Monday, December 04, 2006

Did somebody say crazy?

I have a ritual when I get up in the morning. I stagger into the shower, get cleansed, get dressed, grab some breakfast and then plunk myself down in front of the computer. The first site I check is the local weather to see exactly how freezing ass cold it is outside.

The second is For Better Or For Worse. There are many comic strips that I like and that I try to catch. But this is part of the morning ritual now. And I've read the strip for years and years. It's like a soap opera now, which makes it hard to give up.

Anyway, I imagine there were plenty of people like me that read the strip every morning and care about the characters. But I did something I rarely do....I underestimated the level of craziness in the fan base.

Understand, I read comic books and I like science fiction. We're talking about two highly demented sections of fandom. To give you an example, a guy by the name of Steve Wacker left DC comics and moved to Marvel. Fandom went batshit for weeks, calling him a traitor and everything under the sun.

And what does Mr. Wacker do? Is he a writer? An artist?

No, he's an editor. Venom and bile and massive freaking the fuck out over an editor switching companies.

That's fandom. It's fun and all, but let us realize we are frequently dealing with the marginally sane. But For Better or For Worse is such a...mild comic strip. I like it, it's fun. But I never expected nutjobs and fanatics because it is so harmless.

Boy did I learn. First, I read this comic book gossip column and learned there was something weird going on. Then I reread the strip in question. Pretty much what I recalled - that Lynn Johnston was setting up Liz to end up with Anthony before the strip ends in the next year or two. No big deal, I thought.

Now, go and read this. Not all of it. You might go mad. The first page will do. Then come on back. I'll still be here.


Right, so, if you're looking for a group of escaped mental patients, there you go. All in one convenient spot for the guys carrying the fitted white jackets. I think I can safely say that might be the most concentrated dose of fan craziness I've seen this year. Which is a fairly impressive statement.

I only hope to God that Lynn is the Fan Protection Program or something. Because some of these people might be coming for her.


colette said...

You should check out Salon's Table Talk and its FBFW discussion. Some nuts, some interesting comments. No annoying or cutesy avatars. But, and I'm sensing a theme here, everyone seems to hate Anthony. you're going to out yourself as a Coronation Street fan?

Clare said...

Johnston has northern connections. Okay not northern like Nunavut, but they lived in Lynn Lake in northern Manitoba for some time. I have friends with personalized cartoons from her.

Newfie in Nebraska said...

Neet. Craig is, by comparison, saine. Commas intended.

towniebastard said...

There is no risk of me coming out as a Coronation Street fan, Colette. I mock the show frequently, especially to those in denial over the fact that it is a soap opera.

And Claire, by all accounts she's an exceptionally nice lady. The reason she's giving up the strip, with plenty of advanced warning, is that she's now over 60, I think, and would like to retire at some point. Plus, she has a few health problems. So the kind of things you're reading on that group are really kind of scary.

towniebastard said...

And he can spell "sane", which is also a bonus...;)

Pneumonia Pat said...

I read an interview with her. She said her eyesight isn't great anymore, her hands shake, and it takes her three times as long to finish a strip now. That's why she's retiring.

When I first started reading this entry, I thought, Oh goody, I'm not the only one who follows FBFW. After I followed the links, though, I felt dirty.

C'mon, TB; we can check out together! It'll be fun!

newfie in nebraska said...

Accurate spelling is for those with no imagination.