Lynn's Comments: This scenario was real, and once again, I heard from women and men who told me they’d walked out of a store because they’d been ignored. When I think of all the money I would have spent if the sales staff had been attentive, I shudder. Disinterested sales people have saved me a lot of money! Which brings me to ask: Why is it that when a restaurant is crazy busy, the staff gives you great service...but when it isn't busy, you can be completely ignored? Strange.
Lynn's Comments: I loved referring to Canadian history, customs, places and geography. Before I signed my contract with Universal Press, one of the editors insisted I refer only to the United States—that the strip had to be about Americans. I asked him if he, born and raised in Kansas, could write knowledgeably and realistically about a family in New York. He admitted he could not. I said, if I couldn’t have my characters live in Canada and write what I knew, then I wouldn’t sign the contract.
Lynn's Comments: I signed the 20-year contract. For Better or For Worse was "made in Canada" and the content proved to be acceptable everywhere. In this strip, the idea came from my mother, who told me she had once, in grade school, mixed up the words population and copulation on a test. Yup! …Good stories deserve to be retold!
Lynn's Comments: The truth is, it was my son who needed the glasses. This scenario was happening, but I shielded him by making Elizabeth the one who was having trouble in school. Things like this were often hard on my kids as they tried to explain to their friends what their mom was doing and that their lives did not run parallel to the characters in the strip.
Lynn's Comments: I think I’ve said before that the word "stoopid" ruffled a lot of readers' feathers. Many times I had to explain that despite the spelling, this is the way some words sound. They were not appeased. Artistic license is not necessarily a license to misspell!
Lynn's Comments: Oh, I could write notes on this strip…but they would go on and on and on...
Lynn's Comments: Having Elizabeth wear glasses separated my real life daughter even more from the character in the strip. Glasses gave Elizabeth a new look and something else to worry about! Things like this marked the growth of the characters and the passage of time. In FBorFW, everyone aged and changed.
Lynn's Comments: In the first panel, you can see Elly twisting Elizabeth's hair as she is getting it ready to put into a ponytail. I was able to draw things like this pretty realistically by using a Polaroid camera. I’d ask whoever was in the room to pose for me and I'd take the shot from the angle I needed. Somewhere I have an album filled with these crazy photographs!
Lynn's Comments: I never wear shorts and rarely wear skirts. I have never liked my legs…even though I know they are average looking and hold me up just fine. Funny what a negative "body image" can do to us.
Lynn's Comments: Readers were always suggesting I give Elly a more modern hairstyle. They were right…she really did need a change. The trouble is it's hard to change a cartoon character's established "look." Elly's hairstyle was part of her trademark; her recognizable image. Even in sitcoms, the characters tend to keep their "look." I managed to placate the critics by giving Elly a bun or a French roll from time to time, but her hair remained long for the length of the strip!
Lynn's Comments: My daughter, now a mother of two, finds herself saying things exactly like this and seeing herself in the strip. Do I feel good about this? Yes…I sure do!!!
Lynn's Comments: To write this stuff, I had to go back into the space I was in when I was eager to leave home; to get far away from my parents, the same old rules and routines, the same old house. I daydreamed about my freedom and the adventures I'd have when I was free. Funny to think about how much freedom you actually have when you're living at home!
Lynn's Comments: Girls with the name "Elizabeth" did not appreciate this strip. I recently heard from a reader who said that after all these years, her brother still calls her "lizard breath!"
Lynn's Comments: I loved doing these drawings. Not only were they fun to do, they brought back some very vivid memories.
Lynn's Comments: This never happened to my brother and myself, nor to my own kids. I just thought it was a plausible outcome. I was following in the footsteps of Farley Mowat. When I asked him (referring to his book "Never Cry Wolf") if he actually ate mice, he said, "If it didn’t happen, it SHOULD have." Truth and artistic license blur sometimes when it comes to a good story.