Internet chat rooms and discussion groups continue to buzz with opinions about the strip, particularly about the romantic future of Elizabeth Patterson, who has three suitors: former high school boyfriend Anthony, new love interest Paul, a policeman, and dark horse Warren, a helicopter pilot.
"I think it's great that a comic strip can have that reach and that effectiveness," said Tom Spurgeon, executive editor of The Comics Journal.
"That really speaks to the kind of affection people have for the strip and the skill with which (Johnston) has developed her setting and characters over the years," he said.
Most readers, knowing the strip was coming to an end, are expecting Johnston to resolve the Elizabeth question, Spurgeon said, and the scorn heaped on Anthony is an indication of how passionate their views are.
"It's kind of fun to punk on Anthony because of his goofy moustache," Spurgeon said.
Johnston is coy on whether she'll resolve the question of Elizabeth's love life, saying only: "That may be. They (the characters) often don't confide in me. I have to wait and find out."
God, I am sick to death of that answer. Lynn, the characters DON'T EXIST, except in your head and on paper. They can't do anything unless YOU MAKE THEM DO IT.
Spurgeon said female readers are particularly critical of Johnston's old-fashioned, anti-feminist values. She readily agreed that she's "a product of growing up in the 1950s."
"What can you be? You are what you are ... and you do what you know. I'm turning into my mother," Johnston said with a laugh.
Then perhaps, when you retire, you should retire for real, and free up space for someone new and fresh, someone who's not stuck in the era of manual typewriters and rotary phones?