Alison Bechdel: Dykes to Watch Out For

Erin La Cour*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In a field that is more and more concerned with promoting comics auteurs, it is striking that Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is largely praised and studied on its own. The fact that its discourse on archiving, visibility, and sexual identity are its most celebrated aspects, coupled with Bechdel’s pre-Fun Home status as a celebrated underground comics artist, make the lack of attention paid to her earlier work, Dykes to Watch Out For, as well as her subsequent Are You My Mother? A Family Drama, all the more surprising. Through an examination of possible explanations, this chapter posits that rather than genre or form, literariness or timeliness, Bechdel’s “lesser” two works have been neglected due to their focus on women’s and lesbians’ stories. Rather than simply calling for a redress, this chapter argues that a critical reevaluation of these works is politically necessary due to their discursive questioning of archival erasure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Comics and Graphic Narratives
EditorsSebastian Domsch, Dan Hassler-Forest, Dirk Vanderbeke
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783110446968
ISBN (Print)9783110446616
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameHandbooks of English and American Studies
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton

Bibliographical note

Working title: Out of the Comics Closet: Reevaluating the Archive of Women’s and Lesbians’ Stories through Alison Bechdel’s Oeuvre.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


  • Archive
  • Critical reception
  • Lesbians
  • Visibility
  • Women


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