If you grew up reading comic strips, chances are that you have come across the iconic “For Better or for Worse” comic strip. The strip ran for 29 years, from 1979 to 2008, and was created by Canadian cartoonist Lynn Johnston.
The Early Years
Lynn Johnston was born in Ontario, Canada in May 1947. She had an early interest in drawing and comics and began her career as a commercial artist after completing her education. In the early 1970s, she started working on a comic strip called “Johnstone’s Juncture”.
The Creation of “For Better or For Worse”
In 1979, Lynn Johnston started working on what would eventually become “For Better or For Worse”. The comic strip followed the lives of the Patterson family and their friends from their first appearance as a young couple to old age. The characters were inspired by Lynn’s own family and friends, making them relatable to readers around the world.
The comic strip was unique in that it dealt with real-life issues such as marriage, childbirth, aging parents, and even pet ownership. This made it stand out from other comic strips of its time which mostly dealt with humor.
Success of “For Better or For Worse”
The success of “For Better or For Worse” was unprecedented. It quickly gained a huge following all over North America and eventually worldwide. Readers could relate to the characters and their struggles which made it all the more endearing.
The strip won several awards over its run including the prestigious Reuben Award in 1985 for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.
It also spawned several collections of books which featured compilations of the strips organized by theme such as weddings or holidays.
The End of an Era
In August 2008, Lynn Johnston announced that she would be ending the daily comic strip but would continue to release new material on Sundays. The final daily strip was published on August 30, 2008.
The comic strip had become an integral part of many readers’ lives over the years and the announcement of its end was met with sadness and nostalgia.
Lynn Johnston’s “For Better or For Worse” is a testament to the power of storytelling through comics. It broke new ground in terms of subject matter and audience engagement. The characters were so well-developed that they felt like real people to readers.
The legacy of “For Better or For Worse” continues to live on through its various collections and reprints. It remains a beloved comic strip that will always hold a special place in the hearts of its fans.