(Original Publication Date, 18 October 1990)
Panel 1: I like the pink light colour on Elly’s face in this panel. It tells us that she has a pink alarm clock face. Hello Kitty alarm?
Elly just happens to wake up at 10:30 and she says, without looking around the house and checking anything, “Where’s Michael?” Oh Elly. The way this works is that you have to go into the house and check his room and see if he is there. Unless Elly has her clock connected to a camera in Michael’s room or Michael has a particularly pungent and easily-recognized odor, this is not the appropriate response to this situation. John lets Elly know he doesn’t care for at least a few minutes.
Panel 2: Elly rises and declares he should be home. John tells Elly to “lighten up. It’s just a comic strip.” I mean, “lighten up. He’s on his way.” Oh John. You don’t know he is on his way. In order to know that you would have to look out a window and see Michael coming or smell him coming if he has a particularly pungent and easily-recognized odor. This is not the appropriate response to this situation. Come on Lynn Johnston! You have to show some cause and effect. This is basic story-telling.
Panel 3: Elly now says, “10:45”. Yes folks, it took Elly 15 minutes to get out of bed and put on a robe. John once again defends Michael because he knows that once Elly starts screaming, she will wake the house, the neighbourhood, the whole town and most of the surrounding province.
Panel 4: It will turn out tomorrow that Michael is 30 minutes late and it is 11 o’clock. Oh, Lynn Johnston. When it is 11 pm, the little hand points to the 11 and the big hand points to the 12. The little hand does not point somewhere between 10 and 11.
Either John has put on his robe to scream at Michael (possibly in a voice not as loud as Elly’s in order to avoid waking up the neighborhood) OR since that looks like Elly’s robe with the middle tied into a bow as Elly was shown doing in Panel 3, it could be that Elly has transformed herself into John. The colourist apparently is going with this being John, since the two robes are different colours. Way to go colourist! In the black and white, they look the same.
Michael is so startled at John or Elly-John’s yelling that his fingers flail about to the point where the thumb on his left hand appears to have jumped off his hand and attached itself to Michael’s right arm poking out the little hole around the cuff of the shirt. How in the world does Lynn Johnston get to the point where that’s the way she draws a thumb?
Summary: Michael would have had no trouble at all if his mother had not happened to wake up at 10:30 instead of waking up even 30 minutes later. I blame the discomfort of sleeping when you are pregnant. Unimpregnated Elly would have slept through it all and never noticed, kind of like she did when Michael was gone all night on that boat ride with Martha.