Fun Facts about 1979

In celebration of the fortieth anniversary of For Better or For Worse, we thought we would take a look at what life was like at the time Lynn produced her original comic strips.

1979 was a year on the cusp of change. Lynn had already completed several collections of her comic panels centered around marriage and parenthood, and Universal Press Syndicate was about to launch For Better or For Worse on Sept. 9.

Here is a quick look at what 1979 looked like!

Marriage & Families:

A typical 70s family.

Average Age: 24 (men) 22 (women)

Divorce Rate: 7.02 divorces for every 1000 marriages

Average Family Size in Canada: 2.78 people

Life Expectancy in Canada: 78.59 years (women) , 71.32 years (men)

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Show Us Your FBorFW Collection and Win!

Today’s the day! It’s the 40th anniversary of the first appearance of FBorFW in newspapers!

To celebrate, we’re giving away an original painting by Lynn Johnston (check out the style of art she’s doing these days)!

To enter, take a picture of your FBorFW collection: books, plush toys, DVDs–whatever you’ve collected over the years. Send it to us by email at with the subject line “My FBorFW Collection” and we’ll draw a winner next week!

Best of luck!

Lee Salem, 1946-2019

For someone who spent nearly 30 years writing (and drawing) for a living, I can’t find the words I want to say.

Lee Salem was someone I always thought I’d see again. You know, “wait a year”, or “we’ll get together at such and such an event.” This is never going to happen now.

I have missed my chance to tell him how grateful I am for his guidance and his gift for editing comic art. I have missed an opportunity to tell him that his confidence in me, and his gracious way of telling me I had missed the mark, helped me to become a professional. He was a mentor, a friend and a wonderful sounding board.

Lynn with Lee and Anita Salem.

I am so lucky to have known and worked with Lee Salem. I can’t tell him this now; I can only write lines for a website and notes to friends. No words seem adequate today, even for his dear and loving family. I guess if I have anything to say, it’s to tell everyone I know to hug the folks they love, write to those they admire, and tell these people how much your life has been influenced by them. Do this before it’s too late. We are all such a precious time-limited offer. Lee was only 73.

Lynn J.

[For more about Lee’s incredible contribution to the world of comic art, read Cathy Guisewite’s lovely words here. ]

Celebrating Popeye’s 90th Birthday With an Art Auction!

Want a shot at owning an original piece of Lynn’s art (with some cool cameos?) Check out the Weekly Auction currently running at Heritage Auctions.

Proceeds from the winning bids in this special NCS “Popeye the Sailor’s 90th Birthday” auction will go to the NCS Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) charity that works in tandem with the National Cartoonists Society to advance the ideals and standards of the cartooning profession, to stimulate and encourage aspiring cartoonists through scholarships and educational programs, and to provide financial assistance to cartoonists and their families in times of hardship.

New: FBorFW Gifs for Sharing and Texting!

As part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, we’re working with the talented team of animators at Greg Ford Animation to produce a series of animated gifs you can use in your chat and messenger apps!

Our Giphy channel is located here; we’ll be adding more soon. (If you need some instructions on how to use these, you can find how-tos for all the major social platforms here.)

Here are a couple of ’em! Explore the rest of the collection.