Transcript: Lynn Johnston | Apr 10, 2000

Maureen Taylor sits in a studio with yellow walls and a small TV set in the background, which reads “More to life.”

Maureen is in her late thirties, with wavy blond hair in a bob. She’s wearing a salmon shirt over an ochre T-shirt.

Maureen says I'M MAUREEN
TAYLOR, AND WELCOME TO “MORE
TO LIFE.”
WELL, MY GUEST THIS
AFTERNOON DREW HER FIRST
CARTOON PANEL MORE THAN 20
YEARS AGO.
SHE DIDN'T HAVE A LUCRATIVE
SYNDICATION DEAL THEN,
SO SHE DREW ON THE CEILING OF HER
OBSTETRICIAN’S OFFICE.
WELCOME TO THE WONDERFUL
WORLD OF LYNN JOHNSTON.
TODAY LYNN HE'S COMIC STRIP
“FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE” IS
SYNDICATED IN 2000 COUNTRIES
AROUND THE WORLD, SHE'S WON
NUMEROUS AWARDS, INCLUDING
THE RUBEN, SHE HAS A
PULITZER, AND SHE'S A MEMBER
OF THE ORDER OF CANADA.
LYNN'S LATEST RETROSPECTIVE
OF HER WORK IS TITLED “LIVES
BEHIND THE LINES,” 20 YEARS
OF “FOR BETTER OR FOR
WORSE.”

A picture of the book appears on screen. Small pictures of family moments illustrate the cover.

Maureen says AND WE HAVE FIVE COPIES OF
THE BOOK TOO GIVE AWAY TO
FIVE LUCKY CALLERS WHO GET
THEIR QUESTIONS TO AIR SO IF
YOU HAVE QUESTIONS FOR LYNN
JOHNSTON ABOUT HER WORK, HER
INSPIRATION, HER PLANS FOR
THE PATTERSONS, GIVE US A
CALL.
HERE ARE THE NUMBERS.
416 484-2727
1-888-411-1234
OR YOU CAN
E-MAIL YOUR QUESTION TO US.
AT MORETOLIGE@TVO.ORG
AND LYNN, IT'S GREAT TO
HAVE YOU HERE.
HI.

Lynn Johnston is in her early fifties, with short wavy blond hair. She wears a gray cardigan, a burgundy blazer, a beaded necklace and a pair of earrings.

She says WELL THANK
YOU.

Maureen says “FOR BETTER OR
FOR WORSE” IS JUMPING TO
TELEVISION SCREEN.
YOU'VE DONE SPECIALS BEFORE,
BUT TELL US ABOUT THE
SERIES.

Lynn says WELL,
WE'RE HOPING TO BE 39 SHOWS
BUT WE'RE INTO 16 ALREADY
AND IT IS A LOT OF WORK.
I DON'T SLEEP, I DON'T EAT,
I WORK WEEK ENDS AND
EVENINGS BUT IT'S WORTH
IT IT'S WONDERFUL.

Maureen says HOW IS IT
DIFFERENT, ASIDE FROM --

Lynn says IT'S A
HUGE DIFFERENCE, BECAUSE
EVERYTHING IS MOVING NOW, SO
YOU HAVE TO KNOW AN AWFUL
LOT MORE ABOUT HOW TO SET UP
SHOTS AND HOW TO ORGANIZE
THINGS IN REAL TIGHT TIME
LIMITS.
SO WE HAVE EACH HALF HOUR
SHOW IS BROKEN INTO SIX
MINUTE TIME SLOTS WHERE YOU
CAN GO FROM WHEN THE
CHILDREN WERE VERY YOUNG TO
THE CHILDREN'S MIDDLE YEARS
TO THE CHILDREN’S SENIOR
YEARS.
AND I HAVE TO DO QUITE A BIT
OF WORK ON THE SHOW, BOTH
PERSONALLY, BECAUSE SOME OF
THE ACTION'S GOING TO TAKE
PLACE BEHIND ME ON GREEN
SCREEN, OR HOWEVER THE MAGIC
WORKS, AND WE'RE ALSO
WORKING A LOT ON THE ACTUAL
ANIMATION.
SO IT'S A HUGE AMOUNT OF
WORK, AND I LOVE IT I LOVE
THE PEOPLE.
I LOVE WORKING WITH THE
PEOPLE.
THEY'RE ALL CRAZY.

Maureen says AND SO THE
MATERIAL, THE STORYLINES,
ARE THEY TAKEN FROM --

Lynn says MOST OF
THEM.

Maureen says -- THE CARTOON
STRIP?

A caption reads “Lynn Johnston. For Better or for Worse.”

Lynn says A LOT OF
THE STORYLINES ARE TAKEN --
THEY'RE BASED ON THE
STORYLINES THAT HAVE
APPEARED IN THE STRIP BUT OF
COURSE YOU HAVE TO EMBELLISH
AND CHANGE THEM A BIT.
WE HAVE A WHOLE STAFF OF
WRITERS.
I MEAN, I'M NOT WRITING IT
MYSELF AND I'M WORKING VERY
CLOSELY WITH THEM.

Maureen says WHAT ABOUT THE
ACTUAL ILLUSTRATION AND
ANIMATION?

Lynn says WELL
THAT'S ALL BASED ON THE
STORY BOARDS.
ONCE YOU'VE GOT YOUR STORY
WRITTEN AND BROKEN DOWN INTO
TIME, YOU HAVE TO PUT IT
INTO A COMIC BOOK FORM WHICH
SHOWS -- IT'S ACTUALLY THE
DIRECTION AND PRODUCTION OF
THE SHOW WHICH SHOWS YOU HOW
THE CHARACTERS MOVE, WHAT
THEIR EXPRESSIONS ARE GOING
TO BE.
THAT'S A LOT OF WORK.
AND SO I'VE ACTUALLY BROUGHT
STUFF WITH ME AND I'M
WORKING ON THE ROAD WHILE
I'M DOING IT.

Maureen says OH, THAT MUST
BE -- BUT IN THE END YOU DO
HAVE TO GIVE OVER SOME OF
THAT TO OTHER PEOPLE.

Lynn says LOTS.
LOTS!
OH, GOSH, YOU JUST CANNOT
OWN IT.

Maureen says BUT CAN ANYBODY
DRAW ELLIE AS WELL AS YOU
CAN?

Lynn says NO!

Maureen says ABSOLUTELY NOT!
(LAUGHING)

Lynn says NO, BUT I
HAVE TO LET GO.
I HAVE TO SAY OKAY, I WANT
TO DO THIS, I WANT TO DO THE
ANIMATION, IT'S FUN.
AND SO YOU DO HAVE TO TURN
OVER A LOT OF CONTROL.
AND OFTEN THE CHARACTERS --
IT'S CALLED BEING
“ON-MODEL.”
BUT MY CHARACTERS ARE HARD
TO DRAW BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT
THE SAME ON ONE SIDE AS THEY
ARE STRAIGHT AHEAD, FOR
EXAMPLE.
AND YOU KNOW CHARLIE BROWN,
YOU KNOW HIS ROUND HEAD?
HE COULD NEVER RAISE HIS
ARMS STRAIGHT AHEAD BECAUSE
HIS HEAD'S TOO BIG SO THE
ONLY TIME HE COULD RAISE HIS
ARM FOR THE POOR ANIMATORS
WAS WHEN HE TURNED TO THE
SIDE SO HE COULDN'T HOLD A
BALLOON OR KITE WHEN HE WAS
FACING YOU.
SO IT'S LITTLE THINGS LIKE
THAT THAT YOU LEARN WHEN
YOU'RE ANIMATING.

Maureen says NOW WILL FARLEY
BE IN THERE?

Lynn says FARLEY'S
THERE BECAUSE YOU SEE HE
PASSED AWAY SORT OF IN THE
MIDDLE YEARS BUT YET HE
COMES BACK TO LIFE BECAUSE
WE'RE GOING BACK IN TIME AND
FORWARD IN TIME.

Maureen says WILL HIS DEATH
BE PART OF THE STORYLINE?

Lynn says WE MIGHT
DO A STORY ABOUT THAT.
WE HAVEN'T DONE ONE YET.
WE'VE DONE 16 SHOWS.
THERE'S ONE IN WHICH THEY
HAVE A MEMORIAL DAY FOR HIM.
BUT THAT WOULD BE PROBABLY A
HALF HOUR SHOW IN ITSELF.
THAT'S QUITE A SERIOUS
STORY.

Maureen says THAT IS ONE OF
THE STORYLINES THAT GARNERED
THE MOST, I GUESS, MAIL AND
INTEREST AND THINGS.

Lynn says PEOPLE
REALLY, REALLY WERE
SENTIMENTAL ABOUT THAT.
AND PARTLY BECAUSE EVERYBODY
IS DEVASTATED WHEN THEY LOSE
A PET, BUT THE OTHER THING
IS WHEN A STORY RAN, IT WAS
THE TIME OF THE OKLAHOMA
BOMBING.
SO --

Maureen says AND YOU DIDN'T
KNOW THIS, BECAUSE YOU HAD
DRAWN THAT A LOT --

Lynn says THAT'S
RIGHT.
YOU WORK SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS
IN ADVANCE OF THE
PUBLICATION DATES, SO YOU
HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING TO
BE IN THE HEADLINES ON THE
DAY THAT YOUR WORK RUNS.
AND PEOPLE WERE THINKING I'M
WORKING IN THE BASEMENT OF
THEIR LOCAL NEWSPAPER AND
THEY'RE WRITING TO THE
EDITOR SAYING “MAKE HER
STOP.”

Maureen says I READ THAT
CHARLES SCHULZ HAD THAT
REACTION AS WELL.
TELL ME ABOUT WHEN HE FOUND
OUT YOU WERE GOING TO KILL
FARLEY.

Lynn says WELL HIS
REACTION WAS YOU CAN'T DO
IT.
YOU JUST CANNOT.
BECAUSE IT'S A WONDERFUL
CHARACTER.
AND I WAS SAYING BUT MY
CHARACTERS GROW UP AND AGE
AND HE'S GROWN TOO OLD.
HE HAS TO GO.
AND HE SAID WELL, IF YOU
KILL OFF FARLEY I'M GOING TO
HAVE SNOOPY HIT BY A TRUCK
AND EVERYBODY'LL CARE ABOUT
SNOOPY AND NOBODY WILL CARE
ABOUT FARLEY THE DOG SO I
DIDN'T TELL HIM, AND IT
HAPPENED AND HE WAS ANGRY
WITH APRIL.
HE SAID “THAT LITTLE GIRL
SHOULD NEVER HAVE GONE DOWN
TO THE RIVER.
SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN
BETTER!”

Maureen says BECAUSE THAT'S
HOW HE DIED, HE WAS RESCUING
APRIL.

Lynn says HE WAS MAD
AT APRIL FOR GOING DOWN TO
THE RIVER.

Maureen says WE'RE TALKING
WITH LYNN JOHNSTON THIS
AFTERNOON, SHE, OF COURSE,
IS THE PERSON BEHIND “FOR
BETTER OR FOR WORSE.”
HER LATEST RETROSPECTIVE OF
THAT IS “LIVES BEHIND THE
LINES” AND WE HAVE FIVE
COPIES TO GIVE AWAY THIS
AFTERNOON.
SO GIVE US A CALL WITH YOUR
QUESTIONS FOR LYNN JOHNSTON.

Maureen says AND WE'VE GOT
BEVERLY ON THE LINE.
HI BEVERLY.

Beverly says HI.

Maureen says HI.
AND WHAT'S YOUR QUESTION FOR
LYNN?

Beverly says WELL, UM, I'VE
ALWAYS BEEN AMUSED.
AND IT'S KIND OF NEAT TO
LOOK AT YOU ON THE TV SCREEN
RIGHT NOW.
HI.

Lynn says YOU SHOULD
SEE THE MAKE-UP I'M WEARING!
NEED A SPATULA TO GET IT
OFF!

Beverly says I'VE ALWAYS BEEN
REALLY AMUSED WITH YOUR,
WITH YOUR CARTOON.
AND MY DAUGHTER ACTUALLY
CUTS THEM OUT AND SAVES SOME
OF THEM.

Lynn says HOW OLD IS
YOUR DAUGHTER?
CAN I ASK?

Beverly says SHE'S 13.
SHE'S MY OLDEST, AND I HAVE
FIVE.
13, 11, NINE, THREE, AND
TWO.

Lynn says YOU SHOULD
BE DOING THIS.

Beverly says WELL, YOU'VE MADE
ME LAUGH ON MANY TEARFUL
DAYS.

Lynn says THANK YOU.

Beverly says THAT CARTOON,
BECAUSE IT IS SO CLOSE TO
HOME.
AND I WAS WONDERING, WHERE
DO YOU GET THE MATERIAL?

Lynn says I HAVE TO
MAKE IT UP NOW.
IF I WAS LIVING IN YOUR
HOUSE, I WOULDN'T HAVE ANY
TROUBLE AT ALL WITH THE
MATERIAL, BUT RIGHT NOW, A
LOT OF IT IS MADE UP, AND
BECAUSE I REALLY WANT TO
PROTECT MY CHILDREN, I HAVE
TO MAKE UP ALL OF MICHAEL'S
STORY AND ALL OF ELIZABETH'S
STORY, AND MY SON IS NOT
ENGAGED TO MARRY A LOVELY,
PRETTY BLOND GIRL, AND OF
COURSE I'M GETTING THE
LETTERS FROM PEOPLE SAYING
“MICHAEL!
YOU'VE GOT TO MEET ME.
MARRY ME.
DON'T MARRY DEANNA” AND
OTHER PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“YOU'D BETTER NOT HAVE THEM
LIVE TOGETHER!”
PEOPLE ARE VERY INVOLVED.

Maureen says DO YOU -- BUT
WHEN THEY WERE SMALLER DID,
YOU TAKE SOME OF THE THINGS
FROM THE ANTICS THAT YOUR
KIDS --

Lynn says OH, SURE.

Maureen says YEAH.

Lynn says OH, YEAH!
LIKE THE TOILET PLUNGER.
EVERYBODY LOVES THAT.
AND OF COURSE WE HAD A DOG
WHICH -- OH, YEAH.
THERE WERE ALWAYS PAW PRINTS
ON THE FLOOR AND HALF EATEN
THINGS HERE AND THERE.
I MEAN, IT'S ONE MORE THING
FOR A MOTHER.
YOU JUST SAY AHH...

Maureen says BUT YOUR HUSBAND
IS A DENTIST.

Lynn says YEAH.

Maureen says SO THAT'S KIND
OF LIKE THAT.
BUT YOU KNOW, ELLIE, AS I'VE
WATCHED HER OVER THE YEARS I
LIKE HER, BECAUSE SHE
STRUGGLES WITH A WEIGHT
PROBLEM AND AS SHE GETS
OLDER SHE STARTS TO WORRY
ABOUT STUFF LIKE THAT.
YOU, ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE
TINY AND PETIT --

Lynn says OH, NO,
THIS IS BELLOW THE TABLE
TABLE HERE.
THERE'S CELLULITE DRIPPING
OVER BOTH SIDES THIS SEAT
AND THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO
ABOUT THAT.
THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO
ABOUT GETTING OLDER SO
YOU'VE GOT TO LAUGH ABOUT
THESE THINGS, YOU KNOW?

Maureen says AND YET IT'S
YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR, AND
MAYBE THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE
TREATED TO YOUR SPEECH
TONIGHT WILL HEAR MORE ABOUT
THIS.
BUT YOU'VE HAD A STRUGGLE
WITH AN EATING DISORDER IN
THE PAST.

Lynn says WELL, YOU
KNOW, I NEVER THOUGHT IT WAS
AN EATING DISORDER BUT I
DECIDED I WAS GOING TO LOSE
WEIGHT AND I JUST DIDN'T EAT
AND I WENT DOWN SO THAT I
WAS SO BONEY, BUT I WOULD
STILL LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND
THINK “NO, I'M STILL FAT.”
AND IT'S THE FUNNIEST THING
BECAUSE I WAS REALLY SKINNY.
BUT IT WAS -- A FRIEND OF
MINE AND I DID THIS TOGETHER
AND IT WASN'T UNTIL I LOOKED
AT HER AND I SAID, “GEEZ,
YOU LOOK AWFUL!”
AND THEN I REALIZED “I LOOK
AWFUL, TOO.”
AND I STARTED EATING AGAIN
AND SHE DIDN'T AND SHE
ACTUALLY WAS VERY SICK WITH
IT.

Maureen says REALLY!

Lynn says BUT IT'S
EASY TO DO.
YOU HAVE THIS CONCEPT OF
YOURSELF, AND OF COURSE I
WAS MARRIED AT THE TIME TO
SOMEBODY WHO REALLY DIDN'T
LIKE THE WAY I WAS SHAPED.
AND OF COURSE THERE'S
NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT THE
WAY YOU'RE SHAPED, BUT THE
EATING IS WHAT YOU HAVE THE
CONTROL OVER, AND --

Maureen says RIGHT.

Lynn says YEAH.
I WOULD -- I MEAN, THIS WAS
WHAT, TWENTY-SIX YEARS AGO,
ALMOST THIRTY YEARS AGO, AND
THEY DIDN'T HAVE A NAME FOR
IT THEN.
BUT MAN, WAS I THIN!

Maureen says AND YOU LOOK
BACK NOW AND YOU SAY THAT
WAS ME.

Lynn says OH, YEAH.
I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAD -- ONE
TIME NOT SO LONG AGO I
THOUGHT I HAD HIPS AGAIN AND
IT WAS TWO WADDED UP
KLEENEXES I HAD LEFT IN MY
JEANS AND GOT WADDED UP IN
THE DRIER AND I THOUGHT
“HIPS!
I'VE GOT HIPS.”

Maureen says BEVERLY, THANK
YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR
QUESTION.
I'VE GOT ANGELA ON THE LINE
IN LONDON.
HI, ARE YOU THERE, ANGELA?
NO.
WELL, SPEAKING OF LONDON --
ANGELA'S PROBABLY JUST ON
ANOTHER LINE, WE'LL GET HER
UP -- YOU CHOSE LONDON FOR
MICHAEL TO GO TO SCHOOL.

Lynn says THAT'S
RIGHT.

Maureen says WHY?

Lynn says FOR A
NUMBER OF REASONS.
ONE WAS A FRIEND OF OURS WAS
GOING TO -- SO I'D
BEEN DOWN TO VISIT HIM AND
I REALLY LIKED THE CITY AND
I THOUGHT “THIS IS GREAT.”
IF I PUT LONDON IN A STRIP
THAT IS PRIMARILY IN THE
UNITED STATES, I'M GOING TO
GET A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING
“OH, IT MUST BE NICE TO SEND
YOUR CHILD TO LONDON
ENGLAND.”
BUT THEN YOU CAN POINT OUT
ON THE MAP IT'S LONDON
ONTARIO.
BUT IT'S TOO FAR AWAY TO
BRING YOUR LAUNDRY.
THAT'S WHAT I WANTED.
AND IT'S A GREAT UNIVERSITY
TOWN.
AND SO WHEN MY DAUGHTER WENT
TO WESTERN IT WAS GREAT.
I WENT DOWN, I TOOK
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CITY.
BUT THE TROUBLE WITH
MENTIONING A CITY IN A COMIC
STRIP IS THAT PEOPLE IN THAT
CITY WOULD LIKE TO SEE
LANDMARKS AND THEY WOULD
LIKE TO SEE LOCAL THINGS AND
THEY WOULD LIKE TO RUN A
CONTEST, AND IF SOMEBODY AT
A RADIO STATION GETS THE
RIGHT ANSWER CAN THEY BE IN
THE STRIP OR SOMETHING?
AND IT'S TOUGH BECAUSE IT'S
A STORY ABOUT THE CHARACTERS,
NOT SO MUCH ABOUT THE PLACE
WHERE THEY LIVE.

Maureen says PLACE, UH-HUH.

Lynn says SO I'VE
NEVER NAMED THE TOWN.
BUT IT HAS
ELEMENTS OF NORTH
VANCOUVER WHERE I GREW UP,
ELEMENTS OF LIND LAKE AND
HAMILTON AND NORTH BAY --

Maureen says YOU'RE A PRODUCT
OF A LOT OF DIFFERENT PLACE,
AREN'T YOU?
AND YOU TRY TO BRING THAT
INTO THE STRIP FROM TIME TO
TIME.

Lynn says WELL THEY
JUST HAPPEN.
THEY SEEP IN BECAUSE IT'S
WHAT YOU KEEP IN YOUR MENTAL
ROLODEX IN YOUR MIND -- YOU
COULD PROBABLY REMEMBER THE
HOUSE THAT YOU GREW UP IN.

Maureen says OH, YES.

Lynn says AND YOU
CAN WALK AROUND AT THE AGE
OF FIVE AND REMEMBER WHAT
THE UNDERNEATHS OF THE
TABLES LOOK LIKE AND THE
CHURCH YOU WENT TO AND THE
SCHOOL YOU WENT TO.
AND IF YOU REALLY THINK
ABOUT IT, YOU CAN SMELL
FRESH CRAYONS AND A NEW
ERASER AND ALL THOSE THINGS.
AND YOU HAVE TO TAKE
YOURSELF BACK AND REMEMBER
IT.
AND PROJECT IT ONTO THE
PAPER, AND HOPEFULLY IT'LL
BE READABLE.

Maureen says TO OTHER PEOPLE,
WHICH IT IS.
ANGELA'S THERE NOW.
HI ANGELA.

Angela says HELLO, HOW ARE
YOU?

Maureen says WE'RE GOOD.

Angela says GOOD.
I'D LIKE TO FIRST OF ALL SAY
THANKS, LYNN, FOR BEING SUCH
A WONDERFUL FEMALE
REPRESENTATIVE TO CANADA,
AND HOW WONDERFUL IT IS IN
TRAVELS TO SEE YOUR COLUMN
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
AND JUST HOW NICE IT IS TO
REPRESENT A CANADIAN HOME IN
SUCH A NICE WAY.

Lynn says THANK YOU.

Angela says MY QUESTION FOR
YOU IS WHERE YOU SEE YOUR
COLUMN GOING, YOUR STRIP
GOING IN THE FUTURE YEARS?
ARE YOU GOING TO CONTINUE IT
AS A SEQUEL AND WATCH THE
CHILDREN GROW AND MARRY AND
HAVE GRANDCHILDREN?
SUCH AS SCHULTZ?
ARE YOU GOING TO STICK IT
RIGHT OUT TO THE END OR IS
RETIREMENT GOING TO BE DOWN
THE ROAD?

Lynn says WILL
SIGNED A CONTRACT, IT'S A
10-YEAR CONTRACT, I HAVE
EIGHT YEARS LEFT, AND I
WOULD LIKE TO WORK UNTIL THE
END OF THAT CONTRACT AND
THEN LET THE COMIC STRIP
RETIRE AND GO ON TO DO OTHER
THINGS.
AND YES, THE CHARACTERS WILL
CONTINUE TO GROW, AND THERE
MAY WELL BE CHILDREN COMING
ALONG AS GRANDCHILDREN AND
SUCH, BUT I REALLY DON'T
KNOW.
I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHEN MIKE
AND DEANNA ARE GOING TO GET
MARRIED.
THEY WILL.
I THINK.
UNLESS SOMETHING AMAZING
HAPPENS.
BUT I REALLY DON'T KNOW.
BUT I DO WANT TO RETIRE.
I WANT TO SPEND THE
INHERITANCE.
YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT MY
KIDS TO GO ON THE CRUISE
THAT I WANT TO GO ON, YOU
KNOW?

Maureen says OH, ABSOLUTELY.
ARE THINGS HAPPENING IN
REAL TIME?

Lynn says YES.

Maureen says HOW OLD WAS
MICHAEL WHEN THE STRIP
STARTED?

Lynn says WHEN THE
STRIP STARTED OUR SON WAS
ABOUT SIX, SEVEN YEARS OLD.
AND BECAUSE THE STRIP WAS
BASED REALLY SO CLOSELY ON
THE FAMILY AT FIRST, I
THOUGHT WELL, I BETTER HOLD
THE KIDS BACK IN THE STRIP
THREE YEARS.
SO FOR THE LONGEST TIME THE
KIDS IN THE STRIP DID NOT
GROW UP.
THREE YEARS.
AND THEN IN THREE YEARS,
YOUR OWN CHILDREN FEEL QUITE
SEPARATED FROM KIDS --
SOMEBODY IN GRADE THREE
FEELS VERY SEPARATED FROM
SOMEONE IN GRADE ONE.
THEY'RE MUCH MORE MATURE.

Maureen says OH, ABSOLUTELY.

Lynn says YEAH, AND
SO IT'S THE SAME WAY ALL
THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL.
AND NOW, OF COURSE, THEY'RE
VERY -- I MEAN, NEITHER OF
MY KIDS HAVE EVER READ MY
WORK, SO THEY DON'T FEEL
THREATENED BY IT OR INVOLVED
WITH IT AT ALL.

Maureen says WHAT DO YOU MEAN
THEY DON'T READ YOUR WORK.

Lynn says THEY DON'T
READ IT.

Maureen says THEY DON'T READ
THE COMIC STRIP?

Lynn says THEY DON'T
READ THE BOOKS.
MY DAUGHTER WHEN SHE WENT TO
UNIVERSITY TOOK ALL THE
BOOKS WITH HER, SAID “NOW
I'M FINALLY GOING TO READ
YOUR BOOKS!”
HER FRIENDS READ THE BOOKS
AND SHE STILL HASN'T.

Maureen says BUT THEY MUST
HAVE FRIENDS COME UP TO THEM
AND SAY “YOUR MOTHER'S COMIC
STRIP TODAY DA DADA.”

Lynn says AND THEY
SAY “REALLY?”

Maureen says MY KIDS DON'T
WATCH MY SHOW EITHER AND IT
DOESN'T INSULT ME.

Lynn says THERE YOU
GO.

Maureen says WHAT ABOUT
LAWRENCE COMING OUT.
THAT WAS THE OTHER STORYLINE
THAT GOT A LOT OF ATTENTION.
DID YOUR SON HAVE A FRIEND
WHO CAME OUT --

Lynn says WELL IN A
WAY THERE WERE A NUMBER OF
PEOPLE THAT I'VE KNOWN
THROUGH THIS PROCESS.
I WAS REALLY -- I FELT VERY
HONOURED THAT MY
BROTHER-IN-LAW TOLD ME
FIRST.
BECAUSE HIS MOTHER KEPT
INTRODUCING HIM TO GIRLS,
YOU SEE?
AND HE CAME OVER TO MY HOUSE
AND HE WAS CHOPPING FIREWOOD
IN THE BACKYARD.
AND HE WAS CHOPPING THE
FIREWOOD WITH SUCH A
VENGEANCE.
AND HE'S A BIG, HANDSOME
YOUNG MAN.
AND I WENT OUT AND I SAID,
“RALPH WHAT IS THE MATTER
WITH YOU?”
“AND HE SAID “MY MOTHER HAS
INTRODUCED ME TO ANOTHER
GIRL, AND SHE'S A NICE
PERSON BUT I'M NEVER GOING
TO MARRY A WOMAN, OKAY?”
AND I SAID, “WELL, WE KNEW
THAT.
WE'VE ALWAYS KNOWN THAT.”
AND HE SAID, “WELL TELL MY
MOTHER!”
SO WE TOGETHER WENT AND TOLD
HIS MOM.
AND SHE SAID, “OH, DEAR.
ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN
LOOKING FOR A NICE GIRL FOR
MY SON, I SHOULD HAVE BEEN
LOOKING FOR A NICE BOY.”
BUT SHE DIDN'T WANT TO TELL
HER HUSBAND, BECAUSE HE HAS
A BAD HEART, SHE DIDN'T WANT
TO TELL HIM.
AND FINALLY WE SAID, “DAD'S
GOT TO KNOW.”
AND HE SAID, “I'VE KNOWN
SINCE YOU WERE ELEVEN.”

Maureen says REALLY?!

Lynn says HE SAID
“IT'S NOT A PROBLEM FOR ME.”
AND SO HIS FAMILY WAS VERY,
VERY ACCEPTING.
BUT OTHER FAMILIES HAVE BE
NOT BEEN.

Maureen says AND WHAT ABOUT
THE FANS OF THE STRIP?
WERE THEY ACCEPTING OF A GAY
CHARACTER?

Lynn says WELL
REALLY THE FANS WERE -- THE
FANS.
SOUNDS LIKE WORLDWIDE
WRESTLING.
AT THE TIME IT FELT LIKE IT
BECAUSE I WAS NEVER UNDER
FIRE BEFORE.
AND I WAS THREATENED A LOT.
BUT THE FEW PEOPLE WHO WERE
THREATENING AND HORRIBLE
WERE -- IT WAS MAYBE 10 PERCENT OF
THE LETTERS THAT I GOT.
THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WERE
VERY, VERY COMFORTABLE WITH
IT AND REALLY HAPPY THAT IT
HAPPENED AND I GOT GREAT
FEEDBACK FROM PEOPLE WHO
WERE SAYING, YOU KNOW, I
HAVEN'T SPOKEN TO MY SON FOR
A LONG TIME AND NOW I FEEL
MORE COMFORTABLE.
AND KIDS SAYING I COULD
NEVER PUT IT INTO WORDS
BEFORE BUT NOW I CAN TALK TO
MY PARENTS.
AND IT OPENED UP A LOT OF
DOORS.
IT OPENED UP A LOT OF
CONVERSATIONS ALL OVER THE
PLACE, BECAUSE I WAS IN
TROUBLE.
THE PHONE RANG FROM, YOU
KNOW, SEVEN IN THE MORNING
UNTIL 11 AT NIGHT.

Maureen says IT GOT PEOPLE
TALKING ABOUT IT.

Lynn says IT DID.
AND I'M STILL REALLY PROUD
OF THE STORY, AND I LOST TEN
POUNDS WHILE I DID IT
BECAUSE I'D GO TO BED AT
NIGHT THINKING “WHY DID I DO
THIS STORY?”
BUT I ALSO REALIZED THAT
THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DON'T SEE
A LOT OF CHANGE BECAUSE
THERE ARE SOME SCARY GROUPS
OUT THERE WHO CAN REALLY
REALLY INTIMIDATE YOU.

Maureen says YOU HAVE THE
EXPERIENCE.
WE'VE GOT AN E-MAIL HERE
FROM SHIRLEY LYNN.
“MY SON IS GOOD AT DRAWING
CARTOON STRIPS.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE
HIM NOW TO GET HIS STRIP IN
A NEWSPAPER?”

Lynn says HOW OLD IS
YOUR SON, THAT'S ONE THING I
NEED TO KNOW.
YOU DON'T GIVE ME ENOUGH
INFORMATION.
ONE THING YOUR SON HAS TO
KNOW IS THAT HE'S WORKING
FOR AN AUDIENCE, HE'S NOT
WORKING FOR HIMSELF.
SO GENERALLY A YOUNG PERSON
DEVELOPS THESE CARTOONS AND
HE AND HIS PALS ARE REALLY
EXCITED ABOUT THEM BECAUSE
THEY'RE REALLY INTO THEM AND
THEY UNDERSTAND THEM.
BUT YOUR AUDIENCE DOESN'T
KNOW WHO THEY ARE, WHY
THERE'S A TALKING RABBIT,
WHERE THEY LIVE, OR
ANYTHING.
SO YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO
TELL A STORY WELL.
YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO
PRESENT IT WELL, FIRST OF
ALL TO AN EDITOR.
AND AN EDITOR IS NOT GOING
TO READ THAT PILE OF PAPER
YOU SEND TO SAY THIS IS WHAT
THE CHARACTERS DO AND HOW
THEY RELATE.
THEY'RE GOING TO DROP THAT,
GO STRAIGHT TO THE STRIPS.
IF THEY'RE NOT FUNNY, THEY
DON'T LIKE THEM, YOU'RE NOT
GOING TO GET IN.
YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO DRAW
EVERYTHING.
YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO DRAW
TREES AND HOUSES AND CARS
AND SKY.
EVERYTHING.
BECAUSE IN ORDER TO DRAW
YOUR AUDIENCE IN, YOU HAVE
TO SHOW WHERE THEY, THE
CHARACTERS LIVE.
AND IT'S SO MUCH MORE FUN
JUST TO DRAW THE GOOFY
CHARACTER AND TO GET THE
EXPRESSIONS AND THE BODY
LANGUAGE.
SO YOU HAVE TO BE AN ACTOR,
YOU HAVE TO BE A WRITER.
YOU SHOULD BE A MUSICIAN,
BECAUSE THERE'S MUSIC IN THE
WAY YOU WRITE.
YOU SHOULD BE A POET,
BECAUSE THE WRITING HAS TO
HAVE A POETRY TO IT.
YOU HAVE TO BE FUNNY.
YOU HAVE TO DRAW FUNNY.
AND THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT TO
IT.
YOU CAN'T JUST EXPECT TO GET
INTO THE NEWSPAPERS.
AND MOST PEOPLE WILL SAY,
“WELL, I'VE DONE TEN
DRAWINGS.
I'M GOING TO SEND THEM TO A
SYNDICATE.”
DO A HUNDRED DRAWINGS AND
OUT OF A HUNDRED DRAWINGS
THERE MIGHT BE TEN WORTH
SENDING.

Maureen says IT SOUNDS LIKE
YOU THINK IN THE EARLY
STAGES PEOPLE SHOULD BE
PASSING THESE AROUND TO
FRIENDS, FAMILY, STRANGERS,
ANYBODY WHO'LL READ IT,
START THE AUDIENCE THERE.

Lynn says AND THE
PEOPLE YOU WANT TO REACH ARE
THE PEOPLE WHO SAY “I DON'T
GET IT.”
BECAUSE THAT'S 90 PERCENT OF YOUR
AUDIENCE.
YOUR MOM'S GOING TO LOVE
YOU.
YOUR BEST FRIENDS ARE GOING
TO LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU TELL
THEM OH, THIS IS HARRY AND
HE'S RELATED TO SO-AND-SO
AND HE HAS A TALK TURTLE.
AND EVERYBODY'S GOING TO
UNDERSTANDS WHAT YOU'RE
DOING.
BUT AN EDITOR, THEY GET
HUNDREDS A DAY.
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO CARE IF
IT DOESN'T KNOCK THEIR SOCKS
OFF RIGHT AWAY.
AND THEY'RE NOT NECESSARILY
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER DILBERT
OR ANOTHER SIMPSONS.
THEY'RE JUST LOOKING FOR
SOMETHING THAT'S DRAWN WELL,
IS FUNNY, IT'S FAST, IT
WORKS, AND IT GRABS THEIR
INTEREST AND THEY CARE.
YOU HAVE TO CARE ABOUT THE
CHARACTERS.

Maureen says MM-HMM.
OKAY, THERE YOU GO, SHIRLEY.
GOOD LUCK.

Lynn says GOOD LUCK.
FOR SURE.

Maureen says ANNE IS IN COLD
SPRINGS.
HI ANNE.

Anne says HI, HOW ARE YOU
TODAY?

Maureen says GOOD.

Anne says GOOD.
I JUST TO WANT SAY I REALLY
REALLY LOVE YOUR SHOW.
YOU DO A GOOD MIX OF
SUBJECTS AND LYNN, WE LOVE
YOUR STRIP IN THIS HOUSE.
YOUR STRIP SEEMS TO CONVEY
SOMETIMES WHAT HAPPENS IN
OUR LIVES AS WELL, AND ONE
OF THE STRIPS THAT WE REALLY
DID ENJOY, TEARFULLY, WAS
FARLEY'S PASSING.
AND IT WAS -- IT KIND OF HIT
A NOTE BECAUSE WE'VE GOT A
DOG THAT'S GETTING OLDER AND
IT'S PROBABLY GOING TO
HAPPEN.
HOPEFULLY NOT.
YOU CAN'T CHANGE THINGS LIKE
THAT, BUT WE WERE CURIOUS
ABOUT WHERE EDGAR AND DIXIE
MIGHT BE GOING?

Lynn says WELL,
THEY'VE BOTH BEEN SPAYED,
I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT.
THEY'RE BOTH NEUTERED.
I GOT INTO A LOT OF TROUBLE
BECAUSE FARLEY WAS NOT.

Maureen says AND HE FATHERED
A CHILD QUITE LATE IN LIFE.
THESE OLDER MEN HAVING --
WELL NOT MEN, BUT MALES.

Lynn says IT WAS THE
MAY-DECEMBER, BUT I NEEDED
TO HAVE ANOTHER CHARACTER IN
THE STRIP.
WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENED IS
THAT THE GRANDFATHER HAS
MOVED INTO THE FAMILY, AND
SO NOW THEY'VE ADDED ANOTHER
DOG SO THERE'S QUITE A
MENAGERIE.
IF YOU READ THE WEBSITE, THE
FISH ARE ALL DEAD NOW.
(LAUGHING)
GRANDDAD HAS BUILT GREAT
HUTCHES FOR THE RABBIT, AND
THE TWO DOGS ARE GETTING
ALONG SOMETIMES.

Maureen says BUT THEY'RE
YOUNG, THESE DOGS, ARE THEY?

Maureen says THE DOGS ARE
YOUNG AND YOU ARE NOT GOING
TO SEE ANOTHER DOG DISAPPEAR
OUT OF THE STRIP.
BECAUSE I WILL RETIRE BEFORE
THE DOGS DO.

Maureen says DOES APRIL DO
MOST OF THE WALKING THE DOG?
I MEAN, I HAVE A DOG AND I
NEVER SEE PEOPLE FIGHTING
OVER WHO'S GOING TO WALK THE
DOG AND PICK UP THE MESS IN
THE BACKYARD LIKE WE DO.

Lynn says WELL, THE
PATTERSONS HAVE A VERY LARGE
BACKYARD, YOU SEE?
AND COME SPRINGTIME, THERE'S
A RAVINE OVER THE HILL THERE,
YOU KNOW?

Maureen says JUST GO DO IT
OVER THERE, EDGAR.
YEAH.
OKAY, THANKS VERY MUCH,
ANNE.

Lynn says THAT'S THE
TROUBLE WITH HAVING REAL
ANIMALS.
CARTOON ANIMALS YOU DON'T
HAVE TO CLEAN UP AFTER.

Maureen says YOU DON'T NEED
THE PLASTIC BAGS IN YOUR
POCKET.
DEBBIE'S IN PORT HOPE.
HI DEBBIE.

Debbie says HI.
HOW ARE YOU?

Maureen says GOOD, THANKS.

Debbie says I JUST WANTED TO
SAY MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN THE
SAME TYPE APRIL, SO THEY'VE
GROWN UP TOGETHER, POTTY
TRAINED AND EVERYTHING
TOGETHER AND MY QUESTION IS
ARE WE IN FOR A ROUGH
ADOLESCENCE OR IS IT GOING
TO BE SMOOTH SAILING FOR US?

Lynn says WELL, I
CAN HAVE A LOT MORE FREEDOM
WITH APRIL BECAUSE SHE'S NOT
BASED ON ANYBODY.
AND SO I CAN HAVE HER DO
THINGS, SAY THINGS, HAVE
THINGS HAPPEN TO HER THAT I
COULDN'T HAVE HAPPEN TO
ELIZABETH AND MICHAEL, WHO
WERE DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO
MY OWN CHILDREN.
APRIL'S A LOT LIKE ME.
APRIL'S A SCRAPPER, AND
THERE'S A KID AT SCHOOL THAT
SHE DOESN'T GET ALONG WITH,
AND APRIL'S LEARNING HOW TO
PLAY THE HARMONICA, WHICH I
DID. MY DAD TAUGHT ME HOW TO
PLAY THE HARMONICA AND THE
BUTTON ACCORDION AND THE
GUITAR, AND I WAS VERY
LUCKY.
DIDN'T REALIZE HOW LUCKY I
WAS AND APRIL'S GOING TO BE
A SCRAPPER JUST LIKE ME.
SO I DON'T KNOW, WE'LL SEE.
PROBABLY SHE'LL HAVE
SOMETIMES WHERE HER MOTHER
WILL BE BITING HER LOWER
LIP.

Maureen says WHAT'S THE WORST
TROUBLE MICHAEL AND
ELIZABETH GOT INTO AS
TEENAGERS?

Lynn says OH, YOU
KNOW, IT WAS PRETTY EASY
SAILING WITH THEM.
I REALLY DIDN'T -- I DIDN'T
PUSH THINGS AS FAR AS I
COULD HAVE DONE.
I HAD A COUPLE OF SCENES
WHERE THERE'S DRINKING AT A
PARTY AFTER SCHOOL, AND OH,
I'D GET PEOPLE BARKING AT ME
FOR THIS AND THAT.
AND OH, ELIZABETH AND HER
BOYFRIEND, AND GOING OUT AND
NECKING IN THE CAR AND THAT
TYPE OF THING.
IT'S ORDINARY, SIMPLE EASY
STUFF, BUT NO MATTER WHAT I
DO, SOMEBODY'S GOING TO FIND
FAULT WITH IT.
SO WITH MICHAEL AND
ELIZABETH, I WAS VERY
CAREFUL TO PROTECT MY KIDS
AND ALSO BECAUSE I WAS
THINNER-SKINNED THEN.
BUT NOW, UM, HEY.
WHATEVER HAPPENS, HAPPENS.

Maureen says YEAH.
MIGHT APRIL EXPLORE SOME OF
THE OTHER ISSUES AROUND
TEENAGED CULTURE, LIKE DRUGS
OR BE OFFERED AT LEAST THEM
AND -- WOULD YOU EVER SORT
OF DO LIFE LEARNING LESSONS
THROUGH THE STRIP THAT WAY?

Lynn says WELL YOU
KNOW, DRUGS WERE AVAILABLE
IN SCHOOL WHEN I WAS A KID.
I MEAN, IT'S THERE, IT'S
HAPPENING.
AND I HAD SOMEBODY WRITE TO
ME AND SAY YOU SHOULDN'T
SHOW ELIZABETH IN A BAR IN
UNIVERSITY.
WHAT KIND OF IMAGE IS THAT?”
AND I SAID ARE YOU AN IDIOT?
YOU KNOW, THAT'S LIFE IN
UNIVERSITY.
YOU SPEND YOUR LIFE IN THE
BAR AT THE UNIVERSITY, AND
IT'S THE SOCIAL WORLD,
REALLY.
AND SO YOU WILL SEE PROBABLY
SOME MORE THINGS LIKE THAT.
AND IT'S GOING TO BE REAL
LIFE.
THAT'S ALL I CAN SAY.
WHATEVER REALLY HAPPENS IN A
COMMUNITY CAN HAPPEN IN “FOR
BETTER OR FOR WORSE.”

Maureen says AND YOU KNOW, I
MEAN, YOU'VE DONE THIS STRIP,
YOU'VE COMPLETED THE STRIPS
THAT WILL RUN FOR THE NEXT
WHAT SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS?

Lynn says YEAH.

Maureen says IS THAT HOW FAR
AHEAD?

Lynn says YEAH.

Maureen says SO YOU KNOW
THINGS THAT WE DON'T KNOW
YET.
YOU DON'T WANT TO REVEAL
ANYTHING I GUESS TODAY, EH?

Lynn says WELL, I
CAN TELL YOU THAT APRIL AND
JEREMY JONES DO GET INTO
ANOTHER PRETTY HEAVY DUTY
SCRAP.

Maureen says ANOTHER SCRAP?
OKAY, ALL RIGHT.
THANKS VERY MUCH, DEBBIE FOR
YOUR QUESTION.
ROSEMARY IS IN OWEN SOUND.
HI ROSEMARY.

Rosemary says HI.

Maureen says HI.

Rosemary says I JUST WANT TO
MAKE A COMMENT TO LYNN HOW
MUCH I ENJOYED HER MAMMOGRAM
ONE.
WE LAUGHED SO HARD, IT WAS
JUST SO TRUE TO LIFE.
I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.

Lynn laughs.

Lynn says I WANTED
TO MAKE IT LOOK AS THOUGH
SHE WAS BEING FLATTENED AND
THE ONLY THING I COULD THINK
OF WAS...
BUT I WENT ACTUALLY TO THE
BREAST SCREENING CLINIC AND
TOOK PHOTOGRAPHS OF ALL THE
MACHINERY AND I HAD A FRIEND
ACTUALLY GO THROUGH THE EXAM
FULLY CLOTHED JUST SO THAT I
COULD TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF
ALL THE MACHINERY AND HAVE
IT LOOK RIGHT.

Maureen says IS THAT THE KIND
OF THING YOU HAVE TO DO,
WHEN YOU'RE NOT DRAWING THE
ACTUAL PATTERSONS --

Lynn says YOU DO THE
RESEARCH.
YOU HAVE TO YEAH, IF YOU'RE
GOING TO DRAW A CHAINSAW,
YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE A PICTURE
OF A CHAIN SAW OR HAVE THE
REAL THING.
I MEAN...YEAH.

Maureen says ROSEMARY WERE
YOU GOING FOR YOUR FIRST
AROUND THAT TIME?

Rosemary says NO, I HAD BEEN
GOING EVERY YEAR.
NO, BUT EVERY YEAR I ALMOST
MADE THOSE SAME FACIAL
EXPRESSIONS.
(LAUGHING)

Lynn says WELL, IT'S
WORTH IT, AND I'VE HAD SO
MANY LETTERS FROM PEOPLE WHO
HAVE SAID THANKS, BECAUSE IT
REALLY IS WORTH IT AND IT'S
ONE OF THOSE DOG GONE EXAMS
THAT WE JUST PUT OFF AND PUT
OFF, LIKE ALL THOSE OTHER
DOGGONE EXAMS THAT WE PUT
OFF AND PUT OFF THAT WE
SHOULD GO AND HAVE DONE.

Maureen says YOU'VE HAD FUN
WITH THE DENTAL CHAIR THING
AS WELL AND OUR FEAR OF
GOING TO THE DENTIST.
THAT'S BEEN FODDER FOR MORE
THAN A FEW OF THE STRIPS,
YOU KNOW?

Lynn says WELL THERE
SHOULD BE NO FEAR OF GOING
TO A DENTIST ANYMORE.

Maureen says I KNOW, THEY'VE
THE TOOLS --

Lynn says THE
TROUBLE IS THE CARTOONISTS
HAVE ALWAYS SHOWN DENTISTS
AS BEING THESE GUYS THAT ARE
THE PURVEYORS OF PAIN AND
LOVE TO JAB YOU AND DO
TERRIBLY MEAN THINGS.
A GOOD DENTIST MAKES SURE
YOU'RE NOT IN PAIN AND MAKES
SURE YOU'RE COMFORTABLE AND
THAT YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT'S
GOING ON AND THAT THEY WILL
STOP IF YOU'RE NOT
COMFORTABLE.
AND SO MY CHARACTER --
YOU'RE GOING TO SEE MODERN
EQUIPMENT, YOU'RE GOING TO
SEE MODERN TECHNIQUE, AND
YOU'RE GOING TO SEE CARING
PEOPLE.
GO TO YOUR DENTIST!
(LAUGHING)

Maureen says TWICE A YEAR.
DO YOU LET YOUR HUSBAND DO
YOUR TEETH?

Lynn says I
ABSOLUTELY DO, AND I CUT HIS
HAIR.

Maureen says DO YOU?!
I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THIS
TALENT.

Lynn says THAT'S
RIGHT.
WELL YOU KNOW, THE NICEST
THING ABOUT BEING A DENTIST
IS THAT YOU CAN GIVE
SOMEBODY THEIR LIFE BACK.
BECAUSE IF YOU CAN'T SMILE
AND ENJOY YOUR SMILE, THAT
CHANGES ENTIRELY EVERYTHING
YOU DO, IF YOU CAN'T SMILE.
AND A COUPLE OF TIMES AS
WEDDING GIFTS, WE'VE GIVEN
PEOPLE A BRAND NEW SMILE.

Maureen says OH, THAT'S
GREAT!
THAT'S TRUE ABOUT
HAIRDRESSERS, TOO.
THEY CAN GIVE YOU YOUR LIFE
BACK.

Lynn says THAT'S
TRUE.

Maureen says OKAY, THANK YOU
VERY MUCH, ROSEMARY.
CLIFF IS IN LAKESHORE.
HI CLIFF.

Cliff says HELLO.

Maureen says HI.

Cliff says HOW ARE YOU?

Maureen says GOOD THANKS.

Cliff says I'D LIKE TO SAY
TO Mrs. JOHNSTON HOW MUCH I
ENJOY HER STRIP.

Lynn says THANK YOU.

Cliff says AND SINCE I LIVE
AT THE LAKESHORE, I READ THE
STRIP IN THE WINDSOR STAR
AND IN SOME DETROIT PAPERS.
ASK MY QUESTION IS SINCE YOU
MENTION LONDON AND NORTH BAY
AND VANCOUVER, AND MAYBE
SOME OF THE OTHER TOWNS THAT
I'M MISSING, DO YOU GET A
LOT OF QUESTIONS FROM
AMERICANS OR INTERNATIONALLY
ABOUT WHERE THESE PLACES
ARE?

Lynn says ABSOLUTELY
NOT.
THE AMERICAN RESPONSE IS
“I'VE BEEN THERE, I LOVE IT,
KEEP WRITING ABOUT CANADA.”
ACTUALLY THE NEGATIVE STUFF
CAME FROM MY VERY FIRST
EDITORS WHO SAID, “OH, YOU
CAN'T BE A CANADIAN.”
AND I SAID, “WELL, I CAN'T
BE AN AMERICAN.
YOU EITHER TAKE THE STRIP OR
YOU DON'T.”
AND THEY COULDN'T BELIEVE
THAT I WOULD SAY WELL TAKE
IT OR LEAVE IT I'M EITHER
CANADIAN OR I DON'T WORK FOR
YOU.
SO I'M CANADIAN AND ALL THE
PLACES AND THE R.-A-Q-U-E-T,
AND THE Q-U-s, AND I'VE SAID
TO THE EDITORS, IF YOU DON'T
WANT THE Q-U-E, TAKE IT OUT.
SOME DO, AND SOME DON'T.

Maureen says AND THE OTHER
THING, YOU WANTED TO REFER
TO SOMETHING AS A MICKEY, IT
WAS --

Lynn says YEAH,
ALCOHOL?

Maureen says AND THEY DON'T
USE MICKEY?

Lynn says PROBABLY
NOT.
NO MILK IN BAGS.
YOU'RE IN “THE” HOSPITAL,
NOT IN HOSPITAL.
AND I KEEP SAYING IF YOU
DON'T LIKE, CHANGE IT ONE OF
THE FUNNY THINGS THAT
HAPPENED RECENTLY IS
ELLIE IS SITTING ON THE SIDE
OF THE BED AND FLAPPING HER
NIGHT GOWN AND YOU CAN SEE
THE CREASE IN HER BEHIND.
WELL EDITORS GOT UPSET AND
MY MAIN EDITOR CALLED AND
SAID WHAT DO I DO?
AND I SAID WELL, IF THEY
DON'T LIKE IT, THEY'VE ALL
GOT ARTISTS, TAKE IT, JUST
BRING THE SHEET UP A LITTLE
BIT AND REMOVE THAT LITTLE
PART OF THE ANIMATE ME THAT
THEY DON'T WANT TO SEE, AS
SHE RAISES HER P.J.s, WELL
SOME EDITORS WENT FURTHER
AND PUT PANTIES ON HER SO
PEOPLE WERE CALLING AND
WRITING AND SAYING “IN THE
DETROIT PAPER SHE'S WEARING
PANTIES AND IN THIS PAPER
SHE DOESN'T WEAR ANYTHING
AND IN THIS PAPER SHE'S GOT
A SHEET PULLED UP.
WHAT'S GOING ON?”
AND YOU SAY WELL, THERE'S A
BIT OF EDITORIAL CONTROL
AFTER IT LEAVES THE DRAFTING
TABLE.

Maureen says BUT YOU MUST
HAVE LIMITS ON WHAT YOU'LL
LET THEM CHANGE, RIGHT?

Lynn says WELL I
HAVE LIMITS ON WHAT I DO,
REALLY!
I MEAN, I WOULDN'T WANT AN
EDITOR TO CHANGE A WHOLE
PARAGRAPH OR ANYTHING LIKE
THAT BUT I WORK VERY CLOSELY --
I MEAN, I HAVE TO WORK WELL
WITH MY EDITORS.
I MEAN, EVEN THE ONES I
DON'T AGREE WITH, BECAUSE WE
NEED EACH OTHER.
IT'S A MUTUAL BUSINESS.
AND SO I HAVE TO CARE ABOUT
WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE IN
THEIR COMICS PAGE.
IT'S PROBABLY THE LAST -- I
LOVE THE WORD BASTION -- OF
DECENCY IN NORTH AMERICA.

Maureen says DID CHARLES
SCHULTZ EVER RUN INTO THAT
SORT OF THING WITH HIS STRIP,
DO YOU SUPPOSE?

Lynn says NEVER.
NEVER.
NO, HE WAS ALWAYS VERY PROUD
OF THE FACT THAT HE NEVER
USED ANY BAD FOUR-LETTER
WORDS, HE NEVER SHOWED A
TOILET, HE NEVER SHOWED
PEOPLE IN BED TOGETHER.
HE WAS VERY, VERY '40s.

Maureen says YES.
YEAH.

Lynn says HE WAS
VERY CAREFUL ABOUT ALL THOSE
THINGS.
AND HE NEVER SWORE HIMSELF.
YOU'D GET INTO BAD TRAFFIC
WITH HIM AND HE'D SAY “GOOD
GRIEF” AND YOU'D SAY --

Maureen says YOU REALLY SAY
THAT?

Lynn says HE REALLY
SAYS THAT!

Maureen says HOW DID THE TWO
OF YOU MEET AND HOW DID YOU
BECOME FRIENDS?

Lynn says HE PHONED
ME WHEN MY STRIP CAME OUT
AND HE SAID “I REALLY LIKE
YOUR WORK.”
AND HE SAID, “THIS IS
CHARLES SCHULTZ” AND I SAID
“WHO?!”
AND I THOUGHT IT WAS A KID
OR FRIEND PLAYING JOKES WITH
ME AND I REALLY HAD TO SIT
DOWN.
I WAS WEAK IN THE KNEES AND
I COULDN'T BELIEVE CHARLES
SCHULTZ WAS PHONING ME TO
SAY HE LIKED MY WORK.
BUT HE DID THAT A LOT.
HE WAS VERY, VERY HELPFUL TO
MOST OF US.
VERY WELCOMING, VERY HELPFUL
TO US IN MAKING US FEEL SO
COMFORTABLE IN THE MEDIUM.
BECAUSE IT'S QUITE
TERRIFYING TO HAVE YOUR WORK
OUT THERE.
AND HE WOULD ALSO CALL AND
SAY IF HE DIDN'T LIKE
SOMETHING.
AND AFTER A WHILE WE BECAME
VERY GOOD FRIENDS BECAUSE
WE'RE VERY SIMILAR PEOPLE.
THOSE OF US WHO DO
FAMILY-TYPE STRIPS ARE
DIFFERENT FROM THE PEOPLE
WHO DO EDITORIAL STRIPS, WHO
ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE
PEOPLE WHO DO MAGAZINE
COMICS.
AND WE BECAME VERY CLOSE.

Maureen says DO YOU MISS HIM?

Lynn says I'LL TELL
YOU, IF I REALLY THINK ABOUT
IT, I MISS HIM A LOT.
BUT IT ALWAYS FEELS LIKE
HE'S STILL THERE.
BECAUSE HE LIVED IN
CALIFORNIA.
HE WAS JUST A PHONE CALL
AWAY, AND I KNOW HIS WIFE
VERY WELL.
IF I THINK ABOUT, YEAH.
YOU'LL GET ME CRYING.
I'M NOT READY --

Maureen says I DON'T WANT TO
DO THAT.

Lynn says I'M NOT
READY TO SAY GOOD-BYE.

Maureen says A LOT OF TEARS,
LAUGHTER IN THE COMIC STRIP
“FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE,”
AND 20 YEARS OF THAT STRIP
ARE CONTAINED IN LYNN
JOHNSTON'S LATEST
RETROSPECTIVE, IT'S CALLED
“THE LIVES BEHIND THE
LINES.”
WE ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO
HAVE FIVE COPIES TO GIVE
AWAY THIS AFTERNOON SO GIVE
US A CALL WITH YOUR QUESTION
FOR LYNN JOHNSTON.
416-484-2727
1-888-411-1234, OR SEND IT BY E-MAIL AT
MORETOLIFE@TVO.ORG

Maureen says AND HERE'S ONE
FROM SHARON.
LET'S SEE, “IT'S ALWAYS
ENJOYABLE TO SEE THE
ARTISTRY OF COMIC STRIPS
DRAWN WITH PEN AND INK IN
THE NEWSPAPER.
WHEN SEEING MORE AND MORE
MOTION PICTURES LIKE “TOY
STORY” AND “ANTZ” I CAN'T
HELP BUT WONDER IF
COMPUTER-GENERATED STRIPS
WILL START TO APPEAR.
HAVE YOU EXPERIMENTED WITH
COMPUTER-GENERATED IMAGERY
AND DO YOU THINK IT WILL
START TO INFILTRATE THE
REALM OF COMIC STRIPS?”

Lynn says ABSOLUTELY.
WE DO ALL OF OUR COLOURING
AND SHADING WITH COMPUTER
BUT THERE'S A STRIP CALLED
“CHICKWAY LANE” WHICH IS
REALLY BEAUTIFUL AND
THERE'S NO ORIGINAL ART FOR
IT THE WHOLE THING IS DONE
ON A TABLET, THE WHOLE THING
IS DONE ON COMPUTER AND IT'S
ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.
IT'S CALLED “CHICKWAY LANE.”
AND THE MAN WHO DOES IT IS A
GENIUS.

Maureen says WHICH NEWSPAPERS
CAN WE SEE THAT?
IN?

Lynn says CALL GOLLY,
I DON'T KNOW, IT'S ABOUT IN
500 PAPERS.
IT'S ABOUT A SINGLE MOM WHO
LIVES WITH HER TEENAGED
DAUGHTER AND HER MOTHER.
SO IT'S ABOUT THREE WOMEN
BUT IT'S DRAWN BY A MAN.
THE DAUGHTER IS A BALLERINA
AND THE MOTHER AND THE
GRANDFATHER -- OR THE MOTHER
AND THE GRANDMOTHER BOTH
HAVE BOYFRIENDS, AND THE
GIRL, THE DAUGHTER IS
FOREVER MAKING COMMENTS ON
THE MEN THAT HER MOTHER AND
HER GRANDMOTHER DATE.
AND IT'S VERY FUNNY AND VERY
WARM AND VERY WITTY, BUT
IT'S ALL COMPUTER-GENERATED.

Maureen says AND I MEAN, DO
YOU STILL HAVE TO HAVE A
TALENT FOR DRAWING TO BE
ABLE TO DO THAT?

Lynn says YES.
ABSOLUTELY.
ABSOLUTELY.

Maureen says YOU HAVE TO KNOW
HOW TO DRAW.
THAT'S THE FIRST THING.

Lynn says YEAH, SEE,
WHAT'S WONDERFUL ABOUT THIS
BUSINESS IS THAT YOU TAKE AN
IMAGE IN YOUR HEAD AND YOU
PUT IT ON PAPER OR ON
COMPUTER IN A PENCIL FORM,
AND THAT'S LIKE A GHOST.
AND THEN YOU TAKE THE PEN
AND YOU RUN THE PEN AROUND
THE GHOST AND YOU BRING IT
TO LIFE.
AND THEN YOU TAKE THE
SCREENS OR WHATEVER COLOURS
YOU'RE GOING TO USE AND THEN
YOU REALLY MAKE IT COME TO
LIFE.
AND IF YOU'RE INTO THE
COMPUTER-GENERATED IMAGES
NOW, YOU NOT ONLY MAKE IT
INTO LIFE 3-D IN COLOUR, BUT
YOU CAN TURN THEM AND CHANGE
THEIR EXPRESSIONS AND -- I
LOVE “TOY STORY.”
I LOVE THOSE FILMS!
I THOUGHT THEY WERE
MARVELLOUS!
AND WE'RE GOING TO SEE NEW
WAYS OF USING THIS TECHNIQUE
THAT WILL JUST KNOCK THE
SOCKS OFF US.
I CALL IT “THE STEAMBOAT
WILLIE STAGE” OF COMPUTER
ANIMATION BECAUSE WE'RE JUST
STARTING TO SEE IT.

Maureen says I HAVE A COUSIN
WHO IS A GREAT ILLUSTRATOR,
APPARENTLY, BUT HER FIRST
YEARS AS A CARTOONIST WERE
SPENT COLOURING MARGE'S HAIR
FOR THE SIMPSON'S SHOW.
THAT'S WHAT SHE DID.
AND I COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT
WAS A FULL-TIME JOB FOR
SOMEBODY.

Lynn says THAT'S HOW
I STARTED.
I STARTED IN INK AND PAINT.

Maureen says YEAH, JUST
COLOURING?

Lynn says JUST
COLOURING.
WE DID SHAZAAM AND ABBOTT
AND COSTELLO AND THAT WAS MY
JOB, WAS COLOURING WITH
PAINT ON THE BACK OF THE
ANIMATION CELLS.

Maureen says I'LL BET THOUGH
YOU WERE ITCHING TO DO YOUR
OWN DRAWINGS, NOT JUST TO
COLOUR SOMEONE ELSE'S.

Lynn says WELL I
APPRENTICED.
IN THOSE DAYS WE DIDN'T HAVE
SHERIDAN COLLEGE AND THOSE
WONDERFUL PLACES YOU CAN GO
AND LEARN AND I WAS
APPRENTICING TO BE AN
ANIMATOR AT THE TIME IN
VANCOUVER.

Maureen says DID YOU ALWAYS
DOODLE?

Lynn says ALWAYS.

Maureen says IF YOU'RE EVER
LUCKY ENOUGH, VIEWERS TO GET
LYNN TO AUTOGRAPH ONE OF HER
BOOKS FOR YOU, YOU SHOULD
KNOW SHE DOESN'T JUST SIGN
HER NAME, SHE ALWAYS DOES A
LITTLE CARTOON AROUND HER
NAME.
AND YOU DO IT SO QUICKLY,
ALMOST EFFORTLESSLY.

Lynn says WELL I
ALWAYS THOUGHT YOU NEEDED
MORE THAN JUST A SIGNATURE.
AND ONE TIME I WAS DOING
THIS LITTLE DOODLE AND THIS
LITTLE BOY LOOKED AT IT AND
SAID “IT REALLY IS YOU!”
SO IT'S MORE THAN JUST A
SIGNATURE.

Maureen says IT'S GREAT.
INGRID IS IN OWEN SOUND.
HI I THINK GRID, WELCOME.

Grid says HI HOW ARE YOU?

Maureen says GOOD.

Grid says THANK YOU FOR
TAKING MY CALL.

Maureen says YOU'RE WELCOME.

Grid says LYNN, I HAVE A
SON AND HE IS THREE YEARS
OLD AND I'M AN AT-HOME MOM
AND FOR THE FIRST YEARS OF
HIS LIFE I ILLUSTRATED
SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED EACH
DAY, AND I'VE GOT QUITE A
BOOK THAT I HAVE COLLECTED
HERE FULL OF PICTURES, AND
I'M JUST -- THE QUESTION YOU
ALREADY ANSWERED ABOUT WHAT
KIND OF COLOURING, YOU DO
USE A COMPUTER TO DO YOUR
COLOURING?

Lynn says MM-HMM.

Grid says I USE LIKE A
WATER-BASED COLOURING.

Lynn says WHATEVER
YOU USE.
OR WHATEVER'S COMFORTABLE
FOR YOU.
THAT'S WHAT YOU SHOULD USE.

Grid says OKAY, BECAUSE IN
A WAY IT'S HARD TO
PERSONALISE THOSE PICTURES
ON A COMPUTER WITH THE
DIFFERENT COLOURING.

Lynn says NO, IF YOU
WANT ALL OF THE ORIGINAL ART
TO BE COLOURED, THEN THAT'S
HOW DO YOU IT.
YOU DO IT RIGHT ON THE ART
ITSELF.

Grid says OKAY.
AND ACTUALLY I DID
ILLUSTRATE A CHILDREN'S
POETRY BOOK THAT
UNFORTUNATELY DID NOT GET
PUBLISHED, BUT I HAVE A
COLLECTION OF ALSO GREETING
CARDS THAT I DO?

Lynn says MM-HMM.

Grid says SO MY QUESTION
FOR YOU, WOULD YOU EVER PUT
ANY OF YOUR IMAGES INTO
GREETING CARDS?

Lynn says WE'VE DONE
THAT AND IT'S A LOT OF WORK
BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF
WRITING INVOLVED AND THERE'S
A LOT OF DRAWING INVOLVED,
AND YOU HAVE TO UPDATE IT
EVERY MONTH OR EVERY FEW
MONTHS, BECAUSE CARD NUMBER
16 AND CARD NUMBER 8 AND
NUMBER 17 ARE NOT SELLING SO
YOU HAVE TO REPLACE SO MANY
MORE BIRTHDAYS SO, MANY MORE
THIS OR THAT.
AND THEY KEPT PUTTING ME
INTO THE WOMAN-TO-WOMAN SLOT
AND SO HOW MANY WAYS DO YOU
SAY I LOVE YOU, I MISS YOU,
I'M SORRY YOU'RE NOT HERE,
HAPPY BIRTH DAY, HAPPY
ANNIVERSARY SO, FOR ME IT
WAS NOT THE “SWELLEST” JOB
IN THE WORLD BECAUSE I WAS
STILL GRINDING OUT THE
STRIPS.
BUT IF YOU HAVE A TALENT FOR
WRITING REALLY NICE GREETING,
I MEAN THERE ARE A LOT OF
PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO DON'T
KNOW HOW TO SAY HAPPY BIRTH
DAY, I LOVE YOU, I MISS YOU.
THERE'S A REAL NEED FOR
THAT.
AND I WOULD PURSUE IT AND GO
AHEAD.

Maureen says YOU'VE OBVIOUSLY
BEEN AN INSPIRATION TO OTHER
PEOPLE WHO DRAW, BECAUSE
MICHAEL WANTED TO SAY
THANKS.
YOU GAVE HIM SOME ADVICE ON
CARTOONING A COUPLE OF YEARS
AGO AND IT'S BEEN GREATLY
APPRECIATED.
HE'S GOT A CARTOON ONLINE
NOW.

Lynn says WONDERFUL.
WONDERFUL.

Maureen says YEAH, WONDERFUL.
THAT'S GREAT.

Lynn says YEAH.

Maureen says I WAS READING
ALSO THIS WEEKEND A LITTLE
BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL
LIFE AND SINCE THE DEATH OF
YOUR PARENTS, YOU'VE SPOKEN
ABOUT YOUR LESS THAN IDYLLIC
CHILDHOOD.
IT'S A REVELATION WHEN
SOMEONE ONLY KNOWS YOU
THROUGH THIS STRIP.
SO CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT YOUR MOM AND HOW
YOU'VE HAD TO COME TO TERMS
WITH THE WAY SHE PARENTED
YOU?

Lynn says WELL, YOU
KNOW, SHE WAS A WONDERFUL
PERSON, AND SHE DIED TOO
SOON.
BECAUSE I THINK SHE WAS ALSO
A VERY HONEST PERSON, AND WE
COULD HAVE PROBABLY TALKED A
LOT OF THINGS OUT.
BUT SHE WAS THE KIND OF
PERSON WHO GREW UP IN A
FAMILY WHERE YOU BELTED YOUR
KIDS.
AND MY GRANDFATHER HAD WHAT
HE CALLED “THE PERSUADER.”
AND HE HAD THE “SINGING
STICK” AND “THE HAIR BRUSH.”
AND OF COURSE WE HAD THE
PERSUADER AND THE WOODEN
SPOON AND THE KINDLING AND I
USED TO GO TO SCHOOL COVERED
WITH BRUISES.
AND I JUST THOUGHT EVERYBODY
GOT THAT I THOUGHT THAT
HAPPENED TO EVERYBODY.
AND IT WAS, IT WAS SOMETHING
THAT I ESCAPED FROM BY GOING
INTO MY ROOM AND SHUTTING
THE DOOR AND DRAWING.
I USED TO DRAW ALL THE TIME
AND IT WAS A WAY OF
ESCAPING.
AND MIKE PETERS WHO DOES
“MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM” HE
AND I ARE VERY CLOSE
FRIENDS.
AND HIS MOTHER WAS A
TELEVISION PERSONALITY WHO
DRANK A LOT, WHO YELLED AT
HIM AND HE WAS DYSLEXIC
AND HE STUTTERED, AND SHE
WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO LIVE
WITH, AND HE SPENT HIS
CHILDHOOD IN HIS BEDROOM --

Maureen says AS AN ESCAPE.

Lynn says IT WAS AN
ESCAPE.
AND SO HE DREW FUNNY
PICTURES TO MAKE HIM LAUGH
AND I DREW FUNNY PICTURES TO
MAKE MYSELF LAUGH.
AND HAVING A SENSE OF HUMOUR
BRINGS YOU THROUGH CRISIS
AFTER CRISIS.
I MEAN, I KNOW SO MANY
PEOPLE THAT HAVE LIVED LIVES
THAT ARE HORRIFIC.
MINE'S NOTHING COMPARED TO
MY FRIENDS WHO'VE ESCAPED
FROM AWFUL REGIMES WHERE
THEY'VE HAD, YOU KNOW, THEIR
LIVES AT STAKE AND HAVE LEFT
EVERYTHING AND THEIR
FAMILIES, AWAY.
YOU KNOW?
AND I MET A MAN ONE TIME
WHO'D SEEN HIS BROTHER SHOT
DOWN IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.
I MEAN, MY LITTLE STORY'S
NOTHING.
BUT WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING
THAT WE'RE OVERCOMING.
AND THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT IS
TO TALK IT OUT AND TO BE
POSITIVE ABOUT YOUR LIFE.
AND BOY, IF YOU CAN'T BE
POSITIVE, WHAT'S, WHAT'S
LEFT?
I MEAN, WE'RE ALL HEADING TO
THE END OF THAT CONVEYOR
BELT.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU DON'T HAVE
A FEW LAUGHS ALONG THE
WAY --

Maureen says WERE YOU ABLE TO
LEAVE YOUR MOM'S LEGACY
BEHIND AS A PARENT YOURSELF?

Lynn says I HAD TO
WAIT UNTIL BOTH MY PARENTS
WERE GONE BEFORE I COULD, I
COULD DEAL WITH WHAT HAD
HAPPENED.
BECAUSE I KEPT THINKING I
COULD DEAL WITH IT WITH
THEM.
BUT THEY -- SOMETIMES OLDER
PEOPLE CANNOT OPEN THE PAST.
IT'S PAST, IT'S OVER, SHUT
THE BOOK.
BUT I CAN'T SHUT THE BOOK.
YOU CAN'T SHUT THE BOOK.
YOU WANT TO GO TO THEM, AS
WE DO NOW.
I MEAN, IF YOU AND I HAD A
FIGHT, WE WOULD SIT DOWN AND
WE'D SAY “LET'S WORK THIS
OUT.”

Maureen says COMMUNICATION.

Lynn says WE'VE GOT
TO COMMUNICATE AND PEOPLE
DIDN'T COMMUNICATE IN THOSE
DAYS.
IT WASN'T CONSIDERED PROPER.
IT WAS CONSIDERED A FAILURE
IF YOU WENT TO A
PSYCHIATRIST OR ADMITTED
THAT YOU HAD A DEPRESSION
PROBLEM.
NOW YOU'RE A WINNER IF YOU
SAY, “FINALLY I KNOW WHY I'M
SO DEPRESSED!
I CAN TAKE A PILL FOR IT.
I CAN TALK TO A DOCTOR.
I CAN TALK TO A FRIEND.”
AND WE'RE SO FREE NOW TO DO
THAT.
AND IN MY PARENTS' DAY, YOU
DIDN'T DO THAT.
AND I'VE TALKED ABOUT
EVERYTHING IN THE STRIP.
AND I'M DOING UNIQUE LIVES
TONIGHT, AND I OFTEN TALK
ABOUT THINGS I CAN'T BELIEVE
I TALK ABOUT.
I MEAN, CELLULITE BE DAMNED,
YOU KNOW?
I'LL TELL YOU ABOUT OLD
BOYFRIENDS AND
RELATIONSHIPS.
OH, MY.
I GO BACK TO THE HOTEL AND
SAY “I CAN'T BELIEVE I SAID
THAT.”

Maureen says BUT PEOPLE CAN
SEE, YOU KNOW, HOW YOU'VE
COME THROUGH THAT AND IT'S
INSPIRATION FOR THEM.

Lynn says IT IS, IN
FACT.
YOU KNOW?
AND I ALWAYS USED TO FEEL
LONELY WHEN I WAS A CHILD.
BUT NOW I REALIZE THAT I'M
REALLY NOT ALONE.
WHENEVER I PUT A STORY IN
THE PAPER, ALL THE MESSAGES
THAT COME BACK SAYING, “IT
HAPPENED TO ME TOO” AND
“THANK GOODNESS SOMEONE ELSE
FEELS THE WAY I DO.”
SO I FEEL AS THOUGH I
COFFEE-KLATCH EVERYDAY WITH
EVERYBODY.

Maureen says THANK YOU FOR
ANSWERING THAT.
MARY IS IN MISSISSAUGA.
HI MARY.

Mary says HELLO.

Maureen says HI.

Mary says HI LYNN.
I'D LIKE TO TELL YOU FIRST
OF ALL THAT “FOR BETTER OR
FOR WORSE” IS MY FAVOURITE
COMIC STRIP.

Lynn says THANK YOU.

Mary says BUT I WANTED TO
KNOW IF YOU'VE EVER DONE ANY
OTHERS BEFORE THIS.

Lynn says NO.
I NEVER DID.
AND I NEVER HAD THE COURAGE
TO EVEN ATTEMPT TO DO A
COMIC STRIP.
IT WAS BECAUSE I DID SOME
LITTLE BOOKS.
A LADY RECENTLY JUST CALLED
IN TO SAY THAT SHE HAD BEEN
DOING SOME DRAWING.
WELL I DID LITTLE BOOKS LIKE
THAT AND I GOT THEM
PUBLISHED, AND A PUBLISHER
FOUND MY BOOKS AND WAS
INTERESTED IN ME AS A COMIC
STRIP ARTIST.
I DIDN'T HAVE THE COURAGE.
BUT THERE WERE NO ROLE
MODELS THEN, EITHER.
NOW -- I MEAN I'M THERE,
CATHY GUISEWHITE, JAN ELLIOT
DOING “STONE SOUP,” THERE
ARE ABOUT EIGHT DIFFERENT
WOMEN, CLARE HOLLAND DER, A
LOT OF WOMEN OUT THERE WHO
ARE VERY VISIBLE.
UP UNTIL NOW THE WOMEN DOING
COMIC ART WERE COMIC BOOK
PEOPLE YOU DIDN'T SEE,
GREETING CARDS, ANIMATORS,
MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATORS,
ADVERTISING PEOPLE.
NOWADAYS, THERE ARE MORE
PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF, AND
CHILDREN'S BOOKS ARE
BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED BY
WOMEN.
WE'RE SEEING MORE PEOPLE.
THEY'RE SAYING “IF SHE CAN
DO IT, SO CAN I.”

Maureen says SO WHEN THIS
EDITOR CALLED YOU TO DO A
COMIC STRIP, YOU HADN'T
INVENTED THE PATTERSONS AS
YET?

Lynn says NO.
MM-MM.

Maureen says WOW!

Lynn says NO AND
THAT'S WHY IT BECAME OUR
FAMILY, IN A WAY.
BECAUSE I HAD NO TIME.
YOU SEE, THEY WANT TO HIRE
PEOPLE WHO CAN WORK FAST AND
ON A DEADLINE SO THEY GAVE
ME NO TIME.
THEY SAID “WE LIKE YOUR
WORK.
CAN YOU GET US 20 COMIC
STRIPS TODAY?
NOW?
THIS WEEK?”
AND I THOUGHT WELL WHO CAN I
DRAW OVER AND OVER AGAIN SO
THAT THE LOOK IS CONSIST?
AND MY HUSBAND AND KIDS AND
MYSELF I COULD DRAW.
SO I DID THE JOHNSTONS.
AND THEY LIKED IT.
AND I THOUGHT, “WELL, I'LL
CHANGE EVERYBODY'S NAME.”
AND I COULDN'T THINK OF
ANYTHING FAST, BECAUSE
EVERYTHING IN THIS BUSINESS
IS FAST, SO IT -- WE TOOK
EVERYBODY'S SECOND NAME.
AND I SAID PATTERSON.
THAT'S A GOOD NAME.
SOUNDS WASPY, LET'S USE
PATTERSON.
AND IT WAS JUST LIKE THAT.
I DIDN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT
IT.

Maureen says WOW.
NOW HOW DO YOU READ EVERY
DAY IN THE FUNNY PAGES?
WHO ARE YOU A FAN OF?

Lynn says WELL YOU
KNOW, YOU CAN ONLY READ
WHAT'S IN YOUR OWN LITTLE
NEWSPAPER.

Maureen says THE NORTH BAY
NUGGET.

Lynn says NORTH BAY
NUGGET CARRIES ABOUT EIGHT,
BUT I GET THE STRIPS THAT
COME THROUGH THE COMPANY
THAT I WORK WITH NOW, UNITED
MEDIA.
SO I READ ABOUT TWENTY
CONSISTENTLY, AND I LOVE THE
PEOPLE THAT DO THEM.
SO, OF COURSE, I KNOW THEM
REALLY WELL.

Maureen says YEAH, YOU KNOW
THEM PERSONALLY.
WHO MAKES YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD
THOUGH?

Lynn says “MOTHER
GOOSE AND GRIMM.”
I JUST LOVE THE WAY MIKE
DRAWS DOGS.
AND THERE ARE A NUMBER THAT
MAKE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD.

Maureen says GOOD.
OKAY, THANKS FOR THE
QUESTION.
LET'S GO TO CAROL IN WHITBY.
HI CAROL.

Carol says HI.

Maureen says HI.

Carol says LYNN, ARE YOU
GOING TO KEEP THE
GRANDFATHER IN YOUR STORY
UNTIL YOU RETIRE OR DO YOU
SEE OTHER THINGS HAPPENING?
I LIKE SO MUCH HOW APRIL AND
HIM, NOW THAT SHE'S SORT OF
THE ONLY CHILD AT HOME, HOW
THEY SORT OF WORK TOGETHER
AND LEARN FROM EACH OTHER.
DO YOU SEE THAT CARRYING ON
UNTIL --

Lynn says YES.

Carol says -- THE COMIC
STRIP ENDS?

Lynn says YES.

Carol says THAT WOULD BE SO
SAD, YOU KNOW, IF HE PASSED
AWAY.
I MEAN, THAT'S REAL LIFE
BUT --

Lynn says MY DAD
ACTUALLY DID PASS AWAY, AND
THIS IS MY WAY OF KEEPING
HIM ALIVE.
AND FOR ME IT'S A THRILL TO
DRAW HIM, AND HE WILL AGE
ALONG WITH THE COMIC STRIP,
BUT I CAN GUARANTEE YOU THAT
AS I NEVER TELL PEOPLE
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN
THE STRIP, BUT I COULD NOT
BEAR TO STOP THE STRIP AND
HAVE HIM PASS AWAY.
I, I COULDN'T DO THAT.
SO HE'LL BE THERE.

Carol says OH, GREAT.
I'M GLAD TO HEAR THAT.
THANKS LYNN.

Lynn says OKAY.

Maureen says THANK YOU.
BYE-BYE.
ACTUALLY ANOTHER QUESTION
ABOUT -- HAVE YOU GIVEN ANY
THOUGHT TO HOW YOU WOULD OR
WHEN YOU WOULD RETIRE THE
SCRIPT?
BUT THIS PETER FROM
NEWMARKET EXPECTS TO SEE YOU
BEING A GREAT GRANDMOTHER.

Lynn says (LAUGHING)
OH, DEAR.
WELL, NOT IN THE STRIP.

Maureen says YOU MIGHT HAVE
TO -- I MEAN, COULD YOU SEE
THE ACTION MOVING TO ANOTHER
HOUSEHOLD?
FROM ELLIE AND JOHN'S INTO
ONE OF THE KIDS?

Lynn says WELL, AT
FIRST I THOUGHT IF I FOUND
THE RIGHT PERSON TO CONTINUE
THE STRIP FROM MICHAEL'S
POINT OF VIEW, FOR EXAMPLE,
STARTING FROM A YOUNG FAMILY,
MOVING ON, I COULD MAYBE
TURN IT OVER TO SOMEONE
ELSE.

Maureen says OH, YOU MIGHT
EVEN GIVE IT TO ANOTHER --

Lynn says THAT'S
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT.
BUT I CAN'T KEEP MY NOSE OUT
OF IT.
I WOULD FOREVER BE
INTERFERING AND IT HAS TO BE
SOMEBODY ELSE'S WORK.
SO THERE ARE SO FEW SPACES
IN THE COMICS PAGE, I WOULD
LIKE TO LEAVE AT A TIME WHEN
I HOPE THE WORK IS STILL
REASONABLY GOOD.
BECAUSE YOU DON'T, YOU DON'T
RETAIN YOUR ABILITY.
AND MY ABILITY PROBABLY
ISN'T AS SHARP AS IT USED TO
BE AND IT'S NOT GOING TO BE
THAT SHARP IN EIGHT YEARS.

Maureen says ABILITY TO WHAT?
THE DRAWING OR TO COME UP
WITH THE CONCEPTS --

Lynn says I'LL BE
ABLE TO DRAW FINE, BUT THE
CONCEPTS, I HAVEN'T BEEN
ABLE TO WRITE A GREAT GAG
FOR A LONG TIME.
I DID ONE RECENTLY AND I
THOUGHT WOW, THERE'S A GAG!
WOO!

Maureen says WHAT'S A GAG IN
TERMS OF A COMIC STRIP?

Lynn says SOMETHING
THAT IS NOT NECESSARILY
STORY-BASED BUT IS A REALLY
GOOD PLAY ON WORDS.

Maureen says LIKE A ONE-OFF
THING.

Lynn says YEAH.
JUST A REALLY GOOD SIGHT GAG
OR SOMETHING.

Maureen says RIGHT.

Lynn says I DID ONE
RECENTLY WITH THE DOGS THAT
I THOUGHT “HEY!
YOU STILL GOT, KID.”

Maureen says OH, GOOD.

Lynn says BUT I'VE
GOT TO BE SMART ENOUGH TO
KNOW THAT THAT'S NOT ALWAYS
GOING TO BE THERE.

Maureen says INTERESTING.
OKAY, THANKS, CAROL.
TERESA IS IN OTTAWA.
HI, TERESA?

Teresa says HELLO, HOW ARE
YOU?

Maureen says GOOD.

Teresa says GOOD.
HI, LYNN, HOW ARE YOU?

Lynn says HI.
JUST FINE, THANK YOU.

Teresa says GOOD.
I ENJOY YOUR COMIC STRIP
DAILY, AND I WAS READING, I
GUESS ABOUT A MONTH OR SO IN
THE “OTTAWA CITIZEN” THAT
YOU SUFFER FROM A CONDITION
CALLED DYSTONIA.

Lynn says.
DO I DO YOU?

Teresa says YES I DO.
I HAVE FOR 31 YEARS.
AND I WAS CURIOUS TO SEE IF
YOU WERE PERHAPS GOING TO
PUT THAT SOMEWHERE IN YOUR
COMIC STRIP IN THE NEAR
FUTURE OR SOMETIME IN THE
FUTURE IF THAT WAS A BIT TOO
PERSONAL --

Lynn says IT'S TOO
PERSONAL TO PUT IT IN THE
STRIP, BUT I DON'T MIND
TALKING ABOUT IT AT ALL.
THE TYPE OF DYSTONIA I HAVE
IS I LOSE CONTROL OF THE
MUSCLES FROM MY CHEST TO
THE TOP OF MY HEAD WHEN I
LIE DOWN.
WHEN I LIE DOWN, MY HEAD
GOES LIKE THIS AND MY HANDS
GO LIKE THIS, AND IT'S QUITE
WEIRD.

She twists her head and hands repetitively.

Lynn says AND I HAVE TO TAKE
MEDICATION IN ORDER TO SLEEP,
BECAUSE IT'S PAINFUL, AND
THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE I
KNOW, IT EFFECTS THEIR VOICE,
IT EFFECTS THEIR MOUTH,
AFFECTS THEIR EYES, THEY
BLINK A LOT, AFFECTS THEIR
HANDS.
IF IT'S INFANTILE ON-SET YOU
CAN BE WHEELCHAIR BOUND BY
THE TIME YOU'RE AN ADULT.
IT'S A REALLY SERIOUS
ILLNESS.
AND IT I WAS GOING TO BE
STRICKEN WITH THIS, I'M VERY
GRATEFUL THAT IT IS NOT
VISIBLE UNLESS I'M VERY
TIRED.
IF I'M VERY TIRED MY HEAD
WILL WOBBLE OR IT WILL PULL
TO THE LEFT BUT GENERALLY
IT'S NOT VISIBLE UNLESS I
LIE DOWN.
AND I TAKE MEDICATION, AS I
SAID.
IT WAS JUST REALLY STRONG,
IT'S CLONAZEPAM AND I FIRST
STARTED TO WALK LIKE A DUCK
WHEN I TOOK IT, BECAUSE IT'S
SO STRONG AND I'M NOT A
MEDICATION PERSON, BUT I
KNOW NOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO
LIVE WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS
AND I HAVE TREMENDOUS
EMPATHY IN CONNECTION NOW
WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE
SOMETHING THAT WON'T GO
AWAY.
BECAUSE THERE ARE TIMES WHEN
YOU SAY “DAMN, THIS IS THE
CARD HAND I WAS DEALT WITH,
I'LL LIVE WITH IT!”
AND OTHER TIMES YOU SAY “WHY
ME?
WHY ME?!
I HATE THIS SO MUCH.”
AND I DON'T WANT MY CHILDREN
TO GET, BUT IT'S HEREDITARY.

Lynn says I HOPE
YOU'RE OKAY.

Teresa says OH, I'M FINE.
I'M FINE WITH IT YES, IT'S
BEEN A LONG TIME.
YOU GET USED TO IT.

Lynn says YOU DO.

Teresa says YOU DO.

Maureen says IT'S AMAZING,
LYNN, THAT YOU HAVE THIS AND
WE'RE ONLY JUST STARTING TO
READ ARTICLES LIKE YOU SAY
IN THE CITIZEN AND THINGS
ABOUT IT NOW.

Lynn says WELL
PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT
WAS.
MY OWN G.P. AS YOURS DID TOO
PROBABLY THOUGHT YOU WERE
KIDDING.
MY OWN G.P. SAID “WELL WHAT
YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS
ATTENTION.”
AND I SAID “I WANT TO BE
HOME WORKING!
I DON'T NEED ATTENTION.”
AND MY HUSBAND KEPT THINKING
I WAS BEING FRIENDLY, YOU
KNOW?
I SAID NO, I'M NOT BEING
FRIENDLY!
YOU KNOW, I CAN'T STOP!
AND I WENT TO A
PHYSIOTHERAPIST AND HE
DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS.
I WENT TO A CHIROPRACTOR,
AND I WENT TO
SOMEBODY WHO STUCK PINS ALL
OVER ME.
HE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS.
AND I WENT TO SOMEBODY WHO
WAS A FRIEND, A DOCTOR, A
WOMAN!
I LAY DOWN ON WENDY'S FLOOR,
I SAID TAKE A LOOK AT THIS
AND SHE SAID DARNED IF I
KNOW WHAT IT IS BUT I'M
SENDING TO YOU A MOTION
DISORDER CLINIC, WHICH SHE
DID AND APPARENTLY IT'S VERY,
VERY COMMON.
IT'S ONE OF THE MOST COMMON
ILLNESSES AND IT'S
STRESS-RELATED BUT IT'S ALSO
A NEUROLOGICAL ELECTRONIC
PHENOMENON THAT WE DON'T
KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT.

Maureen says AND I READ, TOO,
THAT YOU SAY BECAUSE IT
HAPPENS WHEN YOU LAY DOWN,
IT'S AFFECTED YOUR QUALITY
OF SLEEP I GUESS.
THE MEDICATION MUST HELP BUT
DO YOU FIND YOURSELF UP AT
4:00 a.m. --

Lynn says A LOT OF
THE TIME.

Maureen says AND YOU MIGHT AS
WELL WORK.

Lynn says I DO.
I GET UP AT 4:00 AND I WORK.
IT IS HARD, BUT I MEAN,
WE'VE ALL GOT SOMETHING,
RIGHT?

Maureen says YEAH.
WELL, TERESA, I WANT TO
THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THAT
UP.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CALL.
ANGELA IS IN OTTAWA.
HI ANGELA.

Angela says HI, HOW ARE YOU?

Maureen says FINE, THANKS.

Angela says I WAS CALLING TO
SAY TO LYNN THAT APRIL WAS
BORN THE DAY AFTER MY
DAUGHTER WAS BORN, SO I'VE
ALWAYS BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR
COMIC STRIP, AND I HAVE MET
YOUR HUSBAND IN THE LAST
COUPLE YEARS AT A SERIES OF
DENTAL COURSES.

Lynn says OH.

Angela says BUT I WAS
WONDERING WITH YOU IS HOW
MANY PEOPLE DO YOU HAVE
WORKING FOR YOU NOW?

Lynn says IN MY OWN
STUDIO OR IN THE CLINIC AS
WELL?

Angela says IN YOUR OWN
STUDIO.

Lynn says OH, MY
HUSBAND, I LIKE TO SAY MY
ROD AND STAFF, HIS NAME IS
ROD, YOU SEE?
HE'S GOT A LOT OF STAFF.
IN MY OWN STUDIO I HAVE FOUR
STAFF MEMBERS WHO WORK
CONSISTENTLY WITH ME NOW.
WE HAVE A WEBSITE DESIGNER,
I HAVE SOMEBODY WHO IS A
PUBLICIST AND GENERAL
MANAGER, I HAVE SOMEBODY WHO
WORKS ON THE STRIP WITH ME
AND I HAVE SOMEBODY WHO DOES
ALL OF THE UP-KEEPING AND
HELPS ME WITH THE MAIL.
I REALLY HAVE TO.

Maureen says DID THESE PEOPLE
HAVE TO TRANSFER FROM SOME
LARGE CITY TO WHERE YOU LIVE
IN ORDER TO WORK WITH YOU?

Lynn says WELL I'M
TRANSFERRING SOMEONE FROM
OTTAWA, AN ANIMATOR TO WORK
WITH ME NOW.

Maureen says OH, REALLY?

Lynn says YES.

Maureen says THAT'S A NICE
REVERSAL, EH?
BRING THEM OUT OF BIG CITY,
INTO NORTH BAY TO LIVE.

Lynn says YEAH, AND
HE'S LOOKING FORWARD TO IT,
I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO
WORKING WITH HIM.
NO, I DO NEED SOME HELP, AND
I THINK PROBABLY WHERE WE'RE
GOING NOW IS ONTO THE WEB.
BECAUSE IS THAT TO ME IS THE
MOST EXCITING THING.
EVEN THOUGH I DON'T KNOW HOW
TO TURN THE COMPUTER ON, AND
DON'T TRY TO TELL ME HOW!

Maureen says ALL RIGHT, OKAY.

Lynn says I HAVE A
LARGE MALLET IN THE GARAGE
THAT WOULD GO RIGHT THROUGH
IT IF I HAD TO LEARN NOW.
BUT IT'S SO EXCITING, AND
THAT'S WHERE I'M HEADED.
WHEN I'M FINISHED WITH THE
STRIP, I REALLY TO WANT WORK
WITH THE WEB AND SEE WHERE
THAT'S GOING.

Maureen says YOU'VE GOT A
WEBSITE NOW.

Lynn says MM-HMM.

Maureen says WE'LL GIVE THE
ADDRESS OUT AT THE END, BUT
I UNDERSTAND WHEN PEOPLE
WRITE YOU ABOUT THE STRIP,
YOU ACTUALLY WRITE THEM BACK
OR E-MAIL THEM BACK.

Lynn says YEAH,
EVERYBODY.
EVERYBODY.

Maureen says THAT'S GOT TO
TAKE A BIT OF TIME OUT OF
YOUR DAY.

Lynn says IT TAKES
QUITE A BIT OF TIME.
HONESTLY IT DOES.

Maureen says WHY IS THAT
IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Lynn says THE
CONNECTION IS IMPORTANT.
I FEEL THAT HONEST QUESTIONS
DESERVE AN HONEST ANSWER.
A LOT OF QUESTIONS COME FROM
STUDENTS WHO WANT TO KNOW
ABOUT THE BUSINESS AND
GETTING INTO THE BUSINESS.
I HAVE TO BE HONEST TO SAY
THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF
ANSWERS THAT ARE FAIRLY
STOCK ANSWERS, WHICH ARE,
IT'S JUST A COURTESY OF A
REPLAY, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR YOUR KIND LETTER.
BUT IF PEOPLE ASK SPECIFIC
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE
CHARACTERS, FOR EXAMPLE, AND
THE CHARACTERS WILL ANSWER,
IF YOU WRITE TO THE
CHARACTERS EVEN.
SO IT'S A LOT OF WORK.
BUT IT PAYS OFF IN HERE, AND
IT ALSO PAYS OFF IN THE FACT
THAT IT'S MORE THAN A COMIC
STRIP.
IT'S A WAY OF COMMUNICATING
WITH PEOPLE.
AND IN MY IMAGINATION IT'S A
REAL-LIFE FAMILY SOMEWHERE.

Maureen says WHO IS YOUR
FAVOURITE CHARACTER?

Lynn says MY
FAVOURITE CHARACTER IN THE
STRIP?

Maureen says CAN YOU CHOOSE?

Lynn says YOU KNOW,
PROBABLY APRIL'S THE MOST
ADORABLE TO DRAW.
THE DOG IS THE MOST FUN.
ELLIE, I CANNOT GET A GRIP
ON.
SHE'S GOT AN INFLATABLE
NOSE.
THE ANGRIER SHE GETS, THE
BIGGER THE BEAK GETS AND MY
SON ONCE PHONED ME AND SAID
WHAT IS THIS WITH THE NOSE?
SOMETIMES IT'S SMALL AND
ORDINARY, SOMETIMES IT'S
THIS CONK, YOU KNOW?

Maureen says YOU MUST
UNDERSTAND ELLIE, THOUGH.

Lynn says I DON'T
UNDERSTAND ME, SO I THINK
THAT'S PROBABLY WHY SHE'S SO
BELIEVABLE.
PEOPLE KEEP SAYING “WELL
HAVE HER DO SOMETHING!
SHE'S NOT DOING ANYTHING!
THIS IS THE '90s.
SHE SHOULD BE OUT GETTING
HER DEGREE OR SHE SHOULD BE
OUT TAKING BALLET OR YOU
KNOW, YOGA OR SOMETHING!
HAVE HER DO SOMETHING.”
WELL --

Maureen says SHE DOESN'T FEEL
LIKE IT YET.

Lynn says WELL THE
THING IS YOU CAN ONLY TELL
SO MUCH IN FOUR LITTLE
PANELS.
THAT'S ONE STATEMENT A DAY.
SO IF YOU'RE GOING TELL A
STORIES, YOU HAVE TO BE A
VERY CAREFUL AND TELL IT AS
MUCH AS YOU CAN IN THE SPACE
THAT YOU HAVE.
AND IF YOU'RE GOING TO TELL
A STORY LIKE THE LAWRENCE
STORY, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO BE MAD AT YOU FOR
FOUR WEEKS, SO --

Maureen says NOT SURE YOU
WANT TO DEVOTE THAT KIND OF
TIME TO IT OKAY, HERB IS IN
OAKVILLE.
HI, HERB.

Herb says MY WIFE AND I ARE
WATCHING YOUR SHOW AS USUAL
AS WE WERE VERY SURPRISED
TODAY, DELIGHTFULLY
SURPRISED, MIND YOU, TO SEE
YOUR LOVELY NEW HAIR-DO.

Maureen says OH, YES, THANK
YOU.

Herb says AND AS A RESULT,
I THOUGHT I'D ASK LYNN
WHETHER SHE AND HER STRIP
WOULD EVER HAVE ONE OF THE
LEADING FEMALE CHARACTERS
SUDDENLY COME UP WITH A
TOTALLY NEW HAIR-DO, AND
WHAT DOES SHE THINK THE
REACTION WOULD BE FROM THE
READERS?

Lynn says WELL, I
HAD, I HAD ELIZABETH HAVE
HER HAIRCUT FOR A WHILE
THERE, AND PEOPLE KEEP
SAYING HAVE ELLIE CHANGE HER
HAIRSTYLE.
BUT A CARTOON CHARACTER,
THAT'S PART OF THE THING
THAT MAKES THEM
RECOGNIZABLE.
IT WOULD BE LIKE HAVING
CHARLIE BROWN SUDDENLY GET A
WIG, YOU KNOW?
IT, IT REALLY IS PART OF THE
STYLE OF DRAWING THAT YOU'RE
DOING.
I WOULD LOVE ELLIE PATTERSON
TO HAVE A BETTER HAIR STYLE.
EVERYBODY WANTS HER TO GET
RID OF THE HAIR STYLE, BUT,
YOU KNOW, SHE'S DRAWN THE
WAY I FEEL, AND I'VE ALWAYS
WANTED LONG HAIR.
I HAVE SHORT HAIR NOW
BECAUSE I'M OLD AND UGLY AND
GETTING WRINKLES AND SHORT
HAIR IS BETTER ON OLD PEOPLE,
YOU KNOW?
53 THIS YEAR!
HOLY SMOKES!

Maureen says BUT IS ELLIE 53?

Lynn says ELLIE IS
GOING TO BE 50 VERY SOON.

Maureen says YOU KNOW WHAT?
THEY'RE PROBABLY RIGHT.
HOW MANY WOMEN GO ALONG WITH
LONG HAIR.
WE'D STILL KNOW HER, LYNN!
WE'D KNOW IT WAS HER.

Lynn says WELL I
CAN'T THINK OF A HAIR STYLE
I'D WANT TO PUT ON HER THAT
DOESN'T LOOK LIKE ME.
IF I CHOP HER HAIR OFF SHE'S
GOING TO LOOK MORE LIKE ME,
WHETHER SHE HAS AN
INFLATABLE NOSE OR NOT.
SO I DON'T KNOW.
I REALLY DON'T KNOW.

Maureen says YOU HAVE A
HEART --

Lynn says WHAT WAS
WHAT YOU REALLY WANTED TO
KNOW, ISN'T IT?

Maureen says IS SHE GOING TO
LOOK LIKE YOU.

Lynn says YOU PUT
THAT VERY NICELY.
CHANGE THAT UGLY HAIR STYLE.

Maureen says LET'S GO TO DON
IN ORILLIA.
WE DON'T WANT TO RUN OUT OF
TIME HERE.

Don says HI, HOW ARE YOU?

Maureen says GOOD THANKS.

Don says I JUST WONDERED
FROM LYNN, WHETHER SHE
STARTED TO DRAW THE COMIC
STRIP WITH THE WOMAN OF THE
FAMILY LOOKING LIKE HER, OR
WHETHER YOU'VE PICKED UP THE
CHARACTERISTICS AFTER THE
FACT?

Lynn says STARTED
OUT LOOKING LIKE US AND --

Don says LIKE YOU HAVE THE
SAME -- I HAVE THE COMIC
STRIP IN FRONT OF ME, AND
I'VE BEEN WATCHING YOU, AND
YOUR MOUTH GOES THE SAME WAY
AND YOUR EYES GO THE SAME
WAY.
I'M JUST WONDERING WHAT CAME
FIRST?

Lynn says THE
CHICKEN OR THE EGG, HUH?
WELL, YOU START WITH AN EGG
AND THEN YOU ADD --

Maureen says HOW DID YOU DRAW
YOURSELF THOUGH?

Lynn says WELL YOU
DRAW WHAT YOU SEE IN THE
MIRROR.

Maureen says YOU DID THAT?

Lynn says AND I
DIDN'T USE A MIRROR, BUT YOU
DRAW WHAT YOU FEEL.
AND THAT'S ONE OF THE
REASONS WHY IT'S SO HARD TO
DRAW PEOPLE WHO ARE OF
DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES,
BECAUSE YOU TEND TO DRAW
WHAT YOU SEE IN THE MIRROR.
AND PEOPLE SAY OFTEN “WELL
WHY DON'T YOU PUT MORE
ETHNIC CHARACTERS IN.”
PEOPLE FROM INDIA OR CHINA
OR JAPAN OR AFRICA OR
WHATEVER.
AND IT'S BECAUSE YOU DON'T
WANT TO CARICATURE AND YOU
DON'T WANT TO OFFEND AND
IT'S EASIEST TO DRAW WHAT
YOU SEE AROUND YOU.
ESPECIALLY YOU WHAT SEE IN
THE MIRROR.
AND I WANT USED TO DRAW
ELLIE WITH A MUCH SMALLER
NOSE AND MUCH MORE
ATTRACTIVE, BUT ALL OF THE
CHARACTERS HAVE TAKEN ON
COMIC STRIP CHARACTERISTICS
OVER THE YEARS.
THEY'VE KIND OF JUST
DEVELOPED THE WAY THEY HAVE.

Maureen says THEY CAN BE
CARICATURES OF THEMSELVES, I
GUESS, AFTER THE WHILE.

Lynn says WELL MY
DAUGHTER DOESN'T LOOK
ANYTHING LIKE ELIZABETH.
AARON DOESN'T LOOK ANYTHING
LIKE MICHAEL.

Maureen says WHAT ABOUT YOUR
HUSBAND?

Lynn says MMM...

Maureen says SHAGGY HAIR?

Lynn says NO,
ACTUALLY --

Maureen says ANY HAIR?

Lynn says LOTS OF
HAIR.
I CUT, REMEMBER?
HE DOES MY TEETH, I DO HIS
HAIR.
(LAUGHING)
BUT HE'S -- HE USED TO LOOK
A LOT LIKE JOHN, BUT, NO,
HE'S MORE OF A CARTOON NOW.

Maureen says WE'RE OUT OF
TIME.
IT WAS GREAT TO HAVE YOU.

Lynn says IT WAS
GREAT!

Maureen says DON'T BE NERVOUS
TONIGHT.
YOU'LL BE GREAT.

Lynn gasps and makes an expression of fear, then laughs.

Maureen says THAT'S LYNN JOHNSTON.
SHE IS THE CREATOR OF “FOR
BETTER OR FOR WORSE,” COMING
TO YOUR TV SCREEN SOON.
TO COMMEMORATE THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF
“FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE,” LYNN WROTE “THE LIVES
BEHIND THE LIVES,” IT’S PUBLISHED BY ANDREWS-MCMEEL.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT “FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE’,
GO TO ITS WEBSITE AT WWW.FTORFW.COM

Watch: Lynn Johnston