BritMandelo, August 16, 2012 (view all comments by BritMandelo)
This comic was a treat to read. It's at times a drama, at times a social commentary, and at times a comedy, but it's always a story, about hundreds of things. It deals with getting older, with new generations of activists coming in where you used to be, with gender, with sexuality, with partnership, with roles, with affairs and with simple things like "partner has a debt problem just like her father." It's a comic that also deals with race and class.
Bechdel did a good job with this book. I enjoyed it. Having such a large cast means getting to take on so many different themes and issues through each character. I was especially interested in, as the years went by, the growing representation/visibility of trans characters in the strip, including Jasmine's teenager. There's just so much going on in "Dykes to Watch Out For."
Alyssa Pasquale, January 26, 2010 (view all comments by Alyssa Pasquale)
This is easily the best book I read in the 2000s. It's one of those books that I simultaneously wanted to tear through and also to take my time and savor. I was sad when it ended, and look forward to reading it again and again and again in the future. The characters are lovable, the plot lines are always funny, interesting, sad or happy but always captivating. What's not to love about this wonderfully written and illustrated graphic novel?
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The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For 1st Edition
0 stars -
Houghton Mifflin Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"This ongoing comic strip chronicles the lives of a tight-knit group of lesbian friends over an astounding 21 years of life, work, love, boredom, political activism and countless reversals of fortune. At its heart are six women: the promiscuous Lois, a feminist bookstore clerk with a penchant for gender-bending; her two roommates, the overworked academic Ginger and self-identified 'bisexual lesbian' Sparrow; their domestically partnered friends Clarice and Toni; and Mo, who despite (or perhaps because of) her frequent politically charged outbursts of neurosis is the hub of her circle. These characters, flawed but endearing, are brought to life by Bechdel's quirky artistic sensibility. Facial expressions are carefully nuanced, and she seems to take great joy in using small details to differentiate emotions. Late in the collection, when a character receives treatment for cancer, a tiny caret in her cheek is enough to transform her from a fresh-faced mischief-maker into a sallow and frightened chemo patient. What cannot be overemphasized is the sheer scope of the collection, which follows these women from idealistic young adulthood to contentedly disillusioned middle age and, for some, parenthood. All eventually end up a little more haggard than they began, but there isn't one whose Bechdel-illustrated bags under her eyes were not hard fought for and hard won." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
by Chris A. Bolton, Powells.com,
"Before she made her name with the acclaimed graphic novel memoir Fun Home, Alison Bechdel spent two decades writing and drawing the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which appears in several alt-weekly and gay newspapers....Dykes works on multiple levels. Like Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, it functions as both a time capsule and a chronicle of a community under siege." (read the entire Powells.com review)
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"The greatest lesbian soap opera...[A] miraculously well-sustained chronicling of a circle of friends over the course of 20 years....Fun Home has brought her much greater general attention than 'Dykes' ever did, but make no mistake — the strip is her masterpiece."
by Dwight Garner, The New York Times,
"[I]n some ways [these strips] offer greater consolations [than Fun Home] — they're looser, more funny, and they offer the chance to watch a group of very appealing women grow and change (and struggle to have better sex) over the course of more than two decades....It crackles with one-liners."
For 25 years Bechdel's path-breaking "Dykes to Watch Out For" strip has been collected in award-winning volumes, syndicated in alternative newspapers, and translated into many languages. This collection gathers 60 of the newest strips.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.