Lynn's Comments: Both my kids loved to go Christmas shopping. They still do! Finding the right thing for the right person is exciting, and in our family, funny gifts are the best. One of the best gifts I remember as a kid was a skipping rope. With cardboard and glue my dad made the longest, thinnest box in the world. He placed the skipping rope in it full-length, then wrapped it and put it under the tree. For the life of me, I couldn't imagine what it was, and when I opened it, I laughed and laughed. The parcel itself was almost better than the gift!
Lynn's Comments: I gave Aaron this lecture and then watched as he welcomed his guests into the house. The first thing they did, of course, was to hand him their gifts so they could take off their shoes and jackets. He grabbed for the gifts and had the last laugh again.
Lynn's Comments: Earlier in my career, when I was a single mom, I worked outside the home and Aaron went to daycare. Any time he was sick, it was miserable for both of us. I knew, it was irresponsible to send a kid out there to infect others, but I had to pay a mortgage and buy groceries, and a day off work meant a smaller pay cheque. If I had to stay home with him, I felt guilty for missing work--and mad at myself for feeling guilty. He, on the other hand, appreciated having me home--all to himself and caring for him.
Lynn's Comments: One time when I was packing to leave for a speaking engagement, Aaron looked at me and said, "Are you turning into Lynn Johnston AGAIN?!"
Lynn's Comments: I remember being so into mud pies that I really expected to taste fresh baking when I bit into them. I can even recall the taste of dirt and the feeling of sand between my teeth. I also remember putting more than one into my mouth--just to make absolutely sure it was mud.
Lynn's Comments: I loved the words my kids created while they were learning to speak. "Fmuffmee" was "Excuse me," "blaffoon" was "bathroom," "ice cream" was "eye-green," and so on. I wanted them to have a good vocabulary and learn the language well, but long after they grew up and spoke with clarity, I was still (to their considerable eye-rolling)--saying "fmuffmee" and "blaffoon."
Lynn's Comments: Once again--a true-to-life bit of stupidity became a Sunday strip. It was one of those things that made me say to myself, "What was I thinking? I KNEW that would happen!" Because these events made such good material, I was almost HAPPY to have done something silly! When I could use a situation, make fun of it, exaggerate it, draw all of the expressions, delve into the body language--I was grateful! Knowing this, my kids would try to diminish a situation by saying, "Hey, you can use that in the strip!" Using the strip as an outlet was convenient. I didn't need a therapist; I just poured my thoughts into the ether and waited for the results to come back. Always, there was someone out there who felt the same way I did, someone had had the same experience exactly and could identify. Their letters were wonderful. There's nothing more comforting than knowing you're not alone!
Lynn's Comments: My little grandson will be a year old when this strip runs. He has just started to walk, and is curious about everything. Whatever he can grasp, goes into his mouth. If a cupboard can be opened, he'll be into it. He has a very small attention span, which is great because he can be easily distracted. He is also teething and wants to be with us (attached) a great deal of the time. I had forgotten how much work the one year old was. I have a lot of stamina and I put time aside just for him, but I can hardly keep up. Our daycare provider is an angel many times over! She gives my daughter and me the freedom to work in the studio, which in turn gives baby Ryan the freedom to be himself. It's all good!
Lynn's Comments: The strip was starting to realistically show a family's weaknesses as well as its strengths, which I think made it more believable. I was trying to show real life: What happened to me and to the character, Michael, happens all the time. In an ideal world, I guess someone should be there to chaperone a child at all times, but like me, Mike was a responsible kid who was capable of helping out. Sometimes we could all use an extra hand to help make ends meet!
Lynn's Comments: My dad loved to invent characters and to story tell. When he read a book to us, he read like a practiced thespian. He spoke with accents, changed the pitch of his voice, and made fairy tales come alive. When I did this strip, my dad had been gone for a number of years. I was able to bring him to life again by writing and drawing short vignettes like this one. It would have been just like Dad to call and pretend to be the Easter Bunny!
Lynn's Comments: Although I never saw my children trying to eat from a bowl like a dog, it was something I tried to do myself. The weird thing about this confession is that I was in my twenties when I did it!
Lynn's Comments: As an update to this strip, the last panel has been changed from "ghetto blaster" to "boom box!"
Lynn's Comments: I was often asked to champion women's rights in the strip; to reinforce feminism. I never felt comfortable with the word "feminist "; it's a word that to me suggests a negative attitude towards men. Rather, I preferred the word "equalist, " and I thought Elly and her friends were smart and independent and funny enough to show they were indeed equal to the men.
Lynn's Comments: Aaron and Katie both encouraged our dog, Willy, to clean up after them. He was a handy mop sometimes and would eat almost anything. With this in mind, I once saw Aaron offering the dog his homework.
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 a one-liner of which I was particularly pleased. Sadly, like so many remarks, word play and colloquial expressions, it could not be translated, so FBorFW remained an English only comic strip. Imagine the world of wonderful humour we would all enjoy if we could only understand each other's languages!
Lynn's Comments: This is another true situation. There were times when I was so engrossed in writing or drawing the strip that I was oblivious to everything else around me. My kids could talk to me, ask for things, say stuff that didn't make sense, and I'd simply nod and smile. An entire day could go by and I'd forget to eat or even get up and walk around. It was like being in a sound sleep. There were times when people would have to distract me from my work, look me in the eye, make sure I was absolutely focused on them, and then say what they wanted me to hear!
Lynn's Comments: I rarely used processed cheese in the kids’ lunches, but when I did, I thought this would be a funny prank to pull.
Lynn's Comments: This is the reason I don’t have a cat. Dogs, when they disappear, are somewhere down low. A cat, on the other hand, can be anywhere!