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Women cartoonists pay tribute to Cathy Guisewhite

With the news of Cathy Guisewhite retiring her comic strip after 34 years, cartoonists – female cartoonists especially – are reflecting about the impact Cathy had in the industry. Rina Piccolo, creator of Tina’s Groove and one of the Six Chix calls Cathy pioneering woman in the male-dominated field of cartooning.

She writes:

I owe a portion of my success to Cathy Guisewite. Her entrance into the mostly-male world of newspaper comic strips in the 1970s made it possible for girls like me to have a better chance at making it in this business. She broke down a lot of doors for women cartoonists, and for that I tip my hat to her.

Jan Eliot, creator of Stone Soup writes notes that Cathy empowered feminism in the workplace:

Cathy brought the cares and concerns of young women to the comics pages in a new way. Her character spoke for everyone who was starting out in life, in a new career, in an office, in the often bewildering world of dating. Cathy was a feminist, and brought feminism to the funnies in a very real, down to earth way. Read through an early (or more recent) Cathy collection and you’ll find some very fine diatribes about the perceptions of women and their relationship to men. A stroll through any workplace during the last 35 years would reveal walls and doors and break room cupboards plastered with Cathy cartoons.

Stephan Pastis – creator of Pearls Before Swine and assuredly not a female cartoonist – reflects about his friendship with Cathy and a comic using Cathy as the punchline that he pulled at the last moment because Cathy asked him to. In a stern manner.

And lastly, on the topic of Cathy and retirement, here is Cathy chatting with Johnny Carson who had announced his retirement.

Community Comments

#1 Stephan Pastis
August/14/2010
@ 11:52 am

Alan says “assuredly” as though he’s seen my twig and berries. He has not.

#2 Alan Gardner
August/14/2010
@ 2:53 pm

@Stephan True, I have not, but according to RC Harvey they’re “toothpicked-olive” and “bespeaking of convenience rather than ineptitude.”

I’ll just take his word.

#3 Stephen Beals
August/14/2010
@ 6:38 pm

Watching that clip makes me want to go back 18 years.

#4 Pete McDonnell
August/15/2010
@ 1:06 pm

Watching that clip reminded me that Johnny Carson had the best laugh on television…Ms. Guisewite had some great lines there! I wonder how many other comic strip artists ever got a spot on the Tonight Show…did Charles Schulz ever appear on there?

#5 Stephen Beals
August/15/2010
@ 5:02 pm

I know Charles Schulz was on Whoopie Goldberg’s short-lived talk show. That’s when she showed him her Woodstock tattoo on her breast.

This made me wonder what cartoonist is getting honest, sit down interviews with late night talk shows these days. I don’t watch them anymore, so I honestly don’t know.

#6 Jeff Stanson
August/16/2010
@ 7:35 am

Other than the above mentioned and Garry Trudeau, I can’t think of another. Maybe they should…

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