LYNN JOHNSTON Biography - Other artists & entretainers


Biography » other artists entretainers » lynn johnston


Name: Lynn Franks Johnston                                                           
Born: 28 May 1947 Collingwood, Ontario                                               
Lynn Johnston (born May 28, 1947) is a Canadian cartoonist, well known for           
her comic strip For Better or For Worse, and was the first female cartoonist to       
win the Reuben Award.                                                                 
Born Lynn Ridgway in Collingwood, Ontario, she was raised in North Vancouver,         
British Columbia. She attended the Vancouver School of Art with hopes of making       
a living as an artist. After working briefly in animation, she married in 1969,       
and moved back to Ontario, where she worked as a medical artist at McMaster           
University for five years. Johnston's illustrations are currently in storage in       
McMaster University's medical archive. They include depictions of routine             
hospital happenings, such as a father smoking in the waiting room.                   
While expecting her first child, she drew single-panel cartoons for the ceiling       
of her obstetrician's office. Those drawings were published in her first book         
entitled David We're Pregnant, which was published in 1973. After her divorce,       
she did free-lance commercial and medical art in a greenhouse which was               
converted into a studio. Hi Mom! Hi Dad!, a sequel to David, was published in         
1975. Shortly thereafter she met and married dental student Rod Johnston - and       
acquired the name Lynn Johnston.                                                     
In 1978, Johnston, her second husband Rod Johnston, and their two children           
relocated to Lynn Lake, Manitoba. She was asked by Universal Press Syndicate if       
she was interested in doing a comic strip. As a result, she sent off twenty           
copies of a strip called The Johnstons. The syndicate approved of the initial         
strips and offered her a contract. After a six-month "work-up" period, the strip     
first appeared in newspapers throughout Canada under the title For Better or For     
Many story lines draw from her family's real-life experiences. Her main               
characters are named after the middle names of her husband and children. Elly is     
modeled after a friend who died when Johnston was young. Her brother-in-law,         
Ralph Johnston, inspired the controversial story about Lawrence's coming out.         
Johnston's niece, Stephanie, is developmentally handicapped and her experience       
is shared in recent story lines on the integration of developmentally                 
handicapped students in April's class.                                               
Since the 1990s, Johnston has been notably forthcoming in her discussion of the       
abuse dealt by her mother, her first husband, and being unprepared to be a           
mother to her son Aaron -- topics which have also been reflected in the strip.       
Johnston now resides in the Northern Ontario town of Corbeil. Johnston was           
close friends with Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts. She is also friends         
with Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes. Her daughter,                     
Katie, now lives in Corbeil and works at the For Better or For Worse studio,         
and her son, Aaron, works in the television industry in Vancouver, BC. In             
September 2007, Lynn and Rod Johnston announced their separation and intention       
to divorce.