Lynn's Comments: When scratch and sniff first appeared in books and magazines and other fun places, I thought it had great cartoon potential. Imagined a dog sending another dog a greeting card, which was, naturally, scratch and sniff.
Lynn's Comments: My mom made bread every two weeks. Being a kid, I figured I was missing something by not having store-bought Wonder Bread, and eagerly traded my school lunch with friends. The weird thing about the commercial bread was that you could press it flat and fold it up like cardboard. It tasted like cardboard too unless you put lots of margarine on it. (Few families could afford butter.) One of my friends made his own lunch every day, and the things he found to press between slices of bread varied from garlic cloves to dill pickles to just plain sugar.
Sometimes I traded with him, sometimes I didn't, but I was always envious of his store bought bread and the way he was allowed to make his lunch any way he wanted to. What we didn't know about each other was that my mom couldn't afford to buy commercially made bread, and his mom went to work before he got up. He had to dress himself and his brother, make both their lunches, walk his brother to a neighbour's house, and then get himself to school. With nutritious meals to look forward to and a mom who was home to look after me, I was the lucky one.
Lynn's Comments: For some reason, I loved this strip. I had it framed and it hung on my studio wall for many years. In September when we moved, I took the strip out of the frame. It had yellowed badly. I put it away in my personal file, and when I find a place to put it, I'll have it framed again. I have no explanation for keeping it separate. I just did!
Lynn's Comments: This was one of my dad's favourite songs. He'd sing it when he was in an excellent mood and when he was in the shower. I've always liked the tune and have always wondered--what the heck are "praties?" (Listen to the song here on YouTube.)
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1986-12-07 Appearing:Elly, John Location:home
Lynn's Comments: I used to wonder as I sat on Santa's knee, why sometimes he had a false beard and sometimes he had a real one. My dad had the answer; he said that sometimes mice got into Santa's beard, so he'd shave it off. This meant wearing a false one until it grew back--which made sense to me at the time.
Lynn's Comments: Katie did exactly this while I was shopping in a department store. With too much to carry and deadlines to meet, I ran from the store wondering how long it would take for the management to discover her handiwork.
Lynn's Comments: I wanted to use "Custer's last stand" as a punch line, and saved it for a Christmas gag. After this strip ran, I got a pile of letters from people who had the same complaint about flimsy Christmas tree stands, and a diagram from a carpenter on how to make my own.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1986-12-11 Appearing:Elly, John Location:home
Lynn's Comments: Every year, my mom dutifully sent us fresh holly from the tree in her backyard. Christmas wasn't Christmas, in her opinion, if there was no fresh holly. She also wanted me to miss North Vancouver in the hope that I would eventually come home. This year, we will celebrate the holidays with real west coast holly, and my parents will be here in spirit to enjoy it with us.
Lynn's Comments: This was me. I loved to sharpen my pencils until the tips were like needles. Some pencils shredded and broke, and others were perfect. I recently bought a sharpener, which gives me the same sharpening satisfaction as the old school sharpeners did. The brand name is "Sharp Tank."
Lynn's Comments: When the first Cabbage Patch dolls came out, I was caught up in the frenzy like everyone else. I managed to score one for my daughter just before Christmas, but then my sister-in-law called to say there were no dolls available in Winnipeg until after Christmas, and could I find just two more. Word came that a shipment of dolls was to arrive at a local store in North Bay, and it would be first come first serve. I ran to the store and stood in line hoping to get a doll that wasn't too ugly. They were ALL ugly! I bought two blonde C-dolls, and mailed them off to Manitoba just in time for the great glut of Christmas. Apparently, I had saved the day. Looking back, it's hard to believe that such a strange looking doll could have made such an impact, and that I waited crazily in line for two of them! This series of strips was my "revenge."
Lynn's Comments: This was me exactly; standing in the early hours of the morning staring at all the gifts under the tree and wishing they were all for me. I wonder when greed changed to giving? Somewhere between the ages of 5 and 15, I became someone who thinks about others. Whenever it was, I'm grateful.
Lynn's Comments: I kept my father-in-law's hard hat for a long time after he died. It was so much a part of him. For many years, he was an important part of my life, and I felt it kept him close by as long as I had it. Strange how something cold, plastic, and ordinary can have so much meaning. Divorce estranged me from his sons and his daughter. I returned his hard hat to them before I moved from Ontario. This strip was to honour the memory of Tom Johnston. He was one of a kind.
Lynn's Comments: It was hard to introduce a new character into the strip. I had to make a number of sketches: front, side, three quarters. I drew the character laughing, frowning, shouting, and calm--all in an attempt to keep him or her consistent whenever they were in a scene. I didn't always succeed. "Greg" changed from time to time, and readers would quickly tell me when I made errors.
Lynn's Comments: Bringing Lawrence and his mother back into the strip was a good idea. They were already part of the Pattersons' extended family and I didn't want to lose them! I came up with a plausible scenario; something that would allow them to come back to the neighbourhood, and the result was a much needed boost to the storylines.
Lynn's Comments: Little things stay in your memory, for example, I remember when my mother and dad finally allowed me to drink out of real glass. I felt so grown up. It was as though they were saying, in a significant way, "We trust you."