Monthly Archives: March 2013


Friday, March 1, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Here is another strip that got me into hot water. Readers thought John had actually KICKED the dog in panel two! What I had tried to show was John putting his foot under Farley's rump and moving him. I would never have shown someone kicking a dog! This taught me to never draw an action unless I could draw it well! .
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-02
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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lynn's Comments: This last comment was meant as an apology to my husband. I had been spending a lot of time on the road. As well as producing the strip, which took a lot of time, I was working on an animation project, doing book tours and speaking engagements, and was trying to be a partner as well. I loved my job and I enjoyed all the activity, but I felt very guilty about being away from home so often.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-03
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-04
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Monday, March 4, 2013

Lynn's Comments: At this time in the evolution of the strip, I decided to have Mike's friend, Gordon, be a bit of a negative force. In my mind, all of the auxiliary characters were becoming clear and defined, and it seemed right for Gordon Mayes to have some baggage. Something in his life made him cynical and tougher than the other kids, but I hadn't yet figured out what it was. It sounds unbelievable, but these characters evolved on their own. In a way, they told me who they were and how they lived.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-05
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Gordon Mayes was a composite of a number of people--kids I knew who had problems too big to talk about. We all knew who had troubles at home--without knowing what those troubles were. Sometimes the signs were too evident to ignore. The surname "Mayes" was for Carol Mayes--a friend of mine in elementary school.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-06
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lynn's Comments: As a young dentist setting up a new practice, my husband had a lot of expenses. Equipment and rent and a staff of four gave him little left over for frivolous things. Elly didn't have a well paying job (like I did), so the Patterson family kept to a tight budget for a while.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-07
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Remember eating snow and believing it tasted like ice cream? If you don't, you didn't grow up in a northern climate! The only snow we didn't eat was yellow!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-08
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-09
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-10
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-11
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Monique was a sweet young woman who won a trip to Lynn Lake to meet me, on a show called Thrill of a Lifetime. I was the "thrill!" Part of the arrangement was that she would see herself in the comic strip and receive an original drawing. Because our encounter had been so short and I had done just one drawing for the show (a Sunday page), I decided to include her as one of the library staff. I never heard from her, but I hoped she enjoyed her brief appearances.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-12
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lynn's Comments: This scenario wasn't part of our family history. I took this idea from another mom whose household was constantly augmented by other people's pets--as well as the occasional school mascot needing a temporary roost. Sallie and Frank had two dogs, a cat , and a parakeet, so folks needing kennel space often asked these kind folks to take in another jowl to feed.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-13
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lynn's Comments: As kids, we were allowed to have a pet if it was very small, didn't require too much upkeep, and had a short lifespan. At first, my brother and I were host to chameleons--tiny little lizards which came from the pet shop with chains attached around their necks and a pin so you could attach them to your shirt! I don't remember them changing colour at all, but they did eat live mealworms, which was a cool thing to watch. Perhaps we overfed them or maybe we played with them too much, because they never lived very long. Fortunately, this rather barbaric way of packaging creatures is no longer permitted.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-14
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Naming a pet or a person in a comic strip requires about the same amount of thought as naming something or someone for real. I tried to imagine what I would call a hamster--and a name beginning with "H" seemed like a good idea. "Humphrey" appealed to me both because it's not a name commonly heard, and because I liked the "Humph" sound at the beginning.... it's sort of a British "snort," an expression of contempt or dissatisfaction. You never actually hear a "humph," it is most commonly seen in print. I think in the US one might say, "harrumph!"--but this has a slightly different connotation. Ahhhh... the semantics of sound.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-15
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Lynn's Comments: After the chameleons, we were allowed turtles and frogs, and when our charges could survive our "care and feeding," Mom let us have a budgie. This came about when I found a blue budgie on our back lawn. Mom borrowed a cage and tried to find the owner. She put an ad in the newspaper and called the radio station, but no luck. By this time, we had bought seed and a mirror and the bird was ours. We called him Robbie and he was great fun. He made a lot of noise during the day, but unlike the hamster in the strip, he was very quiet at night.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-16
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Back to my friend, Sallie. She kept the school hamster in her kitchen--the best place, she said, because she was always there, so it was safer for something so small and edible! (Her cat was always hoping for a chance to pounce on him.) I remember thinking how cute he was, but he sure could make a mess. I wouldn't have wanted the little guy in MY kitchen!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-17
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lynn's Comments: This is another strip that brought in the mail. "Never get sick on a weekend" could have been the title of a book as stories of interrupted sleep, well-meaning remedies, and all the things a mom still has to attend to despite fever and chills, came rolling in. No matter what I was going through, the letters I received told me I was far from alone!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-18
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Going back to my friend with the big heart and too many animals: The hamster had one of those transparent exercise balls, which the kids found fascinating--as did the family cat. When the hamster was not inclined to run for his pleasure, the kids encouraged him by rolling the ball themselves. I remember them saying that they wished they could ride in a ball like that, and putting myself in place of the dizzy, disoriented hamster, I thought... yeah... maybe not!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-19
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Sallie's guest did not get away like this, but a reader told me about their hamster's disappearance. It was eventually discovered months later in a nest he had made for himself inside their couch. A rodent is a rodent after all!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-20
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-21
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lynn's Comments: My friend Beth's daughter, Ellie, keeps several tarantulas in her room. These eerie creatures inhabit a large glass terrarium, and every so often, Ellie will carefully take them out and handle them. Beth said they didn't bother her at all because they're quiet--but the crickets they eat chirp all night long! Ellie apparently can sleep through the racket.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-22
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Friday, March 22, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Now that I have a granddaughter to chase about, I have all the paraphernalia; including crib and highchair. Laura is just learning how to feed herself, so the above illustration says it all. Allowing for leaks, spills, and the occasional avalanche, I sometimes wish we still had our dog.... to help wash the floor beneath her.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-23
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lynn's Comments: After a week of sawdust, nocturnal scuffling, fights over him, and the omnipresent rodent smell, Sallie was pleased to return the school hamster to his rightful home--happy in the knowledge that she would never buy one for her kids!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-24
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-25
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Lynn's Comments: I would occasionally use the floor of my studio if I had larger illustrations to sort through--or to dry. Art supplies are a magnet for kids, and mine were often in the room looking for scrap paper and other things they were allowed to have. One time I did have posters drying on the floor and Katie did accidentally walk on them. Fortunately they were dry, but she was so upset, she cried. Today she is an artist, too--so even then, she had respect for original art!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-26
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lynn's Comments: This quote was right from the dentist's mouth. My husband told me that in university there was so much going on in his residence, he went to the library to sleep!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-27
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lynn's Comments: In order to inject a bit of jealousy between my two main characters, I showed John firing off a definite ogle in the direction of Elly's shapely co-worker, Sue. I planned to take this farther and have something of a relationship evolve between John and Sue resulting in a serious exchange amongst all three. As in other attempts to show some "straying from the fold," I lost my nerve and never continued with the storyline.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-28
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lynn's Comments: The punch line here came from my experience with McMaster University. When I was first hired as a medical artist, everyone was working in temporary facilities as we waited for the new medical centre to be finished. We all had direct contact with the doctors, for whom we were working, and information was easily transferred from the physician to us to the drawing board. Later, when we moved into the new building and the department expanded, supervisors were hired to supervise supervisors, and direct access to the doctors became impossible. Suddenly the artists were trying to get information through a chain of command, which naturally resulted in misunderstandings and mistakes. Going directly to a surgeon to find out exactly how to interpret a procedure was discouraged. What was once a straightforward process became... well,... like trying to take seeds out of a watermelon with rubber gloves on! In frustration, I became the class clown again; a jokester--it was the only way I could survive the assistants who were assistants to assistants!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-29
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Friday, March 29, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Aaron was at least eight before we would leave him at home on his own. We never left him for long--just an hour, perhaps. He always knew where we were, and it was a way to show him that he had our trust. We were able to do this because we had grandparents nearby and neighbours who knew everything that Aaron was up to...and would tell!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-30
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lynn's Comments: I recently visited my son in his west coast apartment, and was gratified to see that he lives in a clean, tidy, and attractive environment. Amazing. After all that nagging, I really DID have an impact on my lethargic son... and it only took 30 years!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-03-31
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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lynn's Comments: Eldon Park was just down the lane from our house in Lynn Lake. It was a small space; room enough for a roundabout, a slide, and a three-seater swing set. The Kinsmen took care of the grounds and the equipment, and thanks to them, we had an Easter egg hunt each year. It was always a skirmish when the big kids got to the goodies first. Some parents helped the little kids, much to the annoyance of others, but we always managed to escape an altercation. I remember Katie standing by the fence upset because she couldn't find anything. To me, the eggs were visible everywhere, but when I squatted down to her level, I could see what the problem was. Everything was either too high or buried in the grass, which was too tall for her to see over. Sometimes, you really DO have to look at things from your child's point of view!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1984-04-22
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