Lynn Johnston Ending ‘For Better Or For Worse’, Starting Over
After 29 years of For Better or For Worse, Lynn Johnston is ending her long-running newspaper comic strip… and then she’s starting it over again.
In the same week that Nicholas Gurewitch announced that he’ll be moving Perry Bible Fellowship into semi-retirement, Johnston recently announced that she’ll be doing the same — albeit with a different definition of "semi-retirement" — to her long-running series.
According to ChicagoTribune.com, Johnston plans to tie up the series’ current plot threads by September, then relaunch it from the beginning, running strips from the start of series and "augmenting" them for present-day presentation. She also plans to redraw strips for which the original art is missing.
The semi-retirement has been long in the making, as Johnston has been peppering the series with "flashback" strips since September 2007 in preparation for her retirement. This move to the "hybrid" strips has caused some confusion among regular readers, and has led to at least one newspaper announcing that it will drop the series once the current run is completed and before the relaunch kicks off.
As of now, readers are seeing present-day strips on some days, and old strips — some from as far back as 28 years ago — on other days. Some readers have expressed confusion because they don’t realize some of the strips are old. They think someone else is drawing it on the days when old strips appear, because Johnston’s earlier drawing style is significantly different from her current one.
According to Johnston, returning to the early years of Better or For Worse creates a new set of challenges for her as an artist:
"The work that I’m doing now is very structured," she says. "The characters are much more realistic. I draw every brick on a building. The way I used to draw was much more fluid and easygoing and big expressions and lots of slapstick. … I would like to go back to that, and I think I can."