(Strip Number 1335, Original Publication Date, 25 August 1988)
Panel 1: The camp counselor for the younger kids gets ready to teach them about the importance of the buddy system in swimming. The kids are told to find their buddies and hold up your hands. Not “hold your hands”, but “hold up your hands”. Me personally, given that command I would probably hold up both of my hands, but we will see that these kids are sharp on an impending punchline involving hand-holding and they will hold up their hands while holding hands for no other reason than to make the joke work. In the foreground the perspective is not so bad except for the kid next to the counselor who appears to be able to submerge almost her whole body in water that only goes up to the counselor’s calf.
Panel 2: Instead of referring to them as “buddies”, in this panel she will call them “partners” and this is because Lynn Johnston has decided to go from the “buddy system” to set up the “partner” word used in the punchline. My favourite partners are the two kids in front, where one freckled-faced boy appears to be holding up the hand of a zombie kid that is not wearing any swim trunks. His blackened eyes and chopped off nose are pretty scary, but also cute. In the back we have Lizzie with Dawn Enjo. Then off to the right we have either two miniature silhouette kids or Lynn Johnston has once again been challenged by perspective. From the first panel to the second, the camp counselor has apparently decided to change from shorts to long pants, so what’s bad art perspective compared to that?
Panel 3: Dawn has spotted something and she makes a finger gun to point at it. We know it’s a finger gun because she has actually lined up her thumb as you would aim to shoot a pistol.
Dawn sets up the joke, and it involves Mike and Martha holding hands as if they were swim buddies because, as you know, the only people who hold hands are swim buddies. Just setting up that punchline makes Dawn seem a lot more sheltered (dumber) to me, because it means that this swim buddy exercise is the first time Dawn has ever held hands with someone.
Panel 4: Cut to Michael and Martha who have apparently managed to make their way all the way back to the camp from yesterday’s strip with their eyes closed and their hands melded together into a blob. Unlike yesterday, they are not marching in lock step, but they each have hair blowing in the wind that is synchronized to make up for it.
What I notice at this point is that Lynn has caused some problems with the use of zip-a-tone. Yesterday as Mike and Martha were walking the sky was zip-a-tone gray and dark implying night time and here they are in the zip-a-tone free daylight. Have they been out together all night and are just now returning to camp? Lizzie might go over and ask them, but she and Dawn are now a few miles away from the shore.
Summary: Yesterday it was night. Now it's day.