The mind plays tricks on you, when you’re hard at work on comics. Sometimes, when I’m on what feels like day 3,857 of working toward a deadline, and my back is aching from being hunched over the table, I’m seeing double, my legs are numb, and the neighbors are calling the police* because I won’t stop singing along to that stupid Dar Williams album, I get this rush of fear. Slowly I lift my head, my eyes unfocus, and I stand over my body of work and cry out in horror: “oh, my god…. I write CATHY!!”
Heh! Right? Because it is every cartoonist’s nightmare to find herself drawing a successful syndicated strip that’s been around for 34 years. Love her, hate her, or just covet her heart sweatshirts, Cathy is leaving. Personally I gotta give feminist props to one of the very, very few women in newspaper comics, and to a lady who puts her perspective out there, even if it is loaded with fatphobia and consumerism. And Cathy (the character) did at least give voice to women’s frustration with what society expects of us.
For those of you who worry about the void that will be left when that perspective is retired on October 3….. let me introduce you to your void-fillers.
Roberta Gregory. Bitchy Bitch is your new best friend. SHE is what SHOULD have been running in papers the last 34 years.
Alison Bechdel. Fun Home is fantastic, but if you haven’t read her new collection The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, you are missing out on some serious awesome.
K. Beaton. So thoroughly charmed by her. I have a hard time believing how much Hark, a Vagrant makes me laugh.
Team Atrox. Okay, so most of them are fellas, but in their current run of sculpted (!!) comics, Leslie Levings is the hot dame who sculpts the figures. How she gets that much expression into Sculpey—repeatedly!—I’ll never know.
So goodbye, Cathy. I think Liz Lemon summarizes my feelings about you the best.
*The taste police.