As you know, the latest version of Coffee Talk allows us a glimpse into Lynn’s mind. The first instalment of her real blog has her waxing both poetic and incoherent about the past of the strip. One theme in particular caught my attention: her claim that she doesn’t have the necessary bitterness to replicate the ceaseless negativity of the real Early Years. First off, anyone who can read the early collections will realize that the real Early Years weren’t the ceaseless litany of boredom and frustration Lynn clearly thinks they are. What they were was a look into the lives of a flawed but likable family who had bad days and good; they were by no means perfect and never said they were but you liked them despite or even because of their faults. This brings me to the meat of my argument: her belief that that’s what the new-ruins do. Despite all the print-outs she receives from well-wishers who wish she’d lighten up, she simply cannot see how dark and negative the strip has become. This is not a surprise, though. She clearly seems to believe that she did warn us that Liz was homesick and still can’t see why Anthony is so hated given that she couldn’t have made his greatness more obvious.