Thursday, September 14, 2006

Liz Loses Her Cat and Her Sanity

Today in For Better or For Worse, they basically repeated the old "Liz can’t handle a cat, isn’t it funny?" joke. I found that today I was actually more distracted by things being written in the Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece boards.

Some members of this group recently discovered April’s Real Blog existed and heaped praise upon it. Then others came forward and cast a more critical eye upon us. Then much to my surprise, 2 former ARB participants came forward and described what ARB is all about and why they were not longer participating.

jw7579, who is apparently mst3k4evr said she left because: I just couldn't catch up on what was going on.

I found this to be particularly interesting because I remember at the time, doing a writing duo with mst3k4evr , and she had suggested that my character of Howard and her character of Kortney Krelbutz go to Las Vegas, which was too far away from the FOOBiverse to do much snarking, but I went along with it just be sociable, and then she stopped participating because she couldn’t keep up with the Vegas adventure. I find it a little ironic, the reason she chose for quitting was a result of her own suggestion about what the character should do.

The other one was Mad Elf, who is apparently schmoosie. It was good to know she is still alive and kicking and as near as I can tell from examining some of her posts, getting some Antidepressant medication, the lack of which used to really worry me about her. Her stated reason for departing was:

All that said, I was the original Liz, I had to get pretty pissy in order to leave because it's an addiction that SUCKS you in (emphasis on sucks), but I admit it, I was an original member of ARB...Liz no less! And I sucked too XP

From this I presume that schmoosie’s very awkward and disturbing departure/attack on qnjones was a part of some bizarre scheme for allowing herself to quit her ARB addiction. Some people are like that I guess, but I can’t say that I understand it or I would ever do it. qnjones' feelings were really hurt when schmoosie left, which I really hated.

As for the other persons on that board, there was a lot of really fine praise given to us. It did my ego a lot of good to read comments in particular made about posts or characters I was doing.

I'm sorry if this has been mentioned before -- I've only reading this thread for a few weeks -- but do you guys know about April's blog? It is hilarious.Michael Patterson left some comments on April's blog, including this snippet which cracks me up:

Right now on ARB I'm into the Liz/Paul/Anthony comments. Whoever writes as Paul is doing a really great job.

The only criticism was difficulty in understanding the teen internet speak. I know this is typical of what April would be using in a real teen Blog, but it made me wonder if the authenticity vs. alienating potential readers was worth it. I may tone down the teen speak a little with Jeremy Jones, to make it a little more readable, if I can. I have gotten so used to writing him that way, I may not be able to stop.

The other majour thing, the biggest and most important thing to me was that people do actually read April's Real Blog and the comments to it and enjoy it. I have often wondered about that. If I want to pander to that audience, then I cannot stray too far a field from the situations portrayed in the strip, or the persons reading it will not understand or be willing to try to understand the context. In other words, stories within Lynn Johnston's story will play best. You saw this happen and now this fills in the gaps or this happens on the side. That sort of thing.

I also felt it sort of justified my intention of constantly reintroducing characters as “Thorvald McGuire, Becky’s dad” for example, to help these kind of readers keep our ARB-unique characters straight.

Tomorrow's strip: We haven't had a Mike / Liz conversation alone since they talked about Liz's dancing prior to the Caine wedding in 2003. Not only that but I believe this is the first appearance of Elizabeth at Mike and Dee's apartment. We also have the interesting reintroduction to Elizabeth's drinking problem, as Elizabeth confesses she is actually paying her mother an extra $200 a month to stay out of her business. Just when I think Lynn Johnston can't take Elizabeth any lower, she manages to find a way to do it again. Liz is in free fall, and the thing is, if Anthony tries to catch her, she is just going to fall faster.


Blogger April Patterson said...

I saw some of the criticisms of teen-speak at ARB, and I had the same reaction of thinking I might need to tone it down a bit. I think I did a little bit today. That was where I left off in the thread--I haven't seen the comments of ex-ARB-ers. I had considered registering there and saying, "That's me," but I hesitated on that, as it occurred to me that posters might feel more inhibited about their commentary if I did.

4:27 AM  
Blogger howard said...

I agree with you completely about the inhibition. schmoosie appears to comment about For Better or For Worse regularly over there, so she still keeps her fingers in it, even if she doesn't do the FOOBiverse any more or ARB. Not only that but the uninhibited praise was very nice and quite satisfying.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Jenney said...

I think the teen-speak is what makes the blog. My whole family reads it faithfully. It is so much better than reading FBOFW alone!

I never read Jeremy Jones, Howard K-I mean Bunt or Becky-Whats-Her-Name-on-ARB because I'm sort of a prude and it can be somewhat sexual in nature, so I don't know if Jeremy's teen-speak is too over the top.

FWIW, I was so sick of FBOFW that I stopped reading it, but ARB is such a hoot that now I read FBOFW just so I can follow ARB, which is hysterical. April, Liz, and Paul are great. I could read the translated Ojibway words from Mtigwaki (land of trees) all day.

Just my .02

8:52 PM  
Blogger howard said...


Thanks for the very kind words. Your whole family!? Wow! Well there is not only a very nice compliment to April, Liz, and Paul and his translated Ojibway words, but a vote for the teen speak.

You have correctly identified April, Liz and Paul as the most prudish characters. I also occasionally write Shannon Lake and Michael Patterson, who are also very clean characters, in case you are interested in reading others.

Becky and Howard do push the sexual boundaries quite a bit. Jeremy Jones is a little cleaner, because I write him intentionally with the innuendo like "she was nice to me", but he does have his moments.

Thanks for your .02. I really appreciate you taking the time to write it.

12:28 AM  
Blogger April Patterson said...

Wow, I'm blushing, jenney! Thanks for the compliments and the vote of confidence regarding the teenspeak! I'm not going to dump it, but I'll try to keep it from being a barrier to comprehension. :)

6:56 AM  
Blogger Jenney said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot, Shannon Lake is a crack up. A caricature of a stereotype! I always read her.

Your Michael is more articulate than the "real" one, which is especially sad since he is supposed to be a writer.

One of my daughters (I have six) just put in her vote for the teenspeak, too.

Well, whatever. You're welcome!

And Lynn J. should thank you. You are the only reason to even read FBOFW anymore, and that is saying a lot. I have read it since the early eighties.

5:40 PM  

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