Monday, September 16, 2013

Unnatural Dykes to Watch Out For

1995, possible first edition, although bought "new" a couple years later, published by Firebrand Books
Alison Bechdel
Unnatural Dykes to Watch Out For
Bought "new" for $10.95
Slightly worn paperback

For the most part, I found this to be weaker than the other collections, but I really enjoyed the bonus story, "Sentimental Education," in which Ginger puts off finishing her thesis in order to "document her friendship network."  So we get glimpses of the Dykes in the early '80s, including incredibly, a porn-hating Lois who becomes Sparrow's first lover!  It's much less of a shock to see that Mo's first lover, Clarice as you'll recall, got tired of Mo's whining.

As for the mid-'90s, Clarice and Toni's son Rafi grows up quickly, from newborn to toddler, with Toni postponing coming out to her parents, until her cousin accidentally outs her.  Lois helps Mo and Thea get over their mutual infatuation, with New Year's kisses, and then Mo has a fling with Deirdre, but mostly Mo is unhappily celibate, leading to the great line "Is this eerily reminiscent of tenth grade, or what?" as she babysits Rafi and her friends go on a double date.

There are definitely nice moments along the way, including offpage Adam this time loaning June a dress, while Sparrow looks sharp in a tux.  I just didn't feel as drawn in as usual, no pun intended.

Next time, Hot, Throbbing Dykes to Watch out For (1997)....

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