April 10th, 2018


Thursday, 12 April 2018

Martha reappears and for some strange and bizarre reason thinks that mothers are the kind of people who throw good parties for teenagers.

(Strip Number 5115, Original Publication Date, 13 April 1989)

Panel 1: Apparently Michael’s conversation with Lawrence and Brian yesterday managed to make its way to Martha who has decided to approach Michael carrying a sheaf of papers so enormous it goes from her waist to above her chin.  It is so heavy, Martha has to lean back to counterbalance the weight of it.  In spite of this physical difficulty, she inquires if Michael is going to have a party. 

Panel 2: Martha manages to hold that giant mound of paper and still do the finger motions to tick off all the things Michael needs to have at his party.   It’s an impressive display of strength and dexterity and Michael seems to be entranced by it.  Either that or he is amazed that Martha has rattled off the most “an’”s he has ever heard coming out of a Milborough teenager. Martha dropped so many final “d”s, it’s going to be hard to walk without stepping on them.  Martha’s list seems pretty good except for “prizes”.  Suddenly my mind shifts back to one of my earliest birthday parties when my mother would give out prizes for the kid who did the best at “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”

Panel 3: Martha clutches the giant mound of paper, but the weight of it makes her sway forward, which is good because it puts her head underneath that giant word balloon.  Martha tries to tell Michael that organizing a party is the easiest thing in the world and at this point, you might be thinking that Martha is volunteering herself and her best friends to help Michael put together that party.  Honestly, I don’t know why that is not what she is doing.   What teenaged girl in her right mind would want their boyfriend’s middle-aged mother to organize a party?  Pay for the party, yes.  Organize, no.

Panel 4: Oh Martha, do you really want Elly Patterson to do this?  She can’t even have kids over to paint Easter eggs without it turning into a disaster.   In the meantime, I am impressed that Martha’s sheaf of papers has managed to grow in 3 panels so it now goes from well below her waist up to her chin.  At least the lockers have shrunk to compensate. 

Summary: The birthday party story begins and it is in my opinion the best birthday party story Lynn Johnston did in the whole 29 years of her comic strip.  Ironically as Lynn Johnston reminisces about the 25th anniversary of Lawrence coming out, she is about to reprint the last appearance of Lawrence when he was obviously straight.