Arleta DiPaolo {Free for All, Oct. 24} whines that a number of your comics depicting women cooking in the kitchen locks them into roles that other family members can and should be sharing.

DiPaolo should know that comics reflect life generally as it is, not as she would like it to be. Perhaps she wants comics to speed up the change she personally desires. What is wrong with women finding pleasure in pleasing their family from the kitchen? I find that the norm among families I know, young and old.

But she may have a point. Comics are supposed to be funny, and what could be funnier than one promoting the change DiPaolo proposes? -- James Anthony Golato

As a diehard comics-page fan and sometime unpublished cartoonist, I find it hard to resist entering the "Zippy" debate, which has been almost as much fun as the strip itself. Bill Griffith's comic strip is brilliant, at least in my skewed opinion, but there seems to be much protest concerning its, well, attitude.

Much of the noise, however, appears to come from fans of "Luann," which was dropped about the time "Zippy" arrived. "Luann" was not one of my favorite strips, but it had a sort of perceptiveness concerning the trials of early adolescence that is usually absent from the comics page. Perhaps The Post could please the largest number of people by keeping "Zippy" and restoring "Luann." Something else could go; "The Lockhorns" would be the obvious choice, except that it's the wrong shape . . .

A larger issue concerns the protests about assorted comic strips that have appeared in The Post over the years. A typical letter will mention the strip's crude or amateurish execution along with the item that actually offends the writer. The latest example of this is John Studebaker's letter of Oct. 24, which mentions that "Zippy" is "illustrated in a style crudely reminiscent" of restroom graffiti. This surprised me. Sure, Griffith's neo-Dada meanderings and fran-tic social commentary are not for every-one, but his drawing is hardly sloppy. Inany case, it seems to me that cartoons can be expected to look just a little bit cartoonish.

Anyone who has actually tried to create a cartoon character who looks like the same person when drawn day after day from all angles can appreciate how difficult a job it is. No comic artist who can manage it can be called truly incompetent. If, as in the case of "Zippy," the artist also manages to shoehorn a great deal of visual variety and an extraordinary amount of dialogue into his tiny little rectangle, he is a master of technique, regardless of what he is drawing.

Cartoon critics: if you don't like what a comic strip says, complain about that. Don't insult the artwork if that isn't the issue. -- Matt McIrvin

I am getting very tired of the smug jingoism that has been passing for humor lately on a corner of The Post's comics pages.

In "Gasoline Alley," a young bride, apparently from an undeveloped Pacific country, has been for the past few weeks getting "lost" in her in-laws' big American house, finding a "waterfall" in the house (a shower) and expressing amazement that her mother-in-law gets her eggs from "chickens in the refrigerator" -- all in childlike pidgin.

While not a hostile portrait of people from nonindustrial cultures, these constant cheap shots at the presumed naivete' and "cuteness" of such people are degrading and demeaning. The strip also incorporates a prehistoric brand of sexism, as may be readily seen by imagining the same nincompoop remarks coming from the lips of a man of the same background.

If people can bellyache about the politics of "Doonesbury" or the pointlessness of "Zippy the Pinhead," I think I am entitled to say that we can do without this snickering misrepresentation of people from other cultures. -- Karen E. Murray