Tuesday, December 19, 2006


On all the message boards which discuss For Better or For Worse, the conclusions drawn were that where there is smoke there is fire, and where there is a problem with the Michael Patterson clan, the fault is the Kelpfroths. It is difficult to deny that reasoning, since Lynn Johnston telegraphs her plotlines literally years in advance, and she repeats the same plot material over and over in order to hammer the point home. Considering that the last collection of Lynn Johnston’s material I purchased covered only 9 – 10 months of material, it doesn’t make sense to stretch things out that far. The spread from the strip where the fire escape is pointed out prominently upon the Patterson moving into their apartment, (which led virtually everyone to believe there would be a fire) to the payoff 1½ years later, even in the graphic novel format, a reader would have to compare a few strips in one book to a strip sequence in another. I would tell Lynn Johnston to finish her plotlines within 9 months, in order for it to work within a single collection, but considering the whole strip is going to end in 9 months, there seems to be little reason to do that.

The other thing the message boards discussed was the possibility that it might not be the Kelpfroths. For example: Lovey Salzman’s minora falls over, or Josef Weeder’s hash pipe falls over, or Meredith experiments with making fires thanks to her conversation with Deanna about Santa and chimneys. With tomorrow’s strip we can eliminate Meredith as the culprit, but it is quite obviously going to be Melville’s cigars, for no other reason than we have had Melville the illegal smoker, beaten into our heads from day one of his arrival, including the strip where the fire escape was pointed out. By virtue of this same plotting style, we know Mike & co. are going to end up Elly’s house; and we know we will have another round of “Wouldn’t it be great if we lived here?” while they are staying there.

The unknown questions are:
1. How much damage will the fire do? Smoke damage, or complete destruction. I favour smoke damage, because it get the Pattersons out of the apartment, but it doesn’t kill anyone.
2. How will Mike’s manuscript for his book be rescued? This one has the potential to be a gloriously awful plot point and I hope Lynn does it up right, with her best (worst) writing.
3. Will this mark the end of the Lovey Salzman / Patterson relationship, or will it come later on? My money is later on, because I view Mike’s novel turning into a best-seller as the monetary impetus which will allow Mike to purchase the house from Elly and John.

The other aspect of this sequence is that it is guaranteed to take the whole week into Christmas. Even though in her monthly letter for December, Liz said she was going to go with Anthony to the Howard Bunt trial verdict, I suspect we may be completely through with the Howard Bunt trial, except for a mention of the verdict in Liz's January monthly letter. Since the fire will overshadow the appearance of Constable Paul Wright, I also suspect he is going to be a no-show for Christmas, so Elly and John can hammer in the "he doesn't support you" line one more time, a few days after Christmas, when the fire business calms down. We shall see.


Blogger April Patterson said...


3:53 PM  
Blogger howard said...

Preach it, sister!

4:05 PM  

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