Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

August 30, 2007

I Hear Trumpets… Trumpets in the Sky

imageThe shift for the mega-popular strip For Better or For Worse from real-time soap opera into a hybrid strip of frozen-in-time framing sequences around older runs of the feature will come sooner rather than later. Really sooner. Universal Press Syndicate has announced that the new format begins Monday, September 3.

That the strip's current format would end soon had been a rumor for a couple of years and an announced reality since last Winter. A September date for the shift had been bandied about for quite some time. Still, nothing had been 100 percent confirmed until this week. In fact, Johnston's recent talk about giving the controversial Anthony/Liz romance plot more space had led some folks -- myself included -- to believe that the strip would continue for at least a few weeks longer. Oddly, Johnston has continued to assert that the Anthony/Liz relationship needs more time to develop. Whether this makes it something she wants to do within the hybrid format, or if we're supposed to believe the cartoonist simply hasn't wrapped her mind around the forthcoming change or if it's supposed to indicate that tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday will cover an astonishing amount of ground, I couldn't pretend to know.

The first flashback will use Michael and his kids as a framing device and cover the romance between leads John and Elly.

Editor & Publisher has a lengthy article about the various issues around the shift and on Lynn Johnston in general, folding an older and informative piece about the switchover into its body.

Update: This will teach me to read all of my daily sources for links before posting and going back to bed. Brad McKay writes in to inform me that Alan Gardner at Daily Cartoonist has already solved the Anthony/Liz fate problem:
The strip's current storyline will be interlaced with Michael's remembrances until it gradually reaches a natural closing stage sometime early next year. When that happens, time will stop for the extended Patterson family, but not their stories.
So there you go.
posted 3:18 am PST | Permalink

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