The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For: 20 years of op-ed/soap opera


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Folks should note that The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For does not contain the entirety of the strip; it contains selections from the 11 DTWOF collections. From Bechdel’s description: “It contains 390 of the extant 527 episodes. That’s 74%.”

It’s still the best intro to DTWOF, but it’s not complete.


loved this when I read it, her graphic novel “Fun Home” is also well worth a read

It’s really something to read the whole collection and see not only how Bechdel’s art has evolved, but her storytelling in general. I read an early critique of DTWOF that targeted Bechdel’s deadly earnestness in presenting the Lesbian Issue Of The Week, usually having Mo rant about something and another cast member (usually Lois) provide the counterpoint, but as the strip stacked up the years, these things started to be more organically incorporated into the strip.

Sadly, the strip seems to be on permanent hiatus, as Bechdel has moved on to other things. (This blog post and video has her recounting her year, which included the death of her mother (the subject of her latest book) and the opening of the musical version of Fun Home.)

Everyone on that cover without facial hair is female. Even the one who looks like Tintin.

Come to think of it, giving most of the guys obvious facial hair was probably a wise character design choice on Bechdel’s part.

Is it bad that it took me several minutes to realise that the cover is referencing Norman Rockwell’s “The Gossips”?

No, it’s good, cuz you alerted me to something I didn’t know. So, thanks!

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I always loved DTWOF, and it was wonderful to read (most of it) again in this handsome book. The comics are printed large enough to be easy to read—too often comics get scrunched down! Fun Home is extraordinary, but I’d love to hear what Mo and company would have to say about current events.

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