34 Years of Ack


If it weren’t for these deadlines I’d never get this thing done.

Back when we were in talks with a syndicate, our potential editor said she was visualizing Ask Maridee (the retooled Scooter and Ferret) as a replacement for Cathy. Like it or not, that will always tie our strip in my mind with the long-running newspaper comic about the stresses, loves and insecurities of a single woman who loves chocolate and hates trying on bathing suits. Maybe I can see the editor’s point, as Maridee is certainly always open about her insecurities, but the retooling ended up suffering from the same thing Cathy is criticized for: some indefinable sense of being out of touch. Yes women still have all of these tiny things that grate on us, but the any character constantly harping about those same little things for 30 years will eventually graduate from adorable to vividly annoying. Especially when Cathy floated above the events that affected the rest of us, like recessions and unemployment, remaining comfortably in her urban apartment while the rest of us resented her good fortune to have problems so small. That said, I deeply admire and applaud Cathy Guisewite’s decision to retire for good. Cathy will not continue to run in papers into 3012, written by her daughter, her granddaughter or her poodle. Once it’s over, let it be over – if only more cartoonists could step out when it’s obvious the party’s over, the rest of us have gone home.

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