• Sylvia

This week Nicole Hollander dropped the second shoe. She announced that she’s bringing her comic strip Sylvia to an end in April. The first shoe fell 26 months ago, when her hometownTribune canceled Sylvia, cutting Hollander’s income roughly in half. On Wednesday I asked Hollander how she’s doing. “I’m fine,” she said. “I’m in the stage after you ask for a divorce and you feel really terrific.” What’s the next stage? I wondered. “Sometimes it’s a sense of loss,” said Hollander, who went through a divorce many years ago. “I remember the stages. Not quite as many stages as dying, but it’s in there.”

But Hollander doesn’t intend to stop drawing Sylvia altogether, nor does languishing fit into her schedule. She tells me she’s been confronting certain personal deficiencies. “I don’t know how to embroider or sew,” she says. “I worked with a woman from Lill Street. She knows how to embroider and she taught me as much as she could. But I will never learn the womanly arts.”