Just in time for the holiday season, Alison Bechdel has released The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, a collection of episodes of Bechdel’s weekly comic, “Dykes to Watch Out For.” The comic, a smart, funny soap opera about the lives of a group of women in a college town, has been appearing in alternative newspapers across North America since 1983. I would have asked for it as a Hannukah gift if I hadn’t already bought it for myself. Oops!
I had never read more than a strip or two of “Dykes” before buying this book, but I loved Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir, Fun Home, so when I saw this at the store, I knew it would be the perfect antidote to winter gloom and the oppressive patriarchy. When the world has got you down, there’s nothing better than spending your evenings curled on the couch, immersed in an alternate universe filled entirely with women of all shapes, sizes and colors, doing every conceivable job, from mechanic to accountant, living in a magical Bohemia filled with feminist bookstores and lesbian coffee shops.