Katie updates you on the pledge drive

October 19th, 2006 | Uncategorized

Alison is sitting behind me, trying hard to concentrate on her strips before she cavorts off to Europe. But she keeps standing up and expressing to me how “Awed!” and “Overwhelmed!” she feels as little paypal notifications appear in her email. She would like to extend her tremendous gratitude to all of you for participating in this crazy website, monetarily or not. The total, as of 5:52pm EST, was a mind-blowing 449.95! She stated, “I feel like a Democratic candidate in a contested district!”.


Here’s Alison’s levels of priority. Julia has alighted on the fancy ergonomic chair, while I am sitting on a folding chair. Given my own appreciation of the company of cats, I willingly oblige.

39 Responses to “Katie updates you on the pledge drive”

  1. Anya says:

    Also this has gotten us very excited to see what will be in the 500th episode…!

  2. Ghost from Blogs Past says:


    Maybe we should call this fundraiser “dyke-on.org”

    I remember last spring when Planet Out dropped the strip and we all promised we’d support Alison if she built her own on-line delivery system. So I’m thrilled—but not surprised–that the money is rolling in. We just needed a small reminder.

    Hmmm…Could Alison be drawing #500 as we speak, er… type.

  3. Maggie Jochild says:

    Julia is a dead ringer for my cat Dinah. Down to the mismatching front paws. Dinah will not be pleased to have been replicated.

  4. Rachel says:

    This photo cracks me right up. I can’t tell you how often my cat gets to my cushy blue roller-chair, and because I’m unwilling to evict her, I wind up sitting on an uncomfortable hard-backed dining-room chair instead…

  5. Deb says:

    Looks like my house………cat taking the best chair! Congrats on the $ Alison. You deserve it to say the least.

  6. Martha says:

    Partly my anarchic tendencies and partly paranoia, but I don’t use plastic. Is there a physical address to which I can mail a retro paper check? I want to be part of the commemoration of the 500th strip!! DTWOF has been a much-loved part of my life for so many years now. It’s traditional when accepting teachings from a Tibetan Buddhist teacher to make a small offering of money to show respect and appreciation, and this pledge drive feels as if it has a similar spirit – a small gesture of love, support, and thanks. . .

  7. DesiFemme says:

    Ok, although I’m broke, I have to speak up, especially at $449.95 at last count. $500???!!! After all these years, $500?

    So, I come from the non-profit world, which lives on fundraising. But listening to Amy Goodman raise $12,000 in 40 mins. for Democracy Now from the Bay Area pool alone… surely we as an international group can do better than $500 for the 500th strip. $5000? That might be a bit steep…. $5,500 *would* be grand though, and has a nice ring to it.

    If *each* commentor/blog addict who’s enjoyed ‘home delivery’ this last year or so did $15.00, with those making over $35,000 a year (no dependents) contributed $51.00… that’d seem fair for a start — y’think? — in exchange for the artistic labor that we’ve enjoyed / relied upon. (Or, as an alternative, buying original artwork through the gallery). It’d increase Alison’s marketability to places like PlanetOut (stupid move on their part! I hope they’re kicking themselves right about now), and maybe provide incentive for a sliding-scaled pay-for-advance strips system starting in the new year…

    … just some thoughts.

  8. Deb says:

    As a woman who has worked for non-profits almost all her adult life………and actually started two of them, that is an excellent idea!

  9. Maggie Jochild says:

    I very much second the idea of buying art through Pine Street Art Works (link right here on this page), or buying Alison’s books through an independent bookstore, or buying some of her art — anything to not just send money her way but also sustain a network that sustains her. The show at Pine Street with Alison and Phranc is a one-of-a-kinder. If you can’t afford to buy art (and god knows, I’m one of those people), call two friends who can each chip in $5 and buy the book collectively (Alison’s character know all about collective effort and what it does for the psyche). Or, if you already have a copy, do the above and then donate the book to a local library or prisoner’s network or battered women’s shelter…I know Alison deserves our support, after years/decades of struggle, it’s not about that, it’s about making sure the people who are giving her venues for her work are simultaneously supported. Go for the complicated solution, folks. That’s my vote.

  10. Deborah says:

    I echo DesiFemme in general – $500 after 500 episodes seems a bit tight. I am loving the anarchist “pay as you can” sliding scale that seems to be going on here. I had a little shudder when Katie posted the $449.95 figure – I wanted to say “don’t stop now, gals (and dudes and others!)!” – So yes, lets keep going and see what we can do. Retiring AB’s website debt seems to be the very least – let’s do a bit more than that, eh?

  11. liza from pine street art works says:

    I like the complicated solution. Like everything else, art takes a network. Thanks, Maggie.

    PS: Alison’s webdesigner is wonderful, and has an office in the same beautiful old ex- bristle factory complex as my gallery.

  12. Jen says:

    I’m from the non-profit world too, and I think we can do a whole lot better than $500.

    I too was a vocal supporter when this new web page popped up of a /per year donation. Frankly, I never heard about it again and I never looked that hard on the site for the Paypal donation button or thought to just donate some ready cash. I’m not going trying to excuse myself, I’m just saying if I am that clueless and lazy others are too. The best way to raise that money is some sort of official “yearly subscription” drive. Most people respond to official requests.

    You don’t have to lock or close content, just give a suggested donation amount, make your paypal button more prominent, and ask at the end or beginning of each year. If people can’t participate, they won’t and that’s fine, we aren’t going to look down on them. But the rest of us could are just human and could probably use a gentle little nudge.

    That being said, I am off in search of the elusive paypal button now, to “subscribe”. Since truthfully, I really welcome the chance to support Allison’s work. I think others feel the same way.

    -respectfully, Jen

  13. Deb says:

    Also, another idea for fundraising. What about an auction? For some pieces of art? I don’t know how you would go about setting it up, but the “powers that be” could figure that out. Just trying to help.

  14. Melissa says:

    This pic could be of me and my cat, as well.

    If he’s sleeping on my favorite pillow, I will get up and get another before disturbing him.

  15. Lauren says:

    Am I the only one marvelling at the incredible neatness of Alison’s desk? Look inside each of those little cubbies. There’s something so completely soothing about that little parade of perfectly arranged square spaces.

  16. anonymous-eponymous says:

    It would be nice if there were some way of establishing a more regular sort of transaction. For example, I would like to be able to set something up so that every month an amount (small enough so that I won’t really miss it) gets transferred from my Paypal or credit card account to the Bechdel Ink account.

    Unfortunately, it does not seem that that sort of thing is possible through Paypal directly, i.e., every Paypal transaction is a one time thing.

  17. Ian says:

    This isn’t a fundraising idea, but I was going to suggest also setting up an Amazon ‘wishlist’ where you nominate books/videos etc available on Amazon that admirers can buy for you and show their appreciation. I’ve seen other bloggers do it and a friend of mine has one. However, then I remembered all the ‘Medusa.com’ stuff!

    I feel a little hypocritical – I’m unable to work and on what you Americans call ‘unemployment’ so it is difficult to support Alison, as much as I’d really like to. I do buy all her books when they become available in Britain, but I also agree that a subscription/more noticeable Paypal button would be a good idea. I’m sure you can set up monthly subscriptions through Paypal. I’ve done it for friends who’ve set up their ‘adult’ sites. Though that usually implies a membership scheme. I’ll have to investigate more thoroughly …

  18. Ellen O. says:

    Jen, Martha, and others….

    The “elusive” PayPal button is just a quick scroll up to the top of this page. It’s on the right column, above “Archives,” and below “Contact.” And speaking of contact, I imagine you can mail paper checks to this address.

    Alison Bechdel
    PO Box 215
    Jonesville, VT, 05466

    You can buy the originals drawings of the strips too. Click on “Buy Art.” It’s above the PayPal button.

    I love the idea of a semi-annual fundraiser, not unlike NPR. But instead of Alison doing the work, we remind each other every October and April that it’s time to give again. No commerative mugs, no CDs, no Roy Orbison, just a lot of small donations adding up.

    And yes Lauren, I was impressed at AB’s desk. Mine is the total opposite at the moment. Wonder what the “69” is all about?

  19. Deb says:

    I think that will work well. I like the idea of a semi-annual fundraiser. Very nice idea………but nothing like NPR! I clicked on the Buy Art and I saw a couple of things that I might be interested in. I was wondering, what happens to the original artwork…..like after it goes to the printer. What happens with the original of the strips? Does Alison have a basement full of strips or are they auctioned off or kept and archived? I was wondering. And, how much would an original strip be selling for?

  20. Deb says:

    Never mind………..got my questions answered by looking again at the “Buy Art”.

  21. Pam Isherwood says:

    Martha, Paypal can be set to take from your bank account as well as from credit cards. They do take a percentage, so cheques may be preferred. But it’s all too easy…

  22. Ann S in Madison says:

    I echo what Ellen wrote! As an independent filmmaker who has raised $ through Paypal, etc. myself, I’ve had many lovely, supportive, well-intentioned fans send me lots of Why-Don’t-You’s. “Why don’t you sell holiday cards? That’s sure to bring in money!” “Why don’t you put together a sample DVD for $10 apiece. I’d buy one!” All good ideas that I have NO TIME to execute, and frustration ensues.

    But Ellen nailed it — we can help best by encouraging/reminding each other and our friends to make donations , buy art and purchase/distribute extra copies of books, in more or less that order.

    Love and chocolate milk to all!

  23. atlatl says:

    The 69 is a CD. 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields. Highly recommended set of music. Do you listen to that while you draw, Alison? You have good taste. 🙂

  24. leighisflying says:

    If you love the Magnetic Fields you should check out the Amateur Gourmet’s website (amateurgourmet.com) under “Funny Food Films” and download “Bunnies, Carrots, Cupcakes”. Very good, very funny.

  25. leighisflying says:

    No wait, even better would have to be Magnetic Fields “Swinging London” of course:

    “I read your manifestoes and your strange religious tracts.
    You took me to your library and kissed me in the stacks.

    Planets crash, the world goes nova,
    Sun explodes, all goes black.
    You went off swinging London and forgot to come back”

    Have a safe journey!

  26. aimes says:

    ok, enough about the cat. seriously, what about a running total at the bottom of the web page in anticipation for #500?

  27. treefrog399 says:

    Last night, I didn’t think much of the idea of boosting the aim to $5000. I figured there has been such a response because Alison happened to have a big bill to pay. After she mentioned that is when the money poured in. And the idea of buying something, someone pointed out that Alison probably doesn’t have time for the manufacturing, shipping, etc. etc.

    But then last night, meditating (like Stu and them!) I got a brain wave. For one thing, Alison needs to think ahead to her retirement so that is a big “bill” coming up. Also I got this design idea, based on an early DTWOF:


    Anyone know how to make plates, shirts, and stuff with designs on them? Anyone have a cafe depress account or something like that? AND willing to pass on the profits to Alison?

    Oh, yeah. The last point. This is about gratitude for most of us, I imagine. Thank you for this wonderful alternate world!!!

  28. rusty says:


    I liked your $15-$51 sliding scale idea. I’m chipping in my $51.

  29. Sophie says:

    Just added my $11.54 CAD!
    Yeaaah to the running total suggestion… unless you have to update it by hand every time a “moneygram” comes in… you shouldn’t have to work any harder for this!

  30. Deb says:

    After watching Alison’s video on MySpace, you can really see how much work just one panel is to make. She calls her process “barely harnessed obsessive/compulsive disorder” which made me howl with laughter. As soon as my bonus comes in, I will be making a contribution, no doubt about it. If you want to see the video, go to MySpace and look for “Fun Home” to watch the video. The cat is precious!

  31. Jaibe says:

    Are there any stats on the Euro tour? I’m thinking of trying to make the London gig tomorrow, but I have lectures tomorrow afternoon and again Tuesday morning, so if there’s another shot…

  32. fjm says:

    We’re delighted that Alison Bechdel, the world-renowned cartoonist, will be visiting the Centre on an associate fellowship in February 2006. She will spend two weeks in the UK. During the first week, she will visit the Centre at the University of Kent and speak on the ways in which issues of gender and sexuality inform her work. She will also hold a ‘cartooning basics’ workshop for Centre members and members of the public. During the second week, Alison will participate in a roundtable with other well-known cartoonists such as Jackie Fleming, Kate Charlesworth and Suzi Varti at the newly re-launched Cartoon Museum (see http://www.cartooncentre.com/). In addition she will give a talk on her own work, again as part of a joint event between the Centre and the Cartoon Museum.

    On 1 February 2006, Alison will be participating in a roundtable at the university of Westminster, organised jointly between the Centre and the newly-relaunched Cartoon Museum from 6.30pm. She will also be signing books. There may be a small charge for attendance at this event.

    On 9 February 2006, Alison will give a talk to the Centre at the University of Kent, followed by a reception at the University’s Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature.

    Download the Events Poster

    If you are interested in attending either event, please contact Emily Grabham on e.grabham@kent.ac.uk, even if you are a Centre member.

    see: http://www.kent.ac.uk/clgs/visitors/bechdelvisit.htm

  33. Vicky says:

    Jaibe – on Thursday the ICA reading had one ticket left. Don’t know if they’ll have any available on standby. Anyone going who’s reading this?

  34. kat says:

    I liked the “$15-51” idea, but couldn’t quite spare that much. I did what I could, though.

    We should totally remind each other to donate to Alison periodically! Whoever suggested that is brilliant!

  35. Pam Isherwood says:

    1.30 a.m. monday morning ie 16 hours before the ICA gig, I could have booked a pair of tickets online (but not six in a row). So try http://www.ica.org.uk/?lid=12153 Lea de Laria is “in conversation” with AB tho I can’t imagine her stopping to listen, so it may be a bit of a tussle. See you there – Pam

  36. Jaibe says:

    OK maybe I will hold off since I got to see her (and get her autograph on a first printing of her book 🙂 in SF so it’s not really fair to take one of the last tickets. But please do post here if she mentions any other chances to see her in the UK.

  37. Pam Isherwood says:

    It’s saying Sold Out now.
    What would Beatlemania have been like, in a web-based age?
    from one who once queued all night in 1963…

  38. sunicarus says:

    Pam~”What would Beatlemania have been like, in a web-based age?”

    Computer chips would probably have melted or spontaneously combusted! :O)
    John would have said, “Yes, I am bigger than Jesus and this is a cyber revolution!”

    Just a guess…

  39. Feral Sirensong says:

    A tortie cat! They are the most magical and mysterious of beasties. We have a tortie kitten and have yet to fathom her ways. Our venerable black cat says that she is just a spawn and to “swim” her. LOL!