Happy Birthday: Lynn Johnston
Born in Collingwood, Ontario in 1947, Lynn Ridgway was raised in North Vancouver and attended the Vancouver School of Art. She worked at an animation studio after college but married in 1969 and moved back to Ontario, where she worked as a medical artist for several years.
She drew her first book, David We’re Pregnant while expecting her first child in the early 1970s—it was published in 1973. She divorced a short while later and quit her job to do freelance commercial and medical art—her second book, Hi Mom! Hi Dad! came out in 1975, just before she met and married dental student Rod Johnston.
In 1978, the Johnstons moved to Lynn Lake, Manitoba and Universal Press Syndicate asked if she would do a regular comic strip for them. Six months later, For Better or For Worse appeared. It now appears in over 2000 papers and more than 20 countries. Johnston has won many awards, including The Reuben in 1985—the first woman, first Canadian, and youngest artist ever to win it—as well as the Gemini in 1987, and the National Cartoonist Society award for Newspaper Comic Strip in 1991.
In 1993, she was nominated for a Pulitzer and in 2007 she received the Order of Manitoba. Johnston is still producing For Better or For Worse, but she announced in January that starting no later than September the strip would become a hybrid of earlier strips and new material—or reworked older material—about the younger versions of her beloved characters.