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Frank & Earnest, B.C. stay, Cathy out

The Pueblo Chieftan wanted to make their crossword puzzle and so one comic must go. The chopping block included Frank & Earnest, Cathy and B.C.. Over 100 readers responded and B.C. and Frank & Earnest will stay, but Cathy is out by a 10-1 margin. One reader called it “a fat Paris Hilton, but without the money yet with the stupid tiny dog.”

On the Sunday comic page, Cathy is being replaced by Sherman’s Lagoon.

Community Comments

#1 Danny Burleson
October/8/2007
@ 4:45 pm

Can anyone say, “Ouch!”?

#2 Chris H.
October/8/2007
@ 6:21 pm

Well, I never heard of this paper…”The Pueblo Chieftain” is a nice name, but since it’s from a place far from where I live (Pueblo, CO) that would explain my ignorance.

Anyway, if you read the actual article, readers of the paper say some brutal things about “Cathy.” I am definitely not a fan of “Cathy,” and my paper dropped it a few years ago, and by that point it was already mind-numbingly repetitive and had become one of the few comics I actually skip when reading the newspaper in the morning.

But I know that Cathy Guisewite created the strip as a semi-autobiographical strip, and so some of the comments published in the article must sting. Readers wrote in to call it “an insult to women everywhere” and so on. Another wrote that having the character get married didn’t help it regain its steam. “Cathy” was voted out of the paper by a 10:1 majority. Yikes.

Who has been producing “Frank and Earnest” since Bob Thaves died?

#3 Alan Gardner
October/8/2007
@ 6:25 pm

Bob’s son, Tom, took over the strip about 10 years ago – which explains why the readers felt “the strip has slipped since its creator passed away.”

#4 Ed Power
October/8/2007
@ 11:25 pm

With no disrespect to any of the strips mentioned, it’s good to see Sherman’s Lagoon getting some love. That’s a strip I like that I rarely hear anything about, either good or bad.

#5 John Read
October/9/2007
@ 8:27 am

Alan.
You misquoted what was said about Frank & Ernest. It was reported “NOBODY felt the strip has slipped since its creator passed away and it has been produced by others.”
I don’t know about you, but I think the strip is very much in the same vein ofwhat it was ten years ago, good or bad.

#6 abby frantz
October/9/2007
@ 11:51 am

sort of off topic, but as i don’t read kathy, which character did she marry?

regards,

#7 Barlogea
October/9/2007
@ 1:29 pm

Cathy married her husband of course

#8 Rick Ellis
October/9/2007
@ 2:28 pm

“One reader called it â??a fat Paris Hilton, but without the money yet with the stupid tiny dog.”

Wow. I would think that would be a reason to keep the strip.
Strangley enough, Cathy is the only one of the three that’s still drawn by its creator.

#9 Garey Mckee
October/9/2007
@ 3:47 pm

I must echo some of the previous comments here. Wow. Brutal comments. While I’ve never been a big Cathy fan, I can at least say that the strip (the times I’ve skimmed it) is not preachy or self righteous which seems to be the trend in strips with central women characters these days. Maybe that’s why it got voted out so strongly? 10:1 ouch. But also, how many “Ack I look fat in this bathing suit” strips can you write and still be fresh?

#10 Chris H.
October/9/2007
@ 6:22 pm

Garey, if there’s one thing that characterized “Cathy” (at least before it got the boot from my paper; I haven’t read it in the years since), it was repetition. It was kind of like “Garfield,” only less simple.

Maybe that’s why those strips stay popular with a lot of people, whereas strips that make big departures from the norm (like this controversial cancer storyline in “Funky Winkerbean” — please don’t come here and post all of your thoughts about Lisa dying here, I’m just using this to make a point) upset people because of the radical changes from what usually happens in the comics. Whereas with “Garfield,” you can expect Garfield to say he hates Mondays, loves lasagna, and is fat, with him being lazy, Jon being a dork, Odie being stupid and drooling, and Nermal occasionally popping in to act cute. THere’s no change in the formula, and that’s probably why people like to read it — it’s like comfort food or something.

“Cathy” is like that. On any given day, you can expect Cathy to stress out, worry about fitting into a bathing suit, or make an observation about life with her mother or boyfriend (now husband; his name is Irving by the way). It’s a little less simple than “Garfield,” the dialogue is a lot wordier, and it is semi-based on the cartoonist’s life, but it’s the same fundamental idea: comfort food.

…Which brings me to my next point. The comments are pretty nasty in that article, and since presumably Cathy Guisewite bases the strip mostly one her own life, these people ridiculing the life of her character must sting.

You are right in saying that it is not preachy or self-righteous; at least back when I read it in my paper it was not. But I think that the real reason for its drop in popularity (at least in Pueblo, CO) is that people are finally saying, “enough, already!” to the repetition. Same deal with “Garfield.” Both have been around since the ’70s doing basically the same stuff while other, more creative strips (such as “Sherman’s Lagoon,” which gets all too little attention) are unable to make it into as many papers as they have. The repetition was just what readers wanted to see. Now, in the last few years, my paper dropped “Cathy” and “Garfield” both on the same day, and this Pueblo newspaper is dropping “Cathy” due to complaints about it. Perhaps people are getting tired of same old, same old.

I’d be kidding myself if I said that either of these strips will be going away any time soon. However, maybe longtime readers are finally getting a bit jaded about the strip’s repetitive content.

(And no offense is meant to Cathy Guisewite; I have no doubt that she puts a lot of effort into her comic; I merely am commenting on an undeniable aspect of her strip.)

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