Collecting one of the most beloved comic strips of all time, with a devoted audience of more than 220 million. This new series, produced with Lynn Johnston’s cooperation, is the definitive edition, collecting each decade of the strip in three volumes. Since For Better or For Worse debuted in 1979, the world has watched the Patterson family grow up in real time-and to many readers, they feel like family! This book starts at the very beginning and reprints more than three years of the daily and Sunday comics. All Sunday comics are printed in colour!
- Library Of American Comics, January 2018
- ISBN 978-1-63140-982-0
- Hardcover, 11″ x 8.5″, 544 pages
- $39.99 USD
- Order online: Amazon, Izneo (Digital)
The classic middle class family dynamic: husband, wife, son, daughter, dog. It’s immediately relevant and timeless to all of us in a family relationship, as Johnston shares her life experiences through the lens of a daily newspaper strip. It’s all “slice of life” and while the single income wife at home dynamic may not be the norm any longer, the humour lies in the way we can all relate.
The relatively small cast of extras all provide an outside perspective for John and Elly, allowing Johnston to move outside the established dynamic.
While the strips are fully engaging and enjoyable I was most entertained by Johnston’s notes that appear beside a daily or below a Sunday: insights, reflections, comments.
Johnston’s art matures rapidly and by the second year it’s at the polished point that she maintains for most of the strip. There’s that roundness to her characters and the overtly animated facial expressions that scream “Johnston!”.
The strips look great, with blacks and colours well presented on the matte paper. Findlay discusses presenting the strips as they were published in his introduction, as earlier collections had corrected and updated material by Johnston. Coming at this material mostly for the first time it reads very well.
This volume follows the classic Library Of American Comics design, but with very little repurposed images. Solid colours on the endpapers, chapter dividers, and colophon. Art on the title page and frontispiece. Strip dates and page numbers along the bottom edge. Text only foreword and introduction.
The production is a bit different than other Library Of American Comics collections. This is a 544-page collection for $39.99, an astounding value, but to get there something had to be sacrificed. The paper is quite thin and there is bleed through. It’s not terribly distracting, and this thin paper allows the volume to have a lot of pages while maintaining a reasonable size.
This is the first comic strip collection I’ve read that I actually remember reading in the newspaper. It didn’t pull me in at the time, but as a child, I wasn’t the target audience.
I read this digitally and it presented very well. I picked up the print edition in a sale last year and then was able to read the digital version on Izneo via my iPad Pro. For the format, I may prefer digital, but the Library Of American Comics has a very small digital library so far. Plus there are some astounding deals for the Kindle Edition right now, with the Canadian price lower (below right).
The plan is for the complete library to run nine volumes. There are currently four available with the fifth coming out in early 2021.