21 Comments

  1. Or maybe she just decided she can no longer rock a two-piece to her own satisfaction. Arlo, who enjoys gawking at his wife in a variety of circumstances (I recall story line that involved getting her into lederhosen), drops his book.

    Recalling a long-ago “For Better or For Worse”, where John sees Elly tossing her bikini in a box full of discards. Her casual acceptance that she’ll never wear one again unnerves him.

  2. @MinorAnnoyance:

    Recalling a long-ago “For Better or For Worse”, where John sees Elly tossing her bikini in a box full of discards. Her casual acceptance that she’ll never wear one again unnerves him.

    Those strips read really poorly now that we know John’s prototype, Lynn’s real world husband, was cheating on her with her friend for years while also blowing all their savings.

  3. I guarantee NOT ONE of those questions is going through Arlo’s mind in the last panel. Neither is anything else, besides hormones.

  4. Tan lines fade in the fall because people stop sunbathing in the fall. Janis stopped after the sunburn (and Arlo has nagged her for YEARS to stop for good). It’s been an appropriate amount of time since then for the tan lines to be fading. If she gets tan lines in the future, it’ll be from shorts and a sleeveless top.

  5. @ dvandom – I agree on the fading, but I thought it was pretty clear that her intent was to stop wearing bikinis, and switch to one-piece swimsuits.

  6. Carl, I wonder whether the Better or Worse strips also “read really poorly now” because we know that the strip ended so badly. The same way I’m sure nobody has ever watched a rerun of Lost after it went off the air.

  7. @ B.A. – Although I enjoyed reading the strip for several years, I haven’t followed it since (at least) the turn of the century, so I’m not sure whether you are objecting to the sappy summary in the final Sunday strip (of the original run), or the fact that Johnston attempted a couple of years of retconned “adjustments” before switching to pure re-runs thereafter. If it was something else entirely, I’d like to know what you thought was so bad about it.

  8. P.S. @ B.A. – Scratch that question, I just found the relevant paragraph in Wikipedia, relating a late episode of Funky Winkerbeanish sickness and death in the strip’s final months. Boy am I glad that I quit reading it before it came to that.

  9. The strip still has various retcons. A recent set of strips had Elly driving around with infant April in the car. Originally the strip had her in a car seat in the front. That was redrawn to move her to the back.

  10. I like to think she’s going topless. All other red-blooded heterosexual men are as well.

  11. @ lazarusjohn – No, they don’t. I don’t know about the rest of Europe, but German papers print virtually no comics at all. Even the papers that do print them offer only solitary strips on isolated pages(*). The idea of an entire page devoted solely to comics is utterly unthinkable here. German papers expend (by far) more column inches on crossword puzzles than comics.
    P.S. (*) – The entire list is very, very short. I remember seeing “Hägar the Horrible”, “Fred Basset” (but under a different name), and maybe “Garfield”, plus an occasional comic from various German artists, but that’s it.

  12. Didn’t she start that sunbathing session on her back semi-reclined before flattening out, rolling over and undoing her bikini top? She just got burned on her back because she fell asleep prone.

  13. Helps to have a kid that’s a crossword puzzle writer when you need one for the strip.

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