Friday, November 16, 2007

For Better Or For Worse Cartoonist to Divorce

It wasn't for better or for worse after all. Lynn Johnston whose "For Better Or For Worse" comic strip is based on life with her husband, Rod Johnston, and their two children, intends to divorce.

"He fell in love with somebody else," the cartoonist known to a hundred million newspaper readers across North America, told the Chicago Tribune. "It had been over a long period of time," she said, pausing and adding that it had come as a surprise to her. In fact, she had been planning her retirement to spend more time with her retired dentist husband. Instead he left in April 2007 and she expects to be divorced by April of next year.

In an interview with CBC on Nov. 2, 2007, Johnston was asked about the separation. "I can't believe it happened, but it did," she said, holding back tears, not entirely successfully. "People change...feelings change," said Johnston who is now roughly sixty years old, and all you can do is wish them well. She added, straining to keep her voice stable, that the separation was being handled with "graciousness" and "care".

Johnston's children have not disappointed her though. "I'm just thrilled with my children, the fact that they are adults and they're not in jail," she said laughing. The fact that Kate and Aaron are both "my best friends" makes her feel as though she succeeded as a parent. She describes them as "happy, mature, strong, wonderful people." Kate is an art student, a potter, and Aaron works in television. She raised both her children with Rod Johnston, although Aaron was a product of her first marriage.

Johnston, who was raised in North Vancouver, lives in Corbeil in Northern Ontario, Canada. She moved there with her children and husband who became a flying dentist with his own plane.

In recent years, Johnston has developed a neurological disorder which at times causes a tremor in her arm. For that reason she has an assistant to help with drawings for her comic strip. But she told George Stroumboulopoulos on the CBC's, "The Hour", on Dec. 5 that the disorder is now in remission, which "is wonderful".

Johnston is winding down her comic strip for which she had a 20 year contract. She feels out of touch with "the new electronic age and all the new vocabulary...and the way kids dress and talk." She fears she would begin to come across like a 60 year old who didn't know what she was talking about.
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