Thursday, June 6, 2013

New, Improved! Dykes to Watch Out For

1990, possible first edition, although bought "new" almost a decade later, published by Firebrand Books
Alison Bechdel
New, Improved! Dykes to Watch Out For
Original price unknown, purchase price $4.00
Slightly worn paperback

At least as good as the previous collection, this one introduces Lois's roommates black college professor Ginger and Asian therapy addict Sparrow.  (Or did Ginger appear briefly before?)  Clarice has a one-night stand with Ginger, which puts a strain on her relationship with Toni, although they go to couples counseling and eventually talk marriage.  Meanwhile, Mo is still with Harriet, although it takes her a year to be able to say "I love you."  Lois, who usually has flings, becomes a recently divorced older woman's "secondary."  Sparrow doesn't seem to have a love life yet.  No major job changes.  And since this covers '88 to '90, there's the shift from Reagan to Bush I, with Mo going through a bout of political indifference.

As before, I wanted to keep reading.  (Next up will be 1992's Dykes to Watch Out For: The Sequel.)  One thing I felt was done better than before was the interaction of the characters, both in a soap-opera sense of "Oh no!  Do you think I should tell ______ what they did?", and in the sense of characters arguing and kidding around.  Bechdel now has her basic cast and it's a good blend of personalities.

Unlike the last book, and many of the later ones, this doesn't conclude with an extended story.  (Last time was Mo and Harriet's first night together.)  This one just asks a bunch of soap-operatic questions, concluding, "Don't touch that remote control!"  I wish I didn't have to.

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