November 22nd, 2017


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Today we see that Martha’s promise to Mike rates below Martha’s loyalty to her friends.

(Strip Number 1374, Original Publication Date, 24 November 1988)

Panel 1: We can assume that by this point Martha has actually read Michael’s note.  She has judged it to be “not a joke” and “like – sincere”.   This means that Martha expected it to be a joke and not sincere.  She knows Michael pretty well then if “joke” was her first guess.  Plus, Michael appears to have grown giant sagging breasts.  Not only that but his sweater appears to be a few sizes too large for him and the jagged design has crawled off his neck and is heading down his shoulders.

Panel 2: Michael says, “Yeah, well, I sort of, um, wanted you to have it.”  While Lynn is going for “uncertain teen speech”, as we saw two days ago, Michael did actually only “sort of” want Martha to have it.  Martha does not know what to say, but Lynn Johnston is doing a pretty good job of drawing Martha in a defensive posture with her arms crossed across her chest.  It’s either that or she is horrified thinking about the breasts Michael had in the prior panel and wants to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to her.

Panel 3: Okay.  Michael gave her a note and Martha has judged the content to be sincere.  What is the natural next step for a boy and girl thinking about starting a relationship?  Maybe they want to set up a date where they can spend more time together.  Maybe they want to sit together during lunch.  Nope.  Michael’s first thought is protecting the information in that note.  If you are that worried about it Michael, then just ask for the note back.  She’s already read it.  What does she need to keep it for, especially if you are going to go all paranoid and stalk her to make sure she doesn’t share the note with anyone?

Panel 4: Martha shares the note with her two best friends and why shouldn’t she?  She doesn’t know Michael is creeping around that corner to spy on them.  Lynn Johnston should have just drawn Michael walking into the situation by accident.   I know she likes the shocked, "looking around the corner" visual; but this makes Michael look extra creepy.

Summary: I know that Lynn Johnston is channeling the Colin the paper boy story (see below) that was based on her real life experience, but there is a big difference in a young girl telling an older boy she has a crush on him versus a boy telling a girl his same age that he likes her, when they were already kissing each other and marching around holding hands at summer camp for everyone to see.

Snarky Candiru2

Facebook fans Interviewing Lynn, Round Four.

The latest news note is all about the fourth round of questions from the base. As always, the header image is artwork that reminds us that Elly is Lynn's primary author avatar. Also, I'm one of the people whose question got answered.
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While I'm relieved that I got in, it seems that Lynn's failure to quite get what people were asking means that her keepers don't want to subject her to embarrassment like this any longer.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Michael thinks and thinks and thinks.   Nothing like a strip featuring panel after panel of thought balloons to bring the funny.

(Strip Number 5050, Original Publication Date, 25 November 1988)

Panel 1: Now the jagged design on the sweater is fully off Michael’s neck and directly around his shoulders and stays around his shoulders for the whole strip.  Of course it is hard to tell where the design is supposed to be because Lynn Johnston has drawn Michael with the ability to bend his body at the shoulders and then to bend again at the neck in the other direction (otherwise we would see the top of Michael’s head against the lockers and not his nose and forehead).  Hint to Lynn:  Try having Michael bend at the waist instead.  I think that was what you were really after and it is, in fact, what normal humans do.

To add to the confusion Michael thinks, “She did it again!  She made me feel like a fool… and I walked right into it!!”   No, Michael.  You didn’t walk into some fool trap set by Martha.  You gave her the note. You told her not to share it. You stalked her to make sure she didn’t share it.  You stepped into a trap of your own making.

Panel 2: Michael feels as though he has been run over by a truck, dumped on by 1000 pigeons and left on the road to die.   What killed poor Mike?  Was it the injury from the truck, is he drowning in pigeon poop, or is it the idea that someone would leave him on a road? Of those three, I think the last one is the most likely.

Panel 3: Michael slumps forward to think, “I have been destroyed, devastated!  My heart has been crushed like a gumball in the cruel jaws of life.”  Well technically a gumball remains relatively intact as gum after its shell has been crushed.  Maybe Mike means a hard candy.  You can crush a hard candy.

Panel 4: Lynn is essentially repeating the same joke she did last time on this subject when Michael was berating himself in his mind.  Last time self-deprecating Mike went to clever insults too.  This just goes to show that no matter how bad Michael feels, he can always resort to thinking clever things to pull himself back from the abyss.

Summary: Poor Michael.   Martha gave him a positive response about a future relationship and now it can’t happen because…Okay I am stumped here…Because she doesn’t keep promises?  Michael gave a Martha a test of loyalty to him (because everyone knows that’s how relationships in Grade 7 start), and she failed, so she is no longer girlfriend material.  As it turns out everyone keeps demanding promises out of Martha – her friends and Michael.  What is it about this girl that everyone wants to test her loyalty to them?  Don’t any of them just want to be regular old friends?