Alison Bechdel, author of the critically acclaimed Fun Home (called "one of the very best graphic novels ever" in Booklist) and of the syndicated comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For (DTWOF), has become a cultural institution for lesbians and discerning non-lesbians all over the planet. At the podium, Bechdel redefines race and gender roles while taking aim at some of the most controversial topics of the day.
Hailed by Ms. magazine as "one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comic genre, period," Bechdel's DTWOF is syndicated in over 50 alternative newspapers and publications, translated into many languages and collected into a book series with over 250,000 copies in print. Four of her books have won Lambda Awards for humor, and The Indelible Alison Bechdel won a Lambda Literary Award in the biography/autobiography category. She's also won two Vice Versa Awards for Excellence in the Gay and Lesbian Press. Bechdel's work has also appeared in Ms., The Village Voice, The Advocate, Out, Gay Comics, and many other comic books, 'zines, and anthologies. Fun Home is her first graphic novel.
Bechdel grew up in rural Pennsylvania. After graduating from Oberlin College, she moved to New York City, where she began drawing Dykes to Watch Out For as a feature in the feminist monthly Womanews in 1983. Twelve book-length DTWOF collections has since appeared, nine of them-including Spawn of Dykes To Watch Out For, and Hot, Throbbing Dykes to Watch Out For-published by the pioneering feminist press, Firebrand Books. The most recent volume, Invasion of the Dykes to Watch Out For, was released by Alyson Books in 2005. Her bi-weekly strip is syndicated in over 50 periodicals.
Bechdel's work has become a countercultural institution. "Hers are thinkers' comics," writes Harvey Pekar, "full of the stuff that classics like Gasoline Alley and Doonesbury are made of." Bechdel's work appeared recently alongside Aaron McGruder's Boondocks and David Rees' Get Your War On in Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists (NBM, 2004). Four of her books have won Lambda Literary Awards for Humor, and The Indelible Alison Bechdel won a Lambda Literary Award in the biography/autobiography category. Utne magazine has listed DTWOF as "one of the greatest hits of the Twentieth Century."
In addition to her comic strip, Bechdel has also done exclusive work for a slew of publications including Ms., Slate, The Village Voice, The Advocate, Out, and many other newspapers, web sites, comic books, and 'zines. Her work has been widely anthologized and translated.
She lives near Burlington, Vermont.