MacArthur Fellowship

September 17th, 2014 | Other Projects

[This is Mentor doing a brief blog-jack.

As many of you may have heard Alison Bechdel has been named a 2014 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow: (More details [HERE].)

I can only imagine that AB is pretty busy at the moment, and that she’ll have more to say once she’s had a chance.

But in the meantime, congratulation Alison, from us all. –Mentor]

37 Responses to “MacArthur Fellowship”

  1. Robin Bernstein says:

    Alison, this is thrilling news–and the award could not be better-deserved. I remember years ago when Sydney was crushed that Betsy Gilhooley won a MacArthur. When I read that, I thought Alison Bechdel is the one who needs a MacArthur. And now, you have it. What fitting recognition for decades of work that is, truly, genius. Mazel tov.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Long overdue, Alison! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  3. Tim Thornton says:

    Long overdue, Alison! Congratulations!

  4. Ginjoint says:

    YOU DID IT!! YOU DID IT!! O frabjous day!! (And yes, you DID it, even though people may not apply for MacArthurs. You have to have done something substantial and of quality first to get their attention, amirite?)

    The first thing I do every morning is have a cup of coffee and open up the Chicago Trib on my computer. When I saw in the headline that “a cartoonist” had been one of the folks awarded a MacArthur, my pulse started pounding. I am SO happy for you, Alison!

    Until very recently, the president of the MacArthur Foundation lived above me. I always wanted to suggest your name to him, but that of course would’ve been…I don’t know what it would’ve been, but it would’ve been at the least awkward. So instead, whenever I ran into him on the elevator or in the mail room, I’d think your name. tl;dr: YOU OWE ME HALF THAT DOUGH, SISTER. (Kidding, of course, for anyone here who doesn’t realize that.)

    This news has made me so happy. Be well, Alison.

  5. Brooke R. says:

    Honestly – I think this says not only a lot about Alison, but it also says something about the subculture that you have so lovingly documented in DTWF – I don’t think it says it is mainstream, but there is an acceptance there that wasn’t there when you started Alison. You are a part of that creation of acceptance.

    The way I see it is that, through you, they are recognizing so many others as well..I think about people like JEB, Leslie Feinberg, Naid Books, Alix Dobkin, and on and on and on.. You represent this huge body of women that live(d) their lives truthfully, even in the face of a society that said that they should go away.. I think it is a whole lot of awesome that an organization like MacArthur is recognizing the contributions you have made Alison, and thus the contributions of the group of womyn you are a part of and, obviously, so deeply care about as well.

    When I discovered this amazing group of women a long time ago, I never thought I’d see something like this. It’s one of those moments that makes me want to cry tears of joy because of how far society has come.

  6. Nancy Kreml says:

    Wonderful, and well-deserved!

  7. Anonymous says:

    WHOOHOOO! That is such loveliness!!

  8. Dane says:

    I’m so glad I wasn’t the first to think of Betsy Gilhooley! Mazel tov, Alison, mazel tov!

  9. Oops! That last anonymous comment was me!

  10. Eva says:

    Congratulations! I have been a fan since the early DTWOF days and I can’t think of a more deserving recipient.

  11. ina says:

    YES!!! WE knew it all along, but now everyone does!!!!

  12. Ann S. says:

    Just saw the news on my FB feed. I am utterly, totally gratified. We all knew you were a smarty-pants. Now you’ve got the creds. The smartiest-pantsiest! Enjoy this, dear, dear Alison!

  13. S.Irene says:

    Well said Brooke R.! (“I think about people like JEB, Leslie Feinberg, Naid Books, Alix Dobkin, and on and on and on.. You represent this huge body of women that live(d) their lives truthfully”)

    Brava, brava Alison !!! I started reading you in Off Our Backs and then finding you in other GREAT lesbian feminist publications, and I laughed and felt joy and courage at every single strip. All those papers/mags gave me another community. And then when you appeared, you gave me another community that just kept ticking along between strips, alive, alive-o. Plodding through snowdrifts in the winter and eating tofu pups in the backyard in the summer–ha! Their cohesiveness and reliability mattered so much to me back then.

    With this news, it’s a better day here in Maine. The sunshine feels better. Thank you Alison for so much un-f-believably good work.

    Congratulazioni!

  14. John Hinsdale & Family says:

    *HUGEST* congrats and certainly well deserved!

  15. John Hinsdale and Family says:

    HUGE congrats – well deserved!

  16. tea says:

    this makes me so happy. SO HAPPY.

  17. Meredith says:

    Woo hoo! Warmest congratulations!!!!!

  18. Glenn I says:

    Right on! Woo-hoo! Yay!

    I heard an NPR story this morning about the grants. A poet was quoted saying most grants get used up on food. Anne Sexton got a pool put in.

  19. Dana Dudle says:

    Many warm and enthusiastic congratulations.Your work has really been inspiring and important in my life and in the lives of others. I’m also glad a graphic novelist/cartoonist has received this prestigious award! I am looking forward to whatever you do next. Seriously,congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.

  20. freyakar says:

    YAY ALISON!!!!

    Congratulations indeed. This is so well-deserved.

  21. freyakat says:

    Whoops! That was meant to come from “freyakat”.

  22. Nicole says:

    Wonderful News! Now you can get that vacation home and travel whenever you want. Here’s to you! *toast*

  23. Alex K says:

    Tell us, Alison, about the telephone call in which the Foundation’s employee found you in Italy. I want to live that at second hand.

    So many e-mails from friends, from relatives, to tell me — Did you see? AB is now… Well, well! It’s a happy day.

  24. A Cambridge Fan says:

    Woohoo! I am THRILLED that you won this. You TOTALLY earned it! Congratulations! I love your books and wish you all the very best.

  25. Jain Elliott says:

    So happy for you. Brooke’s right–such a vindication for all of us. Thank you so much for being such a hard working genius.

  26. Dear Alison .
    How wonderful, and so well deserved. I’ve been a fan of yours for many years and was thrilled to see that you got the MacArthur award. I just passed my 89th, birthday 09/11/1925 so…happy slightly belated.
    I am so sorry I didn’t know that you would be in Assisi this summer, this was our 33rd workshop and I was determined to go again and did. I was in Assisi from July 18 and stayed until August 12. I’ve been a dyke all my life but like all jewish middle class women I got married at 19 and am the proud mother of two gay sons, both graphic designers, and certainly would have gone to Ranieri to see you and would have invited you and Dana to come visit us at the Hotel Giotto in Assisi. If you are interested, please visit our website, http://www.artworkshopintl.com to get the info about us, my partner, Edith Isaac Rose (Teitelbaum) also an artist and we’ve been together for 33 years. We’ve had great people teaching and as artists in residence such as Grace Paley, Tony Kushner, Frank McCourt etc. We are both in the Hirshhorn collection and have exhibited our work in the US and Europe. As usual I am running off at the mouth and would love you to come as artist in resident at the workshop. I hope you will consider it for next year as all our friends in Assisi are planning a great feste for my 90th birthday and I’m hoping to get there, we can celebrate our birthdays together.
    Brava, brava!
    Ci vediamo a presto in 2015!

  27. I’m not sure what ‘my comment is awaiting moderation’ means but I hope my comment to you is posted. What a blast we all can have as the Assisians love our workshop as we have been doing it there since 1980(?) memory! My son Charles Kreloff is now the director.
    Come and celebrate with us!!!
    Baci, ciao!
    Bea
    “http://www.artworkshopintl.com,MyPage.html”>Click Here!

  28. Ginjoint says:

    Wow, am I the only one who now wants to read Beatrice Kreloff’s autobiography?

  29. Ready2Agitate says:

    Jaw-dropping excitement for you, Alison! Bask in the wonder of it all – you are brilliant! We love you! (and yes, Ginjoint, let’s go read Beatrice’s work, too). And yes, Alex, let’s imagine. And yes and yes all the emails today. Chills.

  30. Brigham says:

    How about a DTWOF Redux, in which Sydney finally gets the MacArthur she always wanted? Gay marriage is completely legal in MN. Raffi and Janis are college-aged. What would a middle aged Lois be doing?

  31. Amy Mann says:

    I’m so thrilled for you, Alison, this is fantastic! And richly deserved.

  32. Minnie says:

    Thrilled to hear the good news; so happy and encouraged by this perfect recognition of your gift to us all, of your years and years of fidelity to your personal genius and work ethic.

    Whee! Best reason ever for all those selfies!
    May you enjoy it all.

  33. Ana says:

    Felicidades Alison,
    Disfruta de tu merecido premio. I am extremely happy for you, best wishes
    Ana

  34. Susan says:

    Hi Alison,
    First, congratulations! Great news and so well deserved.

    Something odd that I’ve seen recently regarding a teacher’s guide and “Fun Home” — I’m an English professor and I just taught my Fiction course a section of Fun Home from the 8th edition of “The Story and Its Writer” edited by Ann Charters. While looking at the discussion question suggestions in the Resources for Teaching, I was puzzled by this question:

    “Bechdel draws herself as a young boy in ‘Old Father, Old Artificer.’ Why does she try to confuse her readers who know that the author of this autobiographical story is a woman?”

    Just wondering if you’d seen that, and what you think of it. It came from way out of left (right?) field.

    All the best to you!

  35. Susan, no, I had not seen that bizarre question in “The Story and Its Writer.” Whatever are people thinking?!

  36. Joseph Dance says:

    Late to the party, but I just wanted to say a big ‘well done’ from across the Pond.