(Strip Number 1453, Original Publication Date, 29 April 1989)
Panel 1: Lynn Johnston tends to draw heads straight up and down and lined up with the panel walls, which is okay as long as the heads should be straight up and down and lined up with the panel walls. However, when the characters’ bodies are at angles, that’s when she has trouble. In today’s comic strip Elly and John are lying in bed, so their heads should not be straight up and down or it will look like their bodies go into and not on top of the bed. Elly's head in Panel 1 and Panel 2, John's head in Panel 4 all look straight up and down to me and it’s worse because in every panel, the other character looks like they are lying down. The contrast is jarring and it makes you wonder why she could draw one correctly and not the other. But then again, that's what comes from not using erasers.
Panel 2: John is still in recap mode in this panel, explaining how the wonderful, crazy, teen-age years have all the romance, the jealousy, the fun and the silliness John remembers. The implication is that John’s life now does not have romance, jealousy, fun and silliness and when you think about that, he’s probably right. When John tries for fun and silliness he is often reminded that Elly don’t play that.
Panel 3: Elly dutifully sets up the punchline. However, if Elly had said instead “Would you like to feel like a teenager again, John?” I expect he would give a different answer in Panel 4.
Panel 4: After building it up as wonderful, John reveals that “not for anything in the world” would he want to be a teenager again. Being a teenager is horrible, the worst thing ever. And that is the punchline. I don’t think a teenager would think this particular comic strip was very funny. I don’t think anyone who liked being a teenager would think it was very funny either.
Summary: John hated being a teenager. In spite of that, teenager Michael will get no sympathy from his father. That's the end of the birthday party and tomorrow is back to dreadedcandiru2.