Friday, July 01, 2005



Originally uploaded by Alison Bechdel.
Here's a sneak preview of Madeleine (speaking to Sydney) from the next Dykes book due out in October. Thanks to's hellish spirit of unceasing industry, they already have Invasion of the Dykes To Watch Out For listed on their site. But don't order it from them. Order it from an independent bookstore like, which is so mellow they don't have the cover art up yet.

Great idea, but sometimes Amazon is your only chance to get hold of the original edition if you are not American but, in my case, German.
Three months is a long tease, but I do love the professor in the turban!

Lois in the cover art of Invasion of the DTWOF looks like a familiar, 1930s (?) comic strip character, but I cannot quite place her. (Gasoline Alley?) And is that a bicycle helmet she's holding?

Hope you get a chance to catch your breath this month.
Maybe I've missed something--has certainly happened before--but who's Madeline?
Anonymous said...
...who's Madeline?

Madeline is "the visiting comp lit professor" for whom Sydney dumped Thea when Thea discovered she had MS in the aforementioned "The Trouble with Sydney" (252).
Also see "What's All This Then?" (#466), in which Sydney sends a sexually specific email to Madeline while watching Mo graduate via webcast.

I wonder if Alison knew what Madeline looked like before she created her for the extended narrative of Invasion of the DTWOF. Madeline is more weathered than I would have expected.

I'm always amazed by the sheer variety of bodies and faces that Alison creates.
>I wonder if Alison knew what Madeline
>looked like before she created her
> for the extended narrative of
> Invasion of the DTWOF. Madeline is
> more weathered than I would have
> expected.

Well, given that Mo has to be well
into her 40s, and I've always imagined
Sydney as the same age (or a year or
two older) and Madeline as a few years
older than that, then, speaking as
some who is in my "extremely late 40s",
I can only say that "weathered"
doesn't seem a completely unreasonable
characterization. ;-)

> I'm always amazed by the sheer
> variety of bodies and faces that
> Alison creates.

Indeed. And that it shows characters
who actually age realistically
has always been one of my favorite
features of the strip.
>Lois in the cover art of Invasion of the DTWOF >looks like a familiar, 1930s (?) comic strip >character, but I cannot quite place her. (Gasoline >Alley?)

hmmm.... Tintin? (
Yes! Tintin. Exactly. (not Rin Tin Tin, Gasoline Alley or Tin Pan Alley)

And speaking of realism in the strip, the "shlurp" panel of Indiscreet has less of a cartoon look than the other panels. A slight shift in the illustration. Does anyone else see that?
The cover doesn't look remotely like the new covers for the older books... not that I have any issues with that!
"slight shift" -- yeah, Sydney looks vaguely like evil 1920's fem, very cool! Something about her posture. Dying for the whole book...
Turban woman, with her geometrical print robe or loose jacket, looks to me like a middle aged white woman trying to imitate Queen Latifah, circa 1991. Ugh.

But Madeleine reminds me of Sydney's mother, albeit with a better haircut. I can't remember the exact strip where we met her -- it was in the hospital during Sydney's cancer treatment, she and Sydney's father got into a vicious little exchange that made Sydney glad she had morphine available -- and I'm not going to spend any more time looking for it on Penis Out. So I may be confused about the resemblance. But if I'm not, this could be interesting. Madeleine looks like a horror. We all know, of course, how much Sydney resembles her father -- who made the mistake of marrying her mother.

The forthcoming book cover looks really good and I'm looking forward to the book. Ellen and anonymous are right about the Tintin resemblance, but I'm also enjoying the "Mission Accomplished" reference. Like W, Lois appears to have stored an extra pair of socks in the crotch of her flight suit -- always a wise precaution against the possibility of stepping in something.
So that's where Madeleine comes from! Now I remember....

You mention Powell's, but any thoughts on choosing between independent bookstore and publisher? I'd ordered Carbon-Based directly from Alyson when it came out.

(I know, I know -- give multiple copies as gifts and split up the orders....)
The woman in turban reminds me of a 1920's silent screen star, who, over the decades, morphed into a dramatic-fanatic creative writing, women's studies, or theater diva, ripe with poetic flair. Bobbie Lousie Hawkins and Ruth Draper come to mind.

Amazing that a single image can connote so much.
Hey Alison, Natalie in Baltimore here. Long time no talk to.

So cool to hear about the new book. Even cooler (though not surprising) to hear you giving props to Powells and, by extension, other independent booksellers and indie publishers. Keep up the great work!
hooray! hooray! a new book!

and how much do i love the commenter who referred to planet out as "penis out"!! it's such a boyworld!
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