(Strip Number 1445, Original Publication Date, 20 April 1989)
Panel 1: Unable to dance to the low volume Oompa Band music, Lawrence resorts to the good, old-fashioned method of livening up a party by turning off some lights (and by some we mean enough lights to make the whole place pitch black, which to me means all the lights). If Elly and John were monitoring this party in the slightest, they would intervene the moment the lights went off and the screaming started.
Panel 2: “Hey, guys, I…” I assume that line belongs to Mike in protest, since he ends up turning the lights back on in the final panel. We see “Popcorn Fight”, which is frankly something that needs to happen in the light because you can’t see what you are throwing and at whom.
Panel 3: Now, if I remove all the “giggle” indications of consent, the other lines are ones that I would worry about. “Ooooh!” “Stop!” “Eek” “Don’t!” “Shriek!” Without the giggles, I think this would not be a great strip for the “#Me Too!” generation.
Panel 4: The lights are up and not only is the room trashed, but the kids appear to be trashed too. Only Mike is standing. Aside from the girl on the floor with her skirt hiked up (which is disturbing), their feet are all in the air (which is also disturbing). It doesn’t look good, but fortunately they are all smiling. For the sake of comparison, I will remind you that Martha is wearing a sailor dress, Megan is wearing a pink dress, and Janet has that sort of rat tail haircut, as we saw when they came in.
Here in Panel 4, we see none of them. The colourist has used the purple colour to let us know which ones are girls, because the colourist seems to be hellbent on putting every single girl in purple these days. However, none of these kids look familiar aside from Lawrence. It’s like he turned out the lights and brought in (or maybe threw in) four of his friends (maybe five if the kid with the disembodied head under the coffee table is not attached to the legs straight up in the air behind the coffee table). I imagine that in the corner of the room, Martha, Megan and Janet are standing back-to-back Charlies Angels-style ready to defend themselves from physical assault.
Summary: Lynn’s idea of fun is a popcorn fight in the dark that leaves the kids in highly suspect positions after the lights come on. I am beginning to wonder if the true theme of this party is going to be: “Lawrence is a jerk.”