SINCE its debut on November 22, 1976, the popularity of the comicstrip "Cathy;' created by Cathy Guisewite, has mushroomed. Begin-ning as illustrated letters to her mother, it now appears in over 400 newspapers and is ranked as first or second in popularity in several readership polls. The strip has been lauded for having "universal appeal," has been compared favorably to other comic giants like "Peanuts," "Doonesbury," and Woody Allen, and has been highlighted in several popular magazines (Alter, 1984; "Cathy Guisewite," 1977; Guisewite, 1982, 1983, 1984; Harayda, 1978; Harrison, 1981; James, 1982; Koris, 1982; Krupp, 1982; Millner, 1983; Robotham, 1982). The strip's main character, Cathy, has been described as "exactly like somebody everybody knows," and as one who "strikes a responsive chord in us because of her humanness and vulnerability" (Peter, 1979, p. 68).