February 16th, 2019


Monday, 18 February 2019

The Return of Martha.   This may have been one of the first storylines that Lynn Johnston carried over several years that made long references back requiring both Lynn and her readers to keep up with her continuity.  So, to recap:

When we last saw Martha, it was April a year ago at Michael’s 13th birthday party.  Michael had stalled out in asking Martha to dance and when he finally got the nerve, he discovered that Martha was not waiting around for him and had started dancing with Lawrence.

This led to a fight and our last appearance of Martha up to this date.

The unexpected side effect of this fight was that Lawrence lost his number one spot with Michael and Gordon took over.  When Lawrence is not around, Gordon and Michael talk about Martha and Michael says she is with someone else now (without mentioning Lawrence because that’s a surprise for those people who can’t remember back to April).

Even in the story leading directly into this one, Michael rejects Lawrence and prefers to watch the cheerleaders with Gordon.

At one point, Michael would have gone with Lawrence to a dance, but no longer.   There.  Now we are all caught up.

Panel 1: Gordon is impressed by the “pink, red, an’ white balloons” and apparently the colourist got the hint.  Me personally, I am impressed by that giant Happy Valentine’s Day heart in the background that looks to be twice human height.   That’s huge!  We also have properly-done silhouettes with a distinction made between completely black and the slightly gray silhouetted dancing couple who will appear in 3 of the 4 panels today.   I think this couple may be the best drawn dancers of Lynn’s career.  Most times she makes dancing couples look like they are in the middle of being zapped by a TASER, but not this couple.

Panel 2: Gordon also notes that they have got good music so the party is going to be “OK!”  I fear what Gordon considers to be good music if it can only get an “OK!” rating from him.  Michael seems to be less impressed, but it’s possible he is distracted by the way his left arm has suddenly grown to half the width of his body and how the increased weight seems to be pulling him to lean to his left. 

Panel 3: Gordon then surprises us all by whispering into Michael’s ear and asking him to dance.  Michael gives him a little side eye like he’s thinking about it.  Michael and Gordon on the dance floor.  That will set people to talking.  Then he realizes that if he did that he would make a fool out of himself.   The irony of this moment is that it was Michael’s fear of dancing that led to his break-up with Martha 10 months ago.

Panel 4: Naturally this means it’s time for Martha to appear.  We have to assume that Gordon has gone to dance.  (He hasn’t really because, after all, who is going to dance with “Hormone Attack” Gordon aside from Michael?)  Martha appears with the standard “I am trying to make up with you” pose, where the girl bows her head in obeisance to the boy.  Urgh!  Michael appears to be surprised and really, if you read my recap, you would be surprised too.  What is Martha doing talking to Michael and more importantly, why is she there without Lawrence?

Summary: We will find out all those things in the future, but for now, let’s enjoy the great dancing in the background by the gray couple.  They look like they are doing some kind of swing dance.  So cool.