November 12th, 2019


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Letters from Michael Part Nine
(Original Publication Date, 14 November 1990)

Dear Martha,

So much time had passed since I sent you my love letter, I felt the need to console myself with Honey Zaps.  Even though we see each other every day at school and every night for our nightly date, no communication was more important to me than that letter.  I just knew that you had read it and you were keeping that a secret from me for some reason, because you never mentioned it in all the times we were together.  I thought to myself, “She has it now.  There’s no way Martha has not read that letter.  I put my soul on paper…my heart is in her hands.” 

Then as if the magic of Honey Zaps spread into the air, my sister Elizabeth handed me a blue envelope on it.  She said, “The mail came, Mike – there’s something for you.”  Yes, I know.  I had been waiting for a response from you for days and somehow my sister is the one checking for the mail.  What can I say but that I really like Honey Zaps.  In spite of the manner of delivery, I thought, “It’s from HER! – I know it!!!”  After all the letter came in the same kind of blue envelope I had used in my letter to you.  Somehow you sensed the need to respond to my love letter with a letter in an envelope that looked exactly like that envelope.  You hadn’t told me you got my letter because you were going to surprise me with the perfect response to my letter. 

I held it in my hands, enraptured by the thought of having a girlfriend so kind and so considerate as to send me a love letter back that looked just like my love letter.  I thought to myself, “This is an awesome event in my life . – I sent a love letter on the spur of the moment without thinking … and I’m about to experience the result of my actions!”  As I thought it, my eyes bulged and felt like they were about to pop out of my head. 

Then I realized it was actually my same love letter with “Returned due to insufficient postage” written on it.   I guess I really don’t know anything about the Canada Post.   Those numbers on the stamps must mean something after all.  Also, I have noticed that when I am disappointed about something my bangs grow down across my face and almost cover my nose.

Thanks for reading,

A little question about Lawrence

(Apologies for slightly misleading title)

As most of you probably know,LiveJournal was bought out by a Russian site. One of the new site rules was or is ‘no pro-gay propaganda’. When we and the reruns get to 2022,and Lawrence’s coming out and any snarking thereof,how do you propose to address the issue of the content that will be posted then vs the new LJ rules?

PS. I’m ‘Bergemon’,posting under my real name.
  • Current Music
    ol Blue Eyes

Some observations about the 2000 cartoon series of FBorFW

- The portrayal of Mike really cracks me up. He’s just so....carefree about things. He’s able to laugh at himself more than he’s able to in the strip,and his sibling rivalry with Liz is there in all its glory.

- Liz is voiced by three people:Anna Wedlock in the Early Years segments,Vanessa Lengies in the Growing Years segments,and Lianne Picard-Poirier in the Later Years segments. Picard-Poirier voiced her in the early ‘90s Lacewood animated specials as well. I wonder why she came back.

- (Growing Years) Is it just me,or does Martha’s voice actress sound Russian?

- Time-and-story-wise,the segments seem to have a ‘null center’ of 1985 for Early Years,mid 1992 for Growing Years.and late 1997 for Later Years. This segment- the only one so far I can assign an actual time period to.

- I’m not sure precisely how much of the plots comes from the strip,but the plotlines for these segments seem to be original to the cartoon: (Trade Off) (It’s a Living) (The Bogeyman) (Young Love’s Kiss) (Parade Passing By) (If It Ain’t Broke) (Learning Curve) (Movie Magic)

- I really like the musical cues at the beginning of each segment.

Would you all mind if I posted reviews of each episode?
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

Thursday, 14 November 2019

And now for Exercises in Dog Torture featuring Elizabeth and Farley
(Original Publication Date, 15 November 1990)

Panel 1: The is the first of two panels of joke setup filled full of words.  In the meantime, Lynn Johnston is tested to see if she can draw the same picture two panels in a row.  While not exact, this is actually pretty close for Lynn.  The stripe count for the 3rd set of stripes on the arm of the couch changes.  Elizabeth loses an ear.   By Lynn Johnston’s art standards, that’s very good.   Whenever you see this kind of repetition in this comic strip, you know Lynn Johnston is about to turn in some of her worst and laziest work.  The only thing Lynn Johnston does as badly as political messages is social parody. 

Professor Bolus – From the Wikipedia - In medicine, a bolus is the administration of a discrete amount of medication, drug, or other compound within a specific time, generally within 1 - 30 minutes. 

Sounds like Lynn is doing her thing of reusing medical terms for doctor names, as in Dr. Fundus D. Sphyncter from a few months ago:

What kind of message would you send to an anti-social cartoonist who spent her days locked in her studio and whose eating habits consisted primarily of beer and snacks when no one else was around?   It might be something like this:

“Eating is more than just a necessity for survival.  It’s a socially significant activity; a time for expression and interaction.” 

While Lynn Johnston is probably parodying some kind of social trend of the 1990s, she may have also been mocking the advice people were giving her in real life.

Panel 2:  In this panel, the idea shifts from eating as social interaction to food presentation.   Serving food creatively sounds like Lynn Johnston is doing a parody of the professional culinary trend of the late 1980s - Nouvelle Cuisine.  This trend reduced the portion sizes in restaurants and instead concentrated on creating neatly presented food.   This parody doesn’t really work because what Elizabeth does in the next panel is not even closely related to Nouvelle Cuisine.  Now, if she had Elizabeth stack Farley’s food into a tower and put a colourful garnish on it, that would be closer to putting her parody across. 

Panel 3: Lynn takes it to the familiar territory of dog torture as Elizabeth interprets the TV recommendation by blindfolding Farley and then pulling his food in his dish away from him by tying his dog dish on a string.  If Farley is blindfolded, then why use the string?  Why not use your hands? Is the purpose behind the string so blindfolded Farley can’t see what is moving the dog dish?  How does that make sense?   Is the blindfold used to see if Farley can follow the scent of the dogfood?  Is the blindfold going to improve Farley’s social interaction?  My guess is the blindfold was supposed to relate to the “experiment” aspect of the TV dialogue.  Lynn did a similar story back in April this year, except it was with Michael torturing Farley and the only difference is the blindfold.   This is less funny and more, “Elizabeth is a weird girl with a very patient dog.”

Summary: This interlude comes out of nowhere and is not even remotely related to the Michael love letter storyline.  I guess back in November, 1990, Lynn Johnston must have realized she needed a fill-in to take that story up to a full week. Tomorrow we will be back to it.