Debbie Millman | Audio

Alison Bechdel

Debbie talks to Alison Bechdel about how identifying herself as a lesbian when she was young led her into a career as a cartoonist.  "I became an outlaw at a young age, and was very freed up to do whatever I wanted. And I was ... writing this crazy, marginal comic strip. For free. It was not a great career path. And bizarrly it has worked out."

Alison’s comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For became a countercultural institution among lesbians and discerning non-lesbians all over the planet. And her more recent, darkly humorous graphic memoirs about her family have forged an unlikely intimacy with an even wider range of readers. Bechdel self-syndicated Dykes to Watch Out For for twenty-five years, from 1983 to 2008. The award-winning generational chronicle has been called “one of the pre-eminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period.” (Ms. Magazine)

In 2006 she published Fun Home: A Family TragicomicTime magazine named it the Best Book of 2006, describing the tightly architected investigation into her closeted bisexual father’s suicide “a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.” Alison’s comics have appeared in The New YorkerSlateMcSweeney’s, The New York Times Book Review, and Granta. She won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012, and in 2014 was named a MacArthur Fellow.

Posted in: Arts + Culture, Design Matters, Illustration

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