December 3rd, 2008 | Uncategorized


The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For just got this amazing rave in the NY Times.

Lemme tell you whippersnappers. I can remember when the Times wouldn’t even print the word “dyke.” In fact, somewhere in my vast archives I have a tiny clipping from 1983 or so…maybe even later…containing the first instance of the Times using the word “gay,” as opposed to “homosexual.”

I’m just saying.

111 Responses to “DANG.”

  1. Cadence says:

    What an excellent review. You must be so proud!

  2. Ellen O. says:

    Yow! That is an outstanding review. Careful reading, crafted writing.

    I was taken with the Introduction to EDTWOF, which plays on a repeating theme in your work — the direct invitation to the reader to enter your creative workspace, depicted as dungeon, laboratory, and vast storage room. The mind as a physical space is intriguing.

  3. shadocat says:

    “Dykes to Watch Out For” has been as important to new generations of lesbians as landmark novels like Rita Mae Brown’s “Rubyfruit Jungle” (1973) and Lisa Alther’s “Kinflicks” (1976) were to an earlier one.”

    Absolutely! (And why I miss it so much…)

  4. DrNels says:

    That rocks!

  5. butchysmurf says:

    Thanks for the DANG, Alison. Keep reminding those youngsters what came before them.
    And thanks for not editing too much of your inner space.
    And for the scab disclosure.

  6. Aunt Soozie says:

    Yeah, Baybee! That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

  7. Lil says:

    WooFREAKINwhoo!!! An amazingly-well written and most emphatically deserved review…as one of the queer coming-of-age generation referenced, I can affirm the strip’s relevance and importance in my life. I was 8 years old in 1983, and DTWOF became my first (and for a long time, only) lifeline to a world where I fit in. It’s about damn time the establishment recognized you for the amazing voice that you are, Alison…and, personally, thank you, a million times over.

  8. Amyx says:

    Wonderful review! I’m pretty sure I ordered “Serial Monogamy” and “Rubyfruit Jungle” in the same order from Lambda Rising back in ’91. Both you and Rita Mae came along on my coming out journey.

  9. Ian says:

    Wow! A review like that in the NYT is most writers’ wet dream isn’t it?

    By the way, for those that missed it, here’s AB’s interview for the Guardian in Britain:


    I wish Jonathan Cape didn’t keep pushing back the publishing date in the UK. It’s now 18 December (from the 4th) which is almost too late for buying the book for Xmas presents, which I’d like to do for a few people!

  10. Andrew O. says:

    Whew, I thought I was going insane (how could I have missed THIS?) until i saw the dateline of TOMORROW for this wonderful and well deserved review. I’m going to clip my NYT and preserve the article against Alison’s next visit to scenic San Francisco.

  11. Jill S. says:


  12. JenK says:

    FANTASTIC. With a SLIDESHOW yet! I linked to it from my blog too 🙂

  13. Ellen Abramowitz says:

    Great review in the Times! Can’t wait to read the book.


    Ellen S. Abramowitz
    Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art – MoCCA
    594 Broadway
    NYC, NY 10012

  14. brooke says:

    i remember sitting on my friend’s bed in her dorm room at oglethorpe university – small liberal arts college in atlanta – in december of 1994 reading your “coming out story” comic and thinking – oh crap, that’s me. well, now it’s kinda me – being the proud queer / bi woman that i am – but your comics continue to represent a significant part of me in a way that no other comic i read does. i’m young compared to you and many others, but i do remember amy ray writing to southern voice and then appearing with emily on the cover of denuve (that was the first issue i ever bought). thanks again for being such an entertaining voice for our community for all these years. i’m so glad you are getting mainstream acknowledgment and cheers for being a dyke.

  15. Charlotte says:

    awesome sauce! 🙂

  16. Alex K says:

    See now, AB, this is the problem with DTWOF.

    (Oh hush all of you. Yes. Even DTWOF can pose a problem. No you shut up.)

    How do us queerfolk, just day-to-daying it out here, live up to the expectations that your strip creates?

    Lord knows I can’t on my own come up with trenchantly pointed apercu after apercu. My repartee? “Yeah! What SHE said!” (Direct quote.)

    I’m gonna have to hire scriptwriters. Or straight people are in for one megacompostload of disappointment from me.

  17. En says:


    Wow! What a great review!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Gorgeous! So hoping this turns up in my stocking.

  19. sk in london says:

    SOoooooooooo great…. what a review….. what a legacy…. what acknowledgment……what a vast archive!
    thanks for all your years of work, and all the years to come.

  20. HKSuz... says:

    Great job, I’m so glad you are getting the widespread recognition that you so richly deserve.

    With luck I’m getting a copy for my birthday (not so subtle hint, Debs), even though I have all the books already. This strip was my lifeline as a young and confused baby dyke… helped me make sense of it all! Although I was shaking like a leaf when I bought my first one, as it was my first trip to a G&L bookstore (remember them?)

    Keep doing what you do best AB – you rock! cheers.

  21. Xena Fan says:

    Congratulations! The world is evolving, just not as fast as we want it to.

  22. Sandra Gail Lambert says:

    Congratulations. All those cockles in my heart, that review warms them.

  23. julissa says:

    i like the ” You’ll also come to realize that lesbians have been, over the last 25 years, on the cutting edge of just about every cultural trend in this country”

    and congrats!!!!!

  24. KCA from La says:

    What a great review. I can remember the times when I thought I was “the only one” and now that I’m past fifty, I find out we’re everywhere! What a kick! Go Alison!!!

  25. HKDebs says:

    AB, can’t wait to get hold of a copy, and congratulations! Great stuff and will be fabulous to have them all in one volume. Would love to see you do a book tour out here in Hong Kong one of these days …

    And HKSuz, as you almost certainly know full well, you will indeed be getting a copy for your birthday – now stop guessing and ruining my surprises!!

  26. LEM says:

    I get the NYT Headlines every morning and read it before anything else. Imagine My Surprise at finding “The Days of Their Lives” on that page. What a delicious morning, already! Who is Dwight Garner and why does he get it that Mo and the gang are “saner than the rest of us and beyond beautiful?”

  27. ThorNYC says:

    Congratulations on the well-deserved rave from the (as usual) late-to-the-party Times.

    I wrote a piece about the Times’ use of the words “gay” and “homosexual” (etc.) which you may find of interest:


  28. LEM says:

    Just found this nice little bit on Dwight Garner’s Paper Cuts blog.

  29. Daña says:

    Woke up to this amazing review this morning, and found myself absolutely crying at the very last lines–

    “Ms. Bechdel began her strips all those years ago, she writes here, partly to provide ‘an antidote’ to the culture’s image of gay women (sic) as ‘warped, sick, humorless and undesirable.’ Boy, has she succeeded. Her crazy lesbians seem saner than the rest of us, and beyond beautiful.”

    Girl, she has succeeded beyond even our own ability to imagine, back in the day. Funny, when I went to the library in 1965 and read that lesbians were “sick, perverted, and disgusting,” I figured I must not be a lesbian because I didn’t feel sick, etc. It only took me 10 more years of crushes on girls to come on out. While I know that today coming out can still be very difficult, the differences between then and now are phenomonal, thanks in part to Alison Bechdel and every other one of us who live out, proud lives.

    What a great day. Thanks, Alison, for hastening it along.

  30. Debs says:

    I just stumbled across the review while reading the NYT online in my woke-up-too-early state. What a nice write-up! I’m in awe and so impressed. Congratulations!!

    (by the way, I’m not the Debs referred to above, but always pleased to see another Debs!)


  31. noominal says:

    Dang! I knew I had good taste in authors/artists.
    Congrats, and note it happened one month to the day after we elected a black president! WOW!!! 2008 is going out like a LION! Just shootin’ down assumptions left and right as it falls.

  32. B says:

    Amazing review. And dead-on about being among *the* most important books for coming out. I borrowed every DTWOF book from the Lamba Alliance office at my undergrad–brought them home, hid in my room, and read them. Along with Sappho, they’re what helped me get beyond the ‘Well of Loneliness’ sad-sick-boring-twisted vision of lesbians.

    Ten years later, when my much younger half-sister called and told me she thought she might be bi, I lent her my own copies of DTWOF.

    AB, you are an inspiration–and lifeline–to more people than you could ever know.

  33. NLC says:

    What a wonderful review.

    I was struck by one feature of the review (which I’ve noticed elsewhere), namely this notion of EDTWOF allowing a reader to come to the strip by way of “Fun Home”. As a long-time reader of DTWOF this seems weirdly backwards. But, I guess that may say more about my own assumptions than about anything else. In any case it it must be happening more and more now.

    Finally, I particularly noted this line:
    Ms. Bechdel’s lesbians wanted to impeach the first George Bush.

    Good Lord, I’m a lesbian…

    (So please forgive me for not being familiar with the protocol of such things, but I thought I should ask: Who gets the toaster oven?)

  34. DaneGreat says:

    Mazel Tov, Alison!! I just wanted to say that this article has heralded the coming of a new age in my family – one in which, instead of ignoring my lover when ze comes to visit, my relatives race to call me to tell me about seeing DTWOF in the Times!

    You are so amazing. You’ve made me believe that if I keep writing poetry for 20 years, and I work my ass off, somebody might take notice one day too.

  35. Ginjoint says:

    Cool. Another person who uses the word “dang.”

    And oh yeah, sweet review!

  36. TAF says:

    Alison, how wonderful! That’s a great review, and you deserve every word of it.

  37. Susan Stinson says:

    I saw the review first thing this morning, rushing off to an appointment, and I was so excited that I had to tell the dental hygienist about it. It’s so wild, because of course this kind of attentive and profoundly appreciative response is exactly what the strip has deserved for decades, and it almost makes my head explode because it’s been so long in coming. And here it is.

    What a lovely, lovely thing.

  38. Kassie says:

    This is so exciting, and so well-deserved–oh joy, happiness!

  39. Calico says:

    Nice interview. Congratulations!
    I love that Stuart is pictured as well – he really is a lesbian at heart. Whenever I buy locally/provincially grown food I think of him, and smile.
    Oh, and BTW, I had a dream the other night after watching your garlic/cat video that Alison had planted garlic in some of my garden pots. Funny.

  40. Jessica Bessica says:

    Hey! Who you callin’ a whippersnapper?!

  41. Deborah says:

    And the NYT brings me to tears….you GO girl!!

  42. Dr. Empirical says:

    Dang indeed.

  43. Rachel says:

    Oh…my…god, the review itself almost made me cry. I can’t believe how much they talked about the sex. You rock!

  44. Cheryl says:

    i think you resemble your Dad in that snapshot!

  45. Ellen O. says:

    Alison —

    I really liked your honesty in the BookSlut interview regarding gay marriage. I also don’t feel revved up about Prop. 8. Maybe it’s because here in Colorado we lived through a similar measure, Amendment #2, back in 1992, and I felt, “Here we go again.” (The Amendment #2 ballot issue made it illegal to pass anti-discrimination laws in Colorado. The U.S. Supreme court eventually threw it out.)

    But also, I, like you, really “don’t really get marriage” or think, because of its volatility, will make a huge difference to the quality of our lives. Strange–it’s a privileged state that many straight people don’t take advantage of even when they can.

    I’m more concerned about the needs of queer youth, the aging GLBT population, the ability of gay people to adopt children, and in the larger picture, a wider, healthier definition of family.

    Finally, I don’t sense you are disengaged, as you said, but, the opposite. Following your passion, you are more engaged than ever.

  46. Hannah says:

    I also just stumbled upon the NYT review– congratulations!

    I’ve been reading DTWOF since the coming-out days of my late teens, back when I worked as a barista at Uncommon Grounds in Burlington and would wait anxiously (with the other queer employees) for the strip to appear every other week in “Seven Days.” (I think I served you a cup of something once or twice, Alison, but was too shy to tell you how much I liked the strip!) It’s a bit surreal to see something that felt like a subcultural secret suddenly lauded so publicly, but also really exciting. I look forward to reading whatever you come up with next.

  47. Al et al. says:

    Whoo hoo, I say, whoo hoo! I am so happy for you, Alison, and I little smug that the NYT has just figured out what I knew all along.

    But now I must, very quietly and meekly, and with all due reverence, pose a question. Some seven months ago you announced your sabbatical, which you referred to as an estevation. I might have taken you a bit too literally there, but I feel compelled to point out the Winter Solstice’s rapid approach, and ask, are you ever coming back?

  48. Jeff @ Gay Power Living says:

    Bravo, Alison! I love your work. I just posted a piece about your new book on my blog.


    I hope you keep us all laughing and thinking for a very long time!
    xo- Jeff Guard

  49. Ready2Agitate says:

    Start spreading the news!
    I’m leaving today!
    I’m going to be a part of it….

    These little town blues, are melting away…
    If I can make it there, Ill make it anywhere!
    Its up to you – new york, new york!


    Oh yeah, baby, she’s hit the BIG TIME.

    Wowza that new memoir is going to be hot hot hot.

    @Al et al.: if new readers come into the fold (like my pal who I brought to Alison’s reading recently) and go hunting for the old books and then buy the EDTWOF, our creatrix may just have to oblige the market….

    And what marketing this is! I can’t believe how many people sent me the link. Then I came here, and, sho’ nuff, very late to the party!

  50. Julia says:

    I could not be more thrilled for you. Well-deserved praise, and from a somewhat surprising (because so often stuffy and not-getting-it) source*!!!!ELEVENTY!!!

    * The Times, that is, not Garner, who does seem to get it.

  51. Hadas says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! So well deserved!

    Here’s the URL, Here’s the URL:

  52. Rebecca says:

    Go, Alison, go! That review nailed it. You make us proud!

  53. Joanna says:

    What a GREAT review! I know what I’m getting myself for the holidays.
    When I moved to Minneapolis from Berkeley in 1988, eventually stumbling across DTWOF was one of the things that made me feel at home.

  54. Laura S. Brown says:

    I read the review this morning and was thrilled to bits that it was so glowing (deservedly so). The reviewer truly understood what makes DTWOF great; not simply your art, not simply your story lines, but importantly your ability to capture voices, to create singular and distinct and recognizable characters who we have all grown to love. You go!

  55. freyakat says:

    YAY ALISON!!!!!!!!!!!

    I just checked out the NY Times online and saw the review.

    As you say, when DTWOF first appeared –in publications like “Womanews”(I might have the spelling wrong)–, no one ever could have imagined that the NYT would ever publish such a superlative and thoughtful review.

    Kudos to you and your wise insight and perceptive ears and eyes. You’ve captured us so well over the years.

  56. syd says:

    YEAAH! Someone found the article in the paper today and brought it to me since I’m head of my schools GSA. Super awesome and I put it to the schools news for all to appreciate. 😀

  57. iona w. says:

    congratulations!!! it’s about time!

  58. JoVE says:

    Does it make you feel old to have witnessed that much change in your adult life? I think it’s great and though there is still lots to acheive, a good reminder of how much progress has been made and how fast.

  59. Mame says:

    mmm…..talkin’ ’bout a revolution…mmmm…..we have all come a long way from the dark days of scurrying about like The Lady Of Shallot…living in shadows…half lives in shadow.

    I have been reading your strip since way back when it was in the Boston Real Paper, the rag of a paper they gave away at Prelude’s in the early/mid 1980’s.

    well done, Alison.

    And thanks for sticking with it, detailing our lives and being an outsider, when, with your talent, you could have gone mainstream or commercial. Thanks for your loyalty. I have bought all your books retail and I hope that helped….lol.

    It is nice to see nice women succeeding.

  60. Sva says:

    Congrats, Allison. It’s way long overdue.

  61. Sara says:

    You’ve brought us a long way baby – thanks and huge congrats on the recognition of your awesome work!

  62. Michael Bright Crow says:

    Mucho congratulations! Your comics have been keeping me sane since the early days.


  63. ladiesbane says:

    I add my cheers to the toasts preceding; and thanks, Alison. I was a college sophomore reading Dykes in The Lavender Network in Salem, OR and it was my only lifeline. How long has it been since I’ve said women are wonderful?

  64. Lily says:

    Alison, I cried a little when I saw the review in NYtimes! I’ve read Fun Home for TWO DIFFERENT courses (your work is an academic pass-me-around!) at Bryn Mawr and it gets me every time. I did a creative project for one class where I wrote a litany in your mother’s voice- is that weird ecause these are real people? Anyway, thank you for being honest about your life and who you are. It means so much, at least to me. You inspire me want to explore queer america. 🙂

  65. Pam I says:

    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

  66. Susan says:

    I was so tickled when I saw that review this morning: good for you!

  67. Squiggle says:


  68. Michelle says:

    This was such a beautiful review! And a long time coming–it made me happy seeing something that made such a difference in my own life celebrated–it’s a good day to be a dyke!

  69. judybusy says:

    I have been having the most dyketastic few days, reading EDTWOF and listening intermittently to a Ferron/Bitch CD. I have a beautiful book of historical botanical art that I finally just said it’s OK to put down till I finish EDTWOF. If you knew me, you all would know THAT’S a litmus test–it’s even got my beloved Marian Sybilla Merian. And I stopped in the middle of her chapter.

    Like the NYT reviewer, I was struck over and over again about how the lesbosians have been concerned and doing things about the state of the world for a long time. I have tried not to get too depressed, because we are basically talking about the same old shit, but I remind myself change takes time and work.

    So thank you, Alison, for all these tremendous years of effort–it is truly a gift.

    And thanks to all on this blog. I read the strips MUCH more carefully and get so much more from them because of all the observations you’ve made over the last couple years, teaching me to slow down and really look at each panel. I bet I never noticed Toni and Clarice’s Vulva had DTWOF as a license plate before!

  70. sierrasue says:

    Congratulations, Alison. I saw the review this p.m. on the Times website – great review, and you richly deserve it, as you know.

    It’s amazing to see the Times now singing the praises of a (fictional) lesbian community, after all those years of homophobia. I think it’s interesting how many of your fans (me included) feel personally rewarded by your mainstream success.

    Here’s hoping the awards continue to pile in.

  71. CS says:

    Congratulations on the fantastic review Alison. Well deserved, as always.

  72. b says:

    I just read the review. You rock. Also, I wanted to tell you that I read EDTWOF over the entire Thanksgiving break, pretty much obsessively. Thanks for providing a very welcome respite, with this book and with all the prior ones.

  73. Mad Scientist says:

    So what does it say about me that I was more than momentarily distracted from the review by the neighboring NYT web advertisement for zappos.com, the worlds largest on-line shoe distributor!? The irony of it. The hillarity of it. It’s all good.
    …and Alison. Thank you for the BookSlut review voicing your views on prop 8 and gay marriage. I’ve struggled for years with these notions within our community that if I don’t somehow march along, lockstep with the latest cause(adoption, insemination,marriage) that I am somehow less queer and harboring some unprocessed inner homophobia. I in no way intend on belittling what is important to some….but there is so much more out there to fix. And, I have no desire to inherit what is clearly a broken institution. I do desire, however, to contribute to the evolution of a new, more meaningful measure? of family, of love. One that will have little to do with blood tests and certificates.

  74. cybercita says:

    i let out quite a shriek on the subway this morning when i opened the times to the arts section! i’m so happy for you.

  75. Alex K says:

    @Mad Scientist: Your thoughts and mine are, I believe, meandering in the same direction.

    We both feel uncomfortable with putting new wine into old bottles – our lives (which at least seem freshly invented — or is that wishful?) and “broken” institutions.

    When my partner and I married in California this October, our principal motivation was: No-explanations-necessary, low-tax, financially efficient resources transfer. All those benefits on which the married have a claim but the civil-partnered or broomstick-hopped do not: That’s the old bottle for you, our hands have grown to fit it and everyone knows which end to pour from.

    The new wine inside – yep, that’s like any fluid. It will take the shape of the container in which it finds itself. Or maybe not? Legally formalised LL / GG partnerships (Warning! Essentialism ahead!) might be more considered, more analysed, than are many heterosexual ones, if only because the threshold for entry into a LL or GG marriage / civil union might be higher than that for entry into a heterosexual marriage. Perhaps the conscious re-articulation of marriage that may be not only possible but even normative within the LL / GG setting will (like particularly fizzy wine) from within press the bottle into new forms.

    And — we really like this part — LL / GG marriage is still, for a little while yet anyway, so damned transgressive!

  76. rebecca wire says:


    Every time I read your description of the new book, I think of Florence King’s rumination on being a lesbian at the end of Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady. Is that one of your reference points?

    Also, is it Moe or Mo? Seems like I’ve seen it both ways over the years, more in two letters than three.

    Go Alison! Congrats again.

  77. Tim T. says:

    Go Alison! Great review! Can’t wait to get it! Now if only my local Borders/B’n’N franchises would only carry it without having to special-order it. Guess I’ll go into Erie again today to check…
    Best wishes from northwest PA.

  78. LizGig says:

    Did you notice the article used ‘more funny’ instead of ‘funnier’? In the New York Times!

  79. Pam I says:

    @ Ian and other UK readers – as the UK version is (a) late and (b) ONLY PAPERBACK, how dare they?, you can order from amazon.com, my 2 copies just arrived after twelve days, $45 inc postage. So that’s about 15gbp each, less than the list price of the UK paperback. I hate to take sales from local bookshops but sometimes international capitalism works in crazy ways. Sometimes.

  80. Tim T. says:

    For LizGig: That is the most funny thing I’ve read this morning–thanks for pointing it out! Best wishes.

  81. Sara (of the Skates variety) says:

    That is a freaking awesome review – I’d wallpaper my bathroom or something with it if I were you 😉

    Congrats and a huge thank you for being there and doing what you do all these years – and for continuing to do so – I for one can’t wait to see how this journey of yours evolves

  82. cybercita says:


    i confess that i frequently send emails to the new york times correcting spelling and grammar errors and exhorting them to hire copy editors. there are a lot of stupid mistakes in the online edition, which is what i mostly read. they mostly do correct them when i point them out.

  83. Sara (of the Skates variety) says:


    I found this link to a story about that first article in the NYT to use the word “gay”. It’s quite an interesting read – the article was about the building bought for the home of the NY LGBT community center – and the history of that building.

  84. Fire Eater says:

    I agree with you all about the lousy assimilationists and their pro-gay marriage agenda. Soon they’ll have us leaving our isolated radical lesbian feminist communities and integrating into larger society! Sort of funny, though, that this came up on the previous thread, and this one, celebrating a fantastic dyke review in the most mainstream of media. It makes me wonder if one could have happened without the other? If we want to set ourselves apart in all of our superiority, why care about the NYT?

  85. --MC says:

    After a rocket from the NYT, a plus review from Seattle’s Stranger might seem like very small beer. Yet here’s the link, a rave written by comics-loving Paul Constant:
    Note the last paragraph. “But when the strips are all collected like this—and characters hook up, break up, cheat on one another, and gossip about all of it all the time—the book feels unsatisfying without a proper ending. With a good and proper send-off, Dykes would actually feel like a very long, and surprisingly well-focused, Victorian novel. As Bechdel moves into creating book-length work, perhaps the most important thing she could do to grow and develop her new artistic endeavors would be to close this chapter of her life. Consigning the characters to limbo for an indefinite amount of time is one of the most undignified fates Dykes could suffer.”

  86. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been a fan of yours from the beginning. I remember reading a review of the very first DTWOF book in the Village Voice, and clipping it and holding onto it for a YEAR until I got up the nerve to buy the book at New Words Bookstore in Cambridge during a high school forensics club trip to Harvard. This was in February 1988, and that book was probably my first real exposure to the lesbian world. (I don’t count “Rubyfruit Jungle”–that was more ’50s & ’60s.) Looking forward to the next 25 years!

  87. Jessica W. says:

    You deserve it! You’re really talented, Allison!

  88. Kassie says:

    Just a quick note that I disagree with Paul Constant on Alison’s ending the strip in a more tidy fashion…no. This way is more realistic, IMHO. As much as I miss the strip, if it stays in limbo as it is now, I think that’s best…we can all muse to ourselves from time to time, “Whatever happened to…?” and wonder to our heart’s content. Fanfic of the mind, forever.

  89. judybusy says:

    Cybercita (and others obsessed with grammar): You might be interested in “The right word” blog at NYT: http://topics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/02/the-right-word/

    I first heard wrod of it on Nancy Nall’s blog, http://www.nancynall.com. She writes insightful commentary from Detroit.

  90. DeLandDeLakes says:

    NICE! I was particularly tickled that the reviewer noted that the city the characters live in “resembles Minneapolis,” as I am constantly spotting features in the strip that remind me of my city. 🙂 Coincidentally, I first started reading the strip as a teen in Mpls’ weekly gay rag, which has since deteriorated into a porno mag for condos. And they stopped running the strip a long time ago- no accounting for taste.

  91. Andrew B says:

    A mixed response. On the one hand, those of you who read the review online missed something. I picked up a copy of the paper in the supermarket, flipped to the Arts section, and came face to face with Mo. Above the fold, center of the page layout. With a “what are you staring at, bub?” look on her face. It was really something. Congratulations, Alison.

    On the other… Alison was smart, observant, and funny when the NYT refused to use the word “gay”. She’ll still be smart, observant, and funny when the editors are debating whether to continue running breeder “wedding” announcements (after all, when THOSE people mate it’s merely a biological imperative for reproduction, not a true combination of souls). Fashions come and fashions go (where are the fat lapels of yesteryear?) and rave reviews in the Grey Lady are at bottom just another fashion. Let’s not give them more credit than they deserve.

  92. indigirl says:

    BRAVO! (or should i say BRAVA)
    they’re finally catching up w/ us, heh 🙂

  93. chriso says:

    Wow! That’s a great review, you must be giddy. Congratulations! My lesbian Mom will soon receive The Essential DTWOF and I know she’ll love it as much as she loved Fun Home.

  94. crabgrass says:

    I know. it was crazy. congrats 🙂

    they’ve really decided you’re in the in-club, eh? how does that feel?

  95. sparks says:

    Wheee! Congrats!

    I’ve been rationing EDTWOF, just a wee bit each night, same as I always did with the books. And here’s an ironic upside to middle age memory muddle — I only remember one or two episodes out of all of them, and I for certain read every single one as they came out.

    (But “weekly” strip? Oh, I only wish. Those two weeks spans were deliciously, impossibly long sometimes.)

    And I still have, stashed away, all the DTWOF postcards I bought back in 1985, with pre-strip characters, table tricks, “unorthodox” sexual suggestions, and martial arts-tightened plumbing. Heh. Delish.

  96. Mags says:

    Wow, that review made me cry. It’s all true, too. I love the quote from you “We had Personal Best and we liked it.” So sweet, and props to you Alison.

  97. Cal Z says:

    I ordered two copies for my library three months ago. They showed up last week. One went out on a reserve and one went home (temporarily) with me.

    Great job editing down the decades, A! Congratulations on another personal and professional accomplishment. Best, Cal

  98. cybercita says:


    i bookmarked that link. love it!

  99. NLC says:

    BTW, speaking of NYTimes:

    In addition to the Review mentioned at the top of the page
    (by Dwight Garner, published last Tues, 2Dec), in next Sunday’s (7Dec[*]) NYT Book Review –this year’s “Holiday Books” issue– there also a brief-ish piece on EDTWOF included in a two-page spread on “Comics” by Douglas Wolk.

    (He even mentions the “excellently deadpan index”…)

    [* Noam Chomsky’s 80th birthday.]

  100. Ian says:

    I love that I’m 35 and can still make people feel old *wicked grin*. In 1983 I was 9 and didn’t even know lesbians existed! I didn’t even know I was gay! People “like that” were never mentioned in our house. In the Brit tabloids, you weren’t gay, you were a “poof”. I’m not sure when the broadsheets started using the word ‘gay’ – possibly during the Mary Whitehouse blasphemy trials maybe? The late 70s?

    Somewhat ironically, I found out the star of my favourite TV programme at the time was gay (Kenny Everett, boys and girls!).

  101. --MC says:

    Funny thing. I was reading William Arrowsmith’s introduction to his translation of “The Satyricon”, which was published in 1959, and he uses the word “gay” in a context which could mean “lighthearted” or which might mean “gay”. Was that usage of the word in play that early on?

  102. Geoff Coupe says:

    Congratulations! Very well-deserved. I’ll be ordering my copy once it’s available in the UK.

  103. Lauren Z says:

    I just read it – yeah – wow. They just fell in love with the strip. Of course, that begs the question, where the hell have they been for the past 20 years? LOL

  104. luiza says:

    congratulations on some long overdue praise, allison! your strip has always been a truthful and compassionate reflection of our community. i remember buying my first dykes to watch out for book (and my first book of erotica) at a little bookstore in berkley when i was 13. i came out soon after.
    fun home is beautiful. you are such a unique voice and the world is lucky to have you.

  105. Sonya says:

    WOW. That was one *hell* of a review! I got all teary at the end, too. Congrats, Alison!

    DeLandDeLakes–ah, yes, Lavender. Sigh. That was where I discovered DTWOF, too. Now I don’t even pick it up any more, since every time I do it just makes me angry and embarrassed. I really don’t need to look at naked dudes or ugly condo ads or creepy fashion spreads (or naked dude fashion spread set in ugly condos, which I’m pretty sure they’ve done a couple “articles” on).

  106. Suzanonymous says:

    Is that Holly in the upper right corner of the pic above?

  107. Megan in Brooklyn says:

    The Essential DTWOF was also listed in Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” for the week ending December 7, 2009. I read this in the hard copy, but it’s also online: http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20209564_20209584_20244464_6,00.html

    You’re blowin’ up all over! 🙂

  108. mlk says:

    congrats on the review, Alison! maybe this public, mainstream recognition will assure continuation of the strip? I really, really hope so!

    have been busy some months now on my least favorite activity, looking for work. it’s kept me from reading the blog, much less posting here. now that I’m more fully employed I can get the EDTWOF and enjoy the strips in a whole new way — maybe after the first of the year. don’t have a large pool of people buying gifts for me, so my hopes of getting it for Christmas are pretty dim.

    I didn’t recognize the strip (in the Time’s review) where Toni and Clarice are having planned sex, though I remember the first part where Raffi’s leaving for the soccer game. it’ll be fun to see what else is fresh on another read.

  109. Guess says:

    Vang bring me back my wife Cuz I pay full price and I’m done paying UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU and whoever UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU are CUz I’m out cold dedicated to BBC they are still alive winkle u need a job or they will send u back so stop winkle at girl for me to fuck cuz I saw your sister and I said fuck it
    we are best friendzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz with cat gizmo budhad and ac yang store in south Mil town Bud Buddy lets drink to together or I’ll have to borrow money from your mother making sure when u take me out it wasn’t a hit ahahahahahhaahahhahah AC south, but if I don’t know north AC we cool tooo I use to be part of wt 612 who ever the real AC or rare is one day I will come back and help if I should die by my own brother handsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss ThankzBro.com
    This is HappyHand.com My life is in your Hand Cuz I use to Know a Steve who had a job but now they say he is un-employed …………… So Fuckit.com should be your and let just throw the party in Green Bay like it use to be cuz the last time I went there shit I was scared of my own brother little boyzzzzz
    Shit and we will fuck all the hoe that want to be hoe and they could go home
    to their hudband later when they get tired of fuck us