DTWOF episode #527

May 13th, 2008 | Uncategorized

527 detail

Okay, here it is. The last episode for who knows how long. Nuthin’ fancy. No loose ends tied up. Just another strip.

125 Responses to “DTWOF episode #527”

  1. iara says:

    “Here’s to your sabbatical!”

  2. Mordy says:

    Aw, I can’t believe this is it for awhile. Especially as we head into November and DTWOF is one of the few solaces from the MSM inanity. 🙁 What am I supposed to do with my Bechdel-comix addiction?

  3. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    So long, you characters. See you whenever. Alison, you just focus on your next book and come back to us all refreshed and wanting to draw DTWOF for the fun of it. Best wishes.

  4. Abigail Garner says:

    Warm wishes as you work on your next manuscript, Alison!

    Abigail Garner

  5. ShelleyAlb says:

    a sudden sadness is washing over me as I read the last panel of “the last episode for who knows how long.”

    And look at you mixing it up by putting Mo in a short sleeve shirt!

    Thanks for the decades of persistence and dedication – it’s been great coming of age and aging gracefully with the Dykes To Watch Out For! Now I want to be sure to own a copy of every book you’ve published (I have some, but not all).

    I look forward to reading your next book, and I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

    Thank you.

  6. Ellen O. says:

    Ilove the bird’s eye view. So beautifully rendered.

    I cracked up at the irony in the first panel. It reminded me why I gave up teaching at the University.

  7. June says:

    Cease thou never now!

    I’m also feeling sad, even though I know it’s temporary, and that you’re not going to be sitting by the pool eating bonbons.

  8. JenK says:

    “Can I get a sabbatical from my girlfriend?”

    Sure Mo! Ship her off to write, you stay home and stay sane! Maybe you’ll even meet someone who’ll help you reconsider monogamy 🙂

    Alison – Congrats on YOUR sabbatical! Remember you can always whine and kvetch to us when the going gets rough 🙂

  9. kate the kid says:

    (selfish whine)…i didn’t know that a sabbatical was happening…enjoy, even though we will MISS YOU and the girls (and boys).

    with love, Kate

  10. b. says:

    well have a good time Alison! and maaaybe you miss those dtwof’s sooo much that you come back for another little inocent episode…. like taking a break from your serious stuff ;o)

  11. bindweed says:

    Wow. I’ll sure miss them. But you do deserve a break. God speed.

  12. Ian says:

    I’m still in complete denial about this being the last episode for a while. Sabbatical? What sabbatical?

    Still, Lake Mini Cooper? Love the way you draw TimesNewRoman on the student essay. Absolutely spot on on student gaffes. I’ve still never forgotten one student essay on the sociology of religion I read at one uni I worked at. Maybe you had to be there, but someone explaining who Jesus Christ was in parentheses, i.e. “Jesus Christ (the Son of God)” was inexplicably hilarious at the time. I think it was the fact they felt the need to explain who he was to the Godless leftie staff … That and the queer theory article about soccer being all about penetration and ejaculation (don’t ask).

    By the way, Stuart does know that if he doesn’t cover all his crops with nets that pigeon and his/her friends will eat the lot?

  13. LondonBoy says:

    Hope the new project goes well… Have a great summer !

  14. PJeannechild says:

    FINALLY! Fare thee well, dear girl.

  15. zenbuddy says:

    I’m a long time reader (1981) and lurker (2007), but will de-lurk long enough to tell you how much I’ll miss the strip but will look forward to your book, your blog and the new DTWOF compilation.

    Enjoy the sabbatical!

    P.S. The Story of a Fierce Bad Cat is my son’s (3 yr old) favorite YouTube video. We watch it at least 4 times a week.

  16. Ann S. in Madison says:

    Call me co-dependent (please), but I am feeling a largish sense of “sympathy relief” for you, Alison. Rest assured, we’ll be just fine. The iron is off, as is the stove, the doors are locked…now, go, scoot. GO! [Hugs]

  17. judybusy says:

    Oh, I feel bad for J. R. Can’t eco-boy just go to the farmer’s market for those tomatoes and retain some joy in that kid’s life?

    Ian, the son of god comment _was_ hilarious, and I wasn’t even there!

    Alison, farewell for now! Enjoy the work on the memoir!

  18. judybusy says:

    I just went back and saw yer comment from May 3rd with the recipe request….I missed your post; I wan’t ignoring you! I know you’re reading, so here it is:

    Lemon and dill sauce
    2 T butter
    2 T flour
    a wee pinch of cayenne
    dash of nutmeg
    1 c. hot milk
    1/2 c. white wine
    2 T. chopped fresh dill or 1 t. dried
    2 T. lemon juice
    salt and pepper to taste.

    Melt the butter. Add flour, cayenne, dill, and nutmeg. Whisk until lightly browned. Whisk in the hot milk and wine. Stir until thickened. Add the lemon juice, cook for another minute. S and P to taste. Yummy over a wide assortment of vegetables and fish.

  19. Ian, you’re a madman! I didn’t draw that font nearly well enough for it to be recognizable as Times New Roman, but that’s indeed what it is. I was trying to guess whether students had to present papers in a certain font, but didn’t want to go to the bother of finding out, so just picked that one.

    Jesus (the Son of God).

  20. madknits says:

    Enjoy your sabbatical. We’ll miss you and are looking forward to a new and revitalised you!

    Though now that Leonard and Larry are gone, I’m gonna miss the crazy crew. What will sustain us?????


  21. calamityJJ says:


    Please take all the time you need, & get the most out of it!! You will most definitely be missed, but we look forward to your return that much more…

    –yr PA pal!!

  22. metoo says:

    i came out two months ago…there’s this cute girl…anyway, she immediately introduced me to your comic strip and i read every single one! beginning to end! i’m now addicted to this site and will miss your strip but am glad for your break. i’ll just reread fun home for the fourth time in three weeks.

  23. K.B. says:

    Ian: maybe it’s a cuckoo, not a pigeon?

  24. April says:

    1st panel killed me. I read it aloud twice.
    At first I thought Tiffany/Megan had a little bottom-lip beard thing, but it’s just the way her hair hangs. Funny how gender-bending is now my mental default.

    Now write! Go! Go!

  25. Suz says:

    Have a great sabbatical, Alison.

    (I loved the I’m Megan/Whatever bit.)

  26. shadocat says:

    ‘bye MO…

  27. Jana C.H. says:

    What do you mean, no wrap-up? It’s an excellent wrap-up.

    Life will go on for our characters under the radar, and I look forward to to seeing many unexpected changes when they swim back into view. I’m rooting for an adopted sibling for J.R. and a really radical life-change for Lois. She wins the lottery; she’s sent to federal prison for a year or two; she gets religion; she saves a stranger from certain death and becomes a hero; she imagines she’s been abducted by aliens; she takes up painting (or sculpture, or theatre, or physics), moves to Paris (or Florence, or Berlin), and comes back with a new career and a European lover.

    Okay, maybe not abduction by aliens, but something radical. She’s been through starting changes in her life before, and I think it’s time for another to strike.

    Meanwhile, Alison, get to work on your book, and I’ll get to work on mine, and you’ll be in publication long, long afore me. Best of luck!

    Jana C.H.
    Saith E.G.Forbes: Never spoil a good story with too much truth.

    P.S. Still working on my cross-hatching!

  28. KarenE says:

    Oh, I will miss you so much! Enjoy every minute of your break and know we’ll all be here to welcome you back, whenever that may be.

  29. KarenE says:

    Can anyone tell me what Stuart’s shirt means? ( (I don’t get out much!)

  30. Ian says:

    AB, I am indeed a madman, you’re absolutely right. But after working for years as a typist to keep the wolf from the door, and typing so many academic books and PhD theses in that font, it’s indelibly imprinted on my mind.

    Either that or I should be burnt as a witch.

    Honestly, going off on an ‘ordinary’ episode that still reduces us readers to giggles is just the best way to do it. I’m gonna miss the strip more than words can express, just let us know on the blog how you’re getting on with your new novel. From time to time.

  31. Suz says:

    KarenE, I’d guess that Stuart’s shirt is pro-Hillary– the woman symbol, 08 election.

    It’s pretty perfect for him.

  32. Marj says:

    Lake Minniekoopa! Fabulous!

  33. shadocat says:

    umm…just throwing this out there, but if the blog disappears,or morphs into another creature, how are we going to find out who got into “The Daily Distress?”

  34. chriso says:

    Best of luck on your sabbatical!

  35. Dr. Empirical says:

    Hey! Nice inking!

  36. lexi says:

    April said it best, and with such efficiency:

    “Now write! Go! Go!

  37. mary says:

    Dear AB: Having just turned in my own inflated course grades(F=D+; C=B-), I have to say: how did you get inside the undergraduate brain? That paper’s conclusion was like deja-vu (BTW, not-so-colorful Jessicas and Rebeccas seem to be displacing the Tiffanies and Ashleys).

  38. Ellen O. says:

    Okay, for just a second I had this weird thought… “Lois is going to the Democratic Convention? That’s nearby. Maybe I’ll see her there.”

    I think some withdrawl might well be in order.

  39. Andi says:

    God, Ellen, I had the same thought! “Hey, she’ll be in Denver.” I think Alison’s sabbatical is coming none too soon for these Colorado girls… Must. Do. Reality. Check!

  40. mk says:

    Can’t wait for your book! But “sniff” will miss DTWOF.

  41. byrdie says:

    I’ll miss the strip (I’ve been a fan since … ’92 or so), but I’m thrilled that you’ve been working on other projects and hope that you have a wonderful sabbatical.

    – Renee Byrd, formerly Montoure
    (One of those scary fans who used to mail you consistency questions referencing the book, page and strip number until you admitted that I was freaking you out.)

  42. C.H. says:

    I’m thinking about giving Bechdel money as a severance package. If major corporate executives can be “well compensated” for their works at their departure, can’t we buy her a bronze parachute?

  43. anonymouse says:

    thank you, Allison. I have enjoyed everything you’ve written (that I’ve seen) so far. I hit the tip jar the other day just to say thanks and good luck on your sabbatical. I will miss the strip, but understand needing to take care of yourself. Best wishes for a productive and happy until we meet again. Thanks, again and again.

  44. Debs says:

    The student’s essay in the first panel was hilarious! Great strip. I hope the time flies by and “who knows when” arrives before we know it, but after Alison Bechdel (the Son of God) has had a well-deserved sabbatical to finish her book and maybe even relax a little.

    Still, DTWOF and Doonesbury on sabbatical at the same time??!! That’s just painful. Sigh.

    Hmm, I wonder what the characters of the two strips might do if they all hung out during their collective time off…



  45. Kate L says:

    …and so it ends, at least for a while, anyway. Maybe DTWOF was just a dream, a beutiful dream. I know a couple who are a perfect situational match for Sydney and Mo in the last panel!

  46. jessica max stein says:

    Oh my God the tautology in the student essay was priceless, or maybe I just think so from grading all my final papers this week.

    Also, the Times New Roman isn’t required — it’s just that students can’t be bothered to tinker with the font.

    Which doesn’t mean I don’t love my job.

    Been a fan since I was a struggling babydyke a decade and a half ago — thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your work.

  47. sara says:

    thank you AB – whatever you find yourself doing, being or having – may good health and good friends be with you…….

  48. iara says:

    Goodnight DTWOF

    In the great DTWOF cartoon
    There was a diatribe
    In a speech balloon
    And a picture of –

    Mo ranting about our doom
    And there were three dykes holding their tykes

    And some strange nannies
    And a pair of trannies
    And a little bit of porn
    And plenty of academic scorn

    And the localvore in a utilikilt, inside a commune
    Ready to impugn
    All those not lesbian enough for his tune

    * * *
    Goodnight cartoon.

    Goodnight doom.
    Goodnight Mo ranting about our doom

    Goodnight fumetti
    (or the speech balloon)
    Goodnight dykes
    Goodnight tykes

    Goodnight nannies
    And goodnight trannies

    Goodnight politics
    And unnatural antics

    Goodnight little porn
    And academic scorn

    Goodnight localvore
    So long to your tune

    Goodnight to everybody
    That you’re about to impugn

    And everyone else in and around the commune

    Goodnight new episodes
    Of my favorite cartoon

    Goodbye for now, hope to see you again soon

  49. Ellen O. says:

    Another nice touch — the symmetry of the title panel’s “Sing, Cucco” and the last panel’s, Cafe Cuckoo. And a few cuckoos in between.

  50. Minnie says:

    Lara, your words are beautiful. Heartfelt thanks…

    And thank you Ms. Bechdel. You have given me so much. May joy, happy health, love and prosperity lift you onward.

    Sweet dreams, all.

  51. Minnie says:

    I mean iara. These durn specs!

  52. Feminista says:

    Hey,iara–you can be the blog’s official bard! Good work,sista.

  53. Chris says:

    Ha! I didn’t see “08” in Stuart’s t-shirt at all until Suz cleared it up, and was like “sideways infinity sign? So… Ewig-Weibliche? That’s Stuart, I guess…”

  54. Chris says:

    maybe it’s a cuckoo, not a pigeon?

    My dear K.B., you don’t get out much, do you? It’s so obviously a pigeon, one can almost hear it singing “coo, coo”.

  55. julie says:

    i did not think the shirt meant 08 but rather efeminate like the way that people on the web use str8 to mean straight am i wrong?

  56. Suz says:

    Brava, Iara!

  57. Debs says:

    iara! You are a parody artist after my own heart. True to the original and yet perfectly matched to DTWOF, with clever rhymes to boot and references. Swoon. Which rhymes with “cartoon” which you placed beautifully where “moon” was originally.



  58. The Cat Pimp says:

    Good luck, Alison! Hope your new book flows through your fingertips with ease and minimal inkblots.

  59. Meghan says:

    I’ve never posted before, but I’ve read every strip – first in the local LBGT weekly, then in collections (thanks Toronto Library!) and online – and of course, Fun Home.
    From day one, DTWOF has been a touchstone for me as an artist, a woman, a feminist, and appreciator of fine humour, and a rabid ‘graphic stories’ fan.
    Alison, please come back, as you have before, with your refined lines and your dry wit (always finer and more piercing after you’ve had a break). We need you!
    love, Meghan

  60. Keith says:

    I have to agree with Ellen O.–I love the symmetry of the use of “cuckoo” in the first and last panels (and especially the “sumer is icummen in” reference! I feel so validated, having an advanced degree in medieval literature). Moreover, I love the irony of Sydney being too stressed to enjoy her sabbatical/vacation–because she has to write about leisure!

  61. Alex K says:

    “Displacement activity”. We all need one.

    With working-on-the-new-book as your principal goal, AB, you’ll find – I expect – that inking an episode or two of D2WO4 (yep, deuterium tungstate) will come a lot easier.

    Indulge us once in a while, and Godspeed.

  62. bronislava says:

    that look on sydney’s face is me right now, with 15 days to go until my honours thesis is due. panic. fear. etc.

    i love the “Jesus (the Son of God)”! that’s brilliant – i’ll have to try and slip it into my thesis, which isn’t as random as it sounds, seeing as my thesis is on nuns & sexuality, so at least jesus does get a look in.

    *sigh* guess i’d better get back to work then, eh?

  63. LauraP says:

    Take care everyone. It’s been fun lurking and laughing with you.

    Alison, I’ve been a reader since the early 80s. While I’ll miss the strip I somehow think we’ll all be just fine. It will be fun seeing how you confound our expectations when DTWOF comes back. “What! Mo bought a motorcycle and went where?! Oh, I guess that does make sense.”

    Have a wonderful sabbatical and if your break takes you in directions such that you don’t need to come back here, know you will remain well loved.

  64. Lisa (Calico) says:

    Don’t Stop
    (Black screen)

    Have a wonderful Summer, Alison and Holly!
    (I’m getting into compost too-we have 2 plots at the local Community Garden this year-yay!)

  65. ksbel6 says:

    I will really miss the episodes, but you’re still going to do occasional blogging, right? Otherwise, how I will I waste 20 minutes at work every day? Okay, maybe more like 45 minutes…but still…

  66. diana says:

    Yeah, I can relate.
    Sometimes it’s necessary to back burner something really important to tackle something more important. Good luck with the new book, Alsion- I mean, break a pencil (the artist’s equivalent of “break a leg”).
    And re the first illustrated panel: “the main factor underlying the spread of the protestant work ethic is that it’s such a pervasive concept”. Are you sure you’ve never taught a college class? I just finished grading a huge stack of papers stating the obvious as a defense for itself.
    Look forward to your getting back to the strip, but also to the new book! I’m teaching Graphic Novel again in the Spring, and maybe we could use your new book as a text for memoir. No pressure now….

  67. RachelB says:

    Another lurker flushed out of the woodwork to say goodbye, good luck and I’ll miss the strips. I’m consoled by the thought of another book, though. Enjoy your sabbatical.

  68. iara says:

    Hey all, the uber-procrastination site has something to relieve sabbatical-shock:


  69. Juliet says:

    Did I miss something? Was there a mention of the blog taking a sabbatical too? There’s loads more on here than just strips and I hope things continue sort of as is cos I definitely need some distraction from my upcoming PhD writing!

    As for the strip sabbatical, I think it’s a great idea. As someone else said, over here in the UK we always had to wait years for the next book, so we’ll live.

    Oh, and @ Metoo: congratulations on the coming out thing, god job with the cute girl… 😉

    Juliet x

  70. Juliet says:

    that was supposed to say ‘good job’. God really was not supposed to play a part…

    is there a theme emerging?…

  71. Chris (in Massachusetts) (NOT The Son of God!) says:

    I’m fine with no DTWOF for the forseeable future.

    If I need a DTWOF fix, I just head over to the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston (where I used to live and hope to return soon!) and hang out for the day.

    Really, at times, it’s like a DTWOF strip come to life.

    I know, you’re all jealous!

    Seriously, Alison, how long have you been doing the strip, the books, the everything else all at the same time?

    Take a break, work on your book. Look out the window. Sit in the Sun. Do nothing at all for a day or a week. You deserve it.

    We, your fans, admirers, supporters, readers, et al, will wait for you and rejoice in your return. Or ressurrection, depending.

    (Although, the very occasional cartoon here would be appreciated!)

  72. Chris (in Massachusetts) (NOT The Son of God!) says:

    Good catch on the Times New Roman!

    I’m preferential to the Mac New Century Schoolbook, myself.

    (I LOVE the Internet! A straight guy geeking about fonts on the website of a Lesbian cartoonist/author, and everyone accepts this as perfectly normal behavior.)

  73. Alex the Bold says:

    I have a Development of Europe I final this evening. I’m going to take that close-up of Sidney grading and glue it to the exam book.

    Alison, take as much time as you need. I’ll be waiting when you get back! Unless, you know, I drop dead or something.

    Oooh, there’s the first panel for the return strip, Stuart, face down in the tomato plants, just like “The Godfather”!

  74. Calyx says:

    Is Stuart’s Hilary shirt copied from life? I’ve never seen that one.

    And why does Stuart support Hilary? I can’t remember.

  75. Calyx says:

    Sorry, I just went back to the strip archive and answered my own question. Girls need role models. I see that Janis has changed from a Hillblazer to an Obamaniac, though.

  76. Sara says:

    Yay, Alison! I’ll miss the strip but it will be well worth it for another book.

    Btw, Stuart is my favorite character – he looks like my old boyfriend – but in this strip he really reminds me of … your dad. Hmmm.

  77. Ellen O. says:


    That’s Jasmine wearing the Obama shirt. Janis still supports Clinton, as far as we know.

  78. R says:

    Good to see a bit of Weber making its way onto the strip. Sad that this will be the last strip for a while, however really looking forawrd to the new book.
    Ian do you still teach Sociology, here are a few things i have been asked this year: Me – Is the pope catholic!!, Student – well is he. Jesus was Jewish!!!, Me – Certain drugs are legal in Holland, student – and in Amsterdam.
    The Jews have their own country?..i could go on forever.

  79. Andi says:


    Wouldn’t that be “break a lead?”

  80. Granola Grrl says:

    It seems like this sabbatical has actually been a long time coming. Back when you were only posting monthly, I had intended to send you an e-mail with a bit of wisdom from one of my favorite philosophers: “Do, or do not. There is no try.” It had seemed like you were no longer doing with a fullness of heart, so I was wanting to suggest perhaps “doing not” for a while. I am glad to see you have gotten there on your own.

    In terms of the fan-fic, I would have to cast a very strong vote against. I used to be a devoted follower of Elfquest (yeah, okay, rather different), and had high hopes when the Pinis announced that they were stepping back and allowing others to write and draw. Some of the stories were good, but not consistently, and the continuity suffered greatly. Even the fan-fic just posted, while well drawn, has characters doing things that seem inconsistent to a long time devoted reader (is it really 20+ years now?). I would say either keep the characters to yourself, or edit ruthlessly. And since you are proposing a sabbatical, it would seem the latter course would be inconsitent with the intent.

    I have a request. In the “hope for the best but prepare for the worst” category, could you prepare a wrap-up, either drawn or written, to be released if it becomes clear that you will not be returning to the Dykes? This has been such a long and wonderful book, it would be a shame to have it end without a final chapter.

  81. Ian says:

    No I just worked in Sociology, I didn’t teach the subject.

    R: just on the subject of Jesus (the Son of God) being Jewish, well, he was born to a Jewish family, raised in the Jewish religion in a Jewish community in Egypt and then in Israel (we don’t know ‘cos those books have been censored), lived, learnt, taught and died in Israel. Sounds pretty Jewish to me. The Pauline Christianity of the Catholic (and subsequently Protestant and other sects) would be seen as blasphemous by a Jew, or so I’ve always been led to understand. So out of the mouth of babes … What we got from the council of Nicea (and subsequent ones) was vastly different from the experience of the 1st 100 years.

  82. MikeSTL says:

    “. . . the main factor underlying the spread of the protestant work ethic has been the fact that it’s such a pervasive concept” made me ROFLMTFO! :-D8-)

    That, and Syd gave that steamin’, stinkin’ pile of what AB uses to fertilize the tomato(e)s a B-?!?!?! =-O She must be ready for a sabbatical!

  83. MikeSTL says:

    Granola Grrl: I like your taste in philosophy! I had that quote posted on the wall of my cube back when I was a corporate drone!

    “Do. Or Do Not. There Is No ‘Try’ – Yoda” Words by which to live . . .


  84. Jana C.H. says:

    Jesus was Jewish, and so were his parents (all three), and all of his brothers except the one who was Chinese. But none of them– not even the Chinese brother– was Catholic.

    I won’t explain further because many of you don’t need it, and those who do know how to google.

    By the way, in my note above I meant “startling changes,” not “starting.” Kate, why can’t we have a preview function?

    I don’t expect this blog to fade out, but if it does there is always Maoist Orange Cake. It’s been pretty slow lately, and we could use some new commenters and guest Divas to get it moving again.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Floss Forbes: If you don’t know the tune, sing tenor.

  85. Thomas says:

    Hey, I’m another lurker who just wanted to say thank you for the strips. Fun Home is one of my favourite books, I eagerly await the next one.

  86. DeLandDeLakes says:

    Yay! Maybe I’ll see Lois at the RNC protests in St.Paul! We could share a cell. 🙂

  87. Lauren Z says:

    The girls (and the few boys) will be sorely missed! Looking forward to next book. Hope we see the gang again. I came out of the closet with this gang!

  88. BlueShoes says:

    I am kidnapping JR to my house and filling her wading pool.

    Or possibly I am leveling Stuart’s pole beans to make space.

  89. kate mckinnon says:

    I think it’s fabulous that you are taking time off. I’ll miss the strip for sure but thanks for keeping the blog. Can’t wait for the new book!

  90. Suzanonymous says:

    (Okay, I admit I haven’t read many comments, just searched for shirt and Hillary.)

    Hillary’s site was having a tee shirt contest, which I think may be officially closed, but maybe not, because the entry page still comes up:

    I think that’s a really cool design! Submit it, please.

    Have a very good sabbatical, AB.

  91. a lurker says:

    In the past, due to the less widespread Protestant work ethic, because the Protestants weren’t even invented yet, people had too much leisure and did not spend enough time establishing religions. Therefore, there were much fewer of them and it was much harder to convert, because all the clergy were living like hermits or monks and didn’t have time. Also, a lot of time was taken up by blood sacrafices of animals, especially by Jews. This is why Jesus had to be Jewish, since he did not have a lot of options. Later, he converted himself and some other people to Christianity. He still could not convert too many, though, since the Protestants were only invented much later, by Martin Luther King, Sr. (whose son, MLK Jr, is famous for saying “I have a dream.”)This goes to show that nowadays we have a lot more options due to Jesus and Martin Luther King.

    No, seriously…I’m sad to see the strip end for a while, but I hope you have a good sabbatical, AB! I actually would like to weigh in against fanfic-even though it’s fun to mess around with, and I know I was the one who was joking about substitute artists…I feel like if we do fanfic it will just be people making up not-true stories about what’s REALLY happening in the world of AB’s characters. I mean, I know they’re not real, but I’ve always imagined that fictional characters live in some sort of weird alternative universe, and that only their author can really speak for them. (I was totally devastated, as a kid, to learn that Ann. M. Martin didn’t write all the Babysitters’ club books. It was like finding out that you’ve been reading FALSE REPORTS for years. hmmm, much like the Bush administration, I suppose).
    (to even mention the babysitters club in the same post as DTWOF is so absolutely wrong-it was just the first example I thought of).

  92. bronislava says:

    nice one, a lurker 🙂

    … but WHAT?? ann m martin didn’t write all the babysitters’ club books?! JESUS (son of god)!

    i used to love those books… now i’m crushed 🙁

  93. straight european says:

    The essay in the first panel looks like it was written by me at school. Luckily I left the humanities before age 18.

    Thanks a lot for the strip, Alison. As I have quite forgotten your tip jar for a while, I’ll take this occasion for a little something. Enjoy your sabbatical.

  94. fruitfemme says:

    Iara–this is what I shall forever read to my daughter at night. Best line: Good night nannies & good night trannies. LOL!

  95. Danyell says:

    Seen you soon!

  96. Miss T says:

    Enjoy! Thanks for taking time off to create another good story.

  97. Kelli says:

    If I were grading that paper, I’d be very tempted to leave a margin note saying, “So, what you’re saying is, the Protestant work ethic has spread so far because it has spread so far. B- just for the bravery it took to turn in such a paper.”

  98. JenK says:

    Garry Trudeau took sabbatical after how many years? And his was 16 months, right?

    Yes, we are now in … the Doonesbury Zone

  99. R says:

    off course Jesus was jewish..have to go and mark some real essays the protestant ethic. What a coincidence!!

  100. MikeSTL says:

    Kelli – You’re a much gentler grader than I would be! My marginal notation would be along the lines of “Yeah, well . . . okay . . .”

  101. str8davie says:

    Wow, everyone, this is a bitter pill. My tenuous grip on sanity is bolstered by a few really brilliant lefty comix and blogs from the likes of Alison Bechdel, Tom Tomorrow and Ted Rall. Few truly insightful people have managed to chip a hole in the wall of corporate media dominance and reach the rest of us. Alison, you will be missed by a lot of people you might not consider to be your core audience. Okay, in closing, IMPEACH BUSH! END THE WAR! Peace y’all.

  102. Heather says:

    Any truth to the idea that “Sing, Cucu” has any inspirational (not too sure if that’s the correct term) link to that old New Yorker cartoon of the feudal era minstrel?

  103. str8davie,
    thanks for that. One of the reasons I’m taking a break from the strip is that the world’s hellward pace has picked up so dramatically that I can’t keep up with it in the limited time I have. To do the strip properly, I should be focused on the apocalyptic news 24/7.

  104. Anonymous says:

    Ouch- I just finished taking my English Lit finals and writing my term papers- and seeing the first panel made me squinch up a bit.

    Enjoy your break, Ms. Bechdel. I’ve been reading for 14 years, I’ll be around when you get back.

  105. Mothra in NYC says:

    Sing, Cuccu, is part of “Sumer is icumen in”, the oldest bit of English music we know about … it has Middle English pastoral lyrics that cover the usual territory, including flatulent cows. Anyway.

    The B- on the student’s paper is just grade inflation! Or perhaps grade flatulence.


  106. Xena Fan says:


    Do you plan on having the characters age and change while you’re on sabbatical (like Doonesbury and Funky Wilkerbean)?

    You and the strips will be missed!


  107. CJ says:

    Oh my, when I read this will be the last strip for a while, I dug up the blog to see if that’s been coming – had been to busy to visit for three weeks, so I missed the undone eposode. After taking a peek at the video you posted instead, I saw. There are just 24 hours in a day, and to many things to do.

    It makes me sad and I will miss Mo and her friends – they were my peek into non-mainstream US for more than 20 years.
    I hope you next book just flows out of your pencil, and you win the lottery to boot, so you’ll have the time and feel inspired to work on DTWOF again. If not, hu, I’ll just have to wait for your new book I guess.

    Though I liked the substitutes, I don’t think fanfic such a fab idea.

    Maybe, once in a while to remind us of what we are missing, you could post some of the stuff you made for the calendars – ages ago, in the early 80ties? Or from “Found Godesses”?

    Thanks for so much laughter and being touched in the last 20 odd years.
    All the best to you!


  108. G says:

    Wait, how did AB (and/or Sydney) get into my field of Recreation and Leisure Studies?!? [yes, this exists – mostly takes a social-psychological approach, but also influenced by geography and architecture such as for park planning] I’m about to get my 3rd degree in this field, and my excitement about this new scholarly direction in DTWOF deflated after realizing this is the last strip for a while – sigh.

    There really is a book called A Social Psychology of Leisure. There is also Constraints to Leisure and Recreation and Youth Development – all books on my bookshelf right now. This field tends to be a bit puritanical (i.e. sex is rarely mentioned as a recreational activity), but issues around intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural constraints to leisure are well-discussed and dissected.

    The above strip even indirectly refers to other leisure topics with Janis and Camp Trans (summer camp was invented to build young people’s character and morality during leisure time), Stuart’s successful (?) combination of work and leisure through living off the grid, Lois’ protesting-as-recreation, and the foursome’s tourist trip to the lake. All leisure! All influenced by their political and/or sexual identities!

    Rec and Leisure Studies represent!

  109. DrDeany says:

    Thank you for the last strip. And I have to agree with Ellen O.–It does remind of why I left academia–(shudder!) Never Again!!

  110. Gabi B. says:

    I found your strip in book form my freshman year of college (9 years ago), but I just got the internet and discovered this site a few months ago. I am saddened to see you go. But I want to wish you good luck on the new book.

  111. Lydia says:

    Been watching our DTWOF friends’ eyes, and appreciating how the bag lines under them have been multiplying for a while now–looks familiar.

    Tonight 5/24 is the first time I ever thought to look for DTWOF online, and I discover you are making other plans. Glad I learned about your sabbatical before an issue of LC arrived without your strip — I would have said many bad words and then thrown my beloved magazine through the wall. I hope Margy sends out a warning in the next issue.

    Might have to wait a long time to find such a mix of unrelenting dyke truth, mirth and genius.

    May your new direction bring you wonderful renewal, Alison, and smooth out whatever baggy eyes you may be seeing in your own mirror too! All the best, and thank you.

  112. devoted fan says:


    I have been reading DTWOF since you first started producing it. In 1986 I got some postcards from you (I was 17 and a sophomore at Simon’s Rock and you addressed the envelope to “Great Boringtown” and told me you were an alum–I was thrilled!) I met one of my long-term girlfriends at a presentation you gave in Boston in 1990. I have followed you along your career, dutifully buying books, calendars, compilations of books & calendars, Gay Comix, etc. I’ve read ’em all, given ’em as gifts, lost copies, bought ’em again. I am only a few years younger than your main Dykes and watching them evolve has been in some ways like a blueprint of what may be to come for me. I guess what I am trying to say, while sparing the bathos, is that Dykes has been brilliantly emblematic of our era, and it has been a touchstone for me. Whatever you decide to do–and I do hope you come back to it, even if in a modified format–I have enjoyed growing up with these women, and with you. It has been a tremendous accomplishment. Thank you. I wish I had better words for it all.

  113. Anvil* says:

    Wishing fair times, good music, and quiet evening breezes. Make time for yourself, the novel will come.

  114. IrishGirl says:

    Hey Alison, get some rays and sun and maybe meet your next influence in the summer sun..Im in Portugal surfin…I really recomend it…and the women are fab..Look forward to your work for next year…K xx

  115. Anonymous says:

    I am happy that you are sebaticalling 🙂 but I would love to watch the characters talk about this election. Sigh…

  116. […] Out For” has (temporarily, I hope) retired her cartooning pen to pursue other writing projects (http://www.dykestowatchoutfor.com/dtwof-episode-527). I discovered it unexpectedly last night, when I decided to check up on my old pals, Mo and the […]

  117. Risa says:

    As the semester wears on, and my thesis looms larger than the specter of war with Iran (well it feels that large), I miss my friends in DDTWOF-ville…and I wonder what they’re thinking, how they’re feeling, and for whom they are voting. Allison, I hope the sabbatical is going well, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t fantasize about one (or ten) surprise strips prior to 11/4 updating us.

  118. Dianne says:

    I’m conflicted about all this. Part of me wants to say, “Yay, Allison! Congratulations on breaking into the ‘mainstream’ and all the best for your sabbatical!” The other part wants to say, “May Mo and Sydney visit your dreams and show you what Martha Stewart does to the pool girl when she’s in a REALLY bad mood, you sell out!” I just can’t decide which way to go…

  119. […] here Dad, belly protruding and ponytail a-quiver, is cursing over his antiquated KaZzaa and DivX player […]

  120. Ray says:

    So I just purchased the Essential Dykes for my parter for Christmas. (I did not purchase a copy for myself lest she smartly choose the same gift idea for me). I miss the strip. I celebrate your sebatical. And I miss the strip.

    I hope you are enjoying the pause. And I hope you know that there will always be an audience for the strip!

  121. […] von “uns Alison” durchaus vergleichbares gewohnt. Die pausiert seit Mai 2008 von den “Dykes to watch out for” , um sich an die nächste “Graphic novel” zu begeben. Eine dieser “Novels” […]

  122. Jim G says:


    Just wanted to say that I finished The Essential DTWOG last night and I loved it throughout. You’ve got a growing fanbase here in the UK!

  123. Jesse Cohn says:

    Dear Alison–

    I just read this in its ink-and-paper instantiation, at the end of _Essential DTWOF_, at the end of about a week of sitting up in bed (often way too late) with that book. It was oddly moving, especially rereading the strips from 2000-2008. The ones from 2001-2002 actually gave me a nightmare — they brought me right back to the sinking sensation of those days. I know this doesn’t sound like a compliment, or at least it sounds like a fairly backhanded one, but it was a powerful reading experience, and it made me sharply aware of how much distance I now feel from that all-too-recent past. A couple weeks of reasonably good (domestic) news, and suddenly eight years of almost continuously apocalyptic news seems like it was in another lifetime. What was it like, back then? How did we keep going? I read your book and remember.

    Though I wish the anthology had included some of the (inessential?) strips from the early ’80s, before you’d really started telling extended, serial stories, it was also a real pleasure watching your narrative art develop between those covers. Sometimes it’s a punctuated equilibrium: somewhere in or around 1992, the ink lines become radically more supple and elegant (I wonder what made that happen). Other changes are more gradual, harder to date. The most rewarding part, though, seems to me to overlap with that eight-year political ordeal, where you really hit on a kind of storytelling rhythm perfectly suited to the medium: the title panel, with its latent pun providing the thread that runs through to the end (like a little epiphany), skewering two or three continuing storylines, holding them all together with a little graceful irony and wordplay.

    I’m very much looking forward to your next book, but I’m beginning to selfishly hope that you’ll return to the serial form someday as well, assuming there’s any place left for it (it’s horrible what’s happening to the alt-weekly cartoonists right now — folks like you and Tom Tomorrow and David Rees helped us keep our sanity through the worst of times, and this is how we repay you?).

    Thanks — deep thanks — for the memories.

  124. lizrdeb says:

    okay, so we all need to know… exactly which strips were left out of the book?

  125. Taigan says:

    Awww…! I hadn’t followed this online for a while. When I finally got “Essential D2Wo4” I decided to check up on it and … this?! 🙁

    Mostly, I’m sorry to miss all the characters’ reactions to the election/inauguration (That’s what I was coming online to look up.) Now I guess I’ll just have to use my imagination. It’s cool. I can pretend Raffi takes Janis to prom. ^_^

    So, I hope you’re enjoying what you’re doing now. Thanks for all the work over the years!