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For Better or For Worse
For Better or For Worse
For Better or For Worse
For Better or For Worse
For Better or For Worse

For Better or For Worse

For thirty years, cartoonist Lynn Johnston made daily additions to what would become a monumental body of work: her newspaper comic strip, For Better or For Worse. Chronicling the daily lives of the middle-class suburbanite Patterson family — Elly and John and their children, Michael, Elizabeth, and April — Johnston's strip was ground-breaking in its adherence to narrative and emotional realism, and its refusal to engage in melodrama, superpowers, or anthropomorphic animals. As the syndicated strips appeared in daily newspapers throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and the first decade of the 2000s, these characters aged with their readers, and their trials and tribulations were the same as those of their readers: the daily struggles of work, family, school, and bureaucracy.

Wildly funny and formally innovative, For Better or For Worse: The Comic Art of Lynn Johnston will be published to coincide with an international touring exhibition of Lynn Johnston's work, organized by the Art Gallery of Sudbury. The book features some of Johnston's most popular narratives, interspersed with an essay that chronicles the development of her drawing, her life, influences both personal and artistic, and the history of her wildly successful comic strip. This book also gathers together a generous selection of Lynn Johnston's daily comic strips and Sunday pages, spanning the lives of the Patterson family.

Whether readers are new to Johnston's work or old fans returning once again, they'll find this book to be a rich treasury of For Better or For Worse.


Cartoonist Lynn Johnston, best known for her strip For Better or For Worse, attended the Vancouver School of Art and worked as a medical artist before turning to comic art. For thirty years, her popular strip appeared in newspapers around the world before Johnston retired. Amongst many other honours, including several honorary degrees, Johnston is a member of the Order of Canada, has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame, and is in the Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame.

Cartoonist Lynn Johnston, best known for her strip For Better or For Worse, attended the Vancouver School of Art and worked as a medical artist before turning to comic art. For thirty years, her popular strip appeared in newspapers around the world before Johnston retired. Amongst many other honours, including several honorary degrees, Johnston is a member of the Order of Canada, has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame, and is in the Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame.

Katie Hadway is the daughter of Lynn Johnston and works in her studio as her mother's executive assistant. She has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Western Ontario and a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Amber Landgraff is an artist/curator.

"This retrospective . . . digs deep into Johnston's archives and biography, in order to illustrate the stories behind the creation of the iconic family who aged in real time on our funny pages." — Globe and Mail

192 pages
Pub date: July 14, 2015