dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote in binky_betsy,
dreadedcandiru2
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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Elly screams in rage because she cannot will Mike's need to defend his belongings from her grasping claws into the same non-existence she would consign his free will.

(Strip 4941, Original Publication Date, 11 March 1988)

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Elly walk past Mike's messy room and try to pretend as if the mess doesn't fill her with white-hot rage.

Panel 2: Since Rage-Faced Elly is turning magenta, it ain't working out for her.

Panel 3: When a staggered John overhears Elly's angry bellow, he asks what that was.

Panel 4: Martyred Idiot Elly whines that she ignored something and it didn't go away.

Summary: We sum up why Mike is evil and selfish Monday when Elly and Connie dismiss children as an anonymous, ungrateful hive mind that rejects mother's love when it manifests itself as frantically shoving children's personal belongings in a garbage bag. We sum up why Elly is sabotaging herself years from now when she sort of realizes that she would have felt as if she had more time if she'd been less easily goaded.
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What did Elly ignore? You could assume it would be the messy room, but given the screaming it could be almost anything. Michael’s room is delightful. We have:

a. 3 sets of handprints on the wall drawn in Lynn’s usual fashion where she forgets that human beings have opposable thumbs, so it looks like animal tracks instead of human hand prints.
b. A sock on top of a picture and its mate on top of the door. While that looks interesting, you would have to question why those socks are there considering that socks are generally on the lowest part of your body.
c. Michael looks like he is reading a newspaper comic strip section judging from the way the panels are displayed and the bend in the material. If it were a comic book, the pictures would go in book form.
d. In the back we see Elizabeth’s Space Babe, who is unmistakable with her deely bobbers. Why is Elizabeth’s toy on Michael’s bed? Possibly he got it on an occasion when she didn’t want to clean her room and needed money in order to force her parents to let her do whatever she wanted.
e. Michael is eating cookies, which implies that this was the item on which he was spending his dollar. This makes his departure to the store even more egregious, because not only is he disobeying his parents, but he is ruining his appetite.
f. On the desk is pencil, scissors, crumpled up paper, paper folded accordion style, and a mysterious rectangular object that looks amazingly like an eraser. Well, if that’s an eraser then no wonder Elly was screaming. It really does explain the whole strip. Imagine Lynn seeing Aaron in his room with an eraser. Her every instinct would be to rush in, take it from him, and throw it away (or eat it). I can see this is very personal strip for Lynn Johnston.
g. On the bed appears to be his hockey equipment and his tape player. On the floor appears to be books left lying open and propped up as if he had been sitting on the floor reading them, but not holding them.
h. On the picture holding the sock, it looks like an arrow with a suction cup on it attached to the picture.
i. There are other things too, but I don’t recognize them.
Neither do I. What I recognize is a woman who, while angry at a messy room, can't accurately describe what's angering her. This is why we always see improbable messes in kids' rooms.
In this case, she just wouldn't have a decent reference point and Lynn can't draw what she does not know. She has a Mavis cleaning up the place, so the sort of mess she has depicted would never have occurred in the Johnston household.
Yep. That's what I thought had happened. Lynn likes to draw CHAOS but she can't do what she's never seen.
When I look at a Lynn version of a mess, my thought is, "Well, that's not that messy. I could clean that up in a few minutes." After all, most of Michael's mess is a few books on the floor and his hockey equipment on his bed. Put the books on the desk and move the hockey equipment to the corner (and take the socks off the door and picture) and that's about it.
Clearly what happened was that Michael read today's strip in the comics section of the local paper. Then he made a valiant attempt to redraw the strip on the paper we see on his desk, carefully erasing and correcting as he went. All of which would be terrifying for Elly and their creator Lynn.
That would certainly bring the strip to a whole different level of self-awareness.

aprilp_katje

March 11 2017, 15:01:08 UTC 2 weeks ago Edited:  March 11 2017, 15:03:17 UTC

It's the secret real reason Elly and Lynn considered Michael to be such a discipline problem in his early days. He was trying to improve the strip he was in. But he got cured of that right around high school.
A comic strip where comic strip Michael went to visit Lynn Johnston, Pearls Before Swine style, would be great.

This is probably the way Lynn thinks about erasers, considering her love of all things British:
That would explain a lot. I think I've shared this before, but a British professor of mine once shared various language-confusion SNAFUs of his when he first started teaching in the US. Like when he chided undergrads for going to class without bringing "rubbers"--and offering a female student, "I can come 'round your flat and knock you up."
That's pretty funny.
He told the stories really well, too. As I recall, he reported that he'd gone into a bit of a rant about the "rubbers," and he couldn't understand the horrified looks on the students' faces.
The problem that isn't one really:

Lynn's notes for today:

The problem with this strip is that it wasn’t clear who did the "YEAAGHH!" Some readers thought it was Michael and didn’t understand. I had hoped that the old adage, "Ignore something and it will go away." would be obvious and carry the joke, but not so. We’re running it again anyway!

hint at why she thinks the way she does. It's so classic 'her' to fret about the readers who don't see the obvious and short-change those who understand the characters.
I thought the intent of the strip was fairly obvious.
As did I. It seems to me that Lynn is talking about how her preferred readers got confused because they didn't SEE Elly holler like a maniac and thought it could have been Mike screaming for no reason that makes any sense.
To me, it looked at a casual glance like "YEAH!" with extra letters. So I figured that Michael was celebrating his mom finally not berating him for the condition of his room. How did he see her walk past? Dunno. but little things like making it clear which characters are in possession of what information has never bothered Lynn before.
Me too. The amazing part about this is that back in 1988 some reader saw the strip and then spent the time writing a letter to Lynn asking her to explain the joke because they thought Michael said, "YEAAGHH!" Then that letter probably ended up in a pile of letters preserved in plastic that Lynn reads during her talks in order to indicate what idiots some of her fans are. It's probably right next to the one from the fan who wanted to marry Michael.
Ha, yes. And this might be one of the reasons Lynn dislikes email. If someone prints one out for her, and she puts it in a plastic sleeve to haul out at so-called chalk talks, it's just not the saaaaaaaame as the hand-written letters in plastic sleeves.
People who take the time to write Lynn by hand on paper are much more deserving of her public mockery than those lazy slobs who use e-mail.
And since Lynn can't "think" on a computer, she is suspicious of anyone who can.
I had read an interview with Greg Evans of Luann, who talked about how he went to digital drawing about 12 years ago. Greg is the same age as Lynn Johnston, so I can only imagine how Lynn must consider contemporaries of hers in the comic strip field that opted not to remain ignorant of modern techniques.

aprilp_katje

2 weeks ago

dreadedcandiru2

2 weeks ago

howtheduck

2 weeks ago

aprilp_katje

2 weeks ago

howtheduck

2 weeks ago

aprilp_katje

2 weeks ago

howtheduck

2 weeks ago

aprilp_katje

2 weeks ago

howtheduck

2 weeks ago

aprilp_katje

2 weeks ago

howtheduck

2 weeks ago

The problem with this strip is that it wasn’t clear who did the "YEAAGHH!"

It wasn't? Pictures of Elly bookmark the "YEAAGHH!". John goes to Elly right after he hears it and finds her slumped over. I suppose this is the reason why Lynn felt her readers were idiots who had to be led by the nose to her punchlines.

Some readers thought it was Michael and didn’t understand.

It's not really a funny joke either way.

The Elly way:

Elly wants Michael to clean his room and he refuses to do it. She is frustrated and starts screaming (which is actually her usual way of getting people to do things). She tells John she ignored something and it didn't go away. But actually, she didn't ignore it. She looked at it and said, "YEAAGHH!" So the joke is that Elly is cracking up because she is unable to be a parent and enforce her rules on her kid or engage her husband to help her. In other words the joke = Elly is a poor parent who likes to scream when she doesn't get her own way.

The Michael way:

Elly wants Michael to clean his room and he refuses to do it. He sits in his room eating cookies and reading the newspaper comics, as his mother passes by his room expecting him to do something. After she passes by the room one too many times, he yells, "YEAAGHH!" that his mother won't leave him alone to eat and read in peace. In other words the joke = Elly is a poor parent who likes to stalk her child when she doesn't get her own way. This way is actually funnier to me. I would have gone with it.

I had hoped that the old adage, "Ignore something and it will go away." would be obvious and carry the joke, but not so.

First of all, all adages are old. Second of all, the actual adage is "If you ignore it, it will go away." In other words, Lynn is saying the joke is that Elly was trying to follow the advice of the adage and it wasn't working for her and that's the joke. Sorry, Lynn, but "ignore it" or "ignore something" was obviously not what Elly was doing.

We’re running it again anyway!

Of course you are. What's your other choice? Draw the word balloon effect so it goes into Elly's mouth in the next panel? Actually, that wouldn't be a bad idea and would eliminate Lynn's problem.
Maybe we are supposed to think that Elly gave ignoring a try for 30 seconds (the attention span Lynn imagines her readers can handle for one strip), hoping that this would be enough time for the "something" to go away. After the 30 seconds ended, Elly went back to check on whether her ignoring had worked as advertised, and then she screamed because it had obviously had no effect whatsoever.
It wasn't? Pictures of Elly bookmark the "YEAAGHH!". John goes to Elly right after he hears it and finds her slumped over. I suppose this is the reason why Lynn felt her readers were idiots who had to be led by the nose to her punchlines.\

If you were to explain to her that most people would have connected the dots, she probably would have accused you of trying to rob her of the ability to enjoy writing the strip.

In other words, Lynn is saying the joke is that Elly was trying to follow the advice of the adage and it wasn't working for her and that's the joke. Sorry, Lynn, but "ignore it" or "ignore something" was obviously not what Elly was doing.

Ah, but she and Lynn thought she was ignoring it by not barging in and yelling at him. It all depends on what a person means by a word.

howtheduck

March 11 2017, 21:25:07 UTC 2 weeks ago Edited:  March 11 2017, 21:25:29 UTC

I can just see it now:

Elly: Why isn't this pot boiling?
John: A watched pot never boils.
Elly: I am not picking it up and shaking it.
John: True
Elly: I am not screaming at it.
John: True
Elly: So, why isn't this pot boiling?
John: Because you are watching it. A watched pot never boils.
Elly: That doesn't make any sense at all. I don't think you know what the word "watch" means.