end of the road trip

May 13th, 2012 | Uncategorized

I did it. A twelve city book tour in twelve days. Finishing up in Portlandia, a Powells sponsored event at the Bagdad Theater.

bagdad marquee

The Portland reading was kind of tame compared to last night’s event in Seattle. In Seattle I signed a dildo harness for the first time. Tomorrow I head back to Chicago, and teaching.

The awesome Nicole Georges was in the audience today. Afterward she gave me a copy of the galleys for her upcoming graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura.


And last night in Seattle I saw Ellen Forney and her mom. Ellen’s graphic memoir Marbles will be out this November.

I had two interesting encounters with Portland faucets today. Perhaps this is just hallucinatory fatigue, but they seem to have such beseeching expressions.

portland faucet 2

portland faucet 1

My Osprey suitcase saga has continued…more failure today, and much precious downtime spent on a futile repair effort.

broken suitcase

suitcase saga

suitcase saga 2>

So tomorrow, back to Chicago. I have a signing on Wednesday the 16th at Women and Children First. And next weekend, I will be participating in this amazing conference at the U of Chicago that my co-teacher Hillary Chute is producing. Check it out, it’s kind of mind-blowing. Comics: Philosophy and Practice. Unfortunately the registration is full. But it seems like it’s going to be pretty wild.

96 Responses to “end of the road trip”

  1. Christina says:

    Alison, congrats on the end of your tour! It was incredible to be there tonight (and sf too). Thank you so much for posing with the marin county free library bookmobile. http://instagr.am/p/KjLPsvSuxo/ I haven’t blogged yet, but I’ll post a link when I finish–I tend to over research. And i look forward to reading more about the course, I really really enjoyed Graphic Women and Chute’s Maus publications.

  2. Eva says:

    It’s not just you, those faucets are flat out begging for relocation. At least you were a witness to their pain, and perhaps now that their message has been posted on the interwebs they will be rescued by some kind plumbers on the underground pipeline…meanwhile, Osprey will do well to replace your suitcase gratis, if they want their dildo harnesses signed…

  3. Kate L says:

    A.B., somewhere there is an entire web site dedicated to photos of inanimate objects such as water faucets or automobile grills that have anthropogenic expressions. Goddess as my witness, I will find and post its link. Btw, this morning on the MSNBC television machine, young Chris Hayes, host of the Up! Up! television machine program, asked his guests, including The Daily Beast’s Katie Roiphe, what they thought the audience should know about. Katie talked about Are You My Mother?(!) Young Mr. Hayes then carefully pronounced A.B.’s name (Bechdel, of course, rhymes with “Best All”); at first I just thought young Mr. Hayes wasn’t as hep and with it as I had imagined, then I realized he was just making sure his viewers knew A.B.’s name!

  4. Kate L says:

    Btw, A.B., I like those shoes! Snazzy! 🙂

  5. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Said with loads of irony, I assure you, Happy Mother’s Day. Your mom stopped hugging you when you were seven? My mom stopped touching me when I was six weeks old.

  6. Ben says:

    When I was a child, I used to think of the elongated wooden-framed mirror at the end of the hallway in my Opa’s house as a giant mouth, ready to give chase while screaming “ah-ya-ya”.

    Congratulations on the end of the the tour!

  7. shadocat says:

    Congrats on the end of the tour!(so sorry about the Osprey). Also added “Calling Dr. Laura” to my reading list.

    FYI—something of interest that was ent to me regarding the whole marraige thingy:


  8. shadocat says:

    that was SENT to me! Jeezuz, I did that even with the ability to preview!

  9. Louisa says:

    My sweetie and I were thrilled to catch you in Seattle. (We were not the dildo people. Though if it had occurred to us …). Thank you for letting fans like us bask in your fabulousness by doing the book tour thing, exhausting as it must be.

    I wanted to ask you a question in the Q+A after your reading. I didn’t because it would have sounded really wanky (still does) but I really want to know – so here goes. One of the many things that blows my mind about your work is how productive of meaning the text-image relationship is. In the therapy scenes of AYMM, I notice that there is always (?) a graphic/visual barrier between you and the therapist, even if what is happening textually is all about connection and breakthrough. Usually the barrier is the window; sometimes the edge of the couch; sometimes you’re in two separate frames; once a box of tissues I think … anyway it’s a brilliant, non-verbal way of presenting the complexity of psychotherapeutic subject formation (subject-object divide versus cathexis and so on). (Told you it would sound wanky). My question is: was that consciously done?

    Hope you get some down time soon. I can’t imagine 12 cities in 12 days. And thanks again.

  10. kommish says:

    Thank you for your lovely reading in Seattle Friday night! Your work has meant so much to me for years and years, and this new book has blown my mind like kapow. I hope your suitcase gets its shit together.

  11. Judith Acht says:

    The faucet faces are great…. very inspiring… 🙂
    Congrats on the end of tour, man, 12 cities in 12 days 😀

  12. Kate L says:

    I still can’t find that web site that showcases anthropomorphic photos of inanimate objects! 🙁 I think that I found it as a sidebar on talkingpointsmemo or huffingtonpost or maddowblog. Good news from your far-flung correspondent: The Smallville Public Library has a copy of Are You My Mother?(!) Currently, it’s already checked out, and another person has placed a hold on it for when it is checked back in.

  13. David in Cambridge says:

    @Kate L (#3, #12): I found several amusing sites by searching for the quoted phrase “found faces”. Are you thinking of one of those?

  14. Kate L says:

    David in Cambridge (#13) No, nice sites, though. The one I’m thinking of specialized in car grills and faucet handles.

  15. Suzanonymous says:

    Love the faucets. (If they were in the first city, would they not have resonated, and so gone unnoticed, one wonders.)

    My mother held my siblings (and me, to go by the photos) as babies, and in her lap to about age two. Not a hugger, period.

    Denver public library: 9 copies of Are You My Mother?, all checked out, plus 42 holds.

    Congratulations for completing the book tour!

  16. Andrew B says:

    Alison, congratulations on getting through that crazy schedule with no worse damage than a busted suitcase handle.

    The list of participants in Chute’s conference looks impressive on the practice side, a little thin on the philosophy side.

    If anybody else is interested and hasn’t looked recently, a whole bunch of links have been added to the News & Reviews page. Many of them have previously been mentioned in comments, but I think not all.

  17. Alex K says:

    @#16 / Andrew B: Just back from there and not surprised, but a tad regretful, that Tim Teeman’s interview, published this weekend, is not accessible. (The TIMES of London has a content firewall, and perhaps that’s why.) With AB, Tim saw, asked, cut a little deeper. Left me feeling melancholy and grateful. And usually that feeling requires malt whisky.

    I’m not going to transcribe it, no (I read it ink-on-paper), but perhaps another Brit who DOES have a TIMES subscription — Pam? LondonBoy? Ian? — will see this and offer a cut-and-paste of the contents.

  18. Kate L says:

    Suzanonymous (#15) The Denver public library has 9 copies of Are You My Mother???? Auggghhhhh! I have multiple holdings envy…

  19. NLC says:

    Kate L#18:

    Those who haven’t been able to get their own copy –and would particularly like a signed copy– note that on the Amazon page for RUMM, under the “collectible” link, there are signed copies listed in the range of $84.95-$106.00.

    (good grief)

  20. Dr. Empirical says:

    Well I’m bummed. Before Alison’s Philadelphia appearance, I pitched a writeup to Comic Book Resources, probably the top comics news and reviews site online. They told me go ahed and write it. More than a week after submitting it, it hasn’t appeared, and they’re not answering my emails.

    They’ve rejected stories from me before, but never when I’ve pitched them beforehand, and never without telling me.

  21. Kate L says:

    I’m just amazed by how mainstream comics and graphic novels have become. I vividly remember a bodega owner in Arlington, Virginia, telling me in 1966 that I was “too old” to buy comics (I was 10). And. don’t get me started about The Flash superhero costume I had when I was a kid. Now, that really cool guy on The Big Bang Theory wears one!

  22. Ginjoint says:

    I’ve been away, dealing with surgery and having work done on my place. So, to catch up: congrats Kate on the recognition of your work, and good on ya for facing down those troglodytes the Phelpses. Aunt Suzy and Dr. E, you both look great! And Alison, you want good luggage, go with Victorinox. This from someone who once had to endure a six-hour seminar on luggage. Do not ask why. It’ll just trigger the PTSD that resulted.

  23. shadocat says:

    Kate L.—yeah I know; Sheldon wears the best shirts!

  24. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ginjoint (#22)

    Welcome back. Hope your surgeon picked some nice fruit for you.

    I thought of you this morning when I read a story about the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago.


    Quoting from the article:

    Geller, 64, the Strategic Hotels CEO, said he’s not worried about “anarchists” in the coming days — and that an event more rare than any NATO summit probably would cause far more disruption in Chicago.

    “Imagine the damage if the Cubs ever won the World Series,” he said.

    (… goes back to a day of rainouts …)

  25. Eva says:

    Just went into my local independent bookseller this morning, Bear Pond Books, and the copies of AYMM? had HUGE bestseller labels plastered on them!!!

  26. Marj says:

    Kate L, the faces-in-objects meme is part of the many blogs clustered at I Can Has Cheezburger, I think under the generic Happy Chair Is Happy. Looking at those faucets gave me a sinking feeling…

    Humour on tap here, always.

  27. Woops, that wasn’t Marj above, that was me, Maggie Jochild. Marj was just here on her semi-annual cross-the-pond lovefest and borrowed my laptop to comment here, so her handle was kept. Yikes but I miss her.

  28. Kate L says:

    Ginjoint, all… Welcome back, Ginjoint! 🙂 Hairball, I’ll be looking for Can Has Cheeseburger. And (shadocat) Sheldon Cooper and I both wear a lot of t-shirts! Btw, I was just nominated for another year as secretary to the local LGBT human rights organization. I’m already the longest-serving Board member, but I’m lobbying for more lesbians on the Board. As I said at our last Executive Board meeting, “There’s no such thing as too many lesbians!”. Btw, I tuned into The Rachel Maddow Show last night and caught their Best New Thing In The World segment. Was it just my imagination, or did Rachel dye her hair blond? She looked great!

  29. Ginjoint says:

    Thanks, Hairball and Kate. Turns out one of my implants had ruptured – oy! Hopefully this’ll be the last of it.

    As for the NATO summit, they’re planning all these street closures (including a swath of Lake Shore Drive, a major north-south thoroughfare), museums/planetarium/aquarium are closing for the weekend, several commuter train stations are closing, there are airspace restrictions, etc. Why do they hold these things in cities, anyway?!
    I’m already hearing more helicopters than usual, making me think of this song from The X-Files. So far there’ve been protests held over immigration, foreclosures, and capitalism, and the summit hasn’t even started. Some groups say they plan on marching without permits and such. I’m thinking of going downtown to see some of the action this weekend. Hairball brought up baseball – in the midst of all this, the Cubs and White Sox are playing each other this weekend as well. You just know that’ll be what ends up burning this town to the ground.

    In other news, I saw Alison & Holly last night at the book signing for Women and Children First! Both looked awesome, Holly with her beautiful smile and Alison with her intense dark eyes. Alison said she’s tired, but she seems to do a good job of taking care of herself. I hope. W&CF did a nice job of hosting, with wine, fruit, and cheese served. Thanks, W&CF!

  30. Ginjoint says:

    Also this weekend in Chicago: that conference “Comics: Philosphy and Practice” at University of Chicago. Not only will Alison be there, but check out the other names attending!: Art Spiegelman, R. Crumb AND Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Lynda Barry, Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, Ben Katchor, the list goes on. Naturally it’s sold out, but that link mentions a stand-by line and where it’ll be streamed online, for those interested.

  31. Ginjoint says:

    Maggie, it’s good to hear from you! Is there an email address I could reach you at? I checked at your website, but couldn’t find one. (The “email” link in your profile wouldn’t work for me.)

  32. Kate L says:

    That was Maggie who suggested Can I Have Cheeseburger!!! Hi, Maggie! 🙂

  33. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ginjoint (#30)

    What we really want to know: Did you show off your drain at the WC&F event?

    re: Cubs/White Sox game… The following ChicagoNow post may make you laugh a bit as you watch the Cubbies lose another series to the South Siders.


    Quoting from the article:

    Cubs and White Sox Series to Unite Fan Bases; Both Sides Vow to Pummel Any NATO Protestor that Comes Within Six Feet

    Normally, the annual cross-town series between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox is filled with bitter arguments fueled by liquor and ignorance. This year, however, the two sides will come together to celebrate their united passion: hating smelly protestors with no discernible message.

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will travel to Chicago for the well-publicized NATO Summit. The meeting happens to coincide with the popular cross-town series, and is sure to create odd conversation between baseball fanatics and global well-wishers.

    “We know that City of Chicago officials have been planning for this week for quite some time, however, we’re not sure that they understand that both sides have a united vision,” stated Jim Allen, president of the Chicago Cubs Fan Club. “We enjoy our series. We support the protestors…but if one protestor comes within six feet of my Old Style…all hell will break loose.”

    (… goes back to anticipating a less-interesting set of local baseball interleague matchups this weekend, Yanks vs. Reds, Mets vs. Blue Jays …)

  34. Kate L says:

    hairball… on the other hand, things may be improving here in Smallville (culturally speaking). I just had my first fish taco at a brand-new, lucha libre-themed restaurant just off the Moo U campus. The taco had some sort of citrusy lime sauce that was great! This was a big deal for me. Before now, the closest I’ve come to Baja cuisine was when I went to a restaurant on Boyle Heights in East L.A. (great night-time view of downtown L.A.!). Coming from the Midwest, I thought that I knew Mexican cuisine, but all I really knew was Tex-Mex. I should have realized just how big a country Mexico is! Most of the items on the menu in the L.A. restaurant, I did not recognize at all!

  35. Ginjoint says:

    Yeah, Hairball, I’ve found that oftentimes the interleague matchups are kinda boring. We automatically play the White Sox a few times a year, but personally, I love when they let us (Cubs – I’m a third generation Cubs fan) play the Red Sox! I have a great T-shirt from that matchup from a few years ago. I suspect some hippie-kicking may occur in Wrigleyville this weekend, and I’m going to premptively blame the South Siders.

    And no, I did NOT show off my drains last night, as I had them (I had two) removed Monday, thank God. Otherwise, you know I would’ve been tempted. A little freak-out factor with bodily modifications, however temporary, always keeps things lively. As it is, when Holly pointed me out to Alison before the PowerPoint thingie started, and Alison smiled in greeting at me, I responded with a rather obscene gesture. No, not the one you’re thinking of. Something of a more sexual nature. Why? BECAUSE I AM SECRETLY A TEN-YEAR-OLD BOY, THAT’S WHY.

    Kate, get the hell outta Smallville and get your protestin’ butt over to Chicago for the weekend. You’ll have a blast.

  36. JO says:

    Here’s a mysterious Portland faucet–well, a sink drain–from a trip there about 6 years ago. It’s in a rather nice old apartment building kind of downtown.

    Click it.

  37. Kate L says:

    Oh, Ginjoint (#36), I wish I could! This summer, I hope to replace my 1993 Ford with a decent used car. Recently, I’ve had to start unplugging the car battery when I park to keep it from running down!

    Jo (#37) interesting photo. I’ve still got to go to that Can I Have Cheezburger site Maggie mentioned. I had my own unusual encounter in the Pacific northwest, only this was with an entire ecclectic apartment house in Tacoma! The apartments all had inside doors leading down to the basement, where the storage areas and laundry for the tenants were located. And, the walls of the public spaces of the apartment building had Good Luck Buddha figurines, alternating with neon-faced analog wall clocks. And… this is the really strange thing… I vividly recall seeing the exact same design of apartment house back east somewhere in 1965! Honest! Yes, the 60’s were really, really good to me, but I really saw another apartment house just like the one in Tacoma, only nearly half a century earlier!

  38. Suzanonymous says:

    Kate L (#18), actually, you are in the far better spot. Books check out for three weeks here, so 42 people holding 9 copies in turn, it may be a season before I get it (42 people/9 copies) X 3 weeks = 14 weeks. So I haven’t put a hold on it. I’ll likely buy it in the end anyway, so I’ll be looking around.

  39. Ginjoint, yep — ilikedykes at sbcglobal dot net.

  40. Ginjoint says:

    Thanks, Maggie. I’ve sent you something.

    Here at NATO Central, it seems so far that the helicopters, et. al. were much ado about nothing. So far, anyway. Today’s actually the first day of the summit, with a big rally planned in Grant Park, so we’ll see. The cops have kept a cool head, with only a few arrests made – though three guys were arrested for making Molotov cocktails that they planned on using at President Obama’s campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house, and police stations. Details have been sketchy.

    A fourth guy has also just been arrested and charged with terrorism and making a false threat – he’s accused of “planning to make a Molotov cocktail.” Wait, what? Someone help me out here. I don’t get how thinking – or even planning – on making a Molotov cocktail can be considered grounds for charges of terrorism. Especially considering that most people have what you need to make such a device in our own homes – we’re not talking plutonium, here. I’m sure there’s more to the story. Right? More to the story?

  41. Kate L says:

    By the way, A.B., I guess there’s a first time for everything (I’ve just got to start reading A.B.’s commentaries more closely)!*

    *(fourth sentence, just below first photograph). I’ve said it a million times… if only Smallville were more like Seattle! And, I ain’t talkin’ coffee! 😉

  42. Kate L says:

    Me again. I just now noticed this item with link on Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire: Christine Quinn (speaker of the New York City Council and leading candidate to be the next mayor of New York) has wed her long-time partner. Muzzletoff, as we say on the High Plains!

  43. Kate L says:

    Or, mazel tov, as they say back east!

  44. Cori says:

    Please forgive a sulky complaint that no one can do anything about. I ‘discovered’ DTWOF and came out in Chicago, where I also had my first girlfriend, marched in pride parades, subscribed to Lesbian Connection, etc. I lived there for 14 years. I expect all lesbians under a certain age to be well-acquainted with your works. I’m flummoxed when I meet one who isn’t as enthusiastic about your books as I am. Now after I’ve left do you come to Chi-town?!? BIG sulk. Yet another reason to regret leaving.

  45. freyakat says:

    @Alison (My apologies if someone else already sent in this information):

    On page 186 of AYMM you talk about a particular line from Adrienne Rich and try unsuccessfully to locate it in the essay “Blood, Bread and Poetry”.

    Yesterday I was reading online the Paris Review
    article published in the spring of 2011 featuring an interview with Adrienne Rich following the publication of “Tonight No Poetry Will Serve”:

    In 1969 I wrote, “The moment when a feeling enters the body/ is political. This touch is political” (“The Blue Ghazals,” in The Will to Change [1971]). Writing that line was a moment of discovering what I’d already begun doing. Much of my earlier poetry had been moving in that direction, though I couldn’t see it or say it so directly.

    So there it is.

  46. Andrew B says:

    Freyakat, 46, nice find. I’m sure no one else has commented on that. Here’s a link to the interview.

  47. Kate L says:

    Thanks, Andrew B.! Although I’m a scientist by training, I’ve always been attracted to the arts. Maybe, that’s why I virtually hang out here. I was just watching to the live NASA feed of the docking of the Dragon spacecraft with the International Space Station. Or, rather, listening to it, as I was flat on my back on my office floor at Moo U, reinstalling that pull-out shelf that new desks have for computer keyboards. Before I got involved with that, I noticed the NASA feed cut away to Mission Control in Houston. One of the flight controllers was a young woman with a buzz cut and black plastic glasses who was wearing a sports jacket. She was chatting amiably with one of the other flight controllers. Somebody contact Captain Janeway, the progressive and accepting world of the Federation may have just arrived! 🙂 The International Space Station is now aproaching the Oregon coast.

  48. grrljock says:

    Kate L. #48, there has been a marked difference in attitude at NASA since Obama’s been President. Now the NASA Administrator officially recognizes June as the LGBT History Month with an email (e.g., on par with emails recognizing the Black History Month, Women’s History Month, etc). And specifically at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, monthly lunches for LGBT employees/friends of are advertised in the “JSC Today” email news. One has to call to find out the unspecified lunch locations, but this is still progress.

  49. NLC says:

    I would never have brought this up on this list but since KateL#48 mentioned the ISS:

    One of my favorite net-toys is the site Heaven’s Above.

    In short, you can enter your location (lat/long –they have a map-interface to help you do this) and it supplies you with detailed information about where (in the sky) and when various satellite related events are visible from your location.

    For example, in the current disucssion, it tells you when and where the ISS will be visible during a fly-over. At its brightest it’s pretty darn spectacular.

    (Don’t get me started about Iridium Flares…)

  50. Kate L says:

    NLC (#50) IRIDIUM FLARES! Named for the iridium satellites, not the metal. When these mid-level, slow-moving satellites catch the Sun just right with their solar panels, there is suddenly a mysterious bright spot in the sky! Thanks for the website!

    grrljock (#49) Yes, yes! In fact, one of the advance personnel of the Plum Island bioweapons lab being built less than 2 miles from my home (yep, it seems to be on, again) is a member of our local LGBT rights group, and he is putting together a poster display on Stonewall for Gay Pride month.

  51. Freyakat! Thank you so much for posting that info about Rich’s Paris Review interview! (And Andrew B for posting the link.) How fortuitous that you happened to read it just now. I feel bad I didn’t research that phrase more. I was not being methodical. I just assumed that since I couldn’t find it in the text of “Blood, Bread, and Poetry,” that she had edited it out. It didn’t occur to me that she might have said it somewhere else. It’s such a great line.

  52. Pam I says:

    Here’s a review from the London Guardian.

    When I’ve done my gardening course homework I’ll have a ferret about for more.

  53. Andrew B says:

    Americans (and sympathetic others): Happy Decoration Day!

    You know, that line from Rich is so strange. As if there were feelings floating around in the ether, waiting to enter some receptive body. And what is a political moment? What does it have to do with a political touch? I need to read the poem.

  54. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Pam I (#53)

    Quoting from the review:

    The cartoon version of Bechdel is boyish and fretful, a sort of lesbian Woody Allen, equally prone to seizure by doubt or by the giddy, centrifugal force of some idea.

    A lesbian Woody Allen. Oy.

    I’m reminded of one of Allen’s quotes, “Some people go into analysis to be cured. I went in for maintenance.”

    Judging from the results, I think his analyst owes him a refund. Not so for AB.

    (… goes back to her own Woody Allen-like existence …)

  55. hairball_of_hope says:

    Hey Mentor, why is my post #54 still in spamfilter limbo? Seven hours does seem to be quite a long while to be locked up “awaiting moderation,” especially considering there are no URLs or obvious spam-ish items in it.

  56. NLC says:


    I don’t believe this has anything to do with spam-filtering.

    Mentor sent out a couple notes a few weeks back indicating that all messages are now undergoing moderation (hence the message you saw about “awaiting moderation”). As I understand it, since each message now needs to explicitly “passed”, there may be some variation in how long it takes a given message to make it through the pipeline.

  57. Elizabeth says:

    For everyone’s perusal, a positive review at Autostraddle, beloved website of dykes across the world: http://www.autostraddle.com/read-a-fcking-book-alison-bechdels-are-you-my-mother-138625/

    (hope it’s okay to post this here–new to commenting and don’t see a better place)

  58. Kate L says:

    All: personally, when I see the words “Awaiting Moderation”, I just think to myself, “Gosh, I hope Mentor likes my post!”. And, when it does get posted, I think, “Mentor likes my post! He really likes my post!”. Such small pleasures are all I have, anymore…

    I recently attended a local “Science Cafe” talk by a member of the Moo U physics department about the upcoming transit of Venus across the face of the Sun (as seen from Earth)*. This transit of Venus will be the last until 2117, and it happens on June 5. In the past, this was an important event in measuring actual distances across the solar system; this time, astronomers will be analysing the sunlight filtering through the atmosphere of Venus as a trial to see how much information exoplanet transits of other stars can tell them about the atmospheres of planets in other parts of the galaxy. HERE is the link. The local Science Cafe gives out Science Cafe T-shirts as door prizes for best question. I suggested that they should send one to the actor who plays Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. If he wore it on the show, whenever people thought about the Science Cafe, they’d think Sheldon Cooper!

    * – The best way to observe the transit is to poke a pin-hole in a piece of cardboard, and hold it while facing directly away from the Sun. An inverted image of the Sun with a small round dot moving slowly across its face can then be projected on any light-colored surface.

  59. Alex K says:

    Probably a mistake, but an interesting one. KINDERSZENEN, broken not after KINDER (“children”; but of course in English…); instead, after KINDERS, which gives ZENE, Hungarian for “music”. “Musics” would be “zenek”, however. More kind, children, scenes, music, magic.

  60. NLC says:

    In response to Kate L#59, the geek in me makes me unable not to post this so…

    Speaking of the upcoming Transit of Venus: For your listening pleasure, here’s a link to John Philip Sousa’s 1882 “Transit of Venus March”!

    And as if that weren’t enough…

  61. NLC says:

    …here’s a link to Sousa’s 1920 novel “Transit of Venus”

    (and, Kate L, I know it’s not quite the same, but I like your posts…)

  62. NLC says:

    OK, [THIS] is just plain weird…

  63. Niamh O'C says:

    Congrats on the tour, and congrats on the Book!!! I bought it at my local comic book store (Page 45, in Nottingham, UK, best graphic novel store ever) before they officially put it on sale. Sweet! Any chance of you coming over to the UK for a book signing??

  64. Andrew B says:

    NLC, 63, I agree with “weird”. Not so sure about “just plain”. I can’t even tell exactly why it’s online. It appears to be associated with some kind of online college course, but not to be part of the “Books and Materials” assigned as part of the course.

    How did you even find it?

    That’s a hell of a big chunk of someone else’s work to have just stuck online, and interpolating descriptions of the drawings makes it more troublesome, not less. Well… obviously it’s up to Alison to decide what she thinks of it. Best wishes to her. Maybe she can find a positive take on it. To me it just looks like an uncalled for PITA.

    But also, really, how did you find it?

  65. Andrew B says:

    I just realized I had better clarify something about my last comment, 65. I meant it looks like a pain in the ass that somebody put that extensive copy of Alison’s work online. I did not mean that it was a PITA for NLC to mention it here. Good catch, NLC, as far as that goes.

  66. tania says:

    godamnit, i can’t believe i missed you in seattle. congrats on another book tour completed. maybe i’ll see you in the 802 this summer!

  67. hairball_of_hope says:

    @NLC, Andrew B

    To me, it looks like wholesale pilfering of AB’s creative work. IMO, the material posted goes far beyond what’s allowable under the “fair use doctrine” of US copyright law. If I were AB, I’d be formally complaining to the instructor and the school. In writing.

    FYI, the school is Gaston College, a 2-year community college located in Dallas, North Carolina.

    The instructor is Michele Domenech, her contact info is on this page:


    I searched all over the college website, and found no policy on academic integrity, either for staff or students. The closest thing I found was this “Code of Ethics”: http://www.gaston.edu/gaston/aboutus/docs/CodeofEthics.pdf that seems to emphasize that staff should not have sexual relationships with students. Nothing on respecting intellectual property, plagiarism, nada. Then there’s this policy on using computers: http://www.gaston.edu/docs/Computeracceptableuse0811.pdf, similarly devoid of references to academic integrity.

    I suppose if you are “educated” in such an environment, where you can cheat without consequence, you also don’t have qualms about violating academic integrity norms once you are on staff.

    [Now I’ve done it, I’m in >1 URL spam limbo. No biggie, all my posts seem to linger “awaiting moderation” anyway, so what the hell.]

    By contrast, every course syllabus in my local community college contains references to their anti-plagiarism and academic integrity policies.

    Even free online courses have academic integrity policies. I’m currently enrolled in a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) engineering class from MIT, and the honor code is a big deal, students are removed from the class for violations. Why anyone would feel compelled to cheat in a free, non-degree, non-credit course is beyond me, but some do. BTSOOM.

    (… goes back to squinting at her graphing calculator, trying to figure out why the damned differential equation solver isn’t working right [yeah, I know it’s user error, but I prefer to blame it on Texas Instruments] …)

  68. NLC says:

    Andrew B#65:

    “How I found it”:
    The quick summary is I was looking for the exact wording (and possible ultimate source) of AB’s line in FH about middle-age beginning when you give up on reading _Remembrance of Things Past_. A few Google searches turned up this page.

  69. freyakat says:

    @ Andrew B #54

    Here is the final poem from “The Blue Ghazals”:


    Pain made her conservative.
    Where the matches touched her flesh, she wears a

    The police arrive at dawn
    like death and childbirth.

    City of accidents, your true map
    is the tangling of all our lifelines.

    The moment when a feeling enters the body
    is political. The touch is political.

    Sometimes I dream we are floating on water
    hand-in-hand; and sinking without terror.

    — Adrienne Rich

    ** “The moment when a feeling enters the body”
    is italicized.

  70. Kate L says:

    Off-Topic, but welcome… the Defensive Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

  71. Andrew B says:

    NLC, 69, thanks, that short answer is all I was asking for. Somehow I got it stuck in my head that you must have a systematic way to look for large passages like that — super-Google Alerts, if you will — and I was wondering how the hell that worked. Duh.

    Hoh, 68, I agree with almost all of that. I do want to say, it’s ultimately up to Alison to decide whether she considers this a violation and if so, what to do about it.

    There are probably new people coming to Alison’s blog these days, because of the publicity for AYMM. There also was an incident a couple of months ago in which a comment had to be deleted. Those two things are probably why we’re getting much more careful moderation than we’re used to. I’m pretty sure every comment is being vetted by a person. If I’m right about that, then that person is doing a good job of keeping things flowing. It’s not like Alison can afford a 24 hour staff.

    Freyakat, thanks.

  72. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Andrew B

    Yeah, I’m sure the extra traffic that AYMM is driving here requires real human intervention in the moderation department. I am not including post numbers in my first line because I realize there may be lots of posts in the queue ahead of mine awaiting moderation, and that would confuse things. Also, I did see that now-deleted “WTF” post in the wee hours a while back and wondered what the story was behind it.

    After I posted last night, I realized that I forgot to add that the publisher’s rights department normally handles requests for excerpts, limited usage beyond fair use, etc. and perhaps they should be the ones to contact the instructor and/or school regarding the usage of AB’s material. If nothing else, they are well-versed in intellectual property law and have a reference stack of intimidating “cease-and-desist” form letters just waiting to be mailed.

    (… goes back to sneezing her way through the pollen-filled city …)

  73. Donna W. says:

    I wanna talk about the book! I wanna read a discussion (and possibly comment) about the book among this blog’s regulars. Critical pieces and reviews are nice to read, but the regulars on this blog are amazing and I bet we could have a really good discussion.

    Is this possible?

  74. Louisa says:

    DOnna W – I want to talk about it too! I’m still pondering the text-image relationship in the therapy scenes (as per my comment #9 above) – want to start there?!

  75. 1. congrats on finishing the tour and penning a banging book!

    2. nicole georges is awesome.

    3. I too have a hallucinatory faucet friend. I see him every summer, a dead ringer for a monkey with an extremely long snout. I sit on the toilet, and he watches me, poker faced.

  76. Kate L says:

    Ayun (#76) Just as long as its not the Bad Monkey that Griffin kid keeps seeing on Family Guy! Here at my childhood home in Smallville, where I feel like the sole survivor of my family, I have always seen the whirling patterns in the bathroom tile as a series of interconnected caves. As a child, I would amuse myself by imagining cave exploration adventures in them. Hey, I was easily amused…

    The Green Lantern is coming out as gay! 🙂 I wonder if Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang knows? He’s such a fan of this original, founding member of the JLA (Justice League of America). What’s next, Dr. Sheldon Cooper coming out as gay?

  77. Donna W. says:

    @ Louisa (#76),

    Yes, we could start there, but I think we need a separate blog post. Otherwise, it’ll just get all jumbled up with stuff about the book tour.

    I’m almost halfway through the book, but I have thoughts on the therapy sessions too. I don’t want to add them here, though.

    Couldn’t there be a blog entry cum bookclub-like discussion? It doesn’t need any text except “Discuss book here:”

  78. Donna W. says:

    But I don’t know…maybe that would be kind of claustrophobic or annoying or something for A.B.? Maybe she would feel obligated to read and comment on stuff. And boy that sure would be a headache for a writer, I’d think. It’s just that it woulda been nice to get into a discussion about the book with all the peeps that follow this blog, that’s all…

  79. Donna W. says:

    Actually, I think we need a discussion group-style page where people can post threads on various book-related topics.

  80. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    Sheldon is too repressed to come out as any kind of sexual being. It’s Raj who needs to come out as gay or transition MTF.

  81. bean says:

    coming late to the discussion, as usual, and with infrequent television access, i ask, “Are you kidding me?? Raj *hasn’t* come out yet?!?!? What the heck?”

  82. Alex K says:

    Respectful, favourable reviews of AYMM continue to appear — this in the TELEGRAPH. Click Here!

  83. makky says:

    Good to read the TELEGRAPH description of Helen Bechdel as an “extremely good mother”. Some reviewers seem to have missed her essentially upright and wonderful character.

  84. makky says:

    I’ve wanted to say something about the reviewer’s remarks about Helen Bechdel for weeks. She has been described as “cold” and “distant”. Could she be cold? yeah, I guess, but she’s not a “cold” person as far as I know from Alison’s accounts. Stoic, yes. There is a big difference my fellow all to often overly emotive(read fake-y)
    Americans… there, I’ve said it. Thanks.

  85. makky says:

    Oh God, maybe the Telegraph reviewer is referring to Alison as the mother who nurtures the RUMM story into being… rats.

  86. Kate L says:

    Here is the link to NASA’s video stream of the transit of Venus across the Sun today (Tuesday, June 5th). The webcast begins at 6 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. (10 pm London time and Stardate 4350.1 Federation Tribble Savings Time).

  87. Kate L says:

    I missed the transit of Venus* (!), because I was at the Smallville city commission meeting to lend my support to a protest of the first anniversary of the repeal of adding LGBT to the local human rights ordinance. Of course, Salina, Kansas, and Hutchinson, Kansas (known hereafter as the Big City) have all added LGBT to their local human rights ordinances since then, but that is to be expected from such cosmopolitan areas.

    * – Oh, well, how old will I be at the next transit of Venus in 2117? And, how did that Wisconsin thing turn out? Really??? Badgers, we don’t need no stinkin’ badgers!!! The night of June 5th never turns out well. I remember June 5th, 1968.

  88. Dr. Empirical says:

    Kate (77) It’s the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott who is now gay. I say “now gay” because earlier interpretations of the character depicted him as decidedly hetero, and quite uncomfortable about the fact that his son was gay. DC Comic recently rebooted their Universe (again) and nothing that went before is considered canonnical.

    The Green Lantern of the recent movie and current Saturday morning cartoon is Hal Jordan, who is still straight.

    I’m all in favor of comics introducing gay characters, or having previously ambiguous characters come out. I do object to having them monkey with established continuity.

  89. Kate L says:

    Dr. Empirical (#89) We need more lesbian superheroes. As I said in a somewhat different context at the most recent executive board meeting of the Flint Hills Human Rights Project, “There’s no such thing as too many lesbians!”. 😉

    BTW, Dr. Empirical, whenever I see your name, I wonder what your superpowers are, and what superhero sanctuary you are posting from! 🙂

  90. Dr. Empirical says:

    Mainstream lesbian superheroes of whom I’m aware include Batwoman, The Question (Rene Montoya), and Shrinking Violet and Light Lass of the Legion of Super Heroes. There’s also a bisexual girl in the Runaways, but I don’t recall her name.

    I first used the name “Dr. Empirical” when I was writing “Dr. Empirical’s Science Page” for a Legion of Super Heroes fanzine. I’ve always thought of Dr. Empirical as more of a supporting character than a Hero. More acurately, he’s a well of infinite plot devices: “Hilarity ensues when Dr. Empirical wires his transdimensional phase shifter into the Sanctuary coffee maker…”

  91. Kate L says:

    I knew it, that’s where I remember you from… Dr. Empirical was a member of the Legion of Super Heroes! 🙂

    Kansas, the last of the 50 American states to complete its congressional and state legislature redistricting, did so this last Friday. Or rather, three federal judges in Kansas City did, after an entire legislative session where the Republican state representatives and Republican state senators kept proposing plans that would redistrict as many Republicans in the other house of the state legislature out of a job as possible. This is all esp. ironic because Kansas neither gained or lost any congressional seats in the last census! Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are upset that one unintended consequence of impartial redistricting is that those pockets of Democratic activism that do exist in this state will no longer be safely neutralized. Most shocking of all to them, there may even be congressional races in which the Democratic nominee might have a chance of winning!

  92. Mentor says:

    [Just a quick reminder to interested parties in upper New England, but from the “Events” page recall that AB will be making a quick tour (Portsmouth, NH; South Hadley, MA; Burlington, VT) starting this Thurs (as well as a couple sightings in northern VT over the next couple of weekends). –Mentor]

  93. Mentor says:

    [AB will be interviewed today (Wed 13Jun) on Vermont Edition (Vermont Public Radio’s noontime call-in program).

    The interview will be broadcast live at noon (eastern) today, and will be repeated at 7pm this evening (Note: VPR has on-line streaming for those from away). After today, the episode should be available in the show’s on-line archive.

    Additional information (and links for listening, etc) are available at Vermont Edition’s website: [INTERVIEW SITE HERE]


  94. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Mentor, hate to be a nag, but could you check the links in the website? “Books” doesn’t show AYMM OR RUMM. And DTWOF archive just leads to The Advocate, with no Bechdel strips visible. Thanks —

  95. Erica says:

    Late on this, but I’m sorry for the self-important and rambly Q&A nutjobs in Portland. On behalf of my city, seriously, sorry. I was kind of appalled at some of my fellow PXDers on account of the getting titles wrong and treating the open mic like therapy. Thanks for speaking.