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Dykes to Watch Out for Paperback – October, 1986

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Editorial Reviews

Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For has become a countercultural institution among lesbians and discerning non-lesbians all over the planet. And her more recent, darkly humorous graphic memoirs about her family have forged an unlikely intimacy with an even wider range of readers.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dykes to Watch Out for
  • Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Firebrand Books (October 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932379176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932379177
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

ALISON BECHDEL has been a careful archivist of her own life and kept a journal since she was ten. Since 1983 she has been chronicling the lives of various characters in the fictionalized "Dykes to Watch Out For" strip, "one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period" (Ms.). The strip is syndicated in 50 alternative newspapers, translated into multiple languages, and collected into a book series with a quarter of a million copies in print. Utne magazine has listed DTWOF as "one of the greatest hits of the twentieth century."

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. Richards on July 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first found Ms. Bechdel's work in, of all places, a science fiction bookstore. I was in the mood for cartoon books, picked up hers, and noticed that her characters had four fingers to go with their thumbs, were mostly female, had women of all races and shapes, and they were drawn in a reasonably anatomically correct manner.
Although I am not a lesbian (but am a friend of the family), I was drawn to the richness and humanity of Bechdel's characters. When I saw the drawing of one woman cowering under the bedcovers and her partner going after a stray bat (animal) with a tennis racket, I roared with laughter and took the book to the checkout line.
If you are straight and want a gentle and humorous look into lesbian life or are lesbian and just want a warm "me too" kind of chuckle, this is the book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on June 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading Alison Bechdel's first collection of DTWOF was a surprise, but a pleasant one. I just assumed that the on-going storylines and regular characters that made up later volumes would have an explicit beginning in this one. Wrong. Although some of the later characters and themes might be here in utero (especially Mo), none of them have been quite born yet. Instead, what Ms. Bechdel offers is a number of witty, sometimes hilarious, and usually insightful independent vignettes.

One thing that comes through clearly in this early collection is how much of an iconoclast Bechdel was and will become in her later work. There are no sacred cows. She pokes fun at lesbians who romanticize the virtues of relationship over singledom, and ironically comments on first dates, the trajectory of romances, and political zealotry. But she always does so in a compassionate way that suggests she speaks from the sort of personal experience that encourages kindness as well as a bit of wariness.

Probably the very best strip in the collection is an allegory called "Politi-cola; or, the Birth of an Activist," in which a fantasized political rivalry between Pepsi-cola and Coca-cola symbolizes the utter lack of distinctiveness between democratic and republican presidential rivals in the 1988 election. It's really a brilliant (and, alas, far-seeing) piece of political satire.

Less effective (but not displeasing) is the lesbian alphabet series that punctuates the collection. I suspect it was drawn especially for this volume as filler.

All in all, a fine start of what has become the career of one of our very best social and cultural commentators.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is the first book by Alison Bechdel I read, and it captivated me. I was rolling on the floor with laughter at times. Clearly one of her earlier works, it lacks the storyline of her later efforts. Still, the humor is excellent and subtly educational
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 1997
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book from a friend and finally had to buy my own copy because I liked it so much. I sometimes miss these "standalone" cartoons, even though I really like her later works with Mo and the gang. I now have all of Alison Bechdel's books and can't wait for the next ones
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By A Customer on October 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
When I first read this book I became fascinate with the story, the characters seems to be very representative of the so call "Lesbian Nation" about the sisters and queers. Also establish the transformation suffer by the lesbian "type" between the decades of 1960, 1970,1980 and 1990.
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