Mapping Memory

April 10th, 2011 | Uncategorized

If you’re in the Boston area, come hear her supreme awesomeness Lynda Barry and me talk with comics scholar Hillary Chute at Wellesley on Friday night.

I’ve been reading Lynda’s new book about drawing. It has been immensely inspiring as I slowly grind into gear to begin drawing the memoir about my mom that I’ve been fussing over for years now.

Photo on 2011-04-10 at 09.54

29 Responses to “Mapping Memory”

  1. Raffi says:

    Love this book! Lynda is so inspiring.

  2. Alex K says:

    All those squid… That book troubled me.

  3. KJ says:

    Wish I could be there. So good to start drawing the next memoir!

  4. Kate L says:

    The Times (New York, not Kansas City) is running a story picked up this morning by that nice, young Dr. Rachel Maddow’s blog: there is modern art hidden in classic Woody Woodpecker cartoons! I always thought that woodpecker was up to something! And, who knows what secret messages Mo was sending out for all those years DTWOF was in print! That LGBT are people, too? Radical! 🙂 The Link is HERE.

  5. Eva says:

    And the award for the buried lead goes to – Alison Bechdel! The book you’re working on is about your mom?

  6. Kate L says:

    Salon has just published a tribute to Helvetica font, as the font that conquered the world. Personally, I’d prefer ClearView, or its generic cousin, Calibri. Just don’t get me started about Comic Sans MS, the font that apparently originated as graphical designer’s practical joke!

  7. Mentor says:

    [In addition to the talk at Wellesley on Friday night, folks near Augusta, Maine (on Tues); Yale Univ (on Weds); and Fairfield, Connecticut (on Thurs) should check out the “Events” link above for other opportunities for AB-sightings this week. –Mentor]

  8. Ginjoint says:

    Hate Comic Sans! Hate Comic Sans!!

    And yeah, Eva, I caught that too. I think that’s the next book after this one, perhaps?

  9. francesca says:

    lynda’s such a treasure. i last saw her in san francisco & she gave a presentation on that book. she had a button on that said “i <3 awkward boners" & she smooched my favorite book:

  10. j.b.t. says:

    I thought you were working on the memoir about old lovers… but, no? your mom?

  11. ready2agitate says:

    Love Calibri! Love Calibri! (to heck with serifs!)

  12. NLC says:

    Eva#6, Ginjoint#9, j.b.t.#11:

    Perhaps A.B. will have a chance to clarify all this when she gets back from her road-trip, but that was my impression based on AB’s earlier postings, that the current, in-progress book was “the memoir about my mom”.

    (Don’t know how this ties in with earlier description of “the memoir about old lovers”, but I for one am dying to find out.)

  13. NLC says:

    P.S. Maybe someone who is lucky enough to attend the talk at Wellesley (or Fairfield (or Yale)) can ask about this during the Q&A and report back to us.

  14. Andrew B says:

    Like NLC, I was not surprised by Alison’s reference to “the memoir about my mom”. Eva, Ginjoint, and j.b.t. are right that it was originally described as being about AB’s romantic history, with a working title of “Love Life”. I don’t remember exactly how the topic has evolved. It’s not surprising that a book like this has evolved over time. We also probably should be cautious about reading too much into a casual blog post. Alison wasn’t trying to give an exact summary here.

    I hope to hear the talk at Wellesley, but I am looking forward to hearing what Alison, Lynda Barry, and Hillary Chute want to talk about. I doubt that I’ll remember to ask about this.

    Thanks to Alison for posting the notice about the Wellesley event, and to Mentor for adding the information about the other talks. Keeping track of the Events page is a nuisance, as it doesn’t change for months at a time, and when it does change the notice provided is often very short. I could ask Google to notify me when it changes, but I don’t like telling a data aggregator which pages I’m particularly interested in. They know more than enough about me already. This is a good use for the blog.

  15. I am waiting for Kate L to link an episode to the phrase “Data Aggregator”.

    Speaking as a 70s dyke, any memoir about your “love life” would of course wind up being about yr mother.

  16. Alex K says:

    @16 / Maggie Jochild — YES.

  17. Sarah says:

    So excited that you and Lynda Barry are coming to Wellesley, where I work! Looking forward extremely to the talk!

  18. Eva says:

    @16 & 17: Of course! It’s just that I missed the segwey (sp?) between the lovers and the Mom. However, it’s only fair that Alison devote years of her life to writing about her mother after years of writing about her father…the lovers may have to wait until the third book…or perhaps the 2nd book is about her mother AND her adult love life, when her 1st book was about (among other things) her childhood and early adult life (and loves). I am staying tuned to find out what happens next. In the meantime, y’all attending, have a good time with Alison, Lynda and Hillary.

  19. NLC says:


    Everyone: You heard her! Barbeque at Alison’s on Saturday!

  20. Anonymous says:


    [Freed from spam-filter limbo. –Mentor]

  21. meg says:

    Tofupups and tabouli! 😀

    I’ll be there if the truck can make it.

  22. Kate L says:


    I feel compelled to do whatever Maggie asks! 🙂

    “Sister, sister, there’s gonna be a twister!”
    – The Rainmakers

    For the past few weeks, they’ve been burning the tall grass prairie outside of Smallville, in order to mimic the natural effect of wildfires on the tallgrass prairie. As a result, there has been a pall of smoke over Smallville for days. On top of that, we are now facing the wrath of any number of angry weather gods tonight as a strong front moves through the area. We are under a tornado watch that could turn into a tornado warning at any time. So, an everlasting pall of smoke and no safe place in Smallville. Could someone in Her infinite wisdom be telling the denizens of Smallville something? Like, “Don’t repeal the human rights ordinance when the new city commission meets next Tuesday”? In any case, all we need to look like one of the Circles of Hell from Dante’s Inferno is demonic cows. With awful, glowing red eyes!

  23. Kate L says:

    THIS JUST IN… weather radar shows a rotating wall cloud approaching Tishomingo and greater Sapulpa! Take cover! Aunt E.M! Aunt A.B.!

  24. Kate L says:

    The worst of the heavy weather has just passed over Smallville. I can hear the thunder receding into the distance as I type this. With local planetary sunset still a good 90 minutes away, the sky went from heavily overcast to pitch darkness to lightly overcast in just a few minutes as heavy rains passed through the area. The warning klaxons did not even sound! Ha! Ha, I say!

  25. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#26)

    No klaxons for tornadoes? Then there will be no warnings for the escaped cooties from the upcoming Smallville biohazard lab either.

    But surely you have a NOAA weather radio, yes? I just came back from a road trip, and my little NOAA alert travel radio was (as always) a great help in travel, as was the netbook tethered to my phone to check weather radar at rest stops.

  26. ready2agitate says:

    Bostonians, New Englanders (bean, Andrew B., Sarah B., et. al.), alas I cannot make it to Alison & Lynda’s talk at Wellesley tomorrow (else we’d have to revive the color-coded hankies again to ID each other!).

    However, would anyone like to go see the Edward Gorey exhibit “Elegant Enigmas” at the Boston Athenaeum? It runs thru June 4th and is on Beacon Hill across from the State House. I think this exhibit may have been at the Edward Gorey House that AB & Holly went to Yarmouth, MA to see a couple summers ago.

    See here:

  27. Andrew B says:

    Hey all, I’ve just been trying to figure out where the talk is this evening (4/15). According to Alison’s events page and the web page at Wellesley, it’s at the Jewett Auditorium. According to the Yelp page Alison linked to above, it’s at the Collins Cinema. I just called Wellesley’s main switchboard (couldn’t get anyone to answer at the center that’s hosting the event) and the person I spoke to told me Jewett is correct.

    Jewett and Collins are right next to each other, but if you went to the wrong one it might not be obvious that you needed to try the other. They back up to each other with a road and a parking lot between them — this is the side of Jewett away from the quad.

    I am going to take the liberty of putting this comment both on the post for the event and the post about Alison and her brother (because it’s the latest post). Obviously Mentor can clip it if that’s inappropriate.