It would appear that once again, we had to deal with Lynn assigning someone values he did not value the other day to remind him to do something out of his comfort zone when she had Jim delight that now that he no longer had to support the children because they were established, he could selfishly burn through their inheritence on himself and Marian like so much Clark Griswold at the craps table. The reason that I mention this is that one of the things that confused and angered Lynn is that instead of being a good mother and going on a mindless spree with the money she sent her, Mrs Ridgway behaved like the cautious person she would have been even if she hadn't been a Depression kid and cruelly and heartlessly saved the money because of a baffling, heartbreaking and rage-inducing need to prepare for a future where the money might come in handy.
The reason for this seems to be tangled up in Lynn's juvenile boasting that other people have to protect her from burning through her money like a dumb child. You might no doubt have become familiar with my asinine comments about how Lynn's idea of financial planning consists of desperate bleating about how cruel people are to keep her from spending money seconds after earning it owing to her being something of a child really. The same glorified four year old who won't admit that she had to be told what she was doing wrong in order to get better at things because she emphasized the temporary pain of criticism now over the elation of accomplishment later doesn't seem to understand that the delight of wasting money on shiny trash in the short term can't make up for the desperation of privation later. The closest she came to understanding this seems to have been when she thought Rod stole her money because he didn't take her allowance out of her bank account for her.
Of course, the trouble with trying to get Lynn to kick-start her career that doesn't have to do with her lack of any real interest in revisiting the Patterson family is that she tends to be somewhat averse to admitting that what she finds funny is not what others might. Well, that and admitting that you can't really mix cartoonish antics with a realistic family and not displease people. Take, as an example, last Mpnday's reprint in which Mike depleted the ozone layer AND the contents of a can of spray deodorant merely to kill one mosquito. This sort of thing is fine if he's a cartoon boy living in a cartoon world but since he's supposed to be real, questions like "Since they haven't sold spray-on deodorant in years, when is this set?" and "Isn't it dangerous doing this?" tend to take a funny cartoon gag and make it a scary thing.
The problem is that Lynn would rather not admit that you can't have it both ways and, given her tendency to confuse criticism with hatred and jealousy, assumes that she's being run off of the page by hating haters who can't laugh because we're bad. Since she's somewhat touchy, it'd be difficult to get her to expose herself to more criticism and envy and badness and so on and so forth.
As we all know, we're about half of a year away from Lynn's attempt to integrate the emotions her family felt when they were uprooted into the strip. What looks to the untrained eye to be Connie doing something drastic for a baffling and silly reason is actually Lynn making a clumsy attempt to try to figure out how everyone in her immediate family is actually reacting to the move to Corbeil. The interesting thing about this is that not only do we have an extended series of strips in which Lawrence's absence is a metaphor for how life will never be the same, we also have to contend with the arrival of the Enjo family in Connie's old house in order to remind us that the Johnstons had to meet new people and so on and so forth.
While it's true that three-quarters of them were just folks who happened to be able to hit the reader over the head with stories about Whitey keeping Asians down because that's what Whitey does every so often, their hip, cool gospel about how people are essentially the same was subverted by Brian being a sort of personification of positive discrimination. The interesting thing about this is not that he was the focus of jokes about how the normal kids forgave him for being a straight-A student or that he was on the short list to be the token gay character whose purpose was to show how tolerant the Pattersons are. The interesting thing is that he was the focus of angry letters about how stereotypes are stereotypes, "positive" or not. Sadly, Lynn used the example of Asians realizing that talking to a condescending idiot is futile as a means of saying that they didn't mind so why should we?
As we all know, Lynn has a lot of issues with authority figures. Someone who takes as much pride in tormenting people for telling her an EVIL LIE about how she has to do stuff that bores her and another EVIL LIE about how she doesn't actually know what's best for her and yet a third EVIL LIE about how while other people have to follow the rules without exception, she isn't special enough to do what she wants when she wants to is clearly someone sick with the fear that everyone she meets has the same need to lash out and crush everything in his or her path as she does. She thus consoles herself with her own evil lie and tells herself that she's not an angry twit pulverizing people trying to do her a good turn because she's a stubborn, malicious dope. She's really defending herself from being attacked by people who want to crush her spirit and take away her voice.
This is not only why the plushie is a failed project, it's why the treasuries are garbage. Someone without her need to meddle in things because she conflates a bit of loss of control with complete surrender would have let a more competent publishing company (like Fantagraphics or IDW) do a proper job of it. Since she wanted a crap-load of money and far too much input, the publishers took a big hit and were forced to scale back on what could have been a money-earner if she'd have laid off. The end result is a semi-hardcover remix of collections people already have covered in new-ruin artwork and given a stupid title when we should have had something akin to The Complete Peanuts.