After establishing clearly that young Michael Patterson is in preschool, and using a number of strips from Year One for reprints; it is surprising to see that in today's new-run of For Better or For Worse
, Lynn Johnston has returned back to where she left off with Phil and Connie over Christmas in Year Two. I thought she would continue reprinting strips she had left unreprinted from Year One. Now it seems clear that they were just filler until Lynn delivered the “Deanna leaves while Mike is home sick” tragic storyline.
Meanwhile back to Connie and Phil. As before with this story, Lynn has decided to insert Elly in places where she was not before. I could go into a discussion about how Connie Poirier seems even more aware that her relationship with Phil Richards is doomed to failure, making her upcoming trip to Montreal to see him even more deranged. I could talk about the creepiness of Elly’s apparent belief that Phil has some kind of responsibility to Connie, judging from her “light a match under him” comment. I could talk about the theme of Connie having extremely unrealistic expectations of men who live long distances from her using Pablo da Silva and now Phil as examples. I could talk about how all the text is necessary because Lynn is reintroducing this storyline over a month since New Years. However, the thing that struck me the most about today’s new-run is, oddly enough, the lesbian undertone. If I were to remove all the dialogue and just look at the strip to figure out what was going on, I would see:Panel 1:
2 women talking. One dressed in a feminine fashion, the other dressed in a masculine fashion. The masculine one is holding a shovel, from having done the work of shoveling snow. The masculine one has taken a defensive stance by placing the shovel between them. I imagine the feminine one is addressing some wrong between the two of them.Panel 2:
The two women are walking. To show her as the less delicate one, the artist gives the masculine one a dripping nose. The women are closer than before, but the shovel is still there between them. I imagine the masculine one is beginning to weaken over the wrong being discussed. I sense reconciliation.Panel 3:
The shovel is left behind as the masculine woman, going first, is opening her house to the feminine one. The wrong has been settled between them.Panel 4:
The two women begin undressing. Underneath her masculine coat, the masculine one is wearing a man sweater, effectively disguising her figure. The two women look earnestly into each other’s eyes.Panel 5:
With her coat off, we see the feminine one is wearing a more form-fitting and lower-cut shirt. As the masculine one starts to make a beverage, the feminine one makes her move and leans in tentatively for an embrace.
I think it works better that way than this ridiculous rehashing of the Connie and Phil relationship, which makes Connie seem even more embarrassingly pathetic than she did before. Of course there is an upside. When Elly "takes care" of Lawrence while Connie is gone, I expect we are going to get new-runs which will show Elly is even more irresponsible with Lawrence than she was the last time, if Elly's handing of her family's flu is any indication.
By the way, I enjoyed watching a great Super Bowl this Sunday. Even though my Arizona Cardinals ended up losing, I am in pretty good spirits about it. Sob!! They came so close to winning!!