Sketch diary 1/11. Mourning and Melancholia.

January 11th, 2007 | Sketch Diary


Things have come to a sad pass here in my cat-less house.

98 Responses to “Sketch diary 1/11. Mourning and Melancholia.”

  1. R says:

    lol…the food chain…i thought the USA was over run with cockroaches, so another will be along in a few seconds. Are you now a pet free household?.

  2. ED says:

    I don’t know what it is about this, but I’m sitting here laughing until there are tears in my eyes. I’m sorry, that may not have been the intent but the innocence of the first three panels combined with the last one packs a wallop.

  3. Mouse says:

    Back when we had a cat, Spidey and the cockroach both would have been a midday snack.

  4. mysticriver says:

    Oh dear. Always disconcerting to find “Wild Kingdom” in one’s home. (I particularly hate it when it happens, to my surprise, in my fish tank. I once had a guppy who did a lot of damage before I realized he wasn’t as innocent as he looked.)

    Can I just say that you are a lot more mellow than I would be at finding a bug on my toothbrush?

    Hope you are feeling okay and coping well. I wish it were possible to phone Ginger for a chat, she would be a good friend right now.

  5. It wasn’t a cockroach–that would have been really disturbing. It was some kind of ornate beetle that probably came into the house on a piece of firewood.

  6. PKintheUK says:

    Good to hear–but I still wouldn’t want to find it on my toothbrush! Loved the strip.

  7. Hillary says:

    Oh, baby. I lost my kitties in an end-of-a-household split, and it was so lonesome.
    My plants are doing way too well. And sometimes I lean out the window to watch the alley cats. There’s one with a completely scarred over eye I was thinking of making my friend.

  8. Rachel says:

    After 5 years, and a cross country move that left my kitties behind, I finally have kities again. It is a terrible thing that we love something so much and that we have to outlive, yet we have to have them in our lives. I am a firm believer hat they come back to us….as my BAD BOY kitty reminds me, haha…

  9. --MC says:

    WHY do the piders love to live in the bathroom? After one hopped onto K’s shoulder during a midnight bathroom session, we’re wondering why they love to live in there. I mean, there can’t be that many bathroom bugs can there?

  10. QKelly says:

    SO glad it wasn’t a cockroach; I have the world’s biggest phobia about them. There are certain latitudes I refuse to travel below lest I put myself within reach of too many big roachies (call them “palmetto bugs” or “water bugs” if you want to, but *I* know giant cockroaches when I see them.)

    My sincere condolences about Julia. When my beloved Lizzie died unexpectedly, I did the same thing you did: gathered up every photo of her I could find, made enlargements, etc, both as a way of trying to reclaim Lizzie’s physical presence and of letting myself feel that as long as I was doing something related to her, she wasn’t really gone. She’s with me on my desk this minute, eight years later (true, she’s only 5 x 7 and two-dimensional, but still.) I hope your Julia slideshow helped.

  11. louise says:

    LOL I understand how such a loss might drive one to try to make friends with things found crawling on one’s toothbrush. I don’t know if you drew that beetle to look so very like the notoriously destructive Asian Longhorn on purpose for comedic effect, or if that’s really what it looked like…either way, maybe things happened for the best.

  12. Mark says:

    Just going by your drawing, that arachno-meal looks very much like a “Western Cone Bug”, or “stinkbug”.

    In general, those should be put outside, as they eat dead pine matter, keeping your house safer from other critters (such as termites) who also like dead pine matter and are much more destructive.

    (And “stinkbugs” don’t stink unless you make the mistake of crushing one.)

  13. shadocat says:

    Girrrl-when you get back from France, you better head for the shelter and git you a cat!

  14. purlypuss says:

    i dunno if it’s intentional, but i love how even the toothbrush’s bristles get all alarmed at the untimely demise of Friend No 2.

  15. Elaine The Cat Pimp says:

    I got my first cat as an adult in 1982. In 2003, the last of the dynasty of cats I had died. I swore I’d not get another cat. All that hair, I protested. The pee! The litterbox! I went on a grand trip to New York. I came back. I had a fight with my boss. I kept going home to my catless house. I brooded. I looked at pictures of cats on incessantly. I almost got fired. (These are not all related. I’m just TMIing)

    Fugeddaboutit. I got out of my office chair and sped to the SPCA and got me a fresh cat.

    Total time without a cat? 7 weeks. I’ll never wait that long again. Next time, I’ll have the funeral, take the trip and go right from the plane to the shelter when I get home.

    That said, please don’t let any of us stop you from getting some fresh cats. Take two! They’re small!

    And, why, yes, I do volunteer at an animal shelter. And the kitties are ever so grateful to go home with someone.

  16. chicklet says:

    You wear a hat in your house? Brrrr!

  17. Aunt Soozie says:

    I love this…cutie li’l spidey…li’l sweet stink bug…
    but I agree with shadocat and The Cat Pimp…
    next thing you know you’ll be talking to the microscopic bacteria that grow on your toothbrush and by then it’s way too late. Don’t let it happen. Be proactive. (Gawd it’s taking every bit of self control I have to not make a comment about what you need with a reference to a slang term for a part of the female anatomy that is also a ephemism for cat…dang I’m simple…and clearly have no self control…)

  18. wendy says:

    I could tell it wasn’t a roach (I saw enough of them in my NYC apartment to last a lifetime. It looked like a stag – horn beetle to me, but invertebrates are not my strong suit.

  19. Maggie Jochild says:

    Tom’s Chutney. Now, why didn’t THEY think of that flavor?

    P.S. Those cone hats are too much. Here in palmetto bug ground zero, we don’t wear those sorts of sombreros, and no hats in the house (unless you’re a fake cowboy like prep-school W). I thought Alison was exaggerating their appearance until I saw her wearing them in the Julia video.

  20. Ovidia says:

    If it looked ornate could it have been a jewel bug? (closely related to stink bugs) Also called shield bugs (Scutelleridae) because they have continuous backs (no divided wings) they come in very pretty colours & patterns & live on sap…

  21. K.B. says:

    chicklet: A.B. just turns down the heat at night. Very exemplary.

  22. Ian says:

    I have a pattern of adopting stray cats. I don’t actually get a choice in the matter. For most of my life I’ve lived in little terraced houses, which any English person will know, are festooned with cats that prowl the back alleys, sunning themselves on the alley walls and watching us with condescension as we go about our business.

    Whenever I moved somewhere new, a cat would turn up in the back garden or yard, wanting attention and particularly some nice comestibles to nibble on. Through some magic power of their own I was, of course, completely unable to resist and would end up looking after said cat. Wherever I went, one would turn up. Presumably sent by some agency based in a hidden bunker in Egypt.

    To my own great sorrow and heartbreak I spent a year without cat company and when I visited my sister and her three furry fiends I found I had been struck down: allergic. Red blotches and asthma. I’m now saving up for one of those bio-engineered hypo-allergenic ones. I wonder if they’re real …

  23. greenegret says:

    Ian, allergy shots are cheaper and more effective…

    Allison, I, too, have sadly seen enough cockroaches (I’m from Texas, where they do call them palmetto bugs when they’re being nice) to know that that wasn’t what you drew. I hope that you had a spare toothbrush somewhere, though. Once when it rained I didn’t notice until too late that there were ants on mine (they always appeared in the bathroom when it rained heavily) – I can’t tell you how sick I felt. Yuck!

    I saw a kitty at the SPCA this weekend that looked just like your Julia. I can’t have a cat, but I visit them whenever I take a donation of dog things over there. I hope that you find the right one when you’re ready – and before you start talking to bacteria, or whatever someone said.

  24. Maggie Jochild says:

    I wasn’t allowed to even pet cats until age 10 because of asthma, but have never been without one since, for the past 40+ years. The most memorable was Alice Booboo, who ran out of the dark and sat on my foot when she was a stray at just past one month of age, saving herself from becoming a raccoon’s dinner. She was an orange and white Manx, intelligent beyond description, and committed to crossing the species intellect barrier in a way few animals are. During a two-year period of my becoming profoundly disabled, having a brain injury, losing my job, losing a dozen friends and family members to sudden death/suicide, she was how I kept going. Just as I was pulling out of that spiral, my current partner (who was lying to me and manipulating me in grievous ways I could not face) came up with yet another set of hoops for me to jump through. I spent a day trying to find the way to say no, then began instead trying to meet her demands. That night I found Alice, only 8 years old, lying just inside the front door. She died three days later, with an unclear diagnosis from two different vets. I fell apart, completely lost it, and anyone who couldn’t handle my grief made their way to the door. Six months later, my energy worker told me she believed Alice sacrificed herself because it was the only way to stop me from continuing the codependent, self-destructive cycle I was in. I hope that’s not true. But just in case it was, I Changed Everything about how I was relating to others. I cleaned house and faced every demon. A few weeks later I got Dinah from some feral cat rescue folks. She has no interest at all in humans or human ways, finds life with a cripple seriously lacking in stimulation, and although she is quite attached to me, it is an aloof kind of love. She doesn’t like other living things except as prey. I’ve learned, when you tell god “Okay, what’s next?” and open up your life to change, be ready for whatever comes along because it will NOT be what you had planned. But control is overrated. Dinah thinks Alice was a suck-up, and keeps urging her kitty shade to “go into the Light”.

  25. Mame says:

    Geta Shetlie, Alison. Best dog in the world. Very empathetic and sort of nuturing, in a dog sort of way.

  26. meboo says:

    Love the Tom’s Chutney! Mmmm!

  27. Alex K says:

    A sweater left on the bed, or a pool of shadow near the bottom of a curtain. Caught from the corner of your eye they can make your heart leap – and then crash back deeper down, because they’re NOT the cat that you miss so.

  28. freyakat says:

    Hi Alison,

    I’m so sorry about the death of your kitty-kat. It makes life different.

    You will know when you’re ready to have a new kitty in your life. Some people are ready after two days, some people are ready after seven weeks — and for some people even a year later is a bit too soon.

  29. TeratoMarty says:

    The bug looks like a wood-borer beetle (we used to get them in the house all the time, either summer walk-ins or hibernating in the firewood). Here’s a pretty good picture of one:

    This picture doesn’t really do it justice- the ones we used to get were black with bronze markings on their carapace.

  30. R says:

    glad it wasn’t a cockroach….i was watching a BBC prog yesterday.’Bill Oddie returns to the USA (NY)’ and learnt the following: A cockroach can go a month without food, only 7 days without water, it can also survive 7 days without its head..its not the loss of its head which kills it but the fact it can’t drink that kills it. Oh and finally thanks to the desire for exotic pets..New Yorkers have introduced the Madgascer hissing cockroaches to the pest population..and wearing them as live brooches!!!!..lesson over

  31. RES says:

    Hmm. Nature red in tooth and claw, sketched by Alison in black and white.

  32. --MC says:

    People have been wearing live bugs for brooches for years. Wasn’t there a scene in one of the “Mondo” films with glamorous people wearing big bugs?
    Bill Oddie? I was wondering what he was up to. We just watched the “At Last The 1948 Show” CD with Cleese and Chapman and Tim Brooke-Taylor, and that got us talking about the Goodies and wondering where they were.

  33. Gwen says:

    After I read this cartoon, I immediately searched my entire apartment for my cat, who was hiding out, hunting bugs. My condolences for the loss of your cat. I gave mine an extra hug.

  34. Danyell says:

    …At least the spidey can still be your friend.

  35. Seymour says:

    I love the fact that in SE Asia they have little geckos running around the house eating bugs. Just imagine, laying in bed at night, hearing the scamper of tiny adhesive feet on the ceiling above you and the triumphant crunch of victory in the dark room.

    That makes a house a home.

  36. LondonBoy says:

    We have a large extended clan of spiders in our bathroom. I tend to leave their webs alone – good luck, apparently. They’ve been here for at least 5 years, and every so often one of the mummy spiders lays a big batch of eggs, and stands guard over them. Then, a couple of weeks later, the bathroom is full of twenty-five to thirty baby spiders,as well as the adults, each with its own cute little web. Gradually they are whittled down – some grow up, and some are eaten by their sisters and aunts – but it’s always nice to see them. When they’re looking particularly hungry I usually remember to leave the bathroom window open with the lights on, to bring in some flies for them, but mostly they just fend for themselves. Perfect pets.

  37. Blue says:

    I’ve never been able to have a pet so I know about the loneliness (I currently have a spidey friend called Edgar) but I also know that memories are awesome, if a lil painful right now. Just make sure you don’t end up naming your appliances like I do. If you do mind, Edgar is a great name for a fridge.

  38. Suzanonymous says:

    I was struck by the detail of the YMCA sketch and now this one has the signature painstaking-wood-grain-level-of-detail.. I’m hoping you are getting ready to get back to work soon. 😉

    I thought the sleeping cap was a cartoony bit of unreality, but maybe not? I assumed the hats in the reference shots were to make your head bigger since the cartoon heads are perhaps a little large.. But it makes more sense if the house is just cold! 😀

  39. Midsouth Mouth says:

    Allison– I have read and read your stuff for 1/3 of my life!

    I am really sorry about the loss of your pet. I can only imagine, since I wasn’t raised with pets and have only ever been a part-carer of pets since I was an adult.

    On the beetle–
    it’s so funny the boundaries we have about flora and fauna–some local plants are considered weeds, some are prized as organic tea components; some insects are fascinating and we project beauty on them (adult butterfly) and some are plucked from gardens with annoyance (moth and butterfly younguns).

    I think of the postcolonial book length essay on gardens and spaces by Jamaica Kincaid, _ My Garden Book_.

  40. 8BallEd says:

    Frame 3 is a perfect demonstration of why my toothbrush and [numerous] other dentifrices live in the refrigerator and have for years.

    Still, I never thought anyone could make me mourn a roach. So sorry about your kitty.

  41. Janet Hurley says:

    Hi, Alison and company. Looks like a borer beetle of some kind. Try, Alison. A stink bug doesn’t have the huge antennae, and they are more angular in appearance. Sorry about your kitty. Bwana died 2 yrs ago at 16. Come out to Salt Lake City (or Utah in general) and bike with me sometime! Loved Fun Home. Congrats on all the kudos you are receiving for it. -Best, JANET

  42. hetero genus says:


    you might enjoy this little flick. if the url isn’t higlighted, make sure the entire address is pasted or you will have a list of sordid crap to wade through. This one is very good, and will give an indication of possible effects on your new pal should she (webspinner) decide to imbibe.

  43. Barb says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss. When you’re ready, there’s another feline who needs you at your local shelter. Meanwhile, make friends with whatever type of bug that comes along. By the way, I often wear a hat like yours in the house, sometimes to bed. I love Wisconsin!

  44. Deb says:

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! I just want to wrap you up in a big hug.

  45. judybusy says:

    Pam, I loved the spider pics! At our local zoo, they have a place where kids can handle little creatures like chinchillas and a tarantulas–always a hit with my nieces! Midsouth Mouth–I had been thinking the same way, about how we treasure some creatures and not others. I love the tiny jumping spiders in my kitchen, but kill any centipede that has the poor judgment to show up in my living room. They are SO creepy to me, with their long, wavy legs, and segmented bodies!

    And I, too, loved the Kincaid book….I also have collections of Vita Sackville-West’s garden writings, and would recommend those as well. Years ago, I would stay in bed on winter Saturday mornings treating myself to a few articles as I lay dreaming of Spring….I think that will be a pleasure I will re-discover this year! (I think one should have goals to accomplish, and this one will do nicely. It’s the anti-“7 Habits of Highly Effective People” in me.)

  46. Feminista says:

    My sister and I wore flannel sleeping caps my grandma made on cold winter MI nights,so that certainly makes sense in VT. They were similar to the ones she wore in even colder MN,round as opposed to pointy. Probably VT Country Store carries them.

    My cats don’t eat spiders or ants; rather,they look at them curiously. Naturally very shy with strangers,they have started to warm up to my houseguest,an Oberlin student who’s doing a short vet clinic internship in the Portland area. I showed her AB’s coming out story at Oberlin in The Indelible Alison Bechdel and she was pleased to recognize familiar buildings and Tappan Square.

  47. susieQ says:

    life and death in a cartoon – thanks for touching on the bewilderment of these things… just yesterday up in the Oregon forest i was thinking about life and death and how it is only 100 or so years since our average life expectancy was the mid 40’s, friends passing recently bring these thoughts to my mind….
    how much or little we pack into those years… how much or little that bug packed into hers??!!
    anyway, sombre scorpio meditations from the pacific NW.
    yay spiders, thanks for having them hang out in your bathroom…

  48. Amy in Madison says:

    Lots more hugs for you as you get through these days without your baby. In my little veterinary sub-culture, we take for granted the depth of the human-animal bond. We call our clients “moms” and “dads” instead of owners. I hope you will find a bit of comfort in the existence of a world of people – on this blog and outside of it – who understand the depth of closeness a woman and a kitty can share.

    Hugs from Amy, Puma, and Chico

  49. Flossy says:

    A tiny spider lives in the corner of my shower and every day I take her out and the next day she’s back. I do not know what she eats. I never see any other bugs around. My tons of kitties do not know she’s there or she would be eaten. I love the visual perspective in your strip and everything else on this site. Say, why hasn’t Planet Out updated DTWOF in months? Is it a BOY thing?

  50. mlk says:

    boy, am I impressed!! folks are identifying a bug from a cartoon drawing?

    I must admit, I had some trouble with this sketch. in the last panel, is that a bug on its back on Alison’s toothbrush? or did one of her friends devour it??!?!?

    uhh, and I guess the spidey friend assaulted the beetle with the lovely antennae.

    now, adopting random insects as friend, THAT I understand.

    Flossy, Planet Out hasn’t updated Dykes to Watch Out For in ages because they stopped carrying the strip last year. after some consideration, and considerable input from her fans on the blog, Alison decided to post her new strips on her website. the strips are, of course, still appearing in print publications like _Lesbian Connection_. unfortunately, there are a couple of lost episodes that didn’t make it onto Planet Out and aren’t on the blog, either.

    anyway, you’ve found the place to get the latest installments 🙂

  51. I’m sorry about the lost episodes–481, 482,and 483. I’ll get those up as soon as I have a minute, I promise.

  52. Maggie Jochild says:

    All right, fans of AB — The Lesbian Lifestyle website is currently accepting nominations for the best Lesbian blog of 2006. I just went went and nominated this blog, and of course I encourage you to do the same at And Alison, you can pick up their icon to indicate you’ve now been nominated, if you’re interested.

  53. sweetpottoo says:

    I heard about a rainforest ecologist who got so lonely while in the field that he adopted a leech, which he kept in a jar and fed on – well, himself.

    Apparently in the rainforest, all the animal action is 150 feet above your head, and you never see the sun. It really sounds a lot like my high school experience…

  54. shadocat says:

    I’m not sure why, but when I looked at this entry again today, I was reminded of “Charlotte’s Web”-the book, not the movies (saw neither one). You know, the part when Charlotte demonstrates to Wilbur(and the rest of us) how she survives, by trapping an insect, wrapping it up and later, drinking it’s blood. Just the thought made my stomache flip a little–I guess some things never change…

  55. shadocat says:

    Oh Gawd–its 12 degrees out, snowing and sleetin: I may have to start wearing one of those little hats to bed myself.

    My feelings about the season:

  56. Tera says:

    oh it makes me so sad you don’t have your beloved kitty and need a new critter friend : ( I guess I should appreciate my cat more even though she is evil and draws blood.

  57. Duncan says:

    Awww… I just thought the beetle realized it had done everything it could for Alison, and moved on to a higher plane.

  58. NLC says:

    In order to take a little pressure off AB until she has
    a chance to put this on her site…

    The “missing” episodes are actually available on PO website
    if you know the magic incantations.
    Try these:
    Episode #481
    Episode #482
    Episode #483

  59. mlk says:

    Alison, I appreciate your intention and promise to post the “lost episodes.” we’d all like to see them . . . but my mentioning them was an attempt to pre-empt a post from Flossy asking where they were.

    Duncan, I had the same thought about the beetle (and the toothbrush was some sort of a bier) until I saw the beetle on the window sill, apparently in the spider’s clutches.

  60. Ian says:

    Hey Maggie,

    I just went and fourthed or fifthed the nomination of D2WO4 in the lesbian blog awards you linked to up there. I did have a touch of ‘separatist’ anxiety though, being a mere male. 😉 Apparently ‘proper’ voting starts on 2 February.

    Thanks for letting us know about the ‘missing’ episodes, AB. I’ll look forward to seeing them when you have the time to put ’em up.

    Oh and to all those folks who posted about spiders: one big thank you for making me shudder for about an hour! Lol. I’m terrified of them and I wish I still had a cat (or dog, though dogs aren’t as good at getting rid as cats) to deal with ’em. I’m just grateful you can’t post pics in the comments …

  61. Pam I says:

    Ian, get yourself down to London Zoo, first chance is in May, on their Friendly Spiders course. If I can do it, anyone can. Phobias like this can be quite disabling – we all wound each other up with stories of how we’d had to get friends to rescue us at midnight etc – and all of us ended up 4 hours later with big ol hairy ones running over our fingers. Ít’s as unbelievable as it sounds. If you can bear to go back to peep at my photo linked above, bear in mind that I couldnt even have looked at those pictures in my olden days – and yes that is my actual hand, white knuckles and all. The zoo is at,20,NS.html%20 , they are really caring and gentle and supportive.

  62. Maggie Jochild says:

    Reading the last few posts when just waking up, I began imagining a program for those with “separatist anxiety”, you know, with “big ol hairy ones running over our fingers”.

  63. Pam I says:

    You’d have to start with tiny little hairless ones that don’t move very fast… sounds like boy babies…

  64. Jessica says:

    As an entomologist (and long time DTWOF reader/fan), I wanted to thank you for the recent insect-filled strips and images. Thanks!

  65. Elissa says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your cat. (We’re keeping a close eye on our elderly pair, knowing their time is limited.) The antennae here make me think of longhorn beetles (Family Cerambycidae) on

    Our home stages bug dramas on a regular basis. An American House Spider lives in our out-of-service kitchen sink, sometimes entertaining a suitor or two. Every so often she produces a new crop of spiderlings; sometimes we’re pretty sure she eats them. If we manage to catch a silverfish without killing it, we bring it to her as a little snack.

  66. JJFLAP says:

    I was looking through some slides at my Dads house- waaay back (59-60) when we were little, we had two sister cats- Belle, & Julia- & when I looked at your photo, I saw Julia!
    She has traveled far! ( she & her sister liked drinking water out of the kitchen tap ) I am very sad for your loss!

  67. Jaibe says:

    Hey, I’m back —

    you know, Liliane / Leanne Franson just lost her dog too.

  68. cybercita says:

    hi alison,

    are you aware that fun home was at the top of the best books of 2006 in time out new york? it was in the december 28th issue. sorry i didn’t catch it before, i’m still catching up with my magazines since i was out of the country.

    Michael Miller says:

    This graphic memoir has the the fixins of a family gothic childhood in a funeral home, double lives and a father’s death by truck. But before you can say Six Feet Under, theis highly literary book snags you with its own unmistakable and winningly awkward wavelength, interweaving Bechdel’s realization that she’s a lesbian with the story of her dissatisified father, a closeted gay man who commits suicide shortly after his daughter comes out.

  69. cybercita says:

    oops. should have copy edited that one more time before i posted it! sorry!

  70. Loz says:

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Someone tries to explain why they didn’t think Fun Home was that good. Fair enough, and I don’t believe they would consider themselves prejudiced, but…

  71. Pam I says:

    I think it’s interesting that the only less-than-rave reviews I’ve read of Fun Home are on comics-specialist boards. So these are from people who are very familiar with the graphic novel genre – something I know nothing about (tho I do have a toppling pile of classic superhero comics). Their criticism is coming from the opposite direction as it were. I have a question for Alison: how many of these books do you read yourself? It seems there is a canon of classics and current celebrity writers; I’ve just bought Maus and Watchmen as they are the Proust and Joyce of the genre. They are saved till I’ve finished my dissertation – what else should I look at then?

  72. Pam I says:

    Back to kitties – see Nicole Hollander’s Sylvia strip today 01/16/2007 more classics.

  73. BiblioPhil says:

    Concerning the “Comics should be Good” review pointed to above:

    I think it speaks volumes that the writer uses
    “pretentious” and “erudite” as synomyms (or,
    perhaps more accurately, as essentially interchangable

  74. cybercita says:

    pam i — two that i can recommend are cancer vixen by marissa acocella marchetto and persepolis by marjane satrapi.

  75. Maggie Jochild says:

    Cybercity, what a coincidence — I just this past weekend read Persepolis and was blown away. Plan to read the sequel soon. Now everything I hear about Iran on the news comes in through a different filter.

  76. zeitgeist says:

    I loved reading Elaine the cat pimp’s post! I was wondering whether I too will get another cat when my Old fellow goes to the clean literbox in the sky! He’s almost 19, and I’
    ve had him since he was six weeks old. The same thought went through my mind:Do I want more of the litter, cat pee, the incessant meowing at my door at night, and of course the lovely gouges in my new sofa apolstery, etc. I think I will be the victim of the same fate as Elaine: I will probably run to the shelter too, after a reasonable period of mourning, of course!

  77. Str8butnotNarrow says:

    I volunteer at a wildlife rehabber and I can assure you that possums are worthy of love too. 🙂

    Seriously…we always need volunteers…many people go to the ASPCA but not many think to come help out with the squirrels and stuff…Not that I’m saying anyone shouldn’t love cats and dogs – believe me, I have four myself!

  78. Feminista says:

    Pam I–Thanks for the Sylvia link. Our local paper stopped carrying the strip several years ago,despite protests. I do have a number of Sylvia books from the 90s,which ares still quite fun and entertaining. You gotta love a mid-life woman who says and does what she pleases.

  79. silvio soprani says:

    Yes, Persepolis–amazing! And Marjane Satrapi’s visual style is so minimal yet so evocative. I think it is in 3 parts. I have read the 1st one (when she is a pre-teen), and the second one when she is a young woman, but not the third (if there is a 3rd.)

    The second one is named “Embroidery,” which has a double meaning, as you will see when you read it. There are scenes in this book where adult women relatives talk about quite intimate issues in front of their young niece. They are feisty and rebellious about women’s issues (the personal is VERY political in their world) in spite of their seeming “traditional” culture. A real eye-opener for an American woman reader.

  80. --MC says:

    Silvio — “Embroideries” is not, per se, a part of “Persepolis” but a stand-alone story. Her fourth book, “Chicken with Plums”, is out in English and it is also brilliant. And the “Persepolis” animated film is scheduled to open this year ..
    I still think a lot of comics critics are wicked off that a book by a woman, a lesbian, and a comics “outsider” (read: not of the fandom) got so many accolades, instead of some superhero knockoff or fan favorite. To which I say, it wasn’t a contest between comics, it was a contest between “real” books. And “Fun Home” won.

  81. ED says:

    Being a comic fan since I was 10, the comics world has almost exclusively been a male domain. This is why Wolverine of the X-Men is so popular (interestingly, he never did a thing for me or my friends who are gay males, we preferred Storm and Kitty Pryde) and why Starfire of the Teen Titans basically wears a bondage outfit (which was completely revamped for the cartoon.) The article above seems to come from that same vein of a guy getting his nose out of joint because a lesbian dare tread upon their territory. Never mind that AB has been honing her skill since she was a girl, never mind that she’s been published for years. There’s always been a scary sense of entitlement and very male psturing attitude in that world.

  82. geogeek says:

    “Love and Rockets” – I re-read them all about every 1.5 years. I use to read”Cerebus the Aardvark” obsessively, but Dave Sim turned into a wierd anti-feminist nut-job at around the same time as I was finishing college, so I happily lost track of his later work. Lovely sense of detail in the art, though, and I cribbed a number of texture tricks directly from him and Gerhard, his inker. He also did great wood grain. Interestingly, even as he was tipping over into “feminists want to chop off men’s weenies” he did a good sequence on Oscar Wilde.

    As an only semi-reformed comix geek, I could go on… and on… in that boring way geeks do, but I have to go move my car before the 2-hour limit is up.

    Love the bugs, don’t feel like you have to get a kitty soon, either. Sometimes you need the time more than you need another cat.

  83. ravaj says:

    alison – do you know the work of raymond briggs?
    one of my most treasured possessions is a copy of ‘fungus the bogeyman’ that he signed when i was a teenager.
    i was thinking more, however, of ‘gentleman jim’ and ‘where the wind blows’

  84. Feminista says:

    Silvio–Yes,I learned a lot from Persepolis I and II. *I’ll be writing a book review of II later this winter,and welcome anyone’s comments.*

    MC–thanks for the update on Sarapi’s 4th book in the forthcoming film,both of which I look forward to seeing.

  85. sunicarus says:

    Pam I~ Thank you for posting the Sylvia link!

  86. Yeah, ravaj. I just read “where the wind blows” recently. Very mordant. He also did a book about his parents called “Ethel and Ernest” that I’ve been wanting to read, but haven’t yet.

  87. anon-eponymous says:

    What’s really funny about the “Comics Should be Good” poster is that he’s convinced that you have to be familiar with all the references in a book before you can enjoy or appreciate the book. When I was in first grade I tried to check out a chapter book from the school library but was apprehended by the school librarian and prevented. Apparently it was somehow wrong for me to read “above my level”, whatever that is. I think we see the same attitude at work here in different ways. There was a craze for a while for taking the “difficult” words out of children’s books so they wouldn’t encounter words they weren’t already familiar with. Does anybody see the dead end here?

    Since reading “Fun Home” and enjoying it immensely I’ve investigated this Proust character. Previously I had no idea who he was or what he’d written, now I’m fairly convinced that I’m never going to read his books. I’m buffeted severely enough by my own involuntary memories; I want to avoid taking on his as well. Previously I was innocently ignorant of his work; now I’m making an informed decision to remain ignorant 😉

  88. --MC says:

    Everybody, drop what you’re doing and find a copy of “Ethel And Ernest”. It’s beautiful, and almost unbearably sad.
    When I want to read Briggs but can’t face the sadness of “E&E” (I could only read the fun and charming first part, but I always have to read it straight through if I even pick it up), I turn to “Father Christmas Goes On Holiday”, a lovely book about the old man converting his sled to a trailer and going to Paris and Vegas to get some rest.

  89. jmc says:

    Criminy! I know everybody is moving on to that next – scary! – strip, but I wanted to post one last bug-related thing. Folks should check out the work of Jennifer Angus, an artist who makes all sorts of installations with insects (wallpaper screen printed with insect images, patterns on walls made with actual insects). It’s gorgeous, if borderline creepy, though I think that pairing is intentional. – look at ‘current work’ and ‘exhibitions’ and be sure to click to the close-ups.

  90. mysticriver says:

    Eh, don’t worry too much about a hard core comics fan’s criticism. Not to disrespect hard core comics fans, I’m one myself and I think we as a group have a different level of appreciation of works like AB’s.

    It’s just that…well, everything is always evaluated and criticized to pieces, it takes a long time before some comics artist reaches “God” status – and when they do they are rarely subjected to any further critical eye, and as with all other artistic groups there seems to be a set of rules and an in-crowd and a sense of who’s a genuine artist versus commercial sell-out, etc., etc…

    I stopped reading Comics Journal for a reason. 🙂

    Best thing I ever read there, however, was an interview with Charles Schulz. Already my hero on so many levels, he just sat happy-go-luckily during the overly comics-navel-gazing interview and didn’t take any of the bait. When asked a leading question about Jim Davis, regarding his use of so many assistants with his artwork compared with Schulz who did everything himself for his entire career (subtext: “Hey, isn’t Davis a hack compared to you?”), Schulz responded with something like, “I don’t know, I’ve never met the guy, but he seems nice enough”.

  91. Leanne Franson says:

    Yo, I am bad, the only time I get here is when I suddenly get a bunch of referals to my site from yours… makes me real curious (and besides I can get here with just one click!). Loved the World of Nature piece. I am happy for your spider… I have hundreds, it is minus 18 celcius outside, and I just know they will spin their lovely webs to no avail… nothing like watching hardworking spiders starve to death. Dismal. I DID get all of Fun House read (in the bath, over three days)… very good. I’ll try to write you a real review from me sometime. Made me feel very unliterary though. But what prompted me to write after skimming the comments was the Ethel and Ernest, which you mention you haven’t read. I highly recommend it. Engaging, intelligent, has a real flavour of the time, place, characters. And very touching/almost heartbreaking. And to top it off, makes an excellent gift for parents. Hope you’re doing ok re Julia. Myself, I have news, but holding it close to my chest for now.

  92. Yossi says:

    I am a cat lover. I currently have four plus two neighborhood cats that I feed every day. In the past six years, I have lost six cats. The loneliness is indescribable.

  93. --MC says:

    You know, K. called me here at work on Wednesday to tell me she’d picked up a bowl and found that a spider had spun a little nest inside it. She wondered what to do — she didn’t want to harm the little thing, but what could we do, just leave it? That would disable one of our bowls, and in addition what if the spider had laid an egg sac? We’d have a bowl full of baby spiders come springtime.
    Happily, after the bowl was moved around a few times the spider got the idea that it was not the ideal place for spider liebestraum, so picked up and moved on.

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