Alison Bechdel

American cartoonist, author

Alison Bechdel (born September 10, 1960) is an American cartoonist. She has written one of the best-known LGBT comic strips, Dykes to Watch Out For, for over 25 years. Her graphic memoir Fun Home was rated one of the best books of 2006.

Alison Bechdel in 2012

Dykes to Watch Out For

  • Mo: Thanks for the lentils! I have to go home now and rethink my priorities!
    • #3, "High Anxiety" (1987), collected in More DTWOF (1988).
  • Toni: Well... straight couples get respect when they marry. Maybe we need to make some kind of symbolic affirmation of our commitment to one another!
    Clarice: You mean...
    Toni: Yes! Let's open a joint checking account!
    Clarice: Oh, darling! But this is so sudden!
    • #7, "Getting Respectable" (1987), collected in More DTWOF (1988).
  • Harriet: [making an excuse] Um... I'm looking for a copy of The Wheat-Free Guide to Creative Visualization in Co-dependent Past-Life Relationships.
    Mo: Huh. Jeez, I never heard of that one... Wonder if it's in spirituality or cooking.
    • #21, "By the Book" (1987), collected in More DTWOF (1988).
  • Mo: I... y'know, um... I'm really attracted to you! [thought bubble:] Omigod! Who said that?!
    Caption: A horrifying silence ensues. Is it an hour, or merely several seconds?
    Harriet: I've had a crush on you for months.
    Mo: Thank goddess! I was about to commit hara-kiri with my teaspoon!
    • #22, "Suspense" (1987), collected in More DTWOF (1988).
  • Ginger: [hauling Clarice up stairs in a wheelchair]: This ivory tower needs some ramps!
    Clarice: What are you saying, Ginger?! Build ramps and anyone could get up!! The whole school would be overrun by black commie dykes in wheelchairs! Really, now!
    • #31, "Groves of Academe" (1988), collected in New, Improved! DTWOF (1990).
  • Mo: Toni, come on! I know you're in a lot of pain, but you hafta look at the grand scheme of things! Listen, the environment is polluted beyond the point of no return, nickels and dimes are allocated for AIDS research while billions go into radar systems for blowing up civilians in the Persian Gulf, and we've got to spend the next two months being assaulted with hypocritical hype as two morally bankrupt white boys gear up for another electoral farce! Having a rough time in your relationship kinda pales in comparison, huh?
    Toni: Gee, Mo... thanks. I can always count on you.
    • #40, "The Big Picture" (1988), collected in New, Improved! DTWOF (1990).
  • Lois: Good coffee, huh?
    Emma: Lois, I think you're a very attractive woman and I'd like to sleep with you.
    Lois: [chokes] Gak! Ahem! You don't - coff - fool around, do you?
    Emma: No, but I'd like to.
    • #53, "Swept Away" (1989), collected in New, Improved! DTWOF (1990).
  • Clarice: [proposing to Toni] I'll be your lawyer if you'll be my accountant.
    • #76, "An Unusual Plight" (1990), collected in New, Improved! DTWOF (1990).
  • Clarice: [getting cold feet] There's still time!
    Toni: We can just call everyone and say we're terribly sorry but something came up and we have to leave town!
    Clarice: ...But what about the five gallons of baba ganoush, and all those tofu pups?
    Toni: Shit. I forgot. Well, I guess we'll just have to go through with it, then.
    • #86, "Getting Committed" (1990), collected in DTWOF: The Sequel (1992).
  • Mo: Ginger, how can you think about sex at a time like this? Madmen are about to destroy the earth!
    Ginger: Can you think of a better time? I don't know about you, girl, but I want to have a G-spot orgasm before Armageddon hits.
    • #92, "Crisis Management" (1990), collected in DTWOF: The Sequel (1992).
  • Ginger: Get off it, Mo. If I can't ogle, I don't want to be part of your revolution.
    • #96, "Dancing in the Streets" (1990), collected in DTWOF: The Sequel (1992).
  • Lois: Hey, Ginger! Are you masturbating in there or what? I wanna show you something!
    Ginger: [in the tub] If I'm masturbating, will you leave me alone?
    Lois: No! Check it out. How do I look?
    Ginger: Like a white girl in a black bra.
    • #117, "Anticipation" (1991), collected in DTWOF: The Sequel (1992).
  • Mo: Uh... sorry. I was just wondering why you're... you know... using that if normally you just use crutches.
    Thea: Well, the chair is so much more dramatic, don't you think? I use it when I want people to feel extra sorry for me.
    • #124, "...A Rolling Donut" (1991), collected in DTWOF: The Sequel (1992).
  • Lois: [intercepting a man in the women's bookstore] Can I help you find something, sir?
    Man: Um... just browsing.
    Lois: Hmm... I find that publication rather tame myself. Have you ever seen this one? This month there's a hot photo spread of three totally tattooed babes with strap-ons doing an armpit shaving scene. And if you're looking for a real thrill, check out the story, "She Came in Waves," in this new female ejaculation anthology!
    Man: 'Scuse me, I think I left my car at a hydrant.
    • #155, "Cultural Exchange" (1993), collected in Spawn of DTWOF (1993).
  • Sparrow: Listen, Mo. I have been doing crisis intervention with battered, homeless women and kids all week long. Tonight, I am going to vegetate in front of the TV. If you're so worried about Bosnia, go join the Red Cross.
    • #157, "Diversions" (1993), collected in Spawn of DTWOF (1993).
  • Thea: Didja make your quota, Lois?
    Lois: Yup. Kissed a woman from every state in the union. Rhode Island was a drag queen, though. Do you think that counts?
    • #161, "Afterglow" (1993), collected in Spawn of DTWOF (1993).
  • Miriam: Look, don't fixate on the due date. It's just an approximation. Only 5 percent of babies actually arrive on it. Most come later, in fact.
    Clarice: Great! How much later? Two days? Three?
    Miriam: Let me give you a friendly tip, Clarice. Don't get too hung up on keeping a tight schedule for the next, say, eighteen years or so.
    • #169, "Crushed" (1993), collected in Spawn of DTWOF (1993).
  • Clarice: To most people, it's obvious that the Whitewater allegations and the sexual harassment suit are politically motivated. And everyone else is too jaded to care if Bill fucks his cat.
    Raffi: Fucks!
    Toni: Do you want the honor of recording that under "Baby's first word," or shall I?
    • #190, "Unminced Words" (1994), collected in Unnatural DTWOF (1995).
  • Mo: Thank you, Jillian, for that fascinating, uh, transsexual version of the Oedipus legend, "Oedipal Complex."
    • #194, "Limelight" (1994), collected in Unnatural DTWOF (1995).
  • Carlos: Manly-Man Training Academy, Butch speaking! … OH! Señor Ortiz! Sí, this is Toni's number. ...¿¡De qué estás hablando?! ¡No! I'm not the father! I'm just the babysitter, I swear! ¿Qué?! You want me to marry your daughter? Well okay, but I'm keeping my own name!
    • #232, "A Smidge Too Far" (1996), collected in Hot, Throbbing DTWOF (1997).
  • Toni: Mamá... MAMÁ! I'm paying peak long-distance rates here. Could you save the Hail Marys until we hang up?
    • #236, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1996), collected in Hot, Throbbing DTWOF (1997).
  • [A social worker has shown up to talk about Raffi's adoption during dinner with Toni's parents]
    Sr. Ortiz: What's going on here?
    Toni: Uh... mamá y papá, Gwynne... viene de la iglesia! ¡Sí, sí! Y viene para hablar... uh... del bautizo de Rafael! Decidimos que sería bueno que lo bautizaramos! (Mom, dad... Gwynne is... from the church! Yeah! And she's here to talk about, uh... Rafael's christening! We've decided to get him baptized!)
    Sra. Ortiz: Gracias a Dios!
    Sr. Ortiz: How very good of you to come, Sister.
    Gwynne: Back at ya, brother! It's a pleasure in this day and age to meet folks who are so supportive of their daughter's decision.
    Sra. Ortiz: That is unusual?! This country is even more wicked than I thought!
    Gwynne: Yes, it's a shame, but many lesbians' parents tend to disapprove.
    Sr. Ortiz: What does her being a … a homosexual have to do with it?
    Gwynne: Exactly, Mr. Ortiz! If only more people felt like you!
    • #246, "The Converts" (1996), collected in Hot, Throbbing DTWOF (1997).
  • Lois: Oh, you guys have enough to worry about with your careers and all. You don't need to hear about my problems.
    Ginger: Are you kidding? I'd much rather hear about your problems than work on my dissertation.
    Lois: Thank you, Ginger. Considering you'd rather fellate Bill Clinton than work on your dissertation, that's very generous.
    • #250, "Ph. D. & Sympathy" (1996), collected in Hot, Throbbing DTWOF (1997).
  • Anjali: Oh, wow. I am tripping out that I actually get to work here! Being constantly surrounded by books! Bringing ideas, poems, and manifestoes to the world! How can you stand it?!
    Jezanna: That reminds me, Lois. The lube shipment just came in.
    • #252, "The Trouble with Sidney" (1996), collected in Hot, Throbbing DTWOF (1997).
  • Mo: [to Anjali] Don't you "whatever" me, you postmodern prepubescent!
    • #275, "Handling It" (1997), collected in Split-Level DTWOF (1998).
  • Mo: The man's clearly a sex addict. He's out of control. Lying, suborning perjury...
    Sydney: It's this puritanical culture that's the problem. Do people really expect someone with the ruthless lust for power it takes to become president to spend evenings at home with his stamp collection?
    Mo: Oh, please! You wouldn't be quite so indulgent if it was Newt Gingrich getting blowjobs in the Oval Office.
    Sydney: Thank you for that image.
    • #282, "Divert & Conquer" (1998), collected in Split-Level DTWOF (1998).
  • Mo: Clarice, you've gotta reconcile your feelings about leaving the neighborhood. It's not Ginger you're attracted to, it's what she represents. The co-op, the park, the block festival, the community!
    Clarice: Oh, so it's really the community's inner thighs I want to drizzle with maple crème anglaise, which I then slowly lap up while straddling the tantalizing tongue of the co-op.
    • #297, "Stray Voltage" (1998), collected in Split-Level DTWOF (1998).
  • Jezanna: Uh... lotta memories here, huh, dad?
    Albert: Remember this burn mark on the baseboard, from the time you stuck that piece of Erector Set in the outlet? You were always poking into something.
    Audrey: Mmm, girl!
    • #297, "Stray Voltage" (1998), collected in Split-Level DTWOF (1998).
  • Stuart: Will you explain to me what these lesbian and gay groups are doing in bed with conservative Republicans?
    Lois: Getting reamed. But they seem to like it.
    • #301, "Buyer's Remorse" (1998), collected in Post-DTWOF (2000).
  • Mo: I miss the good old days. Smash the family! Smash the state!
    Sydney: What about Clarice and Toni and Raffi? D'you want to smash their family?
    Mo: Please, Sydney. I'm expressing an ideological conviction, not talking about real people.
    • #305, "The Baby Question" (1999), collected in Post-DTWOF (2000).
  • Raffi: Well, um, Taylor said only girls wear nail polish and so I, so I said but I'm a boy and I'm wearing nail polish, and so you're wrong!
    Clarice: Raffi, I'm proud of you! That was a very smart thing to say!
    Raffi: And then I kicked him.
    • #314, "Boy Trouble" (1999), collected in Post-DTWOF (2000).
  • Mo: My sister-in-law had her baby! I'm an aunt! My brother's a father! My mother's a grandma! My dad's a...
    Sydney: I think I can generalize from there.
    • #324, "Trite and True" (1999), collected in Post-DTWOF (2000).
  • Raffi: I can too marry Stone Cold Steve Austin when I grow up!
    Bill: Clarice, what are you teaching this kid?
    Bill Jr.: You can not, 'cause I'm gonna marry him, and we're gonna kick your butt!
    • #332, "Tag Team" (2000), collected in Post-DTWOF (2000).
  • Ginger: I can't do this, Lois! I can't go out with a woman who has a child! I'm too young, I tell you! I haven't sown my oats yet!
    Lois: I think your oats are impacted.
    • #370, "Not-for-Profit Motive" (2001), collected in Dykes and Sundry Other Carbon-Based Life Forms TWOF (2003).
  • Sparrow: If you'd get a vasectomy, we wouldn't have to go through this every time.
    Stuart: But... but you know I want to have a baby eventually.
    Sparrow: So make some deposits at a sperm bank first. Then we can inseminate like normal people when we're ready.
    • #385, "Just a Rhetorical Question" (2002), collected in Dykes and Sundry Other Carbon-Based Life Forms TWOF (2003).
  • Mrs. Pidgeon: That little girl whose mother is in the, um, "threesome." Why do you say she's confused about her gender? She seems perfectly normal to me.
    Sparrow: Mom, she's a boy.
    Mrs. Pidgeon: Oh. Well then, I'm not quite so worried about that revealing top. I was going to speak to her mother.
    • "Replicants," supplement in Dykes and Sundry Other Carbon-Based Life Forms TWOF (2003).
  • Nurse: Ker... Kru... Crutchoffski, breast conservation? How are we feeling?
    Sydney: A bit like an endangered wetland.
    • #416, "The Basic Anxiety" (2003), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Mo: I wish it were me instead of you.
    Sydney: Yeah. I'm getting the sodium pentothal. You have to go sit with my parents.
    • #416, "The Basic Anxiety" (2003), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Lois: You're never gonna meet anyone hanging around here with the tactical nuclear family.
    • #419, "The Candidate" (2003), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Bookstore boss: [to Mo] The self-service kiosks have enabled us to cut down on staff, but some customers still feel the need to speak to an actual human. That's where you come in.
    Customer: Excuse me, do you carry Jewish New Year cards?
    Boss: I'm sorry, our New Years cards don't come in till November. But we'll be getting Jewish Christmas cards then, too!
    • #425, "Rites of Fall" (2003), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Jezanna: Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chain store jobs!
    • #431, "Fight or Flight?" (2004), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Samia: I'm all the trouble you need. Do you know why I invited you here?
    Ginger: For the Brussels sprouts tartare?
    Samia: For the long, discreet tablecloths.
    • #432, "Entertaining a Fantasy" (2004), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Sydney: [proposing to Mo] Will you do me the honor of paradoxically reinscribing and destabilizing hegemonic discourse with me?
    • #436, "Get Me to the Clerk on Time" (2004), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Sparrow: Oh my God. I'm a trained professional. I can't believe I didn't see it sooner! The mind games... the use of isolation... the accusations about being unfaithful... the obsessive keeping track... preventing the other person from getting a job... Stuart, we're in an abusive relationship with the Bush administration!
    • #440, "Too Much Information" (2004), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Cynthia: Of all the times to come out to your family, I had to do it right before the last presidential debate. Damn that John Kerry!
    Ginger: Cynthia, I'm sorry your parents are having a meltdown, but it's hardly John Kerry's fault.
    Cynthia: When he called Mary Cheney a lesbian, I felt like I had been drop-kicked.
    Ginger: Well, Mary Cheney is a lesbian, and you're a political football.
    • #452, "Absolute Value" (2004), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Ginger: Oh, jeez. Well, uh... maybe you should talk to someone.
    Cynthia: I thought I was.
    • #452, "Absolute Value" (2004), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Cynthia: To be honest, I've been rethinking things lately. I mean, I'm still a Christian, but I'm definitely transitioning.
    Janis: Really? Is your mom letting you do hormones? Mine won't.
    • #457, "Son Goddess" (2005), collected in Invasion of the DTWOF (2005).
  • Raffi: Okay, it's time to make another deposit to my therapy fund.
    • #458, "Below the Law" (2005), collected in The Essential DTWOF (2008).
  • Sydney: Imagine the cinematography if Ennis and Jack had been able to live together. Sweeping vistas of their couples therapist's office.
    • #483, "For Worse" (2006), collected in The Essential DTWOF (2008).


  • Of course I’m delighted that Fun Home has met with such success, but it still strikes me as very unlikely that an odd, cerebral story about a lesbian and her closeted gay suicidal mortician father would have struck a chord with anyone but me.
    • on her breakout graphic novel [1]
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