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The Comics of Alison BechdelFrom the Outside In$
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Janine Utell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496825773

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496825773.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

“Girlie Man, Manly Girl, It’s all the Same to me”

“Girlie Man, Manly Girl, It’s all the Same to me”

How Dykes to Watch Out For Shifted Gender and Comix

(p.22) “Girlie Man, Manly Girl, It’s all the Same to me”
The Comics of Alison Bechdel
Anne N. Thalheimer
University Press of Mississippi

First published in 1983 in Womanews, and later widely syndicated, Alison Bechdel’s Dykes To Watch Out For (DTWOF) series not only created an unparalleled historical archive of queer culture, it also shaped both the lesbian comix and queer comics that came after it in remarkable ways. Through her use of a wide range of characters having pointed conversations about then-current events and politics, debating identity, desire, and shifting representation, or simply going out to dinner at Café Topaz, the local vegetarian restaurant, Bechdel catalogues a life history of these lesbians and their community—even as that community shifts in unanticipated ways, as our understanding of binary gender shifts and continues to do so today. For a strip that initially included no men, DWTOF ended up including a number of male characters in order to explore what “male” meant through drag king culture, non-binary characters, and characters who identify as transgender.

Keywords:   Dykes to Watch Out For, WomaNews, Lesbian comix, Gender, Queer

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