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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The FOOBiverse!'s LiveJournal:

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Thursday, July 19th, 2018
9:12 am
Lynn is at ComicCon in San Diego Right Now
Lynn is on today's schedule (July 19, 2018) for the San Diego Comic Con. More below the cut.
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5:49 am
Dial "H" for Human Interest.
One of the latest News Notes seems to be about Lynn's 'mentoring' a grade school student. As one could expect, we're dealing with the same incoherent grab-bag of cliches about hard work from a lottery winner.

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12:36 am
Saturday, 21 July 2018
Modern-Day Mike's tolerance for gory crap demoralizes Phil because it's a sign that childhood innocence has allegedly been lost forever and makes him wish to retreat to the past where there were no splatter films and he wasn't being pressured to buy a house.

(Strip Number 5158, Original Publication Date: 1989-07-22)

Panel 1: After the three of them leave the fun house, Mike is mildly contemptuous because it hasn't lived up to its name. Liz seconds him by saying that it wasn't scary at all.

Panel 2: When Mike says that the last one they went to was cool 'cause it had severed heads and dripping blood, Phil stops pretending that he can relate to children and turns into another adult angsting about today's horrible children who love blood and pain and anarchy. (In short, he turns into Lynn Johnston.)

Panel 3: When Mike concludes by saying that the rides and stuff musta been built in the seventies (which to him are, of course, the same million years ago the fifties were in the original) 'cause there's nothin'cool or gross, Phil stands there looking as if the boy had just yelled HAIL HYDRA! because boy, howdy, he has no idea how children think and would have been the same sort of shitty parent Elly is for the same reason.

Panel 4: We end the fairground arc with Phil going up to the person running things and asking for a ticket on a ride that'll take him back in time.

Summary: There are any number of notes that have Lynn make wailing noises about how children are growing up TOO FAST!!! and how EVIL MEN WITH THEIR EVIL MOVIES AND COMPUTERS ARE STEALING CHILDHOOD INNOCENCE!!!!! which have as their source her inability to quite understand that kids like gross-out stuff and always have. It's only when she had to clean up the mess that it became bad. In any event, we get to see the other reason why Phil wants to hop into a TARDIS when Georgia tells Elly that it's capital and labour to get him to buy a house.
Wednesday, July 18th, 2018
12:33 am
Friday, 20 July 2018
Rather than admit that the house makes carnival games hard to play on purpose, Phil assumes that a different sort of con is being perpetrated.

(Strip Number 5157, Original Publication Date, 21 July 1989)

Panel 1: As they walk through the midway, Phil, Liz and Mike are impressed when they see an extra from Mad Max walk by with a carnival prize-sized teddy bear.

Panel 2: This inspires them to try their luck at a sort of coin toss game that replaces plates with up-ended wine glasses. As expected, Mike and Liz look as if a tank ran over a kitten because their coins bounce off instead of staying put.

Panel 3: They try again and get the same result.

Panel 4: Having lost the game and having observed another mutant with a carnival prize, Phil speculates that they hire fake winners to walk around and sucker people into thinking that they have a chance.

Summary: This is another sign that he's related to Elly. Both Richards children tend to be idiotically cynical and, as his randomly damning a whole class of seventh graders because being engaged brought out the petulant brat in him indicates, blame-deflecting in the face of their own incompetence.
Tuesday, July 17th, 2018
12:31 am
Thursday, 19 July 2018
Phil's not going into hysterics because Mike and Liz manage to get themselves dirty makes it hard for them to believe that he's related to Elly.

(Strip Number 5156, Original Publication Date, 20 July 1989)

Panel 1: When Mike comes up to Phil and says that Elizabeth's got ketchup and orange pop stains on her shirt, Phil says that's no good.

Panel 2: Since it's on Elly to clean it up and since he's a big kid himself really, he tells her she needs the ice cream and mustard stains he's made too.

Panel 3: After all, no one would believe they even went if they came home clean.

Panel 4: When Liz gushes about how ever neat Uncle Phil is, Mike agrees and then says it's hard to believe that he's related to Mom.

Summary: Sadly, there are signs that would make it easy for them to believe this. One such sign is his tendency to act as if it's an imposition to make his immediate environment kid-friendly while the other is to behave as if children are space monsters he can't relate to. You would think that Mike would have remembered what a tetchy jerk Phil was about trumpet lessons but, as we see here, the same asshole who got on his case about feeling as if he can't win becomes Captain Cool because he doesn't care about stains he doesn't have to deal with.
Monday, July 16th, 2018
3:57 am
Wednesday, 18 July 2018
While the kids were frightened for a bit but are okay, the roller coaster appears to have been far too much for Phil to handle.

(Strip Number 5155, Original Publication Date, 19 July 1989)

Panel 1: We find Phil and the kids on the roller coaster having big fun being scared out of their minds.

Panel 2: They continue to scream in fear as the roller coaster descends down one of the steeper sections of the track.

Panel 3: They continue to zip around 'pointlessly' because it makes no sense to Lynn why a person would go on one of those things instead of going slowly on a level surface insulated from the environment in a metal carapace like a sensible person.

Panel 4: As the kids look on in bafflement, Phil pays for his immaturity by being frozen in fear.

Summary: As you will recall, there are any number of strips that focus on the cruelty of the others for wanting to subject poooooor Elly to a humiliating reminder that she's hampered by a fear of high speed and falling down and being left for dead or whatever. Today's strip is meant to show us that there's a 'reason' Lynn is terrified of most things.
Sunday, July 15th, 2018
12:27 am
Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Phil's airy comments about how some things never change should be made a nonsense of when he reacts poorly to the discovery that inflation doesn't just affect the price of things he regularly uses but the failed attempt to set this in the present day only serve to make him look like an idiot who never knew what things cost.

(Strip Number 5154, Original Publication Date, 18 July 1989)

Panel 1: As he and the kids arrive at the fair, Phil tells them to check things out because some things don't change.

Panel 2: He tells them that this is a scene out of his childhood.

Panel 3: He then talks like a Canadian of British heritage by commenting on toffee apples (caramel apples to you), candy floss (cotton candy), balloons, games, hot dogs on a stick (corn dogs) and other wonders.

Panel 4: When he actually has to pay for things, he's astonished because he has to be three dollars for a thirty second ride.

Summary: I guess this means that we're no longer pretending that this is happening in the present day. If we were, the standard "Phil gets sticker shock" punchline would have been accompanied by a more shocking price.
Saturday, July 14th, 2018
12:25 am
Monday, 16 July 2018
We begin the "Phil buys a house saga" with Georgia making a mild joke at his expense because he's kinda eager to take Mike and Liz to a local fair.

(Strip Number 5153, Original Publication Date, 17 July 1989)

Panel 1: As Elly coins carrots like a Canadian, Mike shows up with Liz in tow to explain that Uncle Phil and Aunt Georgia are here and also that Phil says that there's a midway in the park.

Panel 2: Since Elly has a long history that she won't acknowledge of capriciously turning down reasonable requests and digging in to save face, Mike gets kind of desperate when he asks if they can go. She kind of proves my point when she asks Phil if he's sure he wants to take them to the fair because I remember something she doesn't about how she sees them as agents of chaos.

Panel 3: Phil is rather sanguine about going to the fair. This is because he saw the Ferris wheel, smelled the popcorn and told himself that he had to take Michael and Elizabeth to the fair.

Panel 4: After the three of them leave, Georgia makes a snotty remark about how everyone knows that kids hate to go to the fair alone.

Summary: This need to equate "the ability to enjoy life" with immaturity and worthlessness is why Mike had to pretty much beg to go. He remembers that the rides scare Elly, she won't enjoy the food and she hates feeling left out so much, she'd find a way to keep them away from the fair so she doesn't have to face the killjoy in the mirror.
Friday, July 13th, 2018
7:50 pm
Philly Fan-Addicts: The 2018 Reuben Awards Weekend

Tom Heintjes’ pictures of the Reuben Awards have arrived.

This year, even Lynn Johnston noticed, or rather I think webmaster Stephanie noticed that we always notice:


These take up a lot of space so we will discuss after the cut

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12:24 am
Sunday, 15 July 2018
For some reason, Farley is being condemned for only 'doing his job' when he can expect praise for it. Said reason appears to be Lynn's hatred for the real dog and the clear love she has for cartoon critters being BFFs.

(Strip Number 6749, Original Publication Date, 16 July 1989)

Panel 1: We start things off with a cat wandering into the garden while Farley sleeps.

Panel 2: As Farley yawns and scratches himself, the cat stares at Elly's bedding plants.

Panel 3: The cat starts digging up Elly's bedding plants for whatever reasons cats have for doing anything. Given Lynn's fear and hatred of housecats, said reason has to be evil because they prowl around her kitchen and have devil eyes and smother infants in the crib and worship Satan and whatever other nonsense she was raised to believe about them.

Panel 4: Both the cat and Farley are surprised when Elly slams the door as she heads out into the garden.

Panel 5: Farley barks angrily at the frightened cat.

Panel 6: As Elly watches, he chases the kitty away.

Panel 7: Elly praises him for defending the house against the fauna of Gehenna and pats him on the head.

Panel 8: Farley watches as Elly goes back inside.

Panel 9: Once the coast is clear, Farley goes back to sleep and the kitty goes back to trying to bury one of its turds in Elly's garden.

Summary: Since Lynn talks about muses and dead comedians, she's not going to admit to lifting a Ralph Wolf/Sam Sheepdog cartoon clean. The only thing missing is Farley and the cat clocking out at the end of their shift.
Thursday, July 12th, 2018
12:40 am
Saturday, 14 July 2018
We end the arc with Elly getting all soppy about how there's more of her children to hug despite their growing up before she can catch up.

(Strip Number 5152, Original Publication Date, 15 July 1989)

Panel 1: It would seem that Elly is about to put the photo album back on the bookshelf. This is because she stares a thousand-yard stare when she tells Michael and Elizabeth that she remembers how her own mother told her to enjoy her children when they were little because they grow up far too quickly. This advice fell on deaf ears because Elly didn't feel like listening and she's dead set against enjoying anything because no one will take her seriously if she's seen to smile.

Panel 2: As she puts the album away, she says that her mother was right about the growing up overnight part. History teaches us that Elly never managed to do any great amount of enjoying anything about their childhoods so she didn't meet Marian half-way on that.

Panel 3: Since Mike is aware of something Elly doesn't want to face (namely the "being an intolerant dimwit pissing away her life on panic and resentment" that defines her), he asks her if she wishes they were still little. Since Elly thinks she's a kinder, calmer and fairer person than she is, she says no.

Panel 4: She then delivers a line fit for the person she falsely believes herself to be when she tells them that the bigger they get, the more of them there is to hug.

Summary: This would be more palatable if it were true to Elly's character. This is because the real ending to this arc is years later when she thought-bubbles that if she'd been more tolerant, it would have seemed as if she had more time. Oh, well. Next week, Phil takes the kids to the fair to get away from being told to man up and buy a house.
Wednesday, July 11th, 2018
12:37 am
Friday, 13 July 2018
We encapsulate the kindergarten years by having Lynn contradict herself and talk about how Lizzie took the longest time getting over envying toddlers.

(Strip Number 1625, Original Publication Date, 14 July 1989)

Panel 1: We come to the home stretch with Elly saying that sending Liz off to kindergarten meant she wasn't a baby any more. This is accompanied by a visual that never appeared in the real past: Elly waving a teary-but-happy goodbye as Lizzie got on the bus. In reality, Elly stood around feeling like they were just going to toss her into a hole in the ground and kick dirt on her because having both kids in school meant she was too old to llive.

Panel 2: Elly talks about how she discovered that Lizzie could read and write; this is accompanied by a visual of her blanching because Lizzie called Mike something that starts with the letter "D" accompanied by a stick figure with what a four year old thinks a boy's penis looks like.

Panel 3: As we witness Lizzie-of-three-years-ago in the supermarket with Elly pointing at a woman who's carrying her baby and probably telling her that she wants to be carried too, the Elly that is narrating explains that it didn't take them long to discover something.

Panel 4: As Elly explains to the Liz of the here-and-now that the Lizzie of five years ago was too big to carry, we see Lizzie smile because Overburdened And Put-Upon Elly looks like she's about to stroke out from having to carry her.

Summary: It always baffled me that the Patterson children envied those younger than themselves until I realized that the point of it was to depict them as monsters who hated Elly's freedom and happiness.
Tuesday, July 10th, 2018
12:33 am
Thursday, 12 July 2018
Elizabeth embarrasses Elly without help by Michael by running around naked and being too young to understand what tact is.

(Strip Number 1624, Original Publication Date, 13 July 1989)

Panel 1: In the here-and-now, Elly tells Elizabeth "You grew up so fast....soon, you were dressing and undressing yourself."

Panel 2: We see what she's glossing over when we do a callback to Elly having to chase after Lizzie because she's running down the street in the buff again.

Panel 3: She then tries to put the best face on the lack of tact most three year olds have by telling her that when she was three, she was speaking in clear and complete sentences.

Panel 4: The Elly of the past is gobsmacked when Lizzie points at a mildly irked bald man and cheerfully yells "Look, Mom! There's a man wif no hair!!"

Summary: Yet again, Elly is saying one thing which sounds nice but means a not-so-nice thing because all she can remember are the bad times.
Monday, July 9th, 2018
12:31 am
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Mike ruins Elly's life by teaching Lizzie to make faces at people Mommy wants to impress.

(Strip Number 1623, Original Publication Date, 12 July 1989)

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Mike entertain Lizzie by faking faces at her. His first gambit is to seemingly try to blow out his sinuses like Howie Mandel did.

Panel 2: Next comes the classic Bronx cheer.

Panel 3: Finally, sticking his fingers in his mouth to make a Joker-like grin.

Panel 4: Later on, we find Elly looking like she expects to be executed for failure when Lizzie blows a raspberry at a Kindly Old Lady.

Summary: Once again, Lynn fails the "what does a child know" test and assumes that what people who live in basements and hate her refer to as Lizzie's honest ignorance is really part of a scheme to ruin her.
Sunday, July 8th, 2018
12:28 am
Tuesday, 10 July 2018
We begin a multi-part look back at how Mike was a very bad influence on Liz growing up by flashing back to his showing her how to raid the cupboards.

(Strip Number 1622, Original Publication Date, 11 July 1989)

Panel 1: Elly speaks fluent Lynnglish when she tells Mike that he loved being a big brother because every day, he taught Lizzie something new. This looks like a compliment until one remembers that Elly is convinced that she, John and the people she trusts as surrogates should do so because any other influence is bad, wrong and would lead to their not owning horses. Also, the historical record tells us that Michael still loathes the idea of having younger siblings as (like his mother before him) he thinks it means his enslavement to them.

Panel 2: We flash back to Michael being a detrimental influence when he opens kitchen drawers in such a manner as to create a really crappy staircase that can't work.

Panel 3: We see the result when Elly arrives too late to stop Lizzie from grabbing a box of cookies out of the cupboard.

Summary: What people lose sight of when watching Mike show Lizzie how to do stupid things is that he doesn't know that his mother is still pissed at him for being a jerk because he's fooled by Lynnglish.
Saturday, July 7th, 2018
12:25 am
Monday, 9 July 2018
When Elly gets all starry-eyed about how sweet-natured Liz was as a toddler, Mike thinks it's because they had him to practice on because he doesn't admit that he was a pain in the arse to raise.

(Strip Number 6053, Original Publication Date, 10 July 1989)

Panel 1: As we see a visual of a smiling Elly putting a younger Baby Lizzie than last Saturday's to bed, Elizabeth askes modern-day Elly if she was a good baby. Elly says "Sure!!"

Panel 2: Elly loses herself in nostalgia for a time period wherein raising a baby seemed as easy it does on television when she says that she eat well, slept well and didn't fuss and that in comparison with another experience, everything seemed so easy.

Panel 3: Liz sets up the punchline by asking her why.

Panel 4: When Mike puffs himself up and says that it's because they had him first to practice on, Elly gives him a dirty look because she'll always resent having to deal with his weak-ass bullshit. Also, Mike is a doorknob so he doesn't realize that he's just confessed to being a screaming irritant whose very presence erodes away people's good will and decency.

Summary: We're about to bear witness to two days of his being a terrible influence on Lizzie as he uses her as a pawn in his scheme to drive Elly loco for daring to discipline his stupid ass.
Friday, July 6th, 2018
12:41 am
Sunday, 8 July 2018
Today's strip poses a question: "Who is the bigger idiot? Is it John for not realizing that the reason that Elly is covering her head with the pillow is that she wants him to turn off the television and let her sleep or Elly for not remembering that she married a dolt and passive-aggressiving her way into insomnia?"

(Strip Number 6748, Original Publication Date, 9 July 1989)

Panel 1: It's nighttime and we find John and Elly in bed watching the anchorman of the CBV news conclude the program and wish them a good night.

Panel 2: Elly smiles as John turns the television off with the remote. She won't be smiling for long.

Panel 3: This is because he can't sleep so he turns the box back on so as to flip through the channels like an idiot. His first choice is a CFL game that has Philbutt on the twenty yard line making a great play while Bogdanovich moves somewhere or other.

Panel 4: We don't know what Bogdanovich does because John changes channels to a late-night soap that has a woman declare her love for a man named James. Elly's covering her head with a pillow indicates that she wants to declare her love for shooting the screen so she can rest.

Panel 5: Her self-induced agony continues as he watches a nature show from the Galapagos about one of the mutant birds Lynn draws.

Panel 6: Next, he appears to have found a sort of live-action take on Dick Trac(e)y.

Panel 7: Finally, he settles on a country music channel so he can listen to Country Cass and the Corntones play their new fav'rit "Looking Through The Knothole In The Picket Fence Of Offensive Minstrel-Show Level Regional Stereotypes."

Panel 8: We conclude by her getting gobsmacked when he says that if she wants the set off, she should let him know.

Summary: Any sort of Panel 9 would have been him getting walloped with a pillow and saying "Oh" while he sits there with his glasses askew. This is because she can either be passive-aggressive and hope he reads her mind or aggressive-aggressive and throw stuff at him. What she can't do is communicate like a normal person.
Thursday, July 5th, 2018
12:38 am
Saturday, 7 July 2018
We end the week with Toddler Lizzie thinking that she can get away with 'accidentally' beaning Mike with a toy hammer because she's cute.

(Strip Number 1621, Original Publication Date, 8 July 1989)

Panel 1: We continue on with the "Mike supervises Lizzie" thing as we watch him watch her bang pegs into a pegboard with a toy mallet. The first such peg is the farthest away from Mike's head. This becomes important.

Panel 2: She hammers in the second farthest.

Panel 3: Next, she hammers in the third-farthest.

Panel 4: As she makes it look as if she's going accidentally-on-purpose hammer him in the head, he tells her "Don't even think about it."

Summary: This is yet another example of the dolt artist's harmful and lame-brained belief that children under two years of age have an agenda and it's "EAT MOMMY'S SENSE OF SELF-WORTH!!!"
Wednesday, July 4th, 2018
12:36 am
Friday, 6 July 2018
Elly's actually behaving somewhat responsibly and trying to get Mike to stop mauling Lizzie is subverted by her liking it.

(Strip Number 1620, Original Publication Date, 7 July 1989)

Panel 1: We transition from the chaos caused by Lizzie speaking in public so as to embarrass and destroy her poor mother to the anarchy engendered by making Michael her primary caregiver. This is signaled by having Elly talk about how she and Mike would play for hours and hours after she started walking and talking and is accompanied by a visual of Mike and Lizzie getting in the happy ball of harmless violence.

Panel 2: Elly is yet again a day late and a dollar short when she finally arrives on scene and tells him to cool it with playing too rough with her.

ETA: I just remembered that her track record on interventions between the two of them can lead to Mike being punished unfairly so it could be that she's misreading things.

Panel 3: When Elly leaves, Lizzie howls in rage and anguish.

Panel 4: Her mood improves when Mike dangles her by the feet of her onesie. This confirms my earlier worry that both Lynn and Elly are misreading things because they don't know the appeal of being help upside down.

Summary: Today's strip is brought to you by Lynn's idiotic and pernicious belief in consequence-free childhood mayhem and her inability to understand what's going on around her. People who want to take childhood away might think that having a big, husky behemoth maul a flimsy little thing like Lizzie is bad and might have lasting consequences but WE MOMS know that nothing that happens to kids matters.
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018
12:32 am
Thursday, 5 July 2018
Lynn betrays her ignorance of child development when she has Elly insist that Lizzie's taking the word "Da-Da" to mean "adult male" as a category instead of "John" and nothing more or less than that is a deliberate attempt to humiliate her.

(Strip Number 1619, Original Publication Date, 6 July 1989)

Panel 1: As John leaves for work, Elly holds Lizzie up so she can look at him and exhorts her to "Say Da-da, Elizabeth! There's Da-Da!"

Panel 2: She goes on to say "Yes, Da-Da. It's Da-Da!"

Panel 3: As he walks down the driveway, Elly tells Lizzie to say bye to Da-Da. When she concludes the departure process by saying Bye-bye, Da-Da, snarker-troll fungus people in basements come to their cruel and hateful conclusion that Elly has just taught Lizzie that the word "Da-Da" means "man" as a category instead of John as a person.

Panel 4: A little while later, we evil people are proven right when Lizzie calls Eddie The Grocer "Da-Da!" and shocks and saddens and confuses Elly.

Summary: Elly never seems to quite understand how children's brains develop. Today, it takes the form of her thinking that Lizzie is trying to make her look bad by "pretending" that she uses Da-Da to mean "adult male human" when she "knows" it means John. Five years from now, it takes the form of getting pissed at April forever because she acts as if she doesn't know that "someone" means "her."
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