By request, I have promoted hoppytoad79's post. I can't take credit for this brave, well-written letter, but I support it 100%.
Dear Lynn Johnson,
This. Strip. Sucks. It used to be very, very good, but it's sucked for well over a year now and it grows even worse by the day. You insult the intelligence of your readers, you do absolutely no research, you've totally destroyed the characters and warped them beyond recognizing from what they used to be,...you've ruined it. You disgust me. The strip should have ended long before now. You should have taken a cue from Gary Larson and Bill Watterson instead of mocking them. FBoFW will not cruise across the finish line, nor even sputter in, running on fumes. The fumes ran out waaaaaaaaaaay back. No, the only way it'll cross the finish line is because it's pushed there by grunting, straining folks who've been shoving it along for many miles. Uphill. Gary and Bill saw the suckage that would come if they kept going and wisely chose to stop before then. As a result, they are remembered for truly awesome comic strips. You ignored all the signs and kept going and now you will be remembered for how crappy the strip became and that you were overdue for retirement.
Liz is an overgrown child who takes no responsibility for her own actions and blames everyone else. SHE, not Paul, bears the major responsibility for the fact that relationship failed. SHE is the one who announced out of nowhere at the end of the school year she was moving and she expected him to follow her. She did not ask, she demanded. Liz needs to grow up and get over herself and learn to own her mistakes and failings before she will be even remotely in a place where she is ready for a mature, healthy relationship. I look at her and feel much, much better about my own readiness for a relationship and realize how emotionally and mentally healthy I truly am.
You totally destroyed Paul Wright, and that pisses me off. Was that the only way you could think of to shift the blame from Liz for the ending of the relationship? There are many other ways to do that without character assassination. You warped him totally OOC and took what was a very noble man and turned him into lying scum. Shame on you for being lazy enough to do that. If you weren't the one who coughed up that half-assed idea, then shame on whoever did. I'm glad Paul broke it off with Liz. He's better off with Susan.
I mourn for Deanna, who has lost all of what made her great. She cheerfully enables Mike to be a workaholic and to shirk his duties to her and to the family. She's been robbed of her individuality and spirit and is taken for granted by all the Pattersons, except perhaps April. I pity her and would love it if she finally woke up and got her spirit back and told Mike his workaholic, duty-avoiding ways stopped yesterday and gave him no choice but to start carrying his share of the load.
John and Elly have failed with Liz and Mike. April, thank God, appears to be fairly well-adjusted. Whatever they aren't doing to April that they did to Liz and Mike, I hope for her sake things don't change.
Mike is a self-centered jackass. He left his wife to get two small children out of a burning house so he could save his laptop. It's clear where his priorities are, as if it wasn't abundantly clear already from all the time he spent hiding away from his duties as a husband and father to work. He does not need to work anywhere near as much as he does but he just keeps taking it on. He's a workaholic who only wants the romantic side of being a husband and father and none of the harsh, gritty reality. He's a blemish on the titles of 'husband' and 'father'.
That novel he wrote is Total Crap. I wrote better than that my freshman year in college and I write much, much, much better prose nine years on with nothing more than a few English classes, and none of those beyond the 200-level. The list of things wrong with just the excerpt in his monthly letter would take up quite a bit of space so I'll skip that and simply say if that is an accurate indication of his writing abilities, I have to wonder what means he used to get hired at Portrait, keep his job, and then manage to be promoted to Senior Editor, as not only is he lacking writing ability, he also lacks editorial abilities. The sentence structure in that writing excerpt was painfully bad. The only ways I can think of that he'd be able to keep his job and actually rise higher are at the very least unethical and several are illegal. You're already aware of all the reasons that Mike being published by the first publishing house he tried and that he'd get the advance he received are impossible, so I won't repeat them.
He is more fiscally irresponsible than a shopaholic wife. There isn't any other explanation, considering his income from all that freelancing and his postion as Senior Editor and Dee's income as a pharmacist. Dee makes soup from leftovers so she's obviously frugal and knows how to make a dollar stretch. That he'd bribe a parking lot attendant with $50 clearly demonstrates the fact he has no idea how to handle his money. He's irresponsible and is doing a disservice to his family, as well as his children with the horrible example he's setting.
Bottom line, the strip has become a sad shadow of its former self due entirely to the lousy writing. The only enjoyment I gain from it anymore is mocking the pathetic writing and how flat and cardboard the characters have become.
No love but lots of disappointment,
A Former Fan