Ashley D--'s Reviews > The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel
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Apr 11, 12

bookshelves: adults, graphic-novels, queer-content
Read in December, 2008

So few strips were left out that I wish it had been a complete collection instead of an "essential" one, although the preamble about essentializing the queer women's experience played into the title nicely. I didn't read this strip when it came out--in fact, I disliked it whenever I saw it in the local queer newspaper--but I decided to read it after I fell in love with Bechdel's Fun Home. It was great reading them all in one sitting, because the more dramatic strips actually made sense. I was surprised at how topical it still seems to be in so many areas. Kind of makes you depressed about what kind of progress society has made since the strip started!

As for the characters and the story arcs, I loved the breadth of the characters. Such diversity is hard to find in most other things, and so effortlessly too. I didn't feel like anyone was just a token, and a lot of the characters discuss complex issues about their individual places in the world without it reading like an afterschool special. Although, if there were an afterschool special version of DTWOF, I would probably watch it. It's funny, smart, and it reflects queer lives in a way that nothing else I've read has.

I own it, lend it, and re-read it. A good investment!
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