Cats, Girls, Charts

My favorite web comic is still Cat and Girl. Here’s something I wrote about it a few years ago that never got published:

Like the world needed another comic strip about a human being living with a sassy, anthropomorphic cat. But this time, the cat has a chronic paint-drinking addiction (“It’s my major source of essential lead”) and his insults run along the lines of “You’re about as much fun as a party full of bloggers.” That’s the brilliantly funny Internet comic strip “Cat and Girl,” whose lead characters are a platonic cat and girl named, wait for it, Cat and Girl. They live in a house without adult supervision, argue about class structure and Billy Joel lyrics, and go shopping at Pol Pottery Barn.

Creator Dorothy Gambrell grew up under the delusion that cartooning was an easy way of making a living. Years of doing strips for about a dozen readers disabused her of that notion, but now draws about 30,000 visitors a week and offers not-ready-for-QVC merchandise like “Future Corpses of America” t-shirts and “My Other Car is a Pynchon Novel” bumper stickers. “Any idea that I think is funny, I squeeze it in,” says Gambrell, who has found punchlines in Proust, urination, and mail-order pizza. “I thought maybe I had reached the limit when I thought of alternate lyrics about Jesus to Weezer’s ‘Sweater Song,’ but apparently not.”

Many of you are probably familiar with Cat and Girl already; if not, here’s a few strips to get you started.

But what I actually wanted to call your attention to today was Gambrell’s other project, the charts she does at Very Small Array, which lately have been presenting information on the past 58 years’ worth of number-one singles.

Check it out:


She’s done a bunch more, including the percentage of #1 singles by male and female vocalists, #1 singles by geographic origin, and #1 singles by number of people in the musical act.

posted 1 October 2008 in Articles, Links, Unpublished and tagged , . 2 comments

2 Comments on Cats, Girls, Charts

  1. Gavin Says:

    1972 is obviously “American Pie,” but I can’t puzzle out what song might be responsible for that 1979 spike.

  2. Gavin Says:

    (Years-later update: Dorothy informs me that the lengthy 1979 single is Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell”–Wikipedia claims the running time was 8:08, but I find it hard to believe there wasn’t a seven-inch mix of the song released.)

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