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Omaha the Cat Dancer is one of the most famous "adult" comics of the past 25 years. Defying most of the unwritten conventions for erotic comics, it quickly made a name for itself. Despite the appearance of being a "funny animal" book, it was crisply drawn, with fully-developed characters and a complex plot, which defied the cliches that plot and art quality didn't matter for pornographic comics.

It was started in 1979 by Reed Waller, and was one of several series run in a fanzine called VOOTIE. It originally was only several pages long, and often had "throw-away" plots, with lots of sex. Reed created it as political satire on the Minneapolis/St. Paul (the series takes place in "Mipple City") "blue laws" concerning strip clubs. But he made the characters too real, with too much personality, and the story soon went off in unexpected - even for him - tangents. He met Kate Worley, and she started writing the stories while Reed drew them.

After VOOTIE, Reed went to Kitchen Sink Productions, and had Omaha running as a backup story in one of their comics. It proved so popular, that after only a few appearances, Omaha got its own comic book. Despite personal difficulties, including Reed's fight with cancer, Reed and Kate kept Omaha running for nearly 10 years, through 20 issues, following the relationship between Omaha (No last name was ever given, and it's been suggested that Omaha is just a stage name for her) and her boyfriend Chuck Katz, before it ground to a halt. After a long hiatus, Omaha picked up again with a newer publisher, Fantagraphics, and was off to a rocky start from the beginning. The first three issues came out irregularly, and fans eagerly awaited the fourth. It was heavily delayed, and finally reached print in late 1994. There would never be a fifth.

In April of 1994, during a convention called Minicon, Reed beat Kate severely - the exact details have never been publicly released - and they broke up permanently. They both have some severe issues that they need to deal with regarding each other, and are both terminally ill. Reed has admitted that some of his problems stem from drug and alcohol issues. Reed has suggested that he wants to continue Omaha, but that he needs Kate working with him for it to be done properly.

Reed has done other work since then, and so has Kate. Both of them have problems with their respective publishers, and neither one has done any work nearly as good as Omaha was.

Good bye, Omaha. We barely knew you.

Some details taken from Reed Waller's home page, http://www.winternet.com/~rwaller/

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