Friday, August 13, 2010

All good things must come to an AACK!!

So after thirty-four chocolate craving, shoe obsessing, yo-yo dieting, mother stressing years, it appears that long time comic "Cathy" will be acking off into the sunset. I can't say that it's all that shocking, the writing was on the wall when she married Irving in 2005. For a comic devoted to the daily travails of a miserable, love (and chocolate) starved, single woman getting Cathy to finally marry was the equivalent of Beetle Bailey being dishonorably discharged from the army, or the Lockhorns filing for a divorce, or Garfield being diagnosed with feline AIDS.

As a staple of the newspaper comic section I occasionally read a "Cathy" comic or two growing up and I, like most males and people under 50, had always written off "Cathy" as an unrelatable, unfunny, waste of ad space and printer's ink that had long since lost any relevance; living a lazy, half-assed existence recycling its tired old jokes and tropes while enjoying its comfortable tenure. During my recent Lockhorn archiving experiment (currently on hiatus), my perusing of the daily comics got myself a chance to reevaluate many of the old comics I grew up with, including "Cathy", and after looking at the antics of Cathy through the wizened perspective of an adult I must say it still sucks.

Why anyone would have any interest or empathy for this miserable, annoying, shrill troll of a woman who somehow manages to be both ugly on the outside and inside is a mystery. What's even more perplexing is how "Cathy" has a reputation as some sort of female cultural icon. So what exactly is there in this patently offensive hideous caricature of the modern female that fellow contemporary women can take to heart? Are women deep down all really that superficial/hysterical/whinny and "Cathy" is some common gender relating figure? If you did the old gender switcheroo and instead of Cathy Guisewhite it was her husband who created and wrote "Cathy", I don't think it would have been nearly as successful.

Then again, maybe I'm just unfairly picking on "Cathy" since most comic strips suck. I can't say I'm sad to see it go so this stops short of a eulogy, but for something that has consistently existed everyday for my entire existence to soon be gone forever, at least some attention must be paid. Now all that's left is to speculate about what the big finale would be October 3rd. There definitely isn't enough development time for a baby but I'm thinking maybe she'll get pregnant (as horrifying as the implications are). Although I'd be willing to completely reevaluate my comments on the entire series run if the ending is anything like the insane existential nightmare Garfield strips that ran the week before Halloween in 1989.

P.S. While google image searching for a decent sized picture of Cathy, I came across this horrifying "Cathy" parody that someone created for their blog. It is beyond "Not Safe For Work" it's more closer to "Not Safe For Human Eyes". Click at your own peril, but remember you can never unsee it.

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