some changes

April 25th, 2007 | Other Projects, Site Update, The Artistic Condition

Man. I don’t even know where to start. I’ve been working on a post about the blog for days, and it’s about 12 pages long and completely disjointed. But before I get to that, I have to make an announcement. I’ve made the very difficult decision to temporarily cut back to one new Dykes to Watch Out For episode every four weeks, instead of every two weeks. I’ll be interspersing these new strips here and in the newspapers with “archive” strips from 1987, 20 years ago.

My plan is to do this for one year. I feel really bad about it for many reasons, not the least of which is that people have made donations to the site based on the expectation of a new strip every two weeks. So first let me just say that anyone who wants a refund, just let me know. I think it’s pretty easy to do via PayPal. Alternatively, if you’ve made donation for a year, you could just consider now that it’ll cover two years.

The reason I’m doing this is that I have to crank out a new memoir by 2009. I just signed a contract for it. (MLK, thank you for raising the very interesting question a while ago about the difference between writing without a contract, and with one. I’ll get to that in a minute.) As many of you know, Fun Home took me seven years to complete. And most of those were spent quietly and reclusively at home, not galavanting around the country (and beyond) yammering about myself to all and sundry, like I’ve been doing for the past year.

I have more travel coming up soon, for my paperback tour. But even without the time on the road, I need to make some kind of change if I have any hope of getting this new book done on schedule. I don’t want to stop doing Dykes. That doesn’t make any sense. I love doing the strip, and it’s extremely important to me on so many levels that I can’t even enumerate them. Cutting back to one strip per month seems like a good compromise if people are willing to hang in there with me. I can keep the story going, but I can also slow down the crazy juggernaut that my life has become lately, and have some time to think.

This decision has been brewing for a while, and it feels somehow tied up with the blogsistential crisis and the email problem I was whining about recently. I’ve had a very intense year. And I’ve been managing the massive increase in stimuli pretty well, I think, for an introvert. But I may be nearing my limit. Oh, also, I have this other stuff going on. Fun Home, The Musical, of all things. (I’ll post about that some other time.) And possibly a big compendium of Dykes strips that I’ll have to edit.

But the main thing is, I’m trying to calm my life down so that I can work on this new book. Uh…did I mention my new book before this post? I think maybe someone else did. (Uh oh. I’m losing the ability to distinguish between myself and the people on the blog…that can’t be good.) It’s another memoir. Houghton Mifflin’s going to publish it. It’s called Love Life. It’s about…uh…my love life, I guess. But other stuff too. I can’t really talk about it yet. And MLK, the answer is, it’s rather daunting writing a book when you already have a contract. I worked on Fun Home for years before I sold it. It wasn’t like I had a choice–but it did feel important to not have anyone expecting anything from me. Yet I’m kind of savoring the pressure I have to produce this new book.

Anyhow. I just wanted to let you know about the new DTWOF plan. Y’know, the other thing is, lately I just haven’t been able to put the same kind of care and effort and research into the strip that I would like. So I think slowing down a bit will prevent me from getting hopelessly slipshod. I really hope this will work for everyone. I don’t know, I guess we’ll see.

89 Responses to “some changes”

  1. Sheila says:

    Alison, good for you!

  2. Ellen Orleans says:

    Huh, the most recent half-dozen strips have felt anything but slipshod. I was thinking now that you’ve completed Fun Home, you had more time to carefully craft them, fill them with nuance, imagery and under and over tones.

    Perhaps everyone’s observations here simply helped me appreciate them more deeply.

    In any case, the once a month approach sounds smart to me. Certainly, 2009 is coming right up. (I know, you really needed to hear that….)

  3. RachelB says:

    Much as I’ll be gagging for my DTWOF fix, that seems a very sane decision. And then there’ll be the new book to look forward to….

  4. Ginger Mayerson says:

    Alison, another memoir? Yay! So, do what you need to do. I, for one, will still be here when you get back.

  5. fjm says:

    Nothing to apologise for m’dear. I’ve just had to ask for yet another extension for my book to heartfelt empathy coming from the UK.

    I do think you need to find a personal assistant to handle the email tho’.

  6. Aunt Soozie says:

    Alison,

    Thanks for answering the question about contract versus no contract/personal mission…that was my question.
    I felt a little guilty after I asked it thinking, hmmm…just what you need…a reminder of the pressure of the new book on top of all of this blogmessness.

    I’ve also been wondering about what you use to do your drawing. You don’t really use a pen nib and ink, do you?
    I think I’ve seen people ask here or somewhere but I don’t remember your answer. I’m more curious having recently looked at Kris Dresen’s piece online about her tools…kind of obsessive but I guess that comes with the territory. She’s got a big stockpile of her favorite implements in case …I don’t know, they stop making them or she has to evacuate into an underground shelter for a few years…

    I enjoyed the vintage dtwof in lc and it’ll be fun to see them here, too. It sounds like a good plan. Aunt Soozie fully approves…but, it still sounds hectic/daunting to me so maybe you can take an additional vacation here or there…we’ll survive, we’ll be right here and so will those other dtwof…the ones you draw.

  7. Pamela R says:

    As long as you’re writing and being creative, that’s all that matters. Congratulations, and try not to let the stress get you down! You’ll be fine.

  8. Donut Rooter says:

    It’s your strip, so do with it what you feel is best.
    Congrats on the contract, too! :)

  9. Aunt Soozie, sorry I got you confused with mlk. Funny that you mentioned Kris Dresen’s site. I just stumbled on that recently when I was doing a random image search for something or other. I can’t remember what, now. But she does this very cool exhibition of all her drawing tools.

  10. sillipitti says:

    Pardon me for ignoring the angst about the change in dtwof frequency, but wow! Fun Home the Musical? How do I get involved in that? As a composer/arranger/conductor or an onstage performer? And if you’re going to do Fun Home, there has to be a dtwof musical–the appeal is just so great. What about a line art animation movie musical?

  11. sillipitti says:

    Alright–you can add me to the list of people who are really going to miss our dtwof fix. Now get on with it.

  12. Deb says:

    *Grins at Alison and nods.*

    Thank the goddess you are doing something to slow down the pace! I’m happy you are doing some things to make life more sane for you.

  13. Gil in mexico city says:

    Dammit, I will miss dykes, but look forward to your memoir, which I am sure will shine. Alison, have you considered filling in the blanks in the lives of the characters in dykes with letters, similar to the ones Lynn Johnston posts on the websiter of For Better or for Worse? It might be a nce way to update us and give us more info on Mo and the gang…

  14. sabversive says:

    I’ve looked forward to an autobiographical graphic novel from you since you first mentioned the possibility in The Idelible Alison Bechdel.

    And you delivered with Fun Home.

    Now tell us that we are going to get ANOTHER ONE! About your LOVE LIFE no less!

    Sank Yew!

    Re: “Y’know, the other thing is, lately I just haven’t been able to put the same kind of care and effort and research into the strip that I would like.”

    I’ve felt that your heart wasn’t in it for sometime now. Please don’t misunderstand me. Your ability hadn’t slipped or changed in anyway. It’s just your focus or interest had shifted away from the strip; or so it seemed to me.

    I appreciate your honesty.

  15. Robyn says:

    Hey, we’ll hang in there with ya.
    Thanks for telling us.

  16. Jaibe says:

    Selfishly, I hope it’s really only for a year! But prioritizing is something we all need to do. Do whatever it takes to be creative — and happy!

    I hope you are making some time for yourself in your new life too — I find I really am more productive in 5 days with a day or two off than in 7 days with no days off.

    And anyway — this is real life, you’re an adult, so you need to run it in a way you enjoy. Who knows, you may be this famous the rest of your life — or more so!

    Here’s hoping :-)

  17. Alex K says:

    Whatever you can give us will be grand. (Including **significant cough** a CafePress link for the DTWOF mugs, DTWOF mousepads, DTWOF hair scrunchies…)

    Wherever the best game you can play takes you, really; we’re all fans – just let us know where you’ve decided to tee off and we’ll scamper down the course to catch up.

    And we wish you every success with all these new projects!

  18. Carlos says:

    If you can do both, that’s the best of all worlds.

  19. Leda says:

    Fun Home the musical? Maybe there is a God….but seeing as you are only human Alison, I think cutting back the creation of new strips is a good idea. I can’t really see how you could have done otherwise and I don’t think anyone seriously expects you to sacrifice your creative life and sanity for our instant gratification. Delayed gratification is often more fun anyway and it’ll be nice to have one monthly event I actually look forward to….

  20. Mabel says:

    Well I don’t think that you need to feel even vaguely contrite or worried about your decision. You have been exceptionally generous and accommodating to your fans and I am sure everyone really appreciates that.

    I am sad about the strip. In my crazy dyke-separatist head, I felt like the strip was like a secret link between you and your dyke fans. It was something to separate you from all the other graphic novelists. “Sure she writes great books that they like in the NY Times” I’d say in my head “But she’s really ours, the strip is who she really is”. Now the strip is taking a backseat it really is like you belong to everyone.

    Anyway, I realise this like of thought makes me sound completely demented, so I’ll say no more. Except, of course, that I look forward to the new book.

  21. elisgem says:

    it’s wonderful news that you will make another book.
    actually: i can never have enough of dykes to watch out for and as long as you keep up drawing them at all, it will be fine with me: to have something to look forward to. (and yes, i’m addicted, too.)
    take care and don’t work too hard

  22. Red says:

    Good idea. Good luck. Enjoy. Breathe.
    We’ll be right behind ye.

  23. AK says:

    If monastic devotion is what it took to create Fun Home, then I suspected you’d need some of that to extract other stories from your personal life. If you can’t escape the duty to and needs of the ever-expanding fanbase and touring, then something’s gotta give. Making changes in how you address the world is only to be expected when things change around you. No worries, the ability you have to create is what I wouldn’t want to see undermined by all the “other stuff.” If DTWOF time has to go slowly this year, it’s a small investment for a bigger yield in the future of your work. Good luck.

  24. S.M. says:

    I can’t wait to read the strips from 1987, it will be an awesome history lesson. I love your work in any form.

  25. deblev says:

    Do what you need to do. Save your sanity and don’t agonize over it. You rock!

  26. Lisa (Calico) says:

    Alison, best of luck to you. I know cartooning can be rather exasperating and stressful – you all put out long hours, scorch your brains and tire your bodies, all to make us comix fans laugh and relate (and sometimes snark).
    I just just posted news of your comic-of-the month modification at Josh Fruhlinger’s awesome site The Comics Curmudgeon – hope that’s ok. Comment #289 in thread http://joshreads.com/?p=1048 . I’m a little sad DTWOF will be only once a month, but it’s not about me.
    Enjoy your memoir writing, take time for you and your spirit, and I’ll be sure to pick up a copy as it rolls fresh off the presses. : )

  27. mlk says:

    Aunt Soozie, thanks for setting the record straight (as if anyone would let a mistake like that pass . . .) I knew that Alison had attributed the question to the wrong gal, but had no idea who put it out there. Now we don’t have to wonder, or go back into those treacherous postings from the past few weeks!!

    Alison, sounds good to me to keep the strip alive AND save your sanity. I never felt cheated when you brought out an old strip, and with so many new readers it won’t hurt to interweave the old with the new. Just don’t take such care culling the archives that it becomes another way to procrastinate!

    I’m in line w/those who’re waiting for the next book to come out. And a Fun Home musical — wow! allows you to add “singing” to your already impressive list of credentials (cartooning, public speaking, butch babe, speaker of fluent French . . .)

  28. Josiah says:

    Good on you, Alison, for making the decision you needed to make to keep up the quality of your work and stay sane. I’ll miss the biweekly fix, but I guess I’ll just have to re-read the old collections more frequently.

    (By the way, how has the success of Fun Home affected sales of the DTWOF books? I’d hope that the mainstream audience that found and loved Fun Home would search for more Bechdelian goodness and find the joy that is DTWOF. Perhaps the prospect of a big DTWOF compendium suggests that they’ve done so? How much of a difference has there been between sales of the DTWOF collections before and after Fun Home?)

    Finally — Fun Home: The Musical! How exciting is that?! It’s a cool and crazy time in American musical theatre, between this and Julie Taymor teaming up with Bono and the Edge on Spider-Man: The Musical, it’s a good time for folks who like Broadway and comics!

  29. freyakat says:

    This seems a wise decision for you. I’m glad that you were able to become clear for yourself on the various issues. Indeed, all the gallivanting and yammering must have strained your introvert-self to the limit — and I hope you can end up with quiet time to be alone in and with your mind when you need to be.

    If your decision is good for you it is good for me as well. I look forward to the monthly DTWOF strips and to the memoir-in-the-making.

  30. LondonBoy says:

    Another book to look forward to ! Huzzah !

    Congratulations on the new book contract, and thanks for the DTWOF strips to look forward to too. Don’t be afraid to give the book the highest priority: you have a real talent for the extended narrative form, so go for it !

    Are you going to include “The Crush” from way back ? One of my favorites…

  31. louise says:

    The next book… in just two years??
    I was completely prepared for the next book to be like when I was a kid and learned about Halley’s Comet or the cicadas, and that I couldn’t expect the next appearance to be for years and years, time I couldn’t begin to comprehend. I don’t know that I ever looked forward to a comet or some insects this much though. And nowadays, it’s like I blink and two years have gone by.
    Best wishes Alison! Everything you do is deeply appreciated.

  32. --MC says:

    If you were to hire an inker or production person to help you get the book done, it would not compromise your integrity in the slightest (unless you got a really slick inker who covered your pencils in glossy Hilary Barta shadows).
    Could the producers of the “Fun Home” musical bring the show through Seattle for tryouts before hitting Broadway? This year we’re getting the pre-Broadway “Young Frankenstein” musical, and I hope to see Mel Brooks in town somewhere while it’s here ..
    Lisa (Calico), another Comics Curmudgeon reader! You want to see massive, unfathomable blog comments, they have them there ..

  33. continuity obsessive says:

    I don’t suppose there’s a new DTWOF book of strips since the last one coming out in the near future?

  34. Sophie says:

    Ah, Rapidographs. Nowadays I mostly do inkjet prints of computer photo art (I never know exactly what to name it), but this makes me miss the days of the inky nib. And my cupboards are full of brushes, fixatives and old oil tubes I haven’t opened for years. I’ll never throw them away. You never know.

    I am glad the comments are mostly supportive. Let nobody own Alison as she retreats to her mountain ermitage! I am looking forward to these new, Menstrual Dykes to Watch Out For.

  35. Butch Fatale says:

    Oh a new memoir! This all sounds so exciting (the flip side of which is, of course, stress!), I can’t wait! I’m glad to wait as long as necessary between strips — certainly most of the artists whose work I long for do not produce pieces at regular increments, so we (as fans) are so spoiled with DTWOF.

  36. amysue says:

    This is wonderful and I think you have done what is right for you, your personal and professional needs as well as your concern about your readers desires. I commend you for this.

    I look forward to the strips on whatever scedule they appear and to the memoir in the future. Fun Home was so amazing and so great!

    Be well.

  37. nycreb says:

    You are so sweet, thinking of us readers! remember, you *are* in charge and it is YOUR strip! we’ll all still be waiting (I’m just glad you’re only going down to once a month…)
    Congratulations on the book contract. I’ve been there since the first purple cover paperback, I’ll still be here when the next book(s) come out!

  38. boltgirl says:

    Good on you for grabbing your life by the ears and doing what you need to do.

    On Rapidographs: I use them for illustrating archaeological artifacts, and have learned two key things. One, don’t leave them within grabbing distance of a two-year-old. And two, while the combination of Top Job and a sonic cleaner works wonders on dried nibs, if you, uh, turn off the cleaner and then sort of forget to retrieve the nib from said Top Job bath for, say, six months, the whole concoction solidifies into a mass best described as Green Jolly Rancher With Expensive German Graphic Technology Trapped Inside. That’s all I’m going to say.

  39. Jeffster83 says:

    I never got around to donating towards the $500-for-500th fund, but I will donate to AB’s Taking-Control-of-Her-Creative-output fund. And I won’t ask for a refund.

    When Gil el Chilango suggested text-based backstory for comic characters, I started to wonder if there is such a thing as slashfic about DTWOF characters.

  40. ksbel6 says:

    Way to go Alison…it will be great! I bet most people will have a hard time distinguishing between the old strips and the current strips. I went through the first 6 books over the past couple of months and it is just scary how easily those topics fit into today’s.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Your sanity is important. In fact “important” seems like too weak a word to describe the quality of sanity. Sanity is a need. Sanity is everything. Therefore I support your decision 100%.

  42. DeLand DeLakes says:

    Alison, you do whatever you gotta do to get your shit (ie, this next memoir) done. Take it from a fellow introvert girl who is currently trying to finish her MA and feels like the universe is conspiring against her to keep it from happening. If you have to cut wildly in order to make it through the underbrush, well, maybe it would be good to have all that deadwood cleared away, anyhow. :) And I love the old strips, so what the hell. Oh, and- Fun Home the Musical? Can I say WTF?

  43. LWD in Madison WI says:

    I will cheerfully accept the decision of only one DTWOF strip a month (much as I’ll miss the second monthly entry) if it helps you have more time to work on another wonderful book! It is already exciting to imagine myself savoring this new tome of yours and then, hopefully, hearing you talk about it/read from it somewhere in Wisconsin.

  44. Rubicon says:

    We’ll still be here for you when you get back. Just this weekend I talked to two people who’ve been following your work since before Mo and Lois, et.all. And I am a grown up version of those pre-teen fans you wrote about in “The Indelible Alison Bechdel.”

    Don’t think we’re going anywhere soon.

  45. Deborah says:

    This is a great decision. And please don’t let this unruly gaggle of fans make you feel guilty in any way. We are here at your pleasure. You are the boss of your own domain.
    I love DTWOF, I love Fun Home, I await with eager anticipation Fun Home – the Musical (!!!!!!!) and the new book. Whatever you produce is a gift to us. And you deserve a life, too.
    We all do.
    Brava!

  46. Carry says:

    I realize you don’t need our permission, but know as a faithful reader that I’m just happy to get it when I can. And I LOVED your book and look forward to another, so if that means getting a few less strips then so be it!

    Thank you for putting your work out there for all of us to enjoy. :)

  47. Andrew B says:

    Twelve pages?!? Now I feel guilty. I hope you really needed twelve pages to work out your own thoughts about the blog. Let me say, as the person who has been by far most vociferous about the need for a “blog management” policy — actually I think the only person who has been concerned about the need for a policy, as opposed to having an opinion about what the policy should be — please assume a sympathetic audience who want to understand your approach and recognize that you have the right to make the subjective judgments. Don’t feel like you have to justify absolutely everything (if you’ve been feeling that way).

    FWIW, some recent strips have been very strong, e.g. Sydney at her mom’s. Others have seemed more perfunctory. If 13 strips/year is the way to do what you need to get done, cut down to 13 strips. Strips from 1987 will be fun. I’ll be seeing those for the first time. Most likely so will many other people.

    Best Wishes for all your other ventures.

  48. Another Thea says:

    I am so happy for you (after getting past the initial stab of naked, unslakeable desire for as much DTWOF as the universe will allow)! As a fan, another book is well worth the sacrifice–and of course we fans have no control over anything, anyway, and why should we? Thank you for all your wonderful work, and for engaging in dialogue with those who appreciate your work. Viva Vintage DTWOF!

  49. CaraMcD says:

    Alison, I’ve been a fan of yours for years and years now. I will now await the strips even more eagerly, and I have to say, good for you! I am glad to hear that you have signed a contract and you’re taking care of yourself and prioritizing. I love Dykes, thanks for keeping it going. Now go relax as best you can. Take care of yourself, chickadee, we adore you and your work!

  50. Olivier says:

    Alison, as they say here in German: keine Ursache! We’ll all regret getting fewer fresh strips but, first the strip doesn’t end and that is the important thing (for us): it merely goes into relative abeyance, and second it is also a comfort to know that you are spreading your wings as an artist and (apparently) enjoying it. As you may remember (since you answered my post) I was a bit shocked back then by the elation with which you welcomed your new-found mainstream status. I’ve gotten over it since now, don’t worry, but I speculate that DTWOF, however dear it may be to your heart, may also have come to feel as something of a prison and that cannot be good. Thus by all means do what is right for you as an artist.

  51. Alex the Bold says:

    In a recent Sunday edition of Doonesbury (here’s the link: http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dailydose/index.html?uc_full_date=20060716), Joan has a dream of her mentor, Lacey, who has been dead for several years.

    And there’s a lovely, touching exchange of dialogue. Joan is wondering about the young women of today and how, according to her, none of them want to be called feminists.

    And Lacey says that none of the women of Joan’s generation wanted to be called suffragettes. Lacey says, “Once a social transformation is largely complete, the language that drove it loses both urgency and meaning.”

    And Joan asks, “So we’re the last feminists? Feminism dies with my generation?”

    And Lacey replies, “It is to be hoped for, dear.”

    I’m not happy about DTWOF going to once a month, but I think Alison is taking the proper road. When I started reading the strip 15 years ago (God, I feel older every day), lesbians were still some alien concept to the 23-year-old me (and I lived in Northampton, Massachusetts).

    I read the strip now not because “They’re lesbians” but because they’re characters I’ve come to care about greatly. They have their lesbian sensibility and it’s wonderful to see three-dimensional two-dimensional characters.

    Perhaps, although it isn’t to be hoped for, Mo and Co. are arriving at that point where they’re the last Dykes to Watch Out For. The Dyke Movement dies with them.

    Because they won the fight.

    There’s still people who can’t stand lesbians, but every year it becomes a less-acceptable reaction. I firmly believe we’re the generation that will see the anti-gay groups scorned and ignored to the point where they will become the equivalent of what the KKK is today — five marchers show up in hoods and 500 anti-marchers show up. The coverage on TV is universally presented with the undercurrent of “And now, from the ‘Will these racist assholes just go the hell home already’ file …”

    It’s a bittersweet victory, I suppose. Sort of like the ending of Charlotte’s Web.

    And for Alison, just two thoughts.

    First, remember the cardinal rule of show business: Finish the act five minutes before the audience wants you to, not five minutes after.

    Second (this is from an episode of Doctor Who). In the episode in question, Tegan, one of the Doctor’s companions decides to leave. She says she’s tired of traveling through time and space and that (in this episode) a lot of good people died. The Doctor tries to talk her out of leaving and she tells him, “My Auntie Vanessa told me once, ‘If it stops being fun, stop doing it.’ ”

    As always, looking forward to the next strip.

  52. Deb in Minnesota says:

    Alison, congrats on the new book contract! And best wishes as you calm down your life. I’m about two-thirds into Fun Home and will finish it after I’ve completed my grading for this term. XO

  53. Zan says:

    Thank you for putting your priorities in order and doing the work that you’re most drawn to doing. We love your work, and we want to read Love Life, and whatever comes after that too. You know which projects are “the real work.” Go for it!
    *sending you appreciative fan rays*

  54. mobathome says:

    Once a month? Boohoohoo!
    A new memoir? Yippeeeee!
    A musical? :-0 Wow!
    A compendium? Nice!

    I can just feel the energy crackling near you.

    Mazel tov!

  55. LizD says:

    The MUSICAL!! For Real? I would LOVE to see that.

    And I echo the sentiment that once-a-month DTWOF is just fine with me. I’d rather have DTWOF less often and you more sane. I’ve been waiting for you to join me in Workaholics Anonymous. (No joke–check it out at http://www.workaholics-anonymous.org .)

    Each strip contains so much (what with the NPR voiceovers, subtle messages communicated through tiny graphics, and all the words I need to look up in the dictionary), that each installment can easily keep me busy for a month anyway.

  56. Josiah says:

    I am astounded that someone else (that is, not me) was the first to quote Doctor Who in this blog community. Folks who know me in real life (hi, Meghan!) will know that I’m ridiculously obsessed with Doctor Who… to the extent that a Google search for “Doctor Who” and “Josiah” finds me pretty quickly. So, Alex — Doctor Who and Dykes to Watch Out For. Good taste, man!

    (By the way, Doctor Who a couple of weeks ago featured an elderly married lesbian couple. In the year five billion and fifty-three. Dykes in space!)

  57. Duffi says:

    I’m behind all these decisions. I’ll like content with one less DTWOF strip a month, knowing that it contributes to your sanity. I’m glad you’ve got the contract, and I worry about the time constraints. and Fun Home – The Musical??? Bring it on, I say, if it works for you. That’s what’s key to me: if it works for you.

  58. RES says:

    While the prospect of less DTWOF (temporarily) makes me sad, congratulations not only on all the wonderful professional developments that make it the right decision at this time, but also for making this choice.

    Part of the secret to keeping all the balls in the air is knowing when to shove one in your pocket. To, uh, take a metaphor too far.

  59. Suzanonymous says:

    I feel like many other people here, I’m bummed at the once a month change but totally understand, agreeing with the necessity because of the workload. Unless you could hire that inker.. and maybe cut out the touring.. maybe touring is enjoyable and lucrative — for an introvert?? I’m puzzled.

    One question: are you giving your non-blog-reading readers a heads-up about this upcoming year? (I imagine a clue: Mo reading “Fun House,” by Alison Breakneck, thinking “how can one cartoonist produce so much all at once?!?”)

  60. kburu says:

    AB I have loved your work for years, it has kept me sane when with family ( a little book hidden in my luggage to read at night) made great laughter with friends. I can still remember sitting around with friends going your such a Mo, or Harriet, or whomever. Whatever you need to do to keep it going good luck and be blessed.

    thank you for being

  61. Jana C.H. says:

    What can I add to what everyone else has said but “Ditto!”

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Arthur Pinero: Where there is tea there is hope.

  62. Ginjoint says:

    So will there be asses shown in the memoir?

    P.S. Alison, I’m buying as much as I can possibly read from Women & Kids First. Then I’m buying more.

  63. bre says:

    Awww,we’ll love you anyway, even if you only published one strip per year (oh no,don’t leave me hanging like that!)besides, being nosy, I can’t wait to read your new book :p I’ve been forcing all of my friends to read Fun Home, I think my girlfriend is about to break down and buy it because I keep bothering her about it…

  64. xckb13 says:

    Oddly enough, I sincerely hope that the cute email received in reply to donations is an automatic-reply form letter, for two reasons: a) because it would mean that she’s receiving so many donations that she doesn’t have time to write individual letters, and b) because she clearly has so many better and more interesting things to be doing. I just wish I didn’t have only the pathetic wages of a newspaper translator and soon-to-be penny-pinching grad student to draw from.

    Rock on, Alison!

  65. genevieve says:

    Of course I’m sad in a selfish way that there will be fewer DTWOF, but I’m thrilled for your success – and can’t wait for the new book! Congrats, and thanks for being so open with your fans.

  66. 12bms says:

    Frankly, I’d vote for ditching the blog entirely. It seems to consume an inordinate amount of your time and energy. And to what end? Unless you need the constant fawning~which you are undoubtedly getting on your non-stop book promotion~we’re all just eating into the time you could spend working on DTWOF and other real projects.

  67. kburu says:

    12bms….

    I am not sure how you can call building a community based on a cultural phenom self serving like that. IF AB wants to blog and only blog that up to her but this is something she offered to all of us. helping build a community where people feel happy to belong is real work.

    try it sometime

  68. Suzanonymous says:

    I don’t see things like 12bms but I don’t see it like kburu, either. Most of the community building I’ve seen here was done by the commenters, which they could do elsewhere (for instance, LiveJournal). (I can’t say “we” in the previous sentence because I have not been taking part much in this development — trying to keep my internet fun times down to 3 hours a week.) Blogging takes time and thought and work but I wouldn’t characterize this blog as a concerted effort at community building. Not at all. If she was doing that, I’d wonder if she was thinking of changing careers (god, I hope not, love Dykes to Watch Out For!) I would never put an excellent introverted cartoonist in charge of community building. Well now I’ve just made a statement that could be called fawning, and I was about to say I don’t see a lot of fawning going on here, either. :-D

  69. Chris (in Massachusetts) says:

    Alison, it would be in EXTREMELY poor taste for anyone to criticize you for doing what YOU need to do in your life to make a decent living and to honor a contract.

    It is also in very poor taste to complain about something one gets for free, particularly considering the time and labor that goes into that free thing.

    As far as I’m concerned 12 new Dykes strips in twelve months is fine. Better then no strips at all and our favorite lesbian all burned out and miserable, sitting on the back porch, chucking pens and bottles of ink at the squirrels, while yelling at them to “Keep off my lawn, dammit!”

    And thanks for the comment about PayPal. There will be another donation shortly!

  70. Pam I says:

    Josiah, Martha Jones is played by the GF of one of the young men I helped bring up (who’s now 28….). She’s as charming in Real Life as you can imagine from the character. But it’s weird watching someone you sort-of know so full screen tho.

  71. Josiah says:

    Cool! In interviews, Freema always seems so sweet and bubbly. (For non-Who fans, that’s Freema Agyeman, the actress who plays Martha Jones, the current companion on Doctor Who, the revival of which has unaccountably become a huge mainstream hit in the UK.)

    That’s pretty darn cool, Pam — and I can imagine that it would be odd to see someone you know running away from space rhinosceroses or chatting with William Shakespeare. I gather that Freema’s boyfriend is an estate agent or something like that? So what were the circumstances in which you helped bring him up?

  72. ilana says:

    hey alison…all the way from Australia. I’d never heard of nor seen DTWOF…but I did just read Fun House. So let me just say this. As someone who can identify with murky childhood memories, coming out as a lesbian, the whole therapy thing and how to be in yourself and in the world holding all of that…your book, your story was moving, true, a breath of much needed air…for many I would imagine. Do what you need to do to keep working and being true. Surely this is your path. And did you ever imagine you’d reach all the way to the other side of the world? All the very best to you.

  73. Erica says:

    Congrats on having the book contract! I think we’ll all miss our twice-monthly DTWOF, but it sounds like the best plan for your health and sanity…good luck!!

  74. Pam I says:

    Josiah, I was with J’s mum from when he was about 5 to 11 y o. Still see all those ex-kids from time to time, and now the grandchildren have started arriving. He is an estate agent (realtor in usa), how do you know that?

  75. Amy in Madison says:

    Alison,

    Awesome that you’re doing a new book – I can’t wait to enjoy it! I think cutting the strip back to once monthly is an excellent decision. My donation was in support of you as a phenomenal artist and I’d make it regardless of the frequency of the strips. Best wishes to you!

    Amy

  76. Hannah says:

    Hey!
    I think you are absolutely doing the right thing…I will love reading the posts of the back dated DTWOF while waiting on the new posts.
    Do you have an idea of how you are going to schedule it? New stip first week of the month, then three older strips, or new strip last week of the month and the older….etc?
    Stay sane and healthy and don’t burn your creativity out. A wise artist knows when their priorities shift, and you have developed a very balanced compromise with the diverse elements of your career.
    Blessings!
    Hannah

  77. Josiah says:

    Pam, I think that Freema mentioned her boyfriend’s job to some interviewer who was trying to insinuate that she might have something going on with David Tennant. (Isn’t it odd how people assume that actors who play romantically linked characters must be romantically linked themselves?) I end up reading/watching a lot of these interviews with the Doctor Who cast because I’m one of the news editors for the Doctor Who fan site Outpost Gallifrey.

    By the way (he said, desperately trying to bring the comment vaguely on-topic for the blog), non-UK readers probably don’t know that Doctor Who‘s main writer and producer these days is Russell T. Davies, who created the original British Queer as Folk. Some of the old-school Doctor Who fans complain about what they call his “gay agenda” (Steven Moffat, one of the other writers, says “I imagine he keeps it in a pink folder in a special leopardskin safe”). And, to be fair, he did create the first openly bisexual male action hero on British television (Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and its very bisexual spinoff Torchwood, played by the very gay John Barrowman).

    Frankly, though, Doctor Who has always been rather queer — probably one of the reasons I love the program so much!

  78. Victoria says:

    I’ll definitely miss the biweekly hits of sweet, sweet crack installments of the strip, but my heaving withdrawal pangs disappointment will be well-balmed by anticipation of a new book in a few short years. Yay! This is really good news!

  79. Victoria says:

    Um, that would have made sense with html. I guess the fact that none of the other comments have html in them should have told me something.

  80. Nick in Toronto says:

    Waaah! Me love DTWOF! It is so screamingly funny, I will definitely miss my bi-weekly fix. However, I can hardly blame Alison for not wanting to work herself into an early grave. When I look at Fun Home and think how much work and time and effort went into it – and now she wants to do it all over again? Ay carumba!

  81. Tera says:

    You are writing a new memoir? I am so excited! and did I hear you right…DTWOF the musical?? more detials please!!!

  82. Tera says:

    can I just suggest that maybe no response is necesary to the whole open thread thing…I would rather you use your writing juices for other endeavors then repsonding to this blog. you have enough to do as it is.

  83. Amazlilith says:

    I can live with once a month…You need to do what you need to do, and I am just happy you aren’t stopping DTWOF. Do what you need to do and we will be here when you post them. :)

  84. TMVA says:

    I’m disappointed the strip is taking a backseat here. I would prefer you stop posting on the blog all together than cut back the strip. Honestly, I’d rather read the strips and books than the blog.

  85. The Patient French says:

    Alison, do spare yourself and take time to think and enjoy life. For the record, I waited 12 years for another Kate Bush album, so I can wait a month for a new DTWOF strip :-). The main thing is that you don’t stop the strip!!!

  86. brynn says:

    I’m really psyched that you’ll be posting the old strips!!! I’m living in Ireland now and it gives me the chance to read them again. Fantastic!!!

  87. Zoey Roy says:

    Since the time I was first introduced to the Dykes strip (has it really been twenty years?), I’ve found in your characters a sense of community that has been lacking in my RL queer relationships. As with any community, sometimes members find it necessary to alter their patterns of social or political activity, even reinvent themselves in response to the challenges that affect the rest of their lives.

    It would hardly be fair of us, your readers, to expect that you should stay the same in all that time; especially given the extent to which your own changing biography has influenced the evolution and popular success of Dykes.

    I appreciate your taking the time to talk to us about why you’re slowing down production for Dykes but I really don’t think you have to justify this decision to anyone. I look forward to reading more Dykes (and Love Life) in the years to come. Take good care.

  88. Abapopaxy says:

    I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well. But it was interesting! Look for some my links:

  89. [...] und jetzt ist sie dafür sogar für den berühmten “Eisner Award” nominiert. Und die Neuigkeit: 2009 wird ein neuer Band folgen, der wahrscheinlich “Love Life” oder so heißen wird. [...]