's request. The whole story:
October 4, 2001 - http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2001/10/4&name=For_Better_Or_Worse
This is the first strip I have in an on-line archive with Becky and April in it. I don’t plan to go back further than this, and I probably will not have to. April races to the bus and times how quickly she can to school. Becky is already there and says it took her 10 minutes, whereas it took April 5 minutes. No big surprise there, since Becky has always thought her appearance was more important than April.
October 10, 2001 - http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2001/10/10&name=For_Better_Or_Worsehttp://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2001/10/12&name=For_Better_Or_Worse
April discovers the sex book and calls Becky about it. Becky comes over to look at it with April. April and Becky learn about and are interested in sex, when April is 10 years old and just barely in Grade 5. Elly is lucky Becky’s mother didn’t find out about this.
December 15, 2001 - http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2001/12/15&name=For_Better_Or_Worse
Becky and April are together building a snowman, with a 6 pack, clearly indicating they are thinking about men—muscle men, made out of snow.
September 19 - 21, 2002 -http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2002/9/19&name=For_Better_Or_Worsehttp://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2002/9/20&name=For_Better_Or_Worsehttp://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2002/9/21&name=For_Better_Or_Worse
Becky, April, and some girl I have never seen before are at the mall scoping out boys. April remarks that she likes Becky’s new haircut because it makes her look younger. Becky storms off and the other girl sides with Becky, telling April she needs to apologize. Apparently the apology doesn’t come, because when John picks the girls up, he informs Elly that the girls were not speaking to each other. Becky and April patch things up, but this girl never appears again.
December 6, 2002 - http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2002/12/6&name=For_Better_Or_Worse
It’s rabbit replacement day. Becky doesn’t do anything more than sit on the bus beside April, which I presume means they have patched up their problems, but who knows?
Friday January 17, 2003 – The beginning of the band sequence.
April is playing an old CD player Elizabeth gave her when she got a new one from Mike over Christmas. April, Duncan, Gerald, and Becky are enjoying the loud sounds while John Patterson seethes over the noise. April asks her parents’ permission to have a band and practice in her house. Elly and John agree. While the band members try to decide on a name, April focuses them on learning music first.
January 24 - 25, 2003 - I missed this the first time around. April tries to get them to stop playing their own thing and concentrate on piece of music. Becky asks when she gets to sing, and April says, "Later, OK?" Then Gerald steps in with the tambourine and insults Becky. I realize now, Gerald is stepping in to support April, but in doing so he insults Becky, by trying to put her into “the girl can only sing” role with the tambourine. Becky then tries to start the group on a melody she knows and she wants the group to improvise around her. This leads to Becky going home. It occurs to me now that what you had was April wanting the group to be formed around her classical guitar roots, i.e. learning pieces off music, whereas Becky wanted a more pop style of music development, where the backgrounds are largely improvised around the melody.
January 27 - February 1, 2003 - Grandpa Jim intervenes with April and points out the problem is that there is rivalry over who is leading the band (he strikes a chord!). It turns out, this is truly the case. I had been too distracted by Gerald's tambourine antics to notice it, but April points out that (a) the practice was at her house and (b) having the band was her idea, so Becky shouldn’t be allowed to take over. Therefore she completely rejects Grandpa Jim's suggestion that they let Becky lead because she is the most capable. Duncan goes off and gets Becky to give the band a second chance, and I find it very interesting that he specifically tells April and Gerald not to come with him.
The next odd thing is that at April's birthday party, 2003, Becky is not there.
June 1, 2003 - We see the band in rehearsal, and Gerald is calling out the beat to start. There are no fights, but the animals and Elly flee the house. This shows that Gerald has taken over the band leadership, and not April or Becky.
July 6, 2003 - The band is at the arcade and Elly does Dance Revolution.
July 20, 2003 - The band at an outdoor eatery, where Becky and April declare the boy's lack of bodily and clothes cleanliness to be revolting.
July 22, 2003 - Becky and April lie on her bed, while April complains her parents are taking a vacation without her.
August 17, 2003 - The missing bathing suit strip. Becky ends up stealing April's top after April stole Gerald’s bottom. She gets revenge for Gerald.
September 21, 2003 - The band practices Gerald's new song "Old People" and by virtue of Elly's poor opinion of it, declare it to be a hit. By doing a song Gerald has written himself, this shows the band is not doing covers of other people’s tunes. No Mr. Bergan music in sight.
October 8, 2003 - Becky and April together on April's bed as she complains that now Grandpa Jim is no longer in the house, April has to go to Lilliput's after school to work every day, and reveals that she had been going over to Becky's house everyday, which would have been a majour bonding time between the two girls.
October 18, 2003 - At the end of the long "April works at Lilliput's" sequence, she speaks to Becky about all she now has to do, but in a good responsible way, and Becky reports she (Becky) is lucky because all she has to do after school is watch TV. This is the first time we see an indication that April’s life is superiour to Becky.
October 26, 2003 - The band poo-poos Halloween, but wants to go with April trick-or-treating with smaller children.
December 7, 2003 - The band picks out A Charlie Brown Christmas to rent, after poo-poohing a number of other darker Christmas films.
December 28, 2003 - April and Becky make snowmen, but leave their winter gear on them and freeze themselves.
January 11, 2004 - Gerald dyes his hair blonde. The band celebrates New Years' Eve and happen to come across a street riot. This is a truly bizarre strip.
January 21 - 23, 2004 - April and Becky talk about Dixie and Edgar and make a few bad puns about dogs.
January 26, 2004 – We begin the sequence where the band relocates its practice space to the school over lunch time. Gerald has hockey. Duncan has basketball. Their teams rehearse after school, so they can’t rehearse then. Gerald wants to rehearse on the weekend, but April has to babysit all day on Saturdays and is too busy studying on Sundays (which is a pretty poor excuse). After they are caught passing notes, Gerald blames April and Becky for wanting to break up the band. Mrs. Collins agrees to let them use the music room over lunch and donates a drum set for Gerald to use.
February 1, 2004 – The band watches an eating contest, while Elly makes a thought balloon about world hunger. Ugh.
February 3, 2004 – The rehearsals begin with Jeremy Jones strangely sitting in the hallway listening. Presumably he wants to join and that was going to be his means of redemption, but it never panned out. Then they get into a long discussion about families where Gerald and Becky both express desires for a change in their family (Gerald – different brother, Becky – happy mother, wants a sister). Duncan and April say their family is OK the way things are. It’s an interesting early bonding moment with Gerald and Becky and also with Duncan and April.
February 23, 2004 – Another Jeremy Jones eavesdropping sequence. Mrs. Collins tells the band about the youth talent festival battle of the bands. 4Evah wins the contest between the 6 finalists to get into the festival. Then we see Gerald leading the band in their performance of “Tell It Like It Is”, which strangely involves April and Becky dropping their instruments to do dance moves and bear their midriffs. John Patterson disapproves, but in an unusual move for him, doesn’t stop it. I think it is odd because without April on lead guitar or Becky on keyboard, there is no instrument carrying the melody. I will grant this strip is more about midriffs than music.
March 1 - 6, 2004 – The talent show sequence. April breaks her G-string, so Lynn can make that awful joke and April is not talented enough to play using only the remaining strings. Even the sequences where Becky and April are dancing and not playing (so April’s guitar doesn’t matter) don’t come off. As they depart the stage, only Duncan attempts to comfort April, as Becky has her eyes closed as if she is in pain.
April 4, 2004 – April’s 13th birthday party. The band is there and a bunch of other people. This is the last birthday party with a large number of friends from outside the band.
April 12, 2004 – April at Becky’s house talking about John and Elly on vacationing in Mexico and if they are bringing back presents. April reveals she is staying with Becky while they are gone.
April 17, 2004 – April with Becky screams at the sight of Elly with cornrows in her hair.
May 24-25, 2004 – Elly listens to April talking to Becky where they refer to someone as a Foob, and April defines the term and then calls her mother a Prag. At this point in her life, April has not problem with gossiping about people with Becky.
May 31, 2004 – April drops Butterscotch over at Becky’s in preparation for travel to Elizabeth’s graduation. April thinks “There’s something about Becky that makes me jealous…an’ I don’t know what it is. I’m glad she’s with my bunny an’ not my boyfriend!” Then there is a tag thought balloon, which I can see now was added at the last minute, because the lettering is much smaller than the other thought balloon, as if it had to be squeezed in. The tag is “If I had one.” This is the beginning. April is jealous of Becky for what she admits is no reason.
June 29, 2004 – End of school bus ride home. Becky is there, but she just blows bubble gum.
July 11, 2004 – April talks to Becky on the phone. Elly forces her to get off and screams at her when she protests
August 30, 2004 – April trades Becky a shirt, pants and pair of sandals for a $120 short dress, which Elly refuses to let her wear until she puts on a whole lot of extra clothes so she doesn’t look like a pole dancer. This hints about Becky’s choice of clothing also, since the dress came from her.
September 3 - 7, 2004 – Once at school, Duncan says April looks OK in the outfit. Becky wisely says nothing. Both Gerald and Duncan comment on the flesh girls are bearing. Becky is wearing a midriff-bearing shirt and long pants and says nothing throughout the entire sequence, until the principal announces that she is installing a dress code. Then Becky complains that “they’re gonna start telling us how to dress ourselves.” April misses Becky’s point about how they are being treated completely and says, “I know…It’s kind of a relief.”
October 20, 2004 – Becky and April go to take Home Ec at R.P. Boire. Becky rolls up her skirt and April mocks her in her thought balloon that it makes her look like she has a gut. This is the first time April has openly mocked Becky via thought balloon, but it won’t be her last.
October 21, 2004 – April and Becky mock the name of the Home Ec teacher, Mrs. Potts, who catches them doing it. Becky says she likes her teacher.
October 22, 2004 – Becky hears about integrating the Home Ec class and hopes it means older guys. April asks Becky if she can think about something else. Becky says she can’t.
October 23, 2004 – 4 Special needs kids are added to the class. Becky says it is going to be weird. April tells her to shut up. Shannon Lake tells Becky what she has isn’t “catching.” And I notice that Shannon is not using ellipses, but she picks it up in her next strip appearance. Too bad.
October 25, 2004 – Becky complains about the Special Needs kids. April tells Becky she is freaking her out. Becky’s complaints are that some of the Special Needs can’t talk and won’t look at her, and protests that they will prevent her from learning anything. April does not answer Becky’s protests, but thought balloons she has learned about Becky. My boy did a summer camp last year where he was put in with some kids who are much more severely autistic than he is, and it freaked him out too.
October 26, 2004 – The teacher put them in groups. Becky gets put in a group with 3 guys. April thought balloons that each group has someone with “special needs” which is a reference to Becky’s need to be around guys is equal to her having a “special need.”
October 29, 2004 – Becky asks April about her Home EC group, particularly Shannon. No Becky insults.
December 14, 2004 – April talks about 4Evah playing a Christmas concert at the high school and how Becky is excited over a Grade 12 boy, whom she wants to impress onstage. April doesn’t have a problem with this initially, but Elly does.
December 15, 2004 – Becky and April pass Shannon, and only April and Shannon speak. Becky slams Shannon for talking funny, walking funny, being 15 years old with a Grade 2 reading level, not being able to get on a bus, having to be taken by her mother everywhere. April thought balloons that Becky’s mom doesn’t do anything with her. That’s some pretty heavy Shannon mocking from Becky to get no response from April.
December 16, 2004 – Becky talks about how she is lucky to be with 3 guys and not partnered with Shannon because she is slow, which another reference to Shannon holding back someone learning. April defends Shannon by pointing out Becky spends all her time flirting.
December 21, 2004 – After hearing Shannon talk about how she is mocked by boys, April offers to let Shannon play the bells for 4Evah at the Christmas concert. Shannon freaks out.
December 22, 2004 – April tells Becky about her invitation to Shannon. Becky disapproves because Shannon would mess them up and she wants the band to impress the Grade 12 guys. Becky doesn’t want to share the stage with a loser. April thought balloons “Neither do I.” This is our first and only indication that April no longer wants Becky in the band as Becky ladles on the Shannon hate.
December 23, 2004 – April confesses to Gerald she is beginning to hate Becky. Gerald defends Becky because of her poor home life, her talent and all the nice things she has. April accuses Becky of being immoral and classless.
December 24, 2004 – 4Evah kills at the Christmas concert and as Becky hoped she got the date with the Grade 12 guy. April sullenly tells her Merry Christmas.
January 2, 2005 – April and Becky watch the news. After a long series of depressing news stories, Becky reacts with sadness to a story about a puppy. This shows how shallow Becky is, just like the rest of the TV viewing public.
January 25, 2005 – Becky saves a seat for Jeff, her post Christmas concert date. Duncan and April don’t take it well. If Jeff had ended up being a real boyfriend, did Duncan and April really expect them to take precedence?
January 26, 2005 – April complains Becky thinks she is hot because of dating a Grade 12 guy, but can’t understand what the guy sees in her, implying that April wished a Grade 12 guy had asked her out. In this classic strip, Duncan explains that Becky is “hands on, a gig, roadside, been there”.
January 27, 2005 – Jeff ignores Becky. Duncan makes a joke about it.
January 28, 2005 – Becky approaches Jeff, who calls her a good girl and tell her to sit down. April sits with Becky.
January 29, 2005 – At school Becky tells April the sordid tale of Jeff Bray and how it was not just one date, but a whole series of activities, including Jeff telling Becky he loved her.
January 31, 2005 – In the washroom, Becky and April still talks as April puts in her first preaching line, “Maybe you gave him too much.”
February 1, 2005 – Becky weeps through math.
February 2 - 3, 2005 – April tells Becky she’s having a bad day. Becky reveals her parents are separating and blames herself, because they only stayed together because of her.
February 4, 2005 – April offers to comfort Becky with a band rehearsal at her place.
February 5, 2005 – Becky apologizes for not sharing a seat with April in the morning and for acting like a jerk. April admits to Becky she still likes her.
February 27, 2005 – Becky wears a midriff bearing shirt with an exposed navel ring while waiting for the bus in 12 below zero weather, and pays the price.
March 17, 2005 – April and Becky go to the mall. Becky agrees to meet April at the food court.
March 22, 2005- At the food court, Becky is mentally classifying people who walk by. April tells Becky she had to help Shannon Lake who got lost in the card shop. Becky is surprised Shannon could get lost.
March 23, 2005 – Becky continues to judge people. April thought balloons, “I gotta find a new friend.” Obviously April’s opinion on calling people Foob has changed.
March 24, 2005 – April asks how Becky can “label” people. Becky says it has not effect on the people and she’s not always negative. April asks Becky to rate her, and then gets her feelings hurt when Becky does it.
March 25, 2005 – Becky follows April into the washroom to apologize and say she gave April a good rating. To prove it, Becky asks April to rate her. Naturally April rates Becky as pretty, fashionable and stupid. Naturally, Becky takes offence and April leaves with a classic Patterson parting shot over the shoulder.
March 26, 2005 – Amazingly, Becky is still walking with April, when April announces to her she’s shopping by herself. Becky says, “Whatever. I’ll see you ‘round.” April thought balloons how she’ll never be as pretty, popular or well-dressed as Becky. Then Shannon Lake shows up to show April those things don’t matter, at least not to her.
May 29, 2005 – April and Becky buy cleavage enhancers. Edgar eats one of April’s, which Becky finds amusing.
June 30, 2005 – April and Becky at the Grade 8 grad. The band sits together, and are surprised when Becky goes to sing one of her own compositions. April and Gerald are shocked. I suddenly realize this is the very first time we have seen a strip make a reference to Becky as a composer. In prior strips, it has been April and Gerald.
July 7, 2005 – Jeremy Jones talks to April and points out “After tonight, she’ll (Becky) probably will think she’s too big for your band.” April protests he is wrong.
July 11, 2005 - Becky seeks out Gerald and April and finds them kissing. Gerald tells Becky she was amazing. Becky says she was OK. April asks why Becky didn’t tell them she was performing. Gerald says the whole band could have been there. Becky says that’s why she didn’t tell, i.e. she didn’t want the whole band up there.
July 12, 2005 – Becky explains she wanted to do something on her own and not with the band. Gerald protests they give her lots of space because she is the lead singer. Becky says it is not the same, because she wants to BE somebody as Duncan walks up. Gerald asks if she is saying the band isn’t good enough. Becky says they are good enough, but not for her.
July 13, 2005 – In the aftermath of this drama, April wants to snuggle with Gerald in the back seat of the car.
July 15, 2005 – After Gerald is gone, April lays it out for Elizabeth. (1) Everyone told Becky how amazing and talented she was. (2) Then Becky said she wants to be famous and the band is not good enough for her.(3) Becky has a giant, inflated ego.
September 3, 2005 – Back in school. Duncan wonder’s where Becky is going to be. April declares Becky McGuire is history. Becky over hears her.
September 5, 2005 – April repeats her problem with Becky, i.e. that she said the band wasn’t good enough for her, so feels like she has been treated like dirt and they can never be friends again. Becky suggests superficial friendship.
September 6, 2005 – Ignoring what April just said, Becky tells April her parents have separated, she taking voice lessons and she has been doing gigs and Jeremy Jones is her roadie. April tells Becky she is a big sound system.
September 7, 2006 – Becky explains she thought she could do better on her own and to make it as a singer she has to look out for number one. April tells Becky she is full of shit.
September 8, 2006 – April dissolves the band.
September 9, 2006 – Grandpa Jim weighs in shocked April dissolved the band. April admits to Grandpa Jim that Becky was right about the difference in quality between Becky and the rest of the band. Grandpa Jim protests it is still no reason to dissolve the band.
September 10, 2006 – April agrees and asks her dad’s permission to practice at Gerald’s place.
November 21, 2005 – Becky comes up to April and asks why April is late to school. Seeing April’s zits, she asks if April went to dermatologist. April says, “None of your beeswax”. Becky comes back with “Whatzit to you?”
November 26, 2005 – People gather to hear Becky’s radio commercial.
November 27, 2005 – April calls Elizabeth in the middle of the night and among other things tells her that Becky called her fat in front of a bunch of guys.
November 28, 2005 – Becky announces in addition to the radio, her dad has booked gigs for her and Jeremy Jones is doing her audio. April hopes everything works out for Becky, and she corrects her with Rebeccah and talks about practicing her signature.
November 29, 2005 – Gerald is excited Becky is going to be famous. April wishes for the old “Becky.”
December 8, 2005 – Becky begs to copy April’s book report, because she had to sing. April thought balloons Becky doesn’t know what a true friend is.
December 9, 2005 – April lets Becky have her outline. April thought balloons about being used.
March 19, 2006 – Elly forces April to take an umbrella. April shares the umbrella with other people at the bus stop, including Becky.
April 3, 2006 – 4Evah practices and they stink. April exclaims that without Becky they’re nothing.
April 6, 2006 – Becky comes up to April and asks her about the new band, i.e. 4Evah&Eva. Becky says she is glad because 4Evah got her started on her career. Then she hands April a CD and talks about how her dad is her agent. Then we see the crowd of nerdy girls handing Becky school work they have done for her.
September 19, 2006 – Becky is surrounding by her nerdy girls. Eva and April talk about her and mention that they started playing her tunes on the radio. Eva comments that she would like to weigh her head.
September 20, 2006 – Becky approaches April and asks for help on an essay. April protests Becky has a tutor. Becky said only in the summer on the road (which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense). April agrees to help Becky if Becky acknowledges her existence.
September 21, 2005 – Duncan and Eva protest, because Becky has 2 albums out, she’s on T.V., she’s invited to perform all over Canada, and is treated like a goddess. April sees her purpose in Becky’s life to be something in her world that’s real.
September 22, 2006 – Despite what Duncan and Eva just said, Becky asks to sit beside April on the school bus. Becky talks about how people think she is a prima donna and explains her situation to a completely unsympathetic, squinting April.
September 23, 2006 – Becky continues on with her woes of being famous, and points out April will never have to deal with it. April glares.
October 2, 2006 – Gerald wants to practice, despite Grandpa Jim’s stroke, so they can outshine Rebecca.
October 27, 2006 – Becky talks to April and Gerald. She is excited because she is playing for the school for the first time with her band, and she thinks it is cool 4Evah&Eva are opening for her because a lot of other bands would like to do that. April says Becky makes her mad because she acts like she is doing the school a gigantic favor to perform. Gerald points out she is a big name. Both April and Gerald think of impolite names for Becky. This is Gerald’s only moment when he thinks poorly of Becky, and it is prompted by April.
October 30, 2006 – People crowd around Rebecca asking for autographs and asking questions as For Evah and Eva go on.
October 31, 2006- Becky is upset because they are too good.
November 1, 2006 – With her own makeup person, Rebecca is called to the stage and refuses water from Shannon Lake. She announces she rules, but she is informed she lost her sound.
November 2, 2006 – Rebecca’s lead guitarist goes crazy and destroys the performance and Eva makes a joke about it.
November 3, 2006 – Becky runs from the stage to the washroom. Gerald explains the 2 of the guys in the band are stoned and Jeremy never showed up to do audio. April and Eva follow Becky into the washroom and accuse her of being too dramatic in whispers.
November 4, 2006 – April explains to Becky her band let her down and the reason she was successful was because her band didn’t let her down. They hug.
March 6, 2007 –Eva and April pass by Becky in the mall. April accuses Becky of having given her the “I’m-better-than-you’ll-ever-be-no-matter-how-hard-you-try” kinda look. Eva points out Becky is by herself in the mall.