I can’t believe I didn’t catch that Bodner was a made-up place. Actually, I e-mailed Stephanie at FBoFW to ask her if it was made-up, but she is so busy sending out legal threats against the FOOBiverse
icon-holders that she probably will not have time to answer. She used to answer my e-mails and I was very impressed she took the time and how friendly she was, but she has not answered my last few e-mails, so I expect I have fallen off her nice list and onto her naughty list.
I can’t imagine what the atmosphere is like working for Lynn Johnston. She is in her final year, and the website gives the appearance that they are trying to establish a business outside of doing For Better or For Worse
, but it does not seem to be getting the kind of action that will sustain them financially. I expect the syndicate is starting to turn the screws on Lynn to name a successor instead of retiring, as they have done for many other strips, and if I were a Lynnion, working out of tiny town like Corbeil, I would be inclined to support the syndicate, so I could keep my cushy job.
However, Lynn seems to be very protective of her image as the strip creator. They put this giant “The Making of a Comic Strip” web sequence on the For Better or For Worse
website, where it was painfully obvious how they were trying to make it look like Lynn still does the art for the strip, but leaving so many clues in the pictures they showed, that she doesn’t.
As for today’s strip, it was a filler, but an imminently snarkable filler. So, the characters I handled were able to come up with something pretty easily. 2 of my fellow posters, susannamoodie
and their 3 characters of Liz, Becky, and Zandra Larson picked up all the little anachronisms I laced into Michael Patterson’s description of his novel, and gave me many opportunities for which I had been waiting. (1) The opportunity to explain Michael Patterson’s side of his aborted autobiographical play workshop, which we had to skip because the_berserker
got very sick during the time in which we would have finished it off. (2) Snark the inaccuracies in Mike’s retelling of Grandpa Jim’s story in his monthly letter.
It was during researching these things, I discovered that Bodner doesn’t exist. I was getting ready to explain why Bodner was so advanced, looking for some culturally unique aspect of the real Bodner, only to not be able to find a real Bodner. That actually made for some good snarking on made-up places. I discovered that Devon, England, the listed home for Sheilagh Shaugnessey was used as a base for U.S. forces, departing for Utah beach in the D Day landings. That is accurate, but it amused me to change it to Canadian forces to see if anyone would catch it, and susannamoodie
did. She is very sharp to catch such an obscure detail. The use of kilometres and vaccinations were more obvious, but did not make it past the eagle eye of qnjones.
The one part I did find was startlingly correct was the idea that Harvey Rood, Sheilagh Shaugnessey’s husband, would be a sod farmer in the plains of Saskatchewan. This was a very real profession for the prairie people, due to a lack of trees for lumber. I found a number of pictures of sod houses, usually from around 1900, and they are completely fascinating to look at. Literally, the people are living in homes made up of sod, or heavily clumped dirt squares. When I saw those pictures, I got a real feeling for how Sheilagh Shaugnessey’s life would be a startling change for her, coming from the nicely lumber-housed Devon. But I also got a twang of sympathy for Harvey Rood, having to live in a dirt house, and probably having to listen to his wife complain about the house and complain about how he wasn’t giving her enough attention, which is a nice summary of her complaints about Harvey, listed in Mike's monthly letters.Tomorrow’s strip:
“Having your mental functions destroyed by a stroke is like being special needs,” says Shannon Lake. April seems to feel better after she hears this comparison, but why? Of all the things people have said to her this week, this is probably the most insensitive. “You want to see how your grandpa is going to be? Look over here at these kids!” If Lynn really is still writing this strip, she desperately needs someone to say to her, “Lynn, that’s in bad taste. The Special Needs people will hate you and the Stroke Victims will hate you. Just because you have the special needs character say it, doesn’t make it any better.”