Tag Archives: Dykes to Watch Out For

Why I love Alison Bechdel and Courtney Love

So, I’ve had a rough week.  Didn’t feel up to doing much of anything and just squeaked by with what absolutely had to be done.  Read: I won’t get fired from my job.  W won’t leave me even though I made the world’s worst possible meals for dinner several nights in a row.

My heart hasn’t been into much of anything.

I did read and finish the brilliant Alison Bechdel‘s new graphic memoir, Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama.  Not as terrific as her first, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, but great nonetheless.

If you’re not familiar with Bechdel’s work, she started out penning the lesbian comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For.

In Are You My Mother?, Bechdel takes to writing and drawing to make sense of her less-than-perfect relationship with her mother.  She says in the book that it’s something that she has to do.

I just finished up the book this afternoon and thought that I would scratch out at least a few sentences.  Writing has always been a redemptive release of sorts for me, which is part of why I started this blog.

After reading Are You My Mother?, I came away with a head filled with questions, thoughts, ideas and a list of books and authors to Google.  I’ve decided that I need a psychoanalyst and must re-read the works of Virginia Woolf, especially To The Lighthouse.

Bechdel is not for the faint of heart.  She’s a majorly screwed up lesbian with both mommy and daddy issues, which might be why I like her stuff so much.

I call it the Courtney Love effect.  I typically have a strong affinity for out-of-control rock-star types like Love (bloody tampon-throwing Love, of course), because at the end of the day they make me feel better about myself.  Sad but true.  It’s the same reason people watch Hoarders.  It makes them feel better about their housekeeping and organizational skills.

So, reading Bechdel cheered me up in a perverse kind of way.  And gave me hope that I might be able to manufacture my own tragic-comic-drama novel someday.

But for now it’s back to bed and a new book: Helping Me Help Myself by Beth Lisick.  Thank the good lord for books.  And beds.

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