Lynn's Comments: This strip is very close to the bone for me. My mother would have been called an abusive parent by today's standards. She was physically and emotionally abusive, but she just didn't know how to parent. When she found a drawing I had done of her as a witch holding a whip, she cried.
Lynn's Comments: Again, pets and babies provide a needed break from serious things.
Lynn's Comments: This dilemma was used as a talking point in classrooms and doctors' offices. People cut out the strip and posted it on walls and bulletin boards. It was an amazing catalyst for discussion.
Lynn's Comments: Following this revelation, I received many letters. Readers were not as interested in asking me about the life of the character in the strip but in telling me about their own abusive experiences. Stories like this brought me, personally, closer to my readers than I had ever been before.
Lynn's Comments: I really enjoyed making Elly look horrible. If I didn't look like this from time to time, it was certainly the way I felt!
Lynn's Comments: The way to write a story, using one statement a day, is to include valuable information in dialogue that is crafted as a joke. Here, we get the joke about the hat, but it's connected to Gordon's gloves. He needn't have left his gloves at the Patterson house, but by having this happen, I was both confirming that Elly had intervened and that Gordon liked being in the Patterson home. This works as ongoing information without having to delve into the difficult storyline again.
Lynn's Comments: After a serious issue had been aired in the strip, I had to interject something light. Here, baby April comes to the rescue.
Lynn's Comments: This strip left readers wondering and imagining what was happening behind those closed doors. Not showing anything more was a good thing—it kept the strip from becoming too negative, and it gave readers the opportunity to think about what goes on in their own neighbourhoods. You can suspect something is happening, but you might never know for sure.
Lynn's Comments: This really raised a lot of questions from readers. I got calls from interviewers wanting to know where I was going with it and how much detail I was going to go into.
Lynn's Comments: This suggests the kind of home Gordon comes from. I knew myself what his life was like. I never got to show the readers more than just a glimpse of it.
Lynn's Comments: This is one of the first instances where we see Gordon's interest in vehicles.