Monday, September 28, 2009
Alison Bechdel started her comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For in 1983. By the time she went "on sabbatical" in May 2008 she had published 527 episodes. The recent Essential collection contains 390 of those (74% of the total, according to Bechdel's blog, and I trust her math). I had never read the strips as they originally appeared in the gay/alternative press, but did read every word in every frame of the compilation and finished it with real regret that this long book wasn't even longer.
I think it is necessary that every reader who doesn't already have a copy hurries over and buys one.
Alison Bechdel is using her time away from the strip to work on "a new graphic memoir" – highly promising news, considering that her previous graphic memoir Fun Home (centering on the story of her parents' complicated marriage) won a list of awards as long as my arm. My daughter gave me Fun Home when it came out in 2006, and nobody can deny that my daughter eminently deserves the fame she has gained for her clairvoyant gift-giving skills.