Kate Worley

Kathleen Louise Worley (March 16, 1958 – June 6, 2004) was an American comic book writer, best known for her work on Omaha the Cat Dancer, a sexually explicit anthropomorphic-animal comic book series about a female stripper. Worley was also a musician, and a writer and performer for the science fiction comedy radio program Shockwave Radio Theater.

Kathleen L Worley
Born(1958-03-16)March 16, 1958[1]
DiedJune 6, 2004(2004-06-06) (aged 46)
Notable works
Omaha the Cat Dancer
CollaboratorsReed Waller


Worley as born in Bellville, Illinois on March 16, 1958.[2] After moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota in the 1970s, she became one of the early contributors the Shockwave Radio Theater there.[3][4]

While in the process of divorcing from her husband,[2] she and cartoonist and musician Reed Waller began a romantic and professional relationship.[5] Moving in together, they wrote songs and performed, both as a duet and with local bands, as well as being popular figures at Minicon and other science fiction conventions.[3]

In the mid 1980s, Waller and Worley began collaborating on Omaha the Cat Dancer, which had originated as a strip by Waller in the local fanzine Vootie,[2] before evolving into a nationally distributed comic book series published by Kitchen Sink Press. Four pages into issue #2, Waller suffered writer's block, and Worley offered "a few tentative suggestions about directions for the storyline, new characters, anything she could think of that might help...."[3] At his invitation, she became the series' writer, enhancing its characterization and themes.[3] In 1988, Waller identified them both as bisexual in the letters column of the series.[6][7]

Omaha went on hiatus when Worley and Waller were both injured in a car accident; this hiatus was greatly extended when they had an acrimonious parting, which made their attempts at working together difficult.[2] During this time, Worley wrote comics for various publishers, including Mulkon Empire for Tekno Comix, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest for Dark Horse, Roger Rabbit for Disney, and a "Year One" annual issue of Wonder Woman.[2][8] She married comic book writer Jim Vance,[3] with whom she moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and had a son and daughter.[2]

In 2002, she and Waller reached a deal with Fantagraphics to reprint Omaha, with an additional 100 pages.[2] However, she was diagnosed with cancer, and she died in on June 6, 2004.[3] Vance and Waller would later complete the Omaha series together, based on notes left by Worley.


  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V3PJ-FMN : accessed April 4, 2013), Kathleen L Worley, June 6, 2004.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Gustines, George Gene (March 27, 2020). "Overlooked No More: Kate Worley, a Pioneer Writer of Erotic Comics". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Biography of Kate Worley". CatDancer Corporation. Archived from the original on May 2, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "Annotation of Shockwave Silver". Dave Romm. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  5. ^ Waller, Reed (1995) [1987]. "Introduction to "Omaha"". The Collected "Omaha" the Cat Dancer. Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 978-1-56097-161-0.
  6. ^ Omaha the Cat Dancer #10. Kitchen Sink Press. 1988. p. 32.
  7. ^ Booker, M. Keith (May 11, 2010). Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels [2 volumes]: [Two Volumes]. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-35747-3.
  8. ^ "GCD :: Story Search Results". www.comics.org. Retrieved March 28, 2020.