Lynn Johnston is the cartoonist responsible for creating the family comic strip, "For Better or For Worse". She was born in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, and she grew up in British Columbia. Her parents, while always encouraging, were far from perfect. Her father was a weak man who bowed to the will of her physically and mentally abusive mother, and so Lynn used cartooning as an escape. When she was twelve, Lynn Johnston announced that one day she would be a famous cartoonist. Eventually, knowing that she had talent and could make it as an artist, she went to art school, but later quit because of the rigidity of the curriculum, and the disdain she encountered towards cartoonists.
She then found work as an animator in a Vancouver studio before moving to Toronto, where, unable to find a job in animation, she took on medical illustration. Shortly after, Lynn was pregnant with her first child, Aaron Michael, and decided to document the experience in a series of drawings that would later on be published in a book called "David, We're Pregnant". That book would end up being a 300,000 copy best-seller. "Hi Mom, Hi Dad" and "Do They Ever Grow Up" were then published during the turbulent time when Lynn’s first husband left her, she met and married Rod John Johnston and had her second child, Katy Elizabeth. Recognize the middle names?
In 1978 Universal Press Syndicate asked Lynn if she would be interested in doing a daily comic strip. She submitted twenty examples of "The Johnstons" - a series based on her own family because, she says "we were the only people I knew I could draw over and over again with some consistency." She ended up with a twenty-year contract. In 1979 the comic started its run, and the characters remained the same, but the names were changed from her family's first names to their middle names (John, Michael and Elizabeth). Elly was named after a friend of Lynn who had passed away. Her editor suggested the title "For Better Or For Worse" and it stuck.
Her strip now appears in over 2000 papers in Canada, the United States and twenty-three other countries. It is translated into eight other languages besides English. Twenty-three books are currently in print. Lynn Johnston currently resides in the country, in Ontario.
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