Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thanks for the lentils

As many of you might guess, I have a thing for graphic novels and cartoons of all sorts. After picking up and loving Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel, I heard about her cartoon, Dykes to Watch Out For. One inter-library loan later and I was in possession of the Essential Dykes to Watch Our For.

You might be able to guess from the title that this book is about lesbians, but it is so much more than that. The variety of characters we meet and love cover a spectrum of sexuality and gender identity. They have the same troubles as everyone else, cheating, loneliness, fear of commitment, rage against the government, death of pets and loved ones, and the raising of children (both planned and unplanned). The art is solid and lovely, and Bechdel's attention is amazing.

Mo is our main character and we follow her and her anxiety cloud from being single to in a realtionship and back again and her career at Madwimmin bookstore. Her friends and their friends have strong story lines that I had an easy time connecting with. I never felt like a character was as throw-away character, each was complex and genuine.

I would highly, highly suggest this series to anyone. It's a perfect book to curl up with in an armchair with a cup of tea and NPR playing in the background.

If the name Bechdel sounds familiar, it might be because of the Bechdel test for movies. The test has three rules:

  • The movie has to have two (named) women in it
  • These women have to talk to each other
  • About something other than a man
It is really, really shocking how few movies pass this test, which Bechdel wrote about in one of her strips. 

Also a link to her blog because I think she is pretty neat: dykestowatchoutfor