40 Years of Watching Out For Dykes

Alison Bechdel informs us that it was 40 years ago this month that the July/August 1983 issue of WomaNews was released. That issue was where her Dykes to Watch Out For first appeared.

…or forty years ago this month, anyway, that I published my first Dykes To Watch Out For cartoon in the Pride issue of the NYC feminist monthly, WomaNews. This anniversary fortuitously coincides with the release of the Audible Original version of Dykes to Watch Out For–an amazing audio adaptation of the comic strip.

As is her custom Alison reminisces about those days four decades in the past:

So yesterday, I dug out that ancient issue of WomaNews from my archives and started flipping through its crumbling, yellowing pages. I found that first cartoon in situ

Alison takes us on a wonderful trip down memory lane.

The N.Y. Times also celebrates Dykes’ 40th anniversary with Maggie Lange’s review of the audio version of the strip.

On Thursday, “Dykes to Watch Out For” was reborn in a surprising medium: an audio series from Audible, adapted by the playwright Madeleine George. Carrie Brownstein plays the verbose polemicist Mo, and Roberta Colindrez voices Lois, a full-time flirt. They’re joined by others, including Roxane Gay, as Jezanna, and Jane Lynch, who narrates the series.

The comic strip is as relevant today as ever:

[Bookstore owner] Ms. Aleia said she regularly sells the comic to people in their early 20s to people in their 50s. According to Mx. Burke, the Little District Books manager, Ms. Bechdel’s work is some of the most popular in the store.

Ms. Bechdel said she was amazed that the strip appeals to so many younger readers. “I’m really grateful,” she said. Still, it’s a bittersweet alliance, hearing from readers who are dealing with the same issues and aggravations that her generation faced.

feature image is from the cover of The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

all images are © Alison Bechdel