Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dykes to Watch Out For: The Sequel

1992, possible first edition, although bought "new" a few years later, published by Firebrand Books
Alison Bechdel
Dykes to Watch Out For: The Sequel
Bought "new" for $10.95
Slightly worn paperback

This is definitely a case of a sequel being better than its predecessor(s).  It's funnier, sharper, and more touching.  The only negative I could think of is that the introduction of handicapped new bookstore employee Thea, and Mo's awkwardness around her, are a bit heavy-handed.  Other than that, there's great stuff here, from the characters' feedback strip ("Lois needs a new lover like the Pentagon needs a bigger budget") to the evolving friendships and relationships to the Gulf War.  The biggest life change here is that Clarice and Toni get married.  (An offpage friend named Adam loans Sparrow "his radical faerie party frock" and she looks adorable, while Mo decides to wear her usual striped tank top.)  Mo and Harriet move in together but don't seem too happy, so it's not surprising that they'll later break up.  After complaining that she, not Lois, is the one who needs a new lover, Ginger gets a romantic pen-pal.  (And Lois gets a new lover, who's also Ginger's student.)  

The featured story at the end this time is "Serial Monogamy," where Bechdel shows how she still hopes for forever love, but instead gets forever exes.  (Preach it, Sister!)  Ironically, due to alphabetization, this is my first book to mention the "Brady Bunch scandals," since she contrasts watching the show at age 11 with the recent revelation that "Florence Henderson admits to torrid romance with TV son during production of popular series."  (As Barry Williams's book will show, it was hardly torrid, or even a romance.)

We don't have to wait the usual two years for the next DtWoF, since Spawn of Dykes to Watch Out for (in which Clarice and Toni finally have a baby) is coming up in '93....

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