Thursday, February 22, 2007

Will the ghost of Farley come back and eat them all?

Time for a potentially embarrassing admission: I've been a sporadic reader of the comic strip For Better or For Worse for years now. Used to be I'd read it faithfully for a while, then stop for a while, then pick it up again, stop again, and so on. This pattern started when I was in college. I've been reading the thing on a daily basis now for the last year or two, and man, now that Lynn's announced that the strip will end sometime next year, is it ever starting to suck. She's clearly getting all her characters in line for their happily-ever-afters, and it's getting nauseating:

"Oh no! Elizabeth just got attacked on the job by a creepy guy!"

"But look! Anthony, the guy who's been in love with her since she was six, just showed up to beat the crap out of him!"

"Oh no! Michael's apartment just burned to a crisp!"

"But look! He saved his laptop with his book manuscript!"

"Oh no! Michael has to move with his family back in with his parents!"

"But look! Michael's just got a $25,000 advance for his next book!"

"Oh no! Elizabeth just got dumped by the guy she basically treated like crap!"

"But look! That guy who's been in love with her since she was six is single again!"

"Oh no! Michael's been told by his boss to fire some people at work!"

"But look! Michael's taking a moral stand by resigning himself!"

"Oh no! Michael has just deprived his family of his income!"

"But look! His wife will pick up the slack by returning to her own high-income career!"

Why do I get the feeling that FBoFW is going to spend the rest of its run tracking its characters as they repeatedly step into buckets of shit and come out smelling like a bed of roses?


Erin said...

My friend Eden has been writing about this, mostly bitching about the whole "Michael instantly sold his first book!" thing.

Stephanie said...

Don't forget that Anthony propositioned Liz right after that attack. How chivalrous ;)

Erin pointed me here :)

Tal said...

So, maybe I'm alone - but I still really love FBoFW. I'm sad to see it depart from its current form, but the new iteration will be following Michael's family now, who I still happen to like (mostly).

I agree that the chain of events to date have been totally preposterous, but maybe we've gotten too used to FBoFW mirroring Real Life, where things DO go wrong, and bad things DO happen to good people?

One thing though - if Anthony doesn't get rid of that damn mustache, I might start a letter campaign. I'm just sayin'.

Jayme Lynn Blaschke said...

I agree. I never appreciated FBoFW in my younger days, but over the past five years or so have really begun to appreciate what she's accomplished, and why so many other cartoonists marvel at her.

But yeah, since the big announcement, she's really been ramming everything home, forcing the plot wrapups and generally playing the part of a creator who's no longer creative, just going along on autopilot.

I'm not optimistic on her planned "remixes" of older strips coming up. If she wanted to keep her hand in the game, only not full time, then why not let her syndicate run her old strips from the beginning, ala Peanuts, and continue just producing Sunday color spots, like Berke Breathead or Bill Ahmed are doing? I'm not going to argue that Opus or Outland was anywhere near as good as Bloom County, but the whole remix approach strikes me as kind of pointless.