Monday, June 8, 2009

I hate that couch!

Why do I hate that couch? The stripes are a pain in the butt to draw. I'm kind of surprised Lynn didn't have Elly sell it during the first year of the strip. I'm tempted to have Michael set fire to it so the Pattersons can replace it with a nice, solid white one.

Anyway, this is what I imagine John would bring home from a dental convention.

25 comments:

DreadedCandiru2 said...

Why indeed did she want to marry a clone of clunky old John? Why did she get stuck with someone far worse? Why did John think an obvious "take that" to the Farley plushie is something a child would want? Why do the Pattersons have such sucky taste in furniture?

April Patterson said...

Confounding questions, all, dc2. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh perfect! XD Yeah, those are exactly the type of things one brings home from a business convention for one's kids. XD Realism FTW!!



(I'm a techie; when my husband and I go to tech hardware conventions, our kids get all the "cute" promotional-themed stuff we pick up.)

April Patterson said...

Thanks, Anonymous--I thought this would be a pretty realistic approach. :)

Muzition said...

This made me laugh out loud.

April Patterson said...

Thanks, Muzition. :)

Cedar said...

Despite all the "I wanna marry a man just like Daddy!" lip service we got in the strip and the online garbage used to support the strip during its last ten years, I never really thought Anthony was all that much like John, especially the early years sexist asshole John we've been getting in these new-runs and the flashbacks of last year. John is rude to his wife, clearly can't stand his children, refuses to participate in anything even remotely feminine, and usually comes off as pretty boarish. At the very least, Anthony was never aggressively mean (although he was passive aggressive) to Therese, did want children, and of course smug wore oven mitts while bragging about how "domesticated" he was. I guess they're similar in that they both wear glasses and look alike, and since the lie-ography of John's parents, we're supposed to understand now that John was also an earnest young nerd (even tho we saw zero evidence of that in the strip).

But considering how personality-free late-strip John ("Traaaaains!") and pretty much entire-strip Anthony had, one could easily telegraph any personalities onto either of them.

clio_1 said...

Anthony asked another woman to "wait for him" and complained that he "had no home" when he was married to Therese, while she had post-partum depression, because she wanted a career. If that's not aggressively mean, I don't know what is. He was complete scum -- John was just kind of a jerk. Actually, in the new-runs, I've thought John was an acceptable person who, if he'd associated with better people, could have turned out pretty well. Instead he married Elly.

I don't think John is stupid for bringing his kids dental-themed toys. It's the kind of thing parents really do all the time, and if Liz were really 2, she'd probably love that tooth. Mike would probably enjoy playing dentist "just like Daddy", if he were really 4 or 6 or whatever, too.

April Patterson said...

apologyhat, excellent point about the whole "Anthony is just like John" conceit. I think this comes out of both generalizing (nerdy guys who wear glasses) and falsely attaching characteristics to them (steady, funny, etc.).

April Patterson said...

I don't think John is stupid for bringing his kids dental-themed toys. It's the kind of thing parents really do all the time, and if Liz were really 2, she'd probably love that tooth. Mike would probably enjoy playing dentist "just like Daddy", if he were really 4 or 6 or whatever, too.

Fair enough. Liz, I think, is re-evaluating everything from her adult perspective. Mike, though he has that going on, I think also falls back into his old role more readily. The way Mike was portrayed in the earliest strips, I could definitely see him disappointed to receive a dental kit rather than a toy. Plenty of boys who admire their dads would react differently, but ISTM Mike would have a pissy reaction (or at least the underwhelmed expression he has in my panel two). :)

Shelley said...

John and Anthony are similar because there are only two types of men in the FOOBiverse. Attractive, interesting, passionate men who will Do You Wrong and the staid, dependable milquetoasts you should marry. Complacency and happiness are the same thing, after all.

April Patterson said...

Excellent point, Shelley. Those passionate, interesting men are always suspect in the foob world.

godozo said...

I always figured that the type of man Liz wanted to marry was a homeboy who thought about his job and providing for his family AND LITTLE ELSE. John could have a woman who looked like Cheryl Ladd/Shania Twain in the office because the only stuff he was really interested in was the teeth (and whether Elly could believe it or not, the smile was the ONLY thing he'd notice in the woman). Elly was the only woman John could love (at least in the old runs).

Sort of the same with Anthony, although we can see him going through other choices before realizing that Liz was the only woman/girl he could love. Plus he was one who could focus on his work and not look at other girls with desire or lust.

In short, Dullthony was the type of man who was marriage material, according to Lynn.

April Patterson said...

godozo, one of the things that has irritated me in foob is an undercurrent of "Elly was out of John's league because he was nerdy and she was purty" and we're supposed to think she did him some kind of favor by choosing him--and in granting this favor, she ended up winning because she picked herself a "nice guy" who was good husband material. I even remember one of John's letters alluding to this idea. It was, of course, a letter where he was championing Anthony against the "exciting guys" who get all the attention. And he commented on how glad he was that Elly was willing to go for the nice, non-exciting guy (him). I'd look for the letter, but it's time for me to go to bed. :)

howard said...

I always liked the old striped chesterfield. Within the Patterson household, if the striped chesterfield was there, then I knew in what house and in what room the action was taking place. Of course, oftentimes, it seemed I knew this and Lynn Johnston didn't, but that's beside the point.

I think you were thinking about John's Letter, December 2006.

I would have thought Paul, Liz's boyfriend, would have come down to be with her, but he seems to be staying away. I suppose he spends lots of time in court, so knows what a waste of time it is. Anthony has certainly come through, though. He always was incredibly reliable. Maybe that's why Liz never appreciated him. He was too reliable, and treated her too well. I am always amazed how girls seem to prefer guys who mistreat them. I suppose it is more exciting! There's always lots of drama! It makes me glad that Elly fell for a dull, reliable (but incredibly good looking) guy like me!

April Patterson said...

I always liked the old striped chesterfield.

I liked it well enough before I decided to draw it. :)

I think you were thinking about John's Letter, December 2006.

Yes! Thanks, howtheduck. That part you quoted never fails to infuriate me. So Paul was "mistreating" Liz by not taking time off from his job to attend the trial? And Anthony was being "incredibly reliable" by complying with a subpoena? What? STFU, trainboy.

howard said...

I liked it well enough before I decided to draw it.

That's the way it always is. You think if you are going to put that much detail into something, it would be nice it was more important than a ratty, old chesterfield.

So Paul was "mistreating" Liz by not taking time off from his job to attend the trial? And Anthony was being "incredibly reliable" by complying with a subpoena?

By late 2006, it had to be obvious that there was a strong, anti-Anthony contigent. Lynn Johnston had painted herself into a corner by making Paul Wright the opposite of what Liz had complained about with her other boyfriends. Paul was loyal and willing to move; unlike Eric, Anthony and Warren, who had all gone to other women, and could not be bothered to visit Liz when she was apart from them (Eric to Mike's wedding, Anthony to visit Liz in Nippissing, Warren to visit Liz in Mtigwaki).

The letter writers were furiously trying to do damage control. Lynn had been forced to do the Howard Bunt trial, a character she obviously had hoped never to revisit. She somehow got the idea of using the trial to make Paul look bad, Anthony look good, and amazingly to make the legal justice system look bad. You can tell from the brief quote from the letter, that the monthly letter writers were clearly struggling with these conflicting (and incredibly stupid) ideas. The writer for John tries to paint Paul as bad, but then offers an excuse for him, something the strip John never did.

April Patterson said...

You think if you are going to put that much detail into something, it would be nice it was more important than a ratty, old chesterfield.


Exactly!

The letter writers were furiously trying to do damage control.


It's a shame that Lynn was so married (so to speak) to the idea of Liz ending up with Anthony that she couldn't consider revising her plans and having Liz end up with Paul. From the moment Liz wailed "WAIT" at April's e-mail, her arc really disintegrated. Not that LJ would ever have recognized that.

Destroyer of Worlds said...

Heh, replacing the striped couch with a white one? Are you nuts?? Well, it would give Elly something else to complain about...

howard said...

From the moment Liz wailed "WAIT" at April's e-mail, her arc really disintegrated. Not that LJ would ever have recognized that.

Probably not. Lynn had a whole different story in her head than what was appearing on the page. She was thinking Mtigwaki = Lynn Lake. All those things about the small town of Mtigwaki her readers thought were charming, Lynn probably thought were horrific things which should convince her readers that Liz should get away at the first opportunity.

April Patterson said...

Well, it would give Elly something else to complain about...

Heh. This is so true. And you just know Michael would spill grape juice on it about five minutes after its arrival. ;)

April Patterson said...

Lynn had a whole different story in her head than what was appearing on the page.

Good point. It would be interesting (or maybe horrifying) to read that other strip that existed only in Lynn's head.

howard said...

It would be interesting (or maybe horrifying) to read that other strip that existed only in Lynn's head.

Horrifying would be my guess, judging from the comments she made about Lynn Lake in her Maclean's interview. We try to think positively about Lynn's perspective; because there is a part of me that hopes she doesn't really think the way it appears she thinks. You see this same perspective from the Coffee Talk commentators often, when they desperately try to defend Lynn Johnston for strips where she is blatantly sexist. They want to believe Lynn is not that way. I know exactly how they feel.

When you get right down to it, in her Mtigwaki strips Lynn Johnston showed us kids who were barely in school; Liz's favourite student had no parents and stole from her; stray dogs were constantly walking around the town; people were constantly peering into Liz’s window; and Liz blamed the town itself for its very Lynn Lake –like acceptance of cheaters Paul and Susan. I remember my initial impression of Paul Wright was a good guy, since he is a constable. However, Lynn has shown us such negative portrayals of the justice system in her comic strip; she may have intended us to realize that he was not a good guy because he was a constable.

Horrifying is my guess.

April Patterson said...

However, Lynn has shown us such negative portrayals of the justice system in her comic strip; she may have intended us to realize that he was not a good guy because he was a constable.

True--and this is reflected in John's comment in his letter about Paul and the court case: "I suppose he spends lots of time in court, so knows what a waste of time it is."

forworse said...

Perhaps the stripes on the sofa represented Elly's self-imposed prison of SAHMotherhood. It's like The Yellow Wallpaper, which I notice is something the Yahoo colourist includes frequently...