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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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Mo Van Pelt

Mo Van Pelt

Dykes to Watch Out For and Peanuts

(p.68) Mo Van Pelt
The Comics of Alison Bechdel

Michelle Ann Abate

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores the numerous and heretofore overlooked physical, personal, and psychological areas of overlap between Mo Testa in Dykes to Watch Out For and Linus van Pelt in Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. Many of Mo’s signature traits and hallmark qualities are ones she shares with Linus: from her insecurity and intellectualism to her philosophical nature and her role as reflective commentator for the group. Indeed, even Mo’s penchant for striped clothing can be seen as taking a sartorial cue from Linus, who is always clad in a t-shirt with strikingly similar horizontal stripes. While Bechdel never identified Schulz as an inspiration for her work nor the Peanuts gang as a model for her DTWOF crew, the suggestive echoes between Mo and Linus seem too numerous to be merely coincidental. Exploring the similarities between Mo and Linus reveals a compelling kinship between Bechdel’s work and one of the most well-known strips in the history of American comics, while it also sheds new light on the relationship that DTWOF has to its socio-cultural milieu.

Keywords:   Dykes to Watch Out For, Peanuts, Charles Schulz, Comics, Alison Bechdel

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