I don't get it about Paul's transfer. Wasn't he already in Spruce Narrows?
When Elly met Paul, he was stationed in Otter County. http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/001394.php After he and Liz became involved, he told her he'd applied for a transfer to Spruce Narrows, an hour or so away from Mtig. http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/001660.php Liz did not ask Paul to make the transfer to Spruce Narrows. It was his own idea. When she told him she was going back down south, his Spruce Narrows transfer had not yet been granted. http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/001830.php Liz suggested he ask for another transfer south (nowhere specific, just "south") and he half-heartedly agreed. http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/001834.php As for when the SN transfer was approved, we don't know.
Now, who's Warren?
Warren was a guy Liz met on the bus to uni, after she broke up with Eric. She made a concerted effort to keep him at arm's length, but it seemed that she did have feelings for him. After a long period of non-communication, he turned up at her uni graduation. http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/2004_06.php Later, they fell out of touch again, and Liz was saddened by this. http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/000724.php Last December, he made another of his surprise appearances, but Liz claimed to have chosen Paul over him. http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/2005_12.php
Eric? Is that the guy she beat with a frying pan?
NOBODY beat Eric with a frying pan. Liz lived with him for a while in uni. He was cheating on her with a girl named Tina, telling Tina that Liz was merely a roommate, and refusing to explain his absences to Liz at all. When Liz confronted him at Tina's apartment, the two girls did beat him with their fists, but the cooking pot (not even a frying pan) is just something Tina brandished at him while ordering him to leave. http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2002/4/1&week=1&name=For_Better_Or_Worse
So did Liz lose her virginity with Eric, or what?
Lynn was deliberately coy about this. Liz did insist on having her own bedroom, although Eric reminded her that "You won't be using it much!" Good cases can be made for both sides, but there was never a scene in which Liz firmly refused to sleep with him, nor one wherein she accepted. So it's "up to the readers' imaginations!" as Lynn giggled at the time.
How come Merrie went downstairs to a Christmas tree and presents on Christmas morning, after the apartment fire had taken place? Continuity error!
Not quite. The 12/25/06 strip took place at John and Elly's house. Mike and Deanna never had a downstairs. It is a bit of a continuity error in that Merrie should only have gotten to sleep at the time she first creeps downstairs, but the apartment was not magically restored, because that's not the apartment.
What are these retcons? What IS a retcon?
The term retcon means retroactive continuity: a device for backtracking in order to fill in plot holes. The FOOB retcons can be found here: http://www.fborfw.com/char_pgs/elly/index.php?page=letters Check each character name for their spin on recent events in the strip. Many key events have been covered in the letters only, much to snarkers' frustration and scorn, and the letters have been known to create continuity errors. Check in at the January/February changeover: I can't wait to hear how they're going to finish the job of assassinating Paul's character.
Who's Gary? Who's Viv?
Gary is the principal, head teacher, whatever you call him, at the Mtig school. Viv is his wife, and in charge of the nursing station in Mtig. Check the Who's Who for any other characters you're unclear on. http://www.fborfw.com/features/who/
What does Anthony do for a living?
Granthony, as we call him, is the accountant for Mayes Midtown Motors, the empire of Mike's friend Gordon Mayes. I'm not sure it was his idea to sell cinnamon buns in the coffee shop, but he will be forever associated with them. http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/001756.php
Why do you call him Granthony?
Grandpa + Anthony = Granthony. Because he looks so damn old. Also known as Blandthony, Blechthony, and Pornstache, because his mustache makes him look like a 1970s porn actor. And the pairing of Liz and Anthony is Lizthony.
Speaking of that, what is Chudsers?
The sledgehammer of foreshadowing came down when Susan came to see Liz at the same time Paul arrived for a visit. http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/001872.php Chipper + Suds = Chudsers.
I've heard the strip is ending, but I've also heard talk about a "hybrid strip". What's up with that?
The strip was supposed to end in September 2007, but Lynn recently announced plans to continue beyond that. I'm still not clear on what a hybrid strip is, but you can read about it here. http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/editor_and_publisher_for_better_or_for_worse_to_stay_on_as_hybrid/ Maybe YOU can explain it to ME.
My post doesn't show up right away. What's going on?
I chose to disable anonymous comments after we had a troll. Don't sweat; I'll unscreen your comment after I've seen it. Unless you're insulting people. We're here to snark on Lynn, the Lynnions, and the characters, not each other.
And what are the Lynnions?
Lynn Johnston has a lot of staff working for her. http://www.fborfw.com/behind_the_scenes/studio/
http://www.fborfw.com/features/makingof/ This may account for the disjointedness of the storytelling in the past few years. Also, we suspect that Lynn doesn't take suggestions terribly well. Lynn + minions = Lynnions.
Now, what's a foob?
Lynn invents much of her teen slang, on the grounds that she doesn't want to use terms that will become outdated.
The word is close enough to the acronym FBOFW that it became the snarkers' term for the strip.
And what are Yahoovians?
Members of the Yahoo! FBOFW group. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fbofw/ A great many of them are pro-Granthony, and they are generally pro-Lynn. Engage them at your own risk.
How do you get the strip so early?
I use Yahoo comics, which updates at midnight EST. http://news.yahoo.com/comics/forbetterorforworse;_ylt=Avu8l4HBw6kEhZt3qOWpwzPe7isC;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl Gotta remember to include the link in the daily entries! During the current arc, people have been employing other sources, but I can't be sure of their continued availability, so I won't link to them.
Why are Mike and Deanna so poor? Did Mike quit his job at the magazine or something?
Mike never quit Portrait. He was dismissed as a reporter, then handed the editorial position.
Timeline was like this. Mike was writing articles for Portrait. Weed wanted Mike to work exclusively with him. Deanna announced that she was pregnant. Mike had to chuck the idea of being a globetrotting journalist with Weed, and stick with Portrait full-time while accepting such freelance assignments as he could complete without going anywhere.
Shortly after Merrie was born, Portrait sent Mike and Weed to Japan to interview Divala, an egotistical designer. Mike ended up doing an expose instead of a fluff piece. Divala threatened a lawsuit, and Portrait panicked and ordered Mike to write a retraction. Mike refused and was fired. Months later, he dropped by Portrait and was told there'd been a shakeup, the former senior editor was history, and would Mike be interested?
Mike took the senior editorship, and this is where it really starts getting implausible. Instead of focusing entirely on Portrait, he nearly doubled his freelance jobs, while still fulfilling his editorial duties. Deanna pleaded with him to drop one or the other, preferably Portrait, because she knew how much writing his own stuff meant to him, and assured him that they could get by comfortably on her salary plus his freelance. Instead, he started writing the Saga of Sheilagh.
But Mike and Deanna have to be poor, and at the same time terrifically successful at what they do (well, we never hear about Deanna being a bad pharmacist, except for the "planned accident", but the woman's job doesn't count anyway), because that is the logic of the FOOBiverse. Conflict cannot be a Patterson's fault. Bad circumstances have to be beyond their control. So Mike and Deanna work and work and never get anywhere in order for them to be martyrs.
What planned accident?
I don't have links to it, but when Deanna announced her pregancy, about one month after the honeymoon, she told Mike (right in front of Weed, incidentally...odd) that she had been changing birth control prescriptions, and had taken a month off in order to let the old pills clear out of her system. So she had no protection at all while she and Mike were on their honeymoon, and this is somehow NOT inconsistent with her being a licensed pharmacist. And she never told Mike that she was live without a net, and this is somehow NOT a betrayal of trust.
When Liz told her friend Candace that she was going to be an aunt, Candace asked, "Planned or accident?...Deanna's a pharmacist, right?...So it was a planned accident!" That was the extent of any speculation about Deanna's intentions, but the phrase has lived on among snarkers.
Hope this helps!