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Metapost: ApAACK!alypse now

There are days in the comics blogging business when I really know that I’ve made it. Today, for instance, I was one of surely only a few hundred people on the Universal Press Syndicate’s email distribution list chosen to receive a very important email with the following subject line:

AACK! After 34 Years, Cathy Comic Strip Bids Farewell

Read all about it here, assuming you enjoy reading interviews with Cathy Guisewite in PDF format, and who doesn’t, really.

Obviously, a long-running strip like Cathy can’t just go away without a big to-do. But with the strip’s formerly chronically single title character now married off, and the October 3 end date too close for her to finally poop out a baby, we have to ask ourselves what the bang of an ending will be. Since Cathy was a pioneer depiction of a working woman, we suggest that she get with the times: heartless layoff, followed by workplace spree killing, concluding with suicide by cop.

118 responses to “Metapost: ApAACK!alypse now”

  1. HammerOfTheCarps
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:23 am [Reply]

    I’m kinda hoping for an accidental changing room strangulation..” This bikini is too tight–Ack!”

  2. Just some guy
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:24 am [Reply]

    She’ll probably do something crazy like run for President or win the lottery.

  3. B.B.
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    Obama’s approval ratings just shot up.

  4. Eric the Read
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    I will vote for any politician that promises to ensure Marmaduke is cancelled during his time in office.

  5. Comcis Fan
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    I’ll actually be sorry to see this strip go, even though I don’t read it much anymore. Felt I grew up with it, even though I used to be much younger than Cathy, and her mom reminds me of my own. I hope she’ll get a positive home pregnancy test and go out with a happy Ack. I know, I’m a sap.

  6. UnclGhost
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    2:1 on nose addition surgery gone horribly wrong.

  7. Alex
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:42 am [Reply]

    Something about Cathy’s art always struck me as creepy. It’s like the kind of art serial killers draw in prison.

  8. Parmalat Loire
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:49 am [Reply]

    I’ll miss Cathy, for myriad reasons. It wasn’t really good, it wasn’t really incredibly awful, but at least it was clean and easy to take in. It wasn’t Marmaduke or Crock, which emphasized crappiness with poor art. It wasn’t Rose is Rose, which actively made me want to hurt something from the overstylization of the people. It was just Cathy. It always delivered what it promised, the rice cake of the comics page; dullness lite, but never actually turning into a vague sedative like Herb and Jamaal. Cathy never ran away from its core for months on end with unicorns or finger sex in Belgium, nor did it divert itself from the title character for long. It was a constant, something that suited an early riser’s morning. Not bright enough to be dawn, not a pit of dark despair to be the night, but just a drowsy fumbling towards a smirk. Cathy was a status quo that never really went into worse territory, and if it changed went slightly better.

    And even with all of its faults, it still managed to be better than Shoe, FBoFW, Hi and Lois, Hagar, and most of the other hangers on. Cathy didn’t achieve greatness, but it did achieve not sucking so badly as Archie or Crankshaft, which is more than most comics can say after ten years, let alone more than triple that.

    In conclusion, I hope that Cathy’s farewell is handled far better than Annie’s, and that she actually does get something good, like a confirmed pregnancy, before the end. It’d be fitting. And if not, then I heartily hope that Cathy’s final days end up being lifted out of Dick Tracy.

  9. Uncle Lumpy
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:51 am [Reply]

    I enjoyed reading the interview with Cathy Guisewite in PDF format. So shoot me.

  10. Fashion Police
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:54 am [Reply]

    Frills!? Miss Powers hasn’t seen a frill since the Kotzky administration. Ms. Shulock, have you not been payin attention to Mr. Bolle’s artwork? So far, we have been about as impressed with Ms. Kitty-Kat’s counsel as we have with her wardrobe.

  11. Rebecca
    August 12th, 2010 at 2:04 am [Reply]

    Perhaps Cathy will finally find a flattering bikini at the store, and, at that instance, realize she doesn’t have to hate her body. Then she runs off with that sales lady who’s always trying to get her into fashionable clothing, leaving Irving alone at home fiddling with his universal remote control.

  12. Fashion Police
    August 12th, 2010 at 2:12 am [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#10):
    Mrs. Powers. Excuse us. It’s late.

    Perhaps the ladies from Apartment 3-G ought visit Riverdale and seek fashion advice from Miss Grundy instead of embarrassing themselves on television.

  13. True Fable
    August 12th, 2010 at 2:25 am [Reply]

    @Alex (#7):

    It never improved. It NEVER improved. The artwork never evolved beyond its shaky high-school-doodles-in-the-margins beginnings and every potential plotline died agonizingly before their time on several different subjects. And oh. my. god., every year we KNEW the same old strips with the same old dialogue with very little variation would be trotted out, dusted off and pretended like it was all-new stuff: January-March Diet Season, March-April Tax Season/ Receipts in a shoebox, May-June Swimsuit Shopping Season (and she never went swimming) July – August Vacation Season (also Spoiled Dogs Season), October-December Christmas/Visiting Parents/Shopping Orgy Season. And all the Shopping Strips with the two insufferably pushy salesladies and the dressing room scenes, and of course the I Have No Willpower So I Will Gorge On All This Food Because It’s So Goddamn Funny strips.

    She went from being the voice of single women to being the shallow, self-centered, materialistic, obsessive-compulsive overeating slob we all know and loathe today. Okay, maybe not everyone loathes her, but I bet there isn’t a single reader who hasn’t grit their teeth or did an eyeroll at LEAST once in a while. It would have been nice this past winter to have seen her back at the office instead of wimpily dealing with her overbearing overstaying in-laws; for God’s sake, TELL THEM TO LEAVE, grow a pair of balls! Tell them if they want grandchildren they are going to have to go so you can work on it whenever you can! She’s supposed to be a capable professional of some kind but all Cathy managed to do is look incompetent on coffee mugs and calendars.

    I’m sorry – I know there are Cathy fans out there and this rant probably annoys them no end. But it annoys me just knowing there were so many instances where she could have explored new subjects by retiring the old standards but didn’t; she could have made her protagonists more admirable rather than so unflinchingly weak-willed.

    She could have learned to draw a fucking waistline.


  14. Farley's Revenge
    August 12th, 2010 at 2:31 am [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#YT264): No, we were too busy lusting after the assistant coroner. Dude looked fine in his dark business suit. Had a killer grin and he loved his job. About the only time we faltered was when he pulled what resembled cafeteria trays from a refrigerator unit and explained those were for the bodies that had been exposed to the elements for a while. Our imaginations filled in the rest and it was tough to choke down the cookies for a few minutes.

    @Rebecca (#11):

    leaving Irving alone at home fiddling with his universal remote control.

    Nice euphemism.

  15. NoahSnark
    August 12th, 2010 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    I’m not a fan of Cathy, but a comic strip author actually retiring their strip rather than turning it into a syndicate zombie – that earns a standing ovation from me.

  16. SDL No More!
    August 12th, 2010 at 2:36 am [Reply]

    I heard about the Cathy retirement on the radio earlier and immediately wondered what the buzz in Mudgespace would look like.

    Man I need to get out more.

  17. True Fable
    August 12th, 2010 at 2:37 am [Reply]

    She went from being the voice of single women to being the shallow, self-centered, materialistic, obsessive-compulsive overeating slob … She could have learned to draw a fucking waistline.

    And therein lies the trouble with patterning a comic strip after yourself: when people discuss the strip, the artist is thrown in with the character and sometimes the line gets blurred. I do not mean that Cathy Guisewite the Artist is a shallow, self-centered, materialistic, obsessive-compulsive overeating slob, only that the character she created is.

  18. BigTed
    August 12th, 2010 at 3:02 am [Reply]

    After all those decades of jokes about how women love shopping but hate their bodies, and love eating but hate food, we only got a year or so about how men love electronic devices but… well, that was the whole joke.

    I say, spin off a post-divorce Irving to a California middle-age singles colony.

  19. Elektro
    August 12th, 2010 at 3:28 am [Reply]

    While I’m by no means a fan of Cathy (in fact, I hate the comic, to be honest), at least she decided to end it while she was still alive instead of having someone continue it for 50 years after she would eventually die, like some of the comics on this very site are.

  20. historyman68
    August 12th, 2010 at 3:41 am [Reply]

    Despite how much the strip frequently irritates me, it actually is a pretty great, and even kind of touching interview. To me, it indicates how much something that appeals so universally can be the product of such an extreme and unique psyche. When she says “I wouldn’t have done this without my mother”, she doesn’t mean that in an abstract sense of support. She means her mother literally took her doodles and sent them to the syndicate – this puts the strips about overbearing mothers in a new light. Her interview really does make her seem human – she doesn’t take the work too seriously, and doesn’t seem to have Lynn Johnson’s or (Funky Winkerbean author)’s self-satisfied pretension.

  21. Aviatrix
    August 12th, 2010 at 4:06 am [Reply]

    It’s better than I can draw, and even if my life and feelings are not like the title character’s I can draw strength and confidence from feeling infinitely superior to her, and then going out to prove it. And yes, it’s a sweet interview.

  22. Indichik
    August 12th, 2010 at 4:09 am [Reply]

    On a related note, did anybody see today’s Lio?

  23. Zee
    August 12th, 2010 at 4:16 am [Reply]

    When I was ten years old, I thought “Cathy” was hilarious. I was mocking my childish lack of taste by the time I was eleven.

    There’s a way to keep the same old, same old humor fresh and fun; Charles Schulz did it with “Peanuts” and Bill Watterson did it with “Calvin and Hobbes”. Sure, they found ways to twist their standard themes, but they never wandered very far from them and yet, you never really minded because those themes were things you never stop caring about: friendship and family and love and hopes and dreams and imagination. “Cathy” never had these meaningful subjects at its heart, maybe because it never really had a heart.

    Cathy was never anything more than a lumpy representative of every boring, sexist “joke” about feminine stereotypes. “Boy, women sure love to go shopping! And eat! And hate their bodies! And nothing they do ever matters unless they have some man to validate their existence!” The women in “9 Chickweed Lane” are all various degrees of creepy, but at least they DO things, they have actual personalities, as unpleasant as they are. Elly Patterson, Greg Evans’ Luann…heck, even Apt 3-G’s LuAnne have more life to them than Cathy ever did.

  24. Big Sims
    August 12th, 2010 at 4:26 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#9):
    So, would you watch a Cathy movie in HD?

  25. Mr. Satanism
    August 12th, 2010 at 4:37 am [Reply]

    There is a God. Too bad he still likes Marmaduke.

  26. heavylifting
    August 12th, 2010 at 4:51 am [Reply]

    So Cathy dies in October. Who’s making book that she’s got a trip to Westview, Ohio planned for then?

  27. Sgt Saunders
    August 12th, 2010 at 5:00 am [Reply]

    She’s a heartbreaker and a looooove taker. No wait, that’s Kathy with a “K”.

  28. Mela
    August 12th, 2010 at 5:31 am [Reply]

    Well, kudos to Ms. Guisewite to knowing when to retire instead of shuffling along like a senile doodling zombie like so many others (even if it might be a decade or two later than it should’ve). Here’s hoping the syndicate doesn’t get any bright ideas about finding a replacement artist to keep it on life support.

  29. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 12th, 2010 at 5:51 am [Reply]

    Alas, I have my own Cathy Guisewite story to tell. Twenty years ago, we learned that Guisewite was making a brief stopover in our area to visit her mother. Since we were putting on comic conventions at the time, Mrs. Stoneaxe called Guisewite’s editor at Universal Press to inquire about her availability as a guest.

    After checking with Guisewite, her editor called us back. She said Guisewite would be “happy” to appear at our little comic book convention for “an hour or so.” However, her fee for doing so was a nonnegotiable FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!! According to the editor, $5000.00 was Guisewite’s standard fee for speaking engagements…

  30. Rance Moest
    August 12th, 2010 at 6:22 am [Reply]

    She will leave in the same way as the white board HOPA chick – even though she’s not a HOPA

  31. gleeb
    August 12th, 2010 at 6:29 am [Reply]

    Haven’t read Cathy in years. Yet I’m sure I’d be able to pick up the threads instantly. Which is why I haven’t read it in years.

    A 3-G: It means Mama Kat’s going to shave you head like you were a collaborator, Lu Ann.

    Blondie: Dagwood looks for an opportunity for clownburger embezzlement.

    ‘shaft: Cuba? Ah, it’s anti-Communist ranting this time.

    ‘bean: Having been exposed to Montoni’s grasping desire for property values, the bird sees suicide as an attractive end.

    Mary: Dr Whatever (sorry, but he’s too dull for me to remember) is horrified to see his father appear in public without a tie.

    Phantom: Assembling the team…

    Zippy: Furthermore, you kids get off my lawn!

  32. John C Fremont
    August 12th, 2010 at 6:35 am [Reply]

    I’m not, nor have I ever been, a fan of Cathy, but I’m still a little sad to see it go. Well, not “Calvin and Hobbes is ending” sad, or even Aldo sad. More of a “But what happens to Shirley the Duck now?” sad. I think. Or maybe a “You know, Aunt Rachel’s apartment is really dark considering it’s in the City of Light” sad. Yeah, I’m going with that. Still…

    MW – If the late William Hickey really wanted to return from the dead for a role, why did it have to be for a bit part in Mary Worth? Or is that Cosmo Allegretti?

    GT – “Take a look at these hands. You don’t have to mention it. No thanks. I’m a Golf Team Member.”

  33. James D.
    August 12th, 2010 at 6:48 am [Reply]

    MW: If my long-lost dad looked like James Woods after a three-month bender, I’d spin my head Exorcist-style too.

    GA: Given that he needs a shirt to remind himself what his name is, I can understand why nose picking is considered entertainment in the Rover household.

  34. Roman Fingers
    August 12th, 2010 at 7:01 am [Reply]

    9CL: Two days straight of Kiesl calling someone dumb. I think we’ve got to go with the mistaken obit angle. Still doesn’t let Edna off the hook for being a hateful cow.

    A3G: At this point, even baby seals realize just how naive Lu Ann is..

    Zits: Oh, man, I’ve done this myself. Annoy the snot out of someone by giving them exactly what they asked for.

    RMMD: Stewart reaches for the glass, unsure if that’s really the scent of bitter almonds he smells…

    FB: I thought dogs had a really good sense of smell. Why does he have to guess what’s burning?

    The Funktacular Winkerbean: It seems that the bird they were cleaning had escaped from LoFo.

    GT: Hmmm. Torrey seems to have disposed of about half her clothes between Panel 1 and Panel 2.

    MT: And what do we know about baby animals, even if we’re not long term readers of Mark Trail? That’s right, kids. If you see a baby animal all alone, momma is nearby. And pissed. We haven’t seen punching for some time. I guess a good “hooving” will have to do.

    Luann: Sadly, this may be as close as either Gunther or Knute will get to “scoring” before the sun expands and reduces the earth to a smoldering cinder.

    JP: “So, Neddy, do you remember the first time you saw a boy, you know, ‘au natural’?”

    FC: Actually, Dolly, clam shells are more likely the plates that a walrus leaves behind.

  35. dreadedcandiru2
    August 12th, 2010 at 7:01 am [Reply]

    I’d have been happier had Guisewite’s Q and A thing been based on the theme “Who wants to be Lynn Johnston?” instead of trying to be in character. It’s annoying to have to see that she seems to have not learned too much over the last thirty-four years, irritating to see that she won’t admit that the ‘right pair of strappy stilletos’ will not solve anything, aggravating to see her bitching about men and their not wanting to sit around feebly whining about things that are better resolved than cried about. My ideal ending for the strip would be her finally getting it through her thick skull that she doesn’t need to diet because she’s fine the way she is and coming to the realization that Irving wants to solve her problems because that’s the way men take women seriously.

  36. TheTJ
    August 12th, 2010 at 7:03 am [Reply]

    Personally I’m hoping for a metaphysical endind in which it’s revealed to Cathy that her entire existence was used to poke gentle fun at the tendancies women have. I imagine her only response to this will be “ACK!” with her toungue somehow sticking out.

  37. Aleit
    August 12th, 2010 at 7:29 am [Reply]

    9CL – OK, I get the mistaken obit idea, but why is he looking at a grave? Why would anyone be buried here under his name? Did his “insert random German word for dumb” relatives arrange a funeral because they mistakenly identified a corpse in the morgue as him? Did he have a twin brother who had the same name? Will it take us less than a month to find out, before Brooke stops drawing Vienna at all the weird angles he can think of and think of the story? So many possibilities.

  38. Little Guy
    August 12th, 2010 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Farewell, ACK-K-K! Girl. You were never in the Watterson/Schultz stratosphere, but you never brought us to the McE/Batliuk netherworld. And you were always the go-to girl for cross-script frvolity, which put you in the Keane/Davis Circle. And you never became a bitter litigious beyond-your-years scribe who zombified her strip in retribution for her long-suffering ex-husband.

    Just don’t Sparky-die on us.

  39. Sequitur
    August 12th, 2010 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    We’ve got to remember that Cathy Guisewite worked in advertising before the comic strip. This may well be a “going out of business” ploy where the “going out of business” lasts years and years.

    I’m waiting for the “Just Kidding!” press conference where she explains how she merely wanted to get a rise out of those Mudgeons. “Hah! I even got Josh to put up a Metapost in the middle of the night!”

    Ack! that, Mudgeons.

    August 12th, 2010 at 7:53 am [Reply]

    CATHY: I read the interview. And my reaction is — write? draw? She’s kidding, right? And this piece of dreck runs in how many newspapers? IDIOTEN!

  41. Crankshafts Funky Smelling Corpse
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    9CL: Maybe the dead Austrian is a relative–like Keisl’s wife or brother or gay partner or something silly like that.

  42. Shawn S.
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    Ack! I’m an insult to women everywhere! I only care about shopping and my dog, and I hate my body and tax season! Ack!

    Thank you for not letting this be a legacy strip though. Infact, I propose that ALL legacy strips should be ended to let new, original comics take their place. If you aren’t the original author of the strip, then the strip shouldn’t be allowed to continue.

  43. Little Guy
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:14 am [Reply]

    IDIOTEN!: Minimalistic, yet effective. I don’t know, but I like this new strip by McE, as long as he doesn’t become as annoying as Thorax.

    Candorville: Yes, how dare you cockpit this light-hearted look at your character’s insanity for interacting with the paranormal.

    Curtis: OTOH, cockpit away.

    Lio: Yeah, obvious choice, but the WIN! was there if he chose BabyVamp Jessica or Eric from “True Blood”.

  44. Vince M
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    I’m sure Ms. Guisewhite will go on living a good life, and I hope she does, so I can say I’m glad I won’t have to face the presence of that strip anymore. The image of Cathy binge-gorging with both hands, face full of weak self-loathing, is the most depressing recurring image in the funnies – and that’s with FW in the mix too.

  45. Crankshafts Funky Smelling Corpse
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    Oh, almost forgot:
    FW: oil covered birds don’t get cleaned and then released on the beach. NOT only is this plot line months out of date now, it’s completely wrong. More trainwreck.

  46. Amateur
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:18 am [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#38): A nice tribute, Little Guy.

    MW: Whoa, did someone hit the fast-forward button on this strip? Easy there, people, there’s only so much of this breakneck pace we can stand!

    9CL: Ten bucks says they go for the Age of Innocence ending (“I can’t see him now, it’s been too long, I’ll send my kid in to see him while I stand around outside and mope”). Although I hate to think of this hack having anything even remotely in common with the magnificent Edith Wharton.

  47. Little Guy
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:26 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#39): Wait…. she was in Advertising? And NO mention of “Mad Men” in the strip. Either that is artistic restraint or just opportunity missed.

    What am I saying? Acknowledging the existence of Christina Hendricks destroys her universe.

  48. Howard
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Funky: Tom Batiuk uses cleaning birds as a metaphor for life. You can work hard to scrape the bad stuff off, but then life will take a nose-dive. You’ll be in the #### again real soon, boys. Nothing good ever lasts. YOU’RE GOING TO DIE, DO YOU HEAR ME? AN END!! THE END!! DIE DIE DIE

    Cranky: In the sister-ship, we’re now going to get to see wacky racist hijinks! And because we know at the beginning that this is a story about how a racist learns to get on with a black man, that means that Tom Batiuk should be able to get away with some truly awful racist lines… because it’s all about redemption, right?

    Which strip will turn darker in the coming weeks, soaking our souls in vinegar? Which will lighten up precipitously?

    Oh, that wacky, wacky Batiuck!

  49. Howard
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    Wait, wait, wait. Mary Worth just entered legally actionable territory here, folks, with the big reveal that Mike Roberts’ father is actor Eric Roberts.

  50. Lolsworth
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    So. Farewell then,

  51. Amateur
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    Oh, by the way, did anyone else catch Gus slamming Crankshaft on last night’s Psych? Wonder if there are Mudges on the writing staff!

  52. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    August 12th, 2010 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Cathy will get laid off, then eventually find a new office job, allowing her to become a frequent guest star in Sally Forth.

  53. Kibo
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    I assume the final “Cathy” will end with her being sold into slavery in a village in South America. There, she will meet Annie and the two of them will have a fight to the death with pool cues.

  54. Scott Bot
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    JP – I have finally figured it out…the name ‘Neddy’ means ‘she whose breasts defy gravity’. Oh, and did you know that Sophie is a cheerleader?

    MW – Dr Mike’s dad looks like he walked off the set of Goodfellas.

  55. anon
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    I haven’t read Cathy in years. Our paper dropped it without warning, and nary a peep of outrage was heard from the public. Nothing, nada. I did enjoy it eons ago, when I was much younger, shopping for clothes was more important, and bathing suit troubles – what woman didn’t have those???? I enjoyed her endless procession of blind dates with total losers. Time marched on, Cathy never ever changed, her ovoid egg shaped body trying to wedge itself into swim suits every year – accckkkk!
    …Her sad, inevitable marriage to Irving (“well, I’ve test-driven every car in the lot, I guess I’ll settle for my tired, ugly VW Beetle, it’s not much, but it still runs”). And I had it for good with her endless “female” nit-pickery – “do these brown gloves match the brown flecks in my coat? Or should I go with basic black? natter natter…”.)

    The last strip should be a conglomeration of other comic strip females attending her Farewell Party, giving her advice. Last panel: ACCKK! with sweat beads flying, tongue sticking out. Ugh!

    PLUGGERS: Today’s strip: the body lotions a Plugger gets as a gift have the words ‘anti-wrinkle’, ‘anti-aging’ on the label. Those things cost money! A TRUE Plugger gets gift sets from the Dollar Store. Garish pink lotions by no-name companies, smelling like rancid chemicals.

  56. Weaselboy
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    I plugged in “schwachkopfe” in to a German translation website and it came back as “weak head.” This must have been the chink in Edna’s sexual armor that Kiesl simply couldn’t abide, thus his fifty-year absence.

  57. Chyron HR
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    9 Dummkopf Lane – Well, if there’s one thing Brooke’s an expert on, it’s schwachking opfe.

  58. dr.giraud
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    RMMD: OF COURSE Rex understands. You know, June. Also: “Would you like a frosty, reproachful glass of my best anger, darling?”

  59. Anonymous
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    @Sgt Saunders (#27): I love you. So very much.

    “I had my heart broke.. by a meeeeean mistreater!”

  60. Doctor Handsome
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    Botched abortion, botched abortion… [crossing fingers] come on, botched abortion…

  61. andie
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    @Sgt Saunders (#27): Sorry that was me.

  62. These Strange Worlds
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    Cathy’s demise…

    Let the letter writing campaign to replace the soon to be defunct Cathy with My Cage begin…

    5, 4, 3, 2, 1… NOW!

  63. Terry in Silver Spring
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    @Rebecca (#11):

    Yeah, having her find a good bathing suit would be a nice ending. She needs to find some kind of happiness.

    I enjoyed Cathy when the strip first started. At the time, it was different and actually captured snippets of my life unlike what else was on the comics page. Thirty-four years is a long time to be covering that territory, although the artist did try to advance along a bit with first a boyfriend (annoying as he is) then marriage.

    So long, Cathy. I hope they have her reach a happy middle age like I have.

  64. MommyDommer
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    FW – Come on, Batiuk, won’t you at least let the wildlife escape the parade of misery that is Funky Winkerbean? That bird doesn’t even live in Westview… wait a minute, that means the misery is… SPREADING! RUN! RUN FOR YOUR HAPPY (or at least not-miserable) LIVES!

    MW – “Hello, Son. And by the way… braaaaaiiins!”

  65. McManx
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    Cathy — I’m hopeful that the final Cathy will feature her having massive heart attack. As she grips her chest and cries out “ack…ack-k-k-k!!”, everyone will assume she is just having one of her signature meltdowns, and thus will let her lay there and die.

    (I know this is awful, but God, how I have hated this strip.)

    Nancy — Looks like Aunt Fritzi needs to call in Mark Trail to handle her wild life problem. Any perhaps while she is at it, she can mate her mutant niece to Mark’s mutant ward.

    Phantom — The Ghost-who-steps-out has a once in a lifetime excuse for adultry: “Gee, honey. I thought you were dead. How was I to know you were really imprisoned anonymously in Rhodia? Besides, Savarana never really meant anything to me anyway. Besides, we just hooked up once… in front of her whole extended family, no less…”

  66. Chip
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    My prediction is that it will end with a build up of Cathy feeling ill, and the last strip will feature her taking a home pregnancy test, with the last panel featuring her looking at it and shouting “ACCK!!”

  67. Chip
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    …or an “Everybody Loves Raymond” -type finale with the whole family sitting around the dinner table.

  68. fillmoreeast
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    It is with profound disappointment in all of you that I note that nowhere on the original post or in the first 66 comments could I find the word “RAGNARAAAAACK!”. You are slipping, people!

  69. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    La cession du femme laid dans le vestiaire avec le maillot de bain

    She stood there, just as she had for over three decades, waiting for the sound that grated so heavily on her nerves. That “Aaack!”

    It’s difficult to be one of “los secondarios,” as they were sometimes called. Thelma Ritter had an entire career as one, playing the maid to Jimmy Stewart, the assistant to Bette Davis, or countless other roles as the woman in the background who gets the snappy line. Six Academy Award nominations and countless others but never the winner. Just like Store Woman. When she signed on, she thought she might be Cathy’s friend, but that didn’t work out. Instead, she got to watch, endlessly, while the gorgon tried on swimsuit after swimsuit after swimsuit. At first, it was whimsical, like her first foray into uncut Hispanic cock, but then, just like Pedro, it became tiresome.

    She wrapped her knuckles on the door. Silence. Finally, she opened it a crack. There she was, on the floor, swimsuit half-on and half-off, with a box of crullers. Apparent heart attack, it seemed.

    She smiled.

  70. Roger Bork
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    Cathy is ending October 3? That is the day before my birthday! The beginning of a Cathyless world is the best birthday gift ever!

  71. terrapin
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    That isn’t Dr Mike’s dad. It’s just a homeless guy that occasionally walks out of the bushes to say “hello son” to anyone who will listen. Oh cruel fate. The irony will not be lost on Mary.

  72. terrapin
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    @fillmoreeast (#68):
    Not enough Scandinavians out there.

  73. Pastor Z
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Schwachskopfe? Personally, I would have gone with Scheißekopf.

  74. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 12th, 2010 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    Since Cathy was a pioneer depiction of a working woman, we suggest that she get with the times: heartless layoff, followed by workplace spree killing, concluding with suicide by cop.

    What end could be more fitting for a strip that’s been at a creative dead end for the last 15 years.

  75. Pastor Z
    August 12th, 2010 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    73: Make that Schwachkopf, not Schwachskopf. Ich bin ein Dummkopf!

  76. Amateur
    August 12th, 2010 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    Curtis: “It’s funny because she’s fat!” Lord, Billingsley, you are one cold fish.

    MT: Oh boy, we’re gonna get Bambi II: The Revenge of Bambi’s Mother!

  77. Mark
    August 12th, 2010 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    Cathy DEAD! Upon hearing this most celebrated and long awaited news, one quote came into my head:

    “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!”

    It just sort of seemed to fit the occasion. I’ve been waiting to hear this travesty of a comic was being ended for 34 years.

  78. anty a
    August 12th, 2010 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    I appreciated Cathy, especially when I was in my 30′s and the comic seemed to express, with eerie precision, what I thought were my own secret thoughts and neuroses. It’s been a niche comic, obviously not relevant to everyone. CG exaggerates Cathy’s insecurities for comic effect, and I can see why some people would “hate” the result, but there actually were times when it would help me laugh at myself.

  79. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 12th, 2010 at 10:20 am [Reply]


    FW: Mr. Seagull, just because you’re in Funky Winkerbean doesn’t mean you have to give yourself a terminal illness. Does it?

    C-Shaft: “So I manned up and gave him a hug. And I tell you, Ed, I felt something I’d never felt before.”

    S4th: It’s nice to know that under the right circumstances, Sally can regress to Ted’s level.

    SFx: How to draw a boy who needs to pull his pants up and stop trying to be gangsta.

    OBH: Cute!

    Ziggy: Ziggy wonders why his Pop Tarts have been coming up all pornographic.

    Phantom: Oh sure. When she gives Kit the old “fate means us to be together” routine she gets to walk arm-in-arm with him. I write the same thing to Blake Lively and get a cease and desist letter from her lawyers.

    GA: I won’t pay! I won’t pay! No, no way-ay-ay. Why don’t you get a job?

    RMMD: Stewart is nervous about taking the iced tea because he doesn’t know if that’s the glass his wife whizzed in.

    9CL: Is this going to be a week of teaching us German words for “dumbass”? I think I could get used to that.

    MW: Comes the shocking reveal. Dr. Mike’s father is Henry Kissinger. “Zorry, zon. Kofi Annan, the World Bank, they won’t let me be. This time I left my zell phone at home.”

    BB: The General wonders why they let the “Camp Swampy Muckraker” operate. He misses the “Camp Swampy Asskisser.”

    HtH: Unseen third panel: Helga thinks, “We call it that because it’s a cellar. And he keeps beer in it.”

    H&L: Good thinking, girl. Make bets with both of them. Double your money.

  80. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    August 12th, 2010 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    @Amateur (#76): There’s already a Bambi II, so I guess that will have to be Bambi III, followed by Bambi IV: Furs in Paradise, then Bambi V: The Undiscovered Country, and finally Bambi, directed by Michael Bay.

  81. Columbina
    August 12th, 2010 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    I don’t care for “Cathy,” but I do appreciate Guisewite’s candor, especially:

    “You mean how will it end in the paper? If I had the sort of brain capable of planning two weeks ahead I never would have been able to create this strip for the last 34 years.”

  82. Anonymous
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    @Terry in Silver Spring (#63):

    Maybe she’ll find a maternity bathing suit. I actually sometimes found Cathy to be uncomfortably too close to my reality, right down to her self-improvement mantras. (There’s a better term for that that escapes me now.) I mean, it can be deflating to be trying to inspire yourself to live a happier, healthier life, and then see what you believed was your personal thought process satirized in “Cathy.”

  83. Comcis Fan
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    #82 is moi.

  84. Fashion Police
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    @Amateur (#46): Don’t worry. He tried, but he didn’t have anything in common with Hemingway or Casablanca either.

  85. Bitter Scribe
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    @Alex (#7): Someone, I think it was the guy who does Zippy the Pinhead, described the art as something like string dropped at random on a Xerox machine.

  86. Fashion Police
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    @Pastor Z (#73):

    Personally, I would have gone with Scheißekopf

    Given Monsignor McEldowney’s puerile, Catholic-school sensibilities, one has little doubt that would have been his first choice, had he thought he could get away with it.

  87. fishmorgjp
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    Ooh, maybe this will turn out to be a “just foolin’” type of deal, and in October, Cathy will announce that she is not leaving — that she will be here forever. And then Irving will shout “Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!,” and a hellfire-emitting crevasse will open up beneath Cathy and swallow her up. Or something like that.

  88. bats :[
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    40. LITTLE A. OF THE GRAND CONCOURSE JUNGLE PATROL: That’s always been my opinion of the strip, Little A.

  89. greghousesgf
    August 12th, 2010 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    yeah, yeah, she’s an idiot, she hates herself because she’s fat and she’s apparently drawn by a seven year old. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. And take Mutts with you.

  90. Mibbitmaker
    August 12th, 2010 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    @Weaselboy (#56): “Weak head”? That’s just because Brooke couldn’t find a German word for “beefwit”.

  91. genevieve
    August 12th, 2010 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for the link. I haven’t read Cathy in years and in general associate it with a particular ’80s stereotype of women. I don’t connect with that character or those issues, but that interview gave me a new appreciation of the strip, or at least of Cathy Guisewite.

    But right now I’m just reeling at greghousesgf mentioning Cathy and Mutts in the same sentence…

  92. Mikey
    August 12th, 2010 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    Don’t let the bathing-suit-fitting-door hit you on your fat-crappily-drawn ass on the way out.

    I’m talking to you, Ms. Guisewhite. Not your shitty comic.

  93. WLP
    August 12th, 2010 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    Cathy is ending? Wow . . . I think I just found religion . . .

  94. Bill Peschel
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    In a world of bad and mediocre strips, I found it hard to hate Cathy. When it appeared, it was actually groundbreaking. Imagine, a strip about a single woman and about her concerns (compare that with Apartment 3-G and you’ll see what I mean). It was the “Mary Tyler Moore” of comics.

    It’s easy to miss that since we’re used to “Sex and the City”, chick-lit books and sites online such as “The Frisky.” So let’s give her props for that.

    Yeah, it could have been better, but it wasn’t worse, and at my age, I’ve learned to appreciate such consistency. I won’t miss “Cathy,” but I do appreciate what its creator tried to accomplish. Sorry if that sounds milquetoastish, but that’s the way I feel.

    Then there’s “Crock.” And Funky. And ….

  95. Mars
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    Wow, this should open that space in the papers to some fresh new talent that will—-

    ….oh who am I kidding, it’ll be replaced by Cathy reruns from 1987.

  96. Jeff R.
    August 12th, 2010 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    Well, the normal way that long-running strips end is by going full circle and showing the characters more or less where they were to begin with. But Cathy got married a few years back, so you can’t really go back to the original core of the strip without a death or a divorce (too dark for the strip) or something too silly for it, like saying the last several years were just a dream or having the character make a deal with the devil to undo the marriage.

    So if they can’t do that, we’re probably talking life changes. Pregnancy is a strong possibility, of course, but ending with a pregnancy test is a bit too cliffhangery. Maybe close with “I think we should have a baby”, instead?

    Or else there ‘s the future epilog possibility. Have the last few strips jump forward a few years each, showing her raising a family, and the final strip can have her realize that she’s turned into her mother…and that she’s okay with that.

  97. Marion Delgado
    August 12th, 2010 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    For Cathy and Irving, what’s wrong with Christina Ricci and Justin Long’s fate in “After Life?”

  98. sugarpie
    August 12th, 2010 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    @greghousesgf (#89): Preach it. The appeal of Mutts has elluded me since it first appeared. Every so often…there is a sort of a hint of something worthwhile (aside from the homeless animal shelter promos which are great), but usually most of the characters are boring and/or annoying. I love animals, but Mutts is just baffling. My apologies to all the Mutts fans, but I cant lie about it any more.

    Surely there is some festering dark flaw in my soul; I defended Dinette Set on the last thread.

  99. Mysterious Shirtless Lawyer
    August 12th, 2010 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    I thought it was touching to hear from Miss Guisewite, who brought joy to millions and, not so incidentally, made tens of millions of dollars, unlike, say, Josh, who begs for tips and still has a day job–if you call chauffeuring his wife to her job a “job”.

  100. El Santo
    August 12th, 2010 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    I believe Liz Lemon once said it best:

    “Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! AAAAAACCCCKKKKK!!!!”

    I love Cathy ifor making that awesome 30 Rock segment possible.

  101. fishmorgjp
    August 12th, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    @Mysterious Shirtless Lawyer (#99):

    She gots munny! Moo! Moo!

  102. Stu
    August 12th, 2010 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    “I’ve loved creating something that men will never completely understand.”

    Thanks, Ms. Guisewhite. Way to bring us all together.

    What a hack.

  103. Johnny Q
    August 12th, 2010 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    I liked CATHY back in the ’80s.

  104. Emily K [Riff Chick]
    August 12th, 2010 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    Since Cathy was a pioneer depiction of a working woman, we suggest that she get with the times: heartless layoff, followed by workplace spree killing, concluding with suicide by cop.

    Calling Tom Batiuk!

  105. Crankenstank
    August 12th, 2010 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    I find this pretty horrifying news in part because I remember when Cathy debuted, and therefore I have outlived a comic strip (thank God for you, Dagwood). I have distinct memories of asking my older sisters to explain the strip to me and them telling me I would never, ever get it. And I never, ever have.

  106. Emily K [Riff Chick]
    August 12th, 2010 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

  107. kahvigirl
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    I find it interesting that someone wants to replace Cathy with My Cage since I see MC mostly as Cathy in furry drag with some Dilbert mixed in. Norm is fat. Norm won’t try to eat right or exercise. Norm bitches about his job way more than Cathy, and we’re never told exactly why it’s so evil only, that he somehow DESERVES to be a rich & famous writer & so awful he has to work to afford all the things (Tivo, Ipods, cable tv, etc) that he feels entitled to.For a while I wondered if the writer wasn’t using old Cathy jokes to see if anyone here would notice but instead he get praised to the skies. I’ll probably get ripped apart for saying this but I wondered about it for quite some time.

  108. agony
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    Like a few others here, I was a young single working woman when Cathy first showed up in my newspaper, and, yes, it was a helluva lot more relevant to my life than anything else in the comics. Compared to Broomhilda, Blondie and Tumbleweeds, it was slice of life cutting edge. Never really *funny*, but there were quite a few “oh, yeah, been there” strips.

    So, my 23 year old self in the nice pumps, pantyhose, and floppy-bowed blouse can have a moment of regret, while the fat old woman in sweatpants sitting at the computer doesn’t give a shit.

  109. idledandy
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    I read Cathy regularly from my early teen years to my early 30s (a couple of years ago.) I used to enjoy it a lot.

    However, over the last few years the strip became very repetitive, with no new storylines. I don’t think marrying Cathy off was necessarily a fatal error, but she should have had a baby (or better yet, adopted one, as Guisewite did) or introduced some other long-term story. I remember such stories from years ago, such as Andrea’s engagement, marriage, and pregnancy, or Cathy dating a younger man. That’s what kept me reading every day.

    So I’ll miss what Cathy used to be, but not what it is now.

  110. JejunumJake
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    I’m betting the strip will end with Cathy having a final ACK!-induced brain aneurysm that we all saw coming (and most secretly hoped for).

    I can’t hate Cathy completely, because it really was one of the first regular pieces that helped expose a lot of the bullshit messages women put up with, and the effect it can have on women’s self esteem. I occasionally use a Cathy strip in my gender studies lecture so that first time students can get an idea of how women constantly receive conflicting messages about body image (you can’t tell me that isn’t what the swimsuit strips are about), and for many of them it helps hammer the point home because the strips are so easy to digest. That said, I *hate* how the strip settled into a rut so quickly after starting, and I can’t *stand* how Cathy never even tried to rebel against all the pressures placed upon her.

    The writer was in a unique position to show a confident woman fighting against these pressures, but she took the easy route of not doing anything but ACK! herself into a self-loathing coma. It conflicted with the whole idea behind the strip, to the point that after a while the message seemed to be:
    “Women put up with crap.”
    “Oh well!”
    Maybe that’s what pissed me off about the strip: the complacency of it. The writer tackled tough issues, but then did squat with ‘em.

    Let’s just hope they replace it with some new blood comic. Who am I kidding? It’ll be Cathy reruns. ACK!

  111. Braniff
    August 13th, 2010 at 6:25 am [Reply]

    From what I’ve read, Cathy jumped the shark when she married Irving. That should have been the time to end the comic strip. Didn’t Cathy Guiswite ever watch old TV sitcoms to see how they dealt with marriages, departures of characters, graduations, deaths, etc.?

    I also hope that no one will do reruns of Cathy strips–keep them away from the funny pages. If anyone tries such an idea, we should shoot it down–with AACK, AACK, of course!!!

  112. Tom
    August 13th, 2010 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    “Cathy”‘s passing should be lamented. I find it creepy how some people recoil from something truly decent. She was funny, cute, a loving person, an amiable colleague, and her anxieties reflected reality. Did she effortlessly reject the system? No. Are invulnerable, decisive, humorless characters fun, memorable, and relatable to millions of people? Also no.

  113. Pseudo3D
    August 13th, 2010 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    Well, well, well. The monotony of diatribes by a pair of self-centered, materialistic boobs (and I’m talking about Cathy and Irving here) has finally come to an end. Unfortunately, I can’t get my hopes up too high: the “ending” of FBoFW became a “relaunch”.

  114. fishmorgjp
    August 13th, 2010 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    @Tom (#112):

    You definition of “funny” and “cute” and that of most other people vary considerably. Cathy was “funny” and “cute,” if “funny” and “cute” are defined as “stupid” and “repetitious.”

  115. adam
    August 13th, 2010 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    For the Cathy finale, I am REALLY REALLY REALLY hoping for what would be an uncharacteristically artistic ending, namely, a carbon monoxide induced suicide in the style of Sylvia Plath or Anne Sexton. If we are lucky, Cathy will gasp out her last “Aaack!” with her head inside the oven. But, alas, probably not.

  116. mediator
    August 14th, 2010 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    Cathy fits best with Marmaduke’s owner – humor based on lack of life skills and self-esteem. As some of the earlier folks revealed “I liked Cathy when….

    I am new to this blog – My question is have you ever had conversations with random folks and asked “what comics do you read?”

  117. michael5000
    August 18th, 2010 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    I’m no obstetrician, but I believe that women usually pop out babies.

  118. Stooges Woman
    August 18th, 2010 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    OK, I have to be honest and say that I loved “Cathy”, kind of, sort of.

    Like “Sex and the City”, she was a reflection of who I was, and who I perceived other women around me to be, during certain times in my life.

    I stopped reading her after, as some of the other posters have noted, it became apparent that the storylines were pretty much the same, year after year. Like most soap operas, you could just drop in after an absence of … well … years, and figure out what was going on in a very short time. That’s annoying, but it can also be comforting, when real life is very confusing.

    The one time I dropped back in for a substantial period of time was when Irving FINALLY proposed and they FINALLY got married – because, again, it was reflecting what was actually happening to me: in real life, my husband and I got married when we were both over 40, and I enjoyed seeing some of our wedding-planning struggles reflected in “Cathy”. But again, once they got married the novelty wore off and things pretty much returned to normal.

    I didn’t hate the artwork, but then, I myself once drew a horribly bad comic strip called “Binky the Venusian” (still available on bathroom walls all over downtown Kansas City, if you look under the whitewash), so who am I to throw stones?

    Anyway – bye, “Cathy”! I’ll kind of sort of miss you. Perhaps “Luann” will graduate from school and take your place.

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