Let’s just get it out of the way: Yes, I read For Better or For Worse, but I only do it because its banality generates a smug sense of moral superiority inside my pitch-dark heart I can use to get through the day, alright? OK then.
Now, anybody who’s ever tried to get a novel published is sure to look scornfully upon yesterday’s strip.* A debut novel, submitted without an agent, gets a $25,000 offer just like that? Go on, pull the other one, it’s got a bell at the end. But what makes this scenario truly unbelievable is that he only finished the first draft last month, then managed to rescue it from a fire that broke out in his home at that very moment…a plot twist that seriously pissed off Lea Hernandez, a comic book artist who had just survived a fire in her own home three months earlier. (“[Lynn Johnston‘s] happy happy ending wherein nobody dies, even people passed out drunk next to the fires they started,” Hernandez complained at the time, “strikes me as not just sitcom-unrealistic but irresponsible.)
Not that the Comics Curmudgeon didn’t see yesterday’s revelation coming. As he lay the odds at his blog back in December, “Mike’s slightly charred manuscript is snapped up by Canada’s biggest publisher and becomes an instant best-seller and critical darling: 2 to 1.”
*Which we’ve reproduced for very newsworthy reasons to pass on critical commentary, so please don’t sue us, Lynn Johnston Productions or Universal Press Syndicate!