Rachel'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
Apr 20, 10

bookshelves: 10th-grade, graphic-novels
Read from April 17 to 18, 2010

I loved it. Bechdel's drawing style is so likable that I have been compulsively doodling journal-comics for the past week while reading DTWOF. Through the lives of more than a dozen well-realized characters, Bechdel takes us through the last 30 years of gay/lesbian culture, documenting the movement's progression from a radical uprising to a more mainstream, if no less passionate fight for civil rights. As with any compilation, it's great to watch the author's art and storytelling sharpen over the years. What's even more fascinating is hearing Mo's heated political commentary as she ages through the Bush, Clinton, and second Bush administrations -- all the way up to the Obama/Hillary primaries. That the 9/11 strip can be so moving (and, dare I say it, poignant) after almost 10 years -- and to someone who was 7 years old at the time -- testifies to the role Bechdel's strip, and comics in general, have played in American culture. I took a lot of vicarious joy in devouring the Dykes to Watch Out For Archives, even wishing for the good old days of lesbian empowerment.

Then again, Bechdel has a well-maintained website and blog. Long live the 21st century!
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