Author(s): Alison Bechdel
Alison Bechdel's once-underground work Dykes To Watch Out For has become a counterculture institution.
The first strips were stand-alone pieces, each offering an eye-opening and acerbically funny insight into the Lesbian society of 1980s America. Here we learnt the terminology of that world ('Luppies', for example, are Lesbian Urban Professionals) and discovered its codes of conducts, like the dos-and-don'ts of a couple's first night together. Soon, after those first few strips, a compelling and addictive soap opera developed.
We met Mo, a neurotic feminist book clerk, and her unforgettably eclectic group of friends. There was Lois, the voracious Lesbian Avenger, Clarice and Tony the Lesbian Moms, and Sparrow, who couldn't kick her self-help habit. We follow their sex lives, their political activism and the minutiae of their lives right up to the Iraq War.
On the way, we see a counterculture movement slowly embraced by the mainstream, while Mo and her friends, now in steady relationships and having children, begin uneasily to 'fit in'. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For brings together for the first time one of the most important and avidly read strips of the last thirty years and confirms Alison Bechdel's reputation as one of the finest cartoonists at work today.