagine Liz and Anthony won't end up together, considering the "Liz and Anthony 4EVA" addition to the webpage.

I'm curious about your "presumably younger" line. I didn't get that impression anywhere in any interview/article I read.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

...speculation about the state of Liz’s hymen.

Ewww. I wasn't expecting that.

yellojkt said...

I'm playing to stereotypes. Most men don't leave their wives for older women.

Sorry for the graphic image, but any discussion of Liz and Eric devolves into "did she or didn't she?"

Christine Rebecca said...

It's a sad, sad, sad, sad cop-out. I've stopped reading; there's no point anymore. (We'll leave the question of if there ever was to the philosophers).

It would have been far better to retire with grace in 2007 as originally planned. This is ridiculous.