2.07.2015

Cathy CK

Unnecessary confession: I used to read the Cathy comic strip religiously. 

Not because I liked it, or even understood it really. It started out of necessity, as I would voraciously read every single comic strip in the morning paper while I shoveled cereal into my face before school, and since it was technically reading my parents would rarely tell me to stop.


I still remember my routine. All the good stuff was at the top, obviously: Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side, Non Sequitur, The Duplex, and for some fucking reason Ziggy, The Family Circus, and The Lockhorns. Mid-page you'd have your Blondie, your Beetle Bailey,  your Baby Blues, your Hagar the Horrible, etc. The bottom was the lair of Mark Trail, forever robotically punching men in the face to stop bear poaching or whatever. You'd also see newer, less familiar strips getting their shot at the full-color print, like Zits

The inside page was the B-team, as they didn't get any color printing and had to make due with black and white. This was where bizarre, antiquated shit like Gasoline Alley and Spider-Man and Ducktales and Dick Tracy lived. I was a huge comic book nerd so I couldn't stop myself from reading panel after panel of bland, fight-less, bad-guy-free Spider-Man comics where Peter Parker basically obsessed about his job and rent and old aunt. It was awful.

Also, Curtis was back there. Which always felt kind of racist.

But there was a third page that only the most desperate of middle schoolers would dare read. It was mostly crossword puzzles and shit like Wordy Gurdy. The kind of stuff that as a kid you just assumed was there to fill space because obviously no one would have any interest in it.

But nestled in there were three "comics:" Prince Valiant, which hinted at an epic Game of Thrones-esque plotline but every time I read it all they were doing was traveling somewhere, Rex Morgan, M.D., which is basically the comic strip manifestation of a terrible daytime soap opera. Oh, and Cathy. This whole thing's about Cathy, remember? 

I used to read Cathy and, in my tiny kid brain, imagine that this was pretty representative of women at large. "Wow," I would think as I chewed on some Shark Crunch, "women sure worry about their weight and fitting into clothes a lot." It was almost like an anthropological study, except when I started comparing these scenarios and projecting that behavior on my mom, it pretty quickly didn't add up. So I was left wondering what kind of terrible neurosis she cultivated without telling me.

Anyway my wife sent me a link to this site, CathyCK, which pairs Cathy strips with Louis CK quotes:


I don't know if it says something about how Cathy's wacky adventures translate with modern dialogue or if it says Louis CK has been basically ripping off Cathy all these years. Either way they're great.




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