Some Criticism of ‘For Better or For Worse’ Hybrid Plan

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By: E&P Staff

Lynn Johnston’s decision to continue “For Better or For Worse” as an old/new hybrid has received some criticism from cartooning fans.

ComicsReporter.com blogger Tom Spurgeon noted that if Johnston’s Universal Press Syndicate strip had ended this fall, as was originally expected, many slots would have opened up for other comics.

“I’m sort of conflicted about the news as a fan and industry watcher,” Spurgeon added. “On the one hand, Johnston seems genuinely pleased by the direction, which is always nice, and you want to be supportive of that. Additionally, the 28-year run of ‘FBoFW’ pretty much justifies her doing any darn thing she wants. … On the other hand, I can’t imagine the hybrid form unless very cleverly done will please fans in the same way. …”

DailyCartoonist.com blogger Alan Gardner wrote: “Like Tom, I’m a bit worried. … As much as I’d miss the Patterson family — and I truly would — I was also happy to know that Lynn was going to end the strip so that it doesn’t turn into a tired ol’ legacy strip and to have 2,000-plus openings for other features to grow would have been exciting. I guess I’ll have to see what the feature will look like. …”

Gardner also posted 10 comments from visitors to his blog, and all opposed the continuation of “For Better or For Worse.”

“Why can’t other cartoonists learn from ‘FoxTrot’?,” wrote one person, referring to Bill Amend’s decision to turn his seven-day-a-week Universal comic into a Sunday-only feature last month.

“I love Lynn’s work, but it’s disheartening to aspiring pros to now hear that the market her departure would have opened is no longer a reality,” added another correspondent.

A third poster to Gardner’s site wrote that continuing “For Better or For Worse” in “some hybrid form is like Lucille Ball’s disastrous attempt to extend a brilliant career. Cartoonists are performers as well. And it’s important to know when to get off the stage.”

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