In 1976 Cathy Guisewite became the first woman to break the "paper ceiling" of the comic pages with her comic strip Cathy
, the first widely syndicated humor strip by a female cartoonist. Millions of fans read Cathy
each day in one of 1,500 newspapers. The strip was revolutionary not simply because it features a woman, but also deals honestly with the conflicting emotions of women. Topics for the strip have evolved since 1976 from issues like the right to work to the difficulties of having a career and a family, but broader themes remain the same. Guisewite identifies these themes as "the four basic guilt groups-food, love, mom and work." Although her own life has changed in many ways since starting the comic strip, she insists that the character Cathy and its artist share much in common. "We're both trying to be dynamic business people, nurturing homeowners, loving partners, environmentally correct citizens, financial wizards, loyal friends, community activists . . . and a size five all at once." She adds, "also, we're trying to find the appropriate outfit and matching shoes for each life role."
No matter how much of a struggle it may be for Cathy in the comic strip, Guisewite herself seems to be balancing things with great success: she has received the National Cartoonists Society's Ruben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year and an Emmy for her first animated television special featuring Cathy.
Coincidentally, 25 years ago Guisewite created Cathy and CMC went coed. Two strokes of brilliance!
Cathy Guisewite's visit to CMC is sponsored by the Berger Institute of Work, Family, and Children and the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum. The dinner is for CMC persons only; the lecture is open to all.