Congratulations, #AlisonBechdel !

One of my favorite cartoonists (whom Kelly and I had the privilege of meeting a few years ago) has won a MacArthur “Genius Grant“.  ThinkProgress also has this interview with her.

I am so excited for her.   I literally cheered when I read the news.

Alison Bechdel wrote the brilliant comic Dykes to Watch Out For for many years, and I have really enjoyed reading her comics as well as her other works.  I remember getting my first DTWOF book back in… 1997?  I think that was the year.  Over the years I have accumulated a stack of her books.  And her memoirs (Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and later Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama) written in graphic novel form, are two of only a handful I have read in recent years.

Bechdel is also responsible for creating what later became known as the Bechdel Test, an assessment of the level of complexity of female characters in popular culture.  In essence, the requirement is that two female characters talk to each other about something besides a man.  Seems pretty simple, right?  And there are actually a lot of films who pass the test.  Yet the list of books, TV shows, comics, and films who fail this test is much higher.  Staggering, in fact.   There is a whole website devoted to which movies pass and which fail.

Anyway, I wish her all the best in the world.  I hope this gives her the chance to do something that she otherwise would not have been able to do.

You’re awesome, Alison Bechdel!


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