Alison Bechdel cartoons bring laughter and tears to the gay community, especially so. She lives in Vermont, and yet, her cartooning is popular the world over. She shares her gift of lesbian cartoon strips, with people from all walks of life and persuasion. Her humor is also spirituous and of good character for the holiday season, 2011, since she writes of her own life in the gay community, as pure sunshine, to reflect on and to understand.
“Dykes to Watch Out For” is the generic descriptor for the making of one of Alison Bechdel’s best cartoons. So naturally, “Unnatural Dykes To Watch Out For”, flows out of that, with a meaning all its own. She writes about her own life, as a lesbian and dyke, in America today, profiling life in the gay community, surrounded by her lesbian, best friends. Her humor is about the absurdities of the day to day of being lesbian, and a dyke, as context to understanding life.
For example, at the beginning of the cartoon book, there is a preface to the cast of cartoon characters, aptly described as “The Mo-centric Universe”, which means this cartoon cites the characters in “Unnatural Dykes To Watch Out For”. It goes like this, with great illustrations, “Mo, our hapless heroine. bookstore clerk by day, celibate by night”, “Jezanna, the typed ‘A’ boss of madwimmin books”,” Ginger, housemate of Lois and Sparrow, teacher, doctoral candidate, and procrastinatrix extraordinaire”,” Thea, Mo’s co-worker and crush object”,” Sparrow, house-mate of Lois and Ginger, battered women’s shelter, worker, inner-growth addict “. . . There are twelve lesbian and dyke friends to the cartoon, plus one kid. They all add their own dimension of spirit and character to the lives they lead together.
Bechdel’s storylines are never contrived or boring, they are pure sunshine to behold and take in, to experience, and furthermore, to experiment with, for what you take from it, and bring home yourself, as the reader. Because remember, above all, life in the gay community is what you make of it yourself, as seen by this refreshingly real cartooning of Alison Bechdel’s own accord. Happy Holidays, 2011/2012! Ciao, Todd