forworse (forworse) wrote in binky_betsy,
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Collection Recap: "It's the Thought That Counts"

This 15th anniversary collection begins with further details of Lynn's life and work.  For the first time she tells the story of being asked how long the lead-in is before strips are published ("Six weeks dailies, eight weeks Sundays") and threatening to get a t-shirt bearing these words.  In this instance it is attributed to Jim Davis of Garfield fame -- in more recent interviews, Lynn takes credit.  In the intro she writes of how her characters speak to her and also that, while Elizabeth's school is her daughter Katie's school, and Elizabeth's body language and speech patterns are similar to Katie's, Elizabeth is also Lynn, with Lynn's childhood memories, private thoughts, passions, goals and fears.

The first half of the collection is dedicated to full-colour reprints of Sunday strips from the past five years or so, with occasional commentary, like how her father used to embarrass her by ordering meals in Chinese (in a Chinese restaurant, obviously), which was repeated in a strip of Mike getting embarrassed as his father did likewise.

Other items of note in these strips include Mike falling off his bike and needing stitches on his head (he didn't wear a helmet because he didn't want to mess up his hair).  There's an explanation behind April's double birthday of Sunday 31 March / Monday 1 April 1991, to which she notes that she had many letters, including one which was blatantly critical and saying that Lynn should pay more attention to her work.  Lynn adds, "It's amazing how seriously some readers take their comics!!"

She writes about Farley's successor, Willy, a black spaniel who as bought for the kids, but became Lynn's dog, about how her father's mother came to live with them when she was around 10, that her mother was a strict disciplinarian, how Lynn once forgot that her daughter was asleep in the car and left her there (but for an open window and the shade from a tree, she might not have survived), how her father loved small children but didn't relate as well to teenagers...we also learn that the strip of John getting a subtle smackdown from an Ethiopian cab driver was based "word for word" on a conversation Lynn had with a taxi driver in Ottawa.

She finishes by saying that her mailbox is the link between her and the outside world -- the way her "support group" finds her.

In admist the coloured strips are a few which hadn't been in previous collections.  As always, they are one-offs, such as:
- Elly unable to open a CD case without help from Liz
- Liz hugging John and asking him never to grow up
- John doing a dental examination on a teddy bear (again) to help a small patient relax
- Liz and Anthony's first date (they take the bus to Eastgate Mall as he reads Comix Classics and she clings to a wallet or small book, then he challenges her to a race to the front entrance; they go to a double bill matinee at Movie Monsterama, share popcorn, leave laughing, he throws snow at her and she retaliates, then he takes the bus home and waves to her and Liz collapses on her bed with hearts dancing around her head -- age-appropriate and sweet, if you don't know what's coming)

The final part of the introductory section of the book is the story of Lawrence's coming out, which is repeated on the website.
Tags: foob history
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