One thing that I've noticed about the upcoming finale to the comic strip Cathy is that most of the players in the industry are genuinely sorry to see that Guisewite is retiring. From Pearls Before Swine's Stephen Pastis on to Stone Soup's Jan Eliot, there's a feeling that a largish void will soon need to be filled. This is because she's a lot better company than Johnston; her strip might be somewhat dull and a bit past its prime but I've heard a lot of good things about the woman herself. Another reason is that, well, she actually is saying goodbye as clearly as possible. Granted, she's a little bit cagey about her motives but that's to be expected. My mind tells me that she's getting out now because she finds herself identifying with Mom a lot more than she does Cathy and, well, probably promised herself that she'd retire if that started to happen; my gut tells me that she can explain it away however she wants to. That's because I prefer a mildly dishonest motive to Johnston's terminal case of ending fatigue. Although it is possible that we'd get Zombie Cathy in a few months time, we wouldn't have to deal with the endless failed exit strategies Lynn has blighted the page with. The Hybrid, the Settlepocalypse, the New-Runs and the current Straight Reprint era all remind us that someone cannot be troubled to leave gracefully.