Cornershot: Funny how comic strips draw from life stages | Entertainment

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I’ve always thought that the daily comics are the most indispensable part of a newspaper, needed to counterbalance the news on the front page.

When my kids were young, I would have sworn that Lynn Johnston, the creator of “For Better or Worse,” hid somewhere in our house to get story ideas. Michael and Elizabeth (“Lizardbreath,” as Michael sometimes called her), the Patterson children in the strip, mirrored in so many ways the teasing and sibling rivalries of my own son and daughter (who somehow survived childhood to become professionals, with kids of their own.)

During my children’s teenage years, I would also have sworn that Jerry Scott, creator of “Zits,” was lurking somewhere around our house picking up ideas for his strip. His teenage character Jeremy Duncan is much like my kids were in many ways. How was school today? “Fine.” What did you do today? “Nothing.” What do you want to do? “Whatever.”

Now that my wife and I are empty nesters with just two cats to provide some entertainment around the house, our lives are more like Brian Crane’s strip “Pickles,” featuring Earl and Opal Pickles, their dog Roscoe, and Muffin, their feline philosopher. Muffin mused one day, “I hate it when I get hungry. It forces me to acknowledge the fact that people exist and that I need them for something. Ahh… nevermind, food has magically appeared in my bowl again.” That pretty much sums up the way our furry friends view us.

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