June 11th, 2006

I, for one, can't wait for Elly's funeral!

As many of us feared, it looks like this is going to be a week of John and Elly planning their Final Repose.

This is apparently one of those odd Mondays when the Yahoo! colorist was too busy sleeping one off to do his/her job, so the strip is black and white. The variously shaded, textured gray blobs in the background, meant to be the foliage on trees, gave me an instant migraine when I loaded the page. I'm not art critic, but the backgrounds in this look terrible to me.

People are drawn badly too. In the first panel, the features of Elly's face are bizarrely squished together. John has gained 20 pounds or so, and appears to have the mumps. Yet, in the second panel, the Pattersons are more svelte than ever, positively skinny in silhouette. In the third, John has packed on at least 10 more pounds, and now has a bit of a pot belly. He no longer has the mumps, but he suddenly has a striking resemblance to Connie Poirier. The artist gets it right with Elly though--she looks like a man with a wig and glasses, same as usual.

Judging by the features of the salesman, I'm guessing it's 2:1 odds that Elly is going to encounter sleazy sales tactics in the funeral industry.

Whoever drew this strip clearly doesn't read the monthly letters. Or even the past strips. John is an avid runner, not a couch potato--that would be Elly. Also, in a recent monthly letter, it was John who wanted to pick a place with a nice view! (Too lazy to look it up, but it's there.)

Then Elly says, "Oh, I'll enjoy it." Meaning the view. Now, to me, this is an aggressive statement intending to convey to John that she intends to outlive John by a wide margin. I was hoping that was where this was going, because if Lynn ever learned to be snarky or use dark humor, it would vastly improve this strip. But no. Elly's statement is not meant to be a joke. It's just a bizarre, illogical statement: Elly believes that, even when she is dead, she will be able to enjoy the fact that her cemetary plot has a view.

I'm not sure what to make of the salesman's statement. On one hand, it could be a joke. He could be poking a little fun at CrazyElly. Like, "Ha ha, you idiot, don't you get it? You'll be underground! Dead!!" But if the salesman isn't making fun of Elly--and I get the impression that he isn't--then the statement is just creepy and bizarre.

Yet another instance of "WHY are we wasting a week of strips on this?!"