For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston

Type: Comic Strip
Categories: Family, International, Kids, Dog.

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Since its debut in 1979, For Better or For Worse has touched comic strip readers as few cartoons ever do. Lynn Johnston's eye for detail and her uncanny sense of what real parents and children struggle with daily are a big part of her success. The comic strip now appears in 1,550 papers in the U.S. and Canada. Read by people of all ages, the award-winning For Better or For Worse deals honestly with both the light-hearted and the serious, and to many readers, the Pattersons feel like family!

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Lynn Johnston


An Ontario, Canada, native, Johnston grew up in a home filled with musical and artistic talent. After attending the Vancouver School of Art, she worked in an animation studio, then at McMaster University as a medical illustrator. After five years, Johnston continued to freelance for the hospital, mostly for the obstetrics department -- the head of which encouraged her to draw cartoons for his patients. Some of these were made into a book. Two more small cartoon books on life with babies and young children followed and in 1978, these three books came to the attention of Universal Press Syndicate (now Andrews McMeel Syndication). For Better or For Worse hit the papers in 1979 and has become one of the most beloved comic strips of all time.

Meet the Cast of For Better or For Worse

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Elly Elly Patterson juggles the daily duties of being a dedicated mom and wife and a willing ear to friends. While sometimes wishing for nothing more than a few quiet minutes to herself, she thrives on being involved and active. Never losing sight of what's important, Elly always makes time to sit and chat over a steaming coffee with friends, sharing the losses and victories on the battlefield of life. Elly is the cornerstone of the Patterson family and it is her philosophy, her interactions with the other characters and her ability to keep things running (even if not always smoothly) around which the story revolves.
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John John Patterson is Elly's devoted and steadfast counterpart. He is a dentist, a role he takes seriously. His work comes second only to his family. John's forward thinking makes him an innovator and instigator. He may seem to take a back seat sometimes, but it's his strength of character and calm demeanour that keeps the family "on track". He listens closely to and tries to understand women, though it proves harder sometimes than others! He dotes on his baby girl, Elizabeth, and enjoys watching Michael develop a personality all his own.
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Michael School, friends, homework, TV, chores, family, toys, pets ... there just aren't enough hours in a day! From the moment he could crawl, Michael has been energetic, creative and insatiably curious. He is rarely shy, finds people fascinating, and has a flare for being (sometimes overly!) dramatic. Like many kids his age, he feels that grown-ups just don't understand kids at all! Even though he often broods that Elizabeth is considered the favorite (because she is little), he is a protective older brother and delights in teaching her about the ways of the world as he knows it.
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Elizabeth Despite Michael's jealousy, Lizzie's life is not all naps and games. Just getting from point A to point B can be a challenge when you are still learning about your growing little body, especially when there are stairs in the way! Liz is working every minute of the day, soaking up her surroundings and sometimes her bed. New words, new expressions and new actions are all worth testing out, some with more success than others.

Who wouldn't want the Pattersons as neighbors? In some respects, they already are to millions of newspaper readers. Lynn Johnston's universe is so richly detailed that her characters leap off the page and into readers' hearts with instant familiarity. It's as if we've always known them. With Elly, John, Michael and Elizabeth, readers share all the small events that make up everyday life -- daily chores and triumphs as well as doubts that plague us and disappointments we can't avoid. Lynn's genius for telling these stories simply and honestly is what has endeared For Better or For Worse to millions of fans across multiple generations. Young and old and in between, we've all been in the Pattersons' shoes and we love them for it as Lynn's gentle humor keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously.

  • For Better or For Worse

    published: Sunday, January 08, 2017

    For Better or For Worse

    published: Monday, January 09, 2017

    For Better or For Worse

    published: Tuesday, January 10, 2017

    For Better or For Worse

    published: Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    For Better or For Worse

    published: Thursday, January 12, 2017

    For Better or For Worse

    published: Friday, January 13, 2017

    For Better or For Worse

    published: Saturday, January 14, 2017

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