Aack Cast by Jamie Loftus

Aack Cast by Jamie Loftus

Aack! Cathy, the iconic and much-maligned comic strip by Cathy Guisewite, chronicled the day-to-day tribulations of its titular working woman for 35 years, met with equal praise and derision. In this podcast, Jamie Loftus (Lolita Podcast, My Year in Mensa) weaves between reporting and fiction, putting a cruelly treated cartoon everywoman in context.

Episodes

June 21, 2021 3 mins

Aack! Cathy, the iconic and much-maligned comic strip by Cathy Guisewite, chronicled the day-to-day tribulations of its titular working woman for 35 years, met with equal praise and derision. In this podcast, Jamie Loftus (Lolita Podcast, My Year in Mensa) weaves between reporting and fiction, putting a cruelly treated cartoon everywoman in context.


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Allow me to be the first to advise you: Cathy comics are good as hell — but it’s complicated. Today, Jamie takes a look at what exactly happens in the 34 years of Cathy lore, and it’s way more than you think.

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July 5, 2021 47 mins

For an author constantly conflated with her most famous creation, would the real Cathy Guisewite please stand up? In this two-part interview, Jamie and Cathy talk about what the journey from unknown diarist to world-famous aack connoisseur was like, and all the misjudgments and road blocks that came up along the way. 

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Today, we hear what happened to Cathy at the height of the comic’s popularity in the late 1980s until now. Cathy Guisewite tells Jamie all!

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This week, Jamie takes a look at it where Cathy falls in the history of American feminism — and take a look at how the feminist movement has progressed, regressed, and gatekept. Why are feminists frustrated with Cathy? 

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Cathy Guisewite is often hailed as one of the only women in comic strips, but that's far from the truth -- this week, we uncover her frequently overlooked predecessors going back to the flapper age, and the underground scene that developed when the funny pages wouldn't address the issues feminists wanted to hear about, Wimmen's Commix. 

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In part two of Jamie's exploration into who shared the American funny pages with Cathy Guisewite, we take a look at the artists chronicling the experiences of the boomer and Gen X crowd day to day along with her -- Gary Trudeau of Doonesbury, Aaron McGruder of The Boondocks, Alison Bechdel of Dykes to Watch Out For, and Lynn Johnston of For Better or For Worse. Tell your moms!

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In this minisode, Grammy award-winning electronic music producer Jamie Loftus shares a Pulitzer Prize-winning song teaching your mom how to access a podcast. Aack Cast will be back next week to kick off the second half of our series!

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August 2, 2021 76 mins

The Cathy comic takes a look at the trials and tribulations of boomer women of the middle class, from their early days navigating women's liberation through the 2008 recession, when the cracks in the boomer on facade were on full display. This week, Jamie traces the boomer legacy by speaking with women who were there -- yes, including her mom.

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Jamie explores how the Cathy character navigates body image and fashion trends, and who and how these colonially driven beauty standards came to dominate the U.S.

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In part 2 on our look into Cathy's commentary on body image, we speak with author Marissa Metzger, hop on a rollercoaster of boomer disordered eating fads, and see what Cathy's frustration with her own body says about us.

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August 16, 2021 80 mins

In our penultimate (!) episode, Jamie speaks with twelve artists who work in semi-autobiographical comics in the spirit of Cathy today, and how autobio comics have changed with the times since Cathy-mania. 


Here's where you can find more work from and support today's artists:

Marissa Moss : https://www.marissamoss.com/last-things.php

Malaka Gharib: https://www.npr.org/people/469106148/malaka-gharib 

Joey Alison Sayers: http://www.j...

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August 23, 2021 71 mins

In the final episode of Aack Cast, Jamie speaks with Cathy Guisewite and contemporary feminists about where Cathy fits in history, and where we go from here. You have been aack pilled.

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