Jessica's Reviews > The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel
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's review
Dec 10, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: graphic-novels-comics
Read in December, 2008

How spectacular to finally find nearly all of Dykes to Watch Out For in one volume (there are omissions, but not very many, and the exclusions were carefully chosen so as not to disrupt plot lines). Alison Bechdel hits the perfect balance of lovingly depicting her community and its concerns, exploring the inner lives of her characters, while also cheerfully skewering political posturing, blind spots, and self-righteousness. Her drawings are playful (check out the endlessly amusing t-shirt slogans, signage, and book/newspaper copy in the background of many frames for added commentary), sexy, and spot-on. As in the best serialized novels, the characters grow and evolve, times change around them, and countless cliffhangers await.

I started following DTWOF as a college student in the 80s, though I lost track of it later on. I was never a member of the lesbian community, but I was involved with various left-leaning political causes, and Bechdel nails that world to an uncanny degree. She must have sat there quietly at countless consensus-building sessions with her notebook and pen observing every nuance.
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