Tuesday, March 14, 2006



I know this isn't the best way to do this, but I'm just experimenting with using Flickr to post the strip. Here's the latest episode, hot off the drawing board. To go to a larger, legible version, click here. 484
I think this method works pretty well. And now we can all post comments about individual episodes :).

What I'm terribly curious about is how Cynthia maps her concepts of abstinence onto her physical relationshp with other women. My understanding is that a whole lot of kids who take those pledges end up defining abstinence to mean just "no penis in vagina." We already know she's gotten to second base ... when does it not count as abstinence for her?

This works! Good to see the strip up and going strong.

Quaint One
Thanks so much for uploading!!! And for bringing the mysterious husband into the picture again... Yes, I will buy a T-shirt, and Fun Home when it gets to Singapore.
That looks good. It is just slightly too wide for my little 800 * 600 screen, though. If you could narrow it down by maybe 40 pixels that would be great. If that creates a serious problem for you, don't worry about it. I just have to scroll back and forth a little. (If anybody out there is thinking about letting me know what a loser I am for still having a little screen like that, tell it to Sydney. I have no, zero, nada, none, void, cash to throw around, I'm old fashioned about debt -- very unpatriotic of me, I know -- and I have no serious need for a bigger screen.)

Something I tried to post when you first asked for suggestions but I think I didn't get it past blogger's anti-spam mechanisms... I know you don't have much time, but how about putting together a list of all the print publications that run dtwof and posting it on the web site? That would help reassure them that you're steering readers to them. It may seem redundant to you, but some of your readers (including me) are not at all connected to their local lgbt communities and don't know where to find dtwof in print. I have seen the references to Off Our Backs, but wanted to make the more general suggestion.

As for content... Sparrow just gets cooler and cooler, and Stuart just gets more and more pathetic. And for the first time, I really want to give Ginger a kick in the ass. The best thing that has happened to you in years just reappeared at your door, dummy. See what she has to say.

I would be the last person to know what virginity means to a lesbian, but it means something, doesn't it? There is something that Ashley wants that Cynthia's not giving. The big O? They certainly are disagreeing; you'd think there must be something they're disagreeing about.
I get the feed over at livejournal, and the comic posted, with a link to a larger version over at flickr. Great!
This looks fabulous! Thank you.

(Please don't waste time away from your drawing board fulfilling silly requests from people. Wait-I meant to ask: Can you come over and alphabetize my CD collection?)

How can I contribute to your salary?
Thanks so much for doing this. And I second both of chicklet's comments: don't waste your time becoming a slave to the comments section and (!) tell us how we can live up to our side of the experiement by tossing you some cash. If you have a simple PO box or if you do Pay Pal, for example. Thanks for keeping my DTWOF habit alive and well post-Planet Out.
I agree with everyone else - this is fantastic. We don't have to see all the ads on PlanetOut, and we still get to appreciate and enjoy your comic strip.

Perhaps we, as your loving audience, could fundraise to pay for a Pro flickr account for you?

And, following on what Josh said (first comment): It is interesting to figure out how Cynthia defines abstinence within a lesbian relationship, given that there are straight kids who take the pledge but have anal sex. Wasn't there a big NYTimes article about it last year? Something about pledgers having a higher rate of anal sex than other teens?
As I posted in DTWOF in LJ, I love the tip of the nib to Octavia. RIP.
I saw this first on Flickr (yeah, I've got you listed as one of my contacts so I see whenever you put a new pic up), & the strip came up at a perfect size for reading when I chose "All sizes." Terrific!

I too noticed the tip of the nib to Octavia. Thank you -- she is missed.
This format works great for me. I'm ready to subscribe/contribute/donate/fork over the dough :)

One note of warning about posting it in a blog with the comments enabled. I read a number of webcomics and a few have their own forum. When the webcomic gets superpopular the forums become bogged down with the weight of a thousand people's eager opinions/speculations/complaints/brags/ etc. I'm sure your fan base is pretty polite and well mannered (judging based on a data point of one; myself), but even so, the whole comment thing might get out of hand.

ending post now to avoid excessive hypocrisy.

Can never give enough praise for the content of DTWOF, so won't try, smile.

- JP, mountain view, CA
FYI, there's some discussion going on in the LiveJournal Dykes community too, including a huge Ashley/Cynthia discussion.


Allison, do you have a PayPal account? I'd love to send you some cash. :)
Worked well from my perspective. I got the post on my Livejournal friends page, which is really convenient. Now, you're going to let us pay you for posting these, right?

Thanks for the shout out to Octavia Butler. She is so dearly missed.
Hey...well, that explains why I have been all over the Planet Out looking for the latest strip and it aint there! They do still have the link to all the DTWOF strips in their archives and I guess they get to keep that?
I just read the new strip here and it looks good.
Any way, I have to shamefacedly admit that my finances would make it REALLY difficult to sign up for a pay for site for DTWOF for awhile yet and I would prefer to wade through the ads, then not have access at all...
On the other hand, you shouldn't put it out there for free..this is your proffesson and aside from the time to administrate a site, the time spent chasing down ads and getting them to post with you also sounds time consuming.
As an artist myself, I struggle a lot with people for some reason thinking that art should be free or so cheap that the artist can't afford the gas to get to the mural site, or pay for their supplies. I get it!!! ( its also why my budget is so tight! *sigh* ) Firebrand books used to host you and did a really good job with it....I always wondered why you never went back to them when they opened back up, except of course that by then you were in Planet Out's clutches and they probably had you nailed down to an exclusive just with us thing....I cannot figure out why they dropped you....that is mindblowing. Here they are supposedly on the cutting edge of whats going on in the GLBT world, and they drop DTWOF!?!?! Hello, what is with that!!!
Looking forward to what happens and will save my pennies if you end up charging. I refuse to do w/o my DTWOF!!!!! *grin*
Is is possible to go even a bit larger with the strip? It's still too small IMO. (Maybe I just have a hard time reading comics off of the computer monitors..?)
-- Concerning the siting the strip on Flickr:
I think this is (at the very least) a great interim step.
At least we'll be able to see the episodes until a
permanent solution gets sorted out.
(And speaking as someone with a pokey modem connection,
I really appreciate having the "click here for a big image"
link, so that it doesn't take half an hour just to open the 'blog.)

-- As far as the current plots:
I'm really enjoying the twists on the standard pot-boiler
characters: Sparrow as the Dad, torn between responsibility
and workaholism. And Stuart, working his butt off, but starting
to wear thin as the "but-you-never-see-the-kids-any-more" Mom.

And Ashley, who for all her talk, is really starting to
show herself as just another obnoxious frat boy with her
"But if you really loved me...." line.

(Although, admittedly, Samia/Ammar/Ginger doesn't exactly fit
in this model very well...)
tip jar?
Thank you so much, you made my day!
Tip jar! Paypal or PO Box. Many of us are ready, yearning to help, want to support the strip & keep it free for those who can't. Tell us how.
Thank you thank you thank you!!

And I like reading the hot off the press comments too!

If I were ginger - I wouldn't have gone either.... I hate messy complications....

Great strip! and good to see it online again!

A warning about flickr--they've had a policy before about focusing on photographs instead of drawings:
Obviously yours is coming through now, but I hope it's not just a matter of time. If you decide to stay with Flickr, then make sure you send them an email and make your voice heard. Your use of it could really influence their policy, perhaps!

If you consider using something else, why not just blogger, itself?

And I agree with the others--the sooner there's a tipjar the better!
Thank you for the larger size! I love it now. :0) Such beautiful details without straining my old eyeballs.
Anun sez:

A new strip! Yea! I clicked on the zoom and it sized up beautifully -- in fact, way better than PlanetOut ever did. I don't know how financially viable this way is for you, but I'm way happy and grateful to be reading the strip again. Consider your experiment a success!
i second everyones comments about the paypal account. i am so upset that planetout is not treating you with the respect you deserve being the foremost lesbian comic artist EVER and i feel very very fervently that i want to donate/help out in some way to getting the strip on the web. please let us help because we love you and love dtwof!!!!

as i'm not in north america, i can't get it elsewhere than the web until the books come out, and i'm way too addicted to dtwof to wait that long. would it help also if we all went on a letter-writing campaign to local glbt/alterna mags/papers asking them to print dtwof?
Can you put a note on the DTWOF home page that the new episode can be found via the blog? Otherwise only dedicated blog readers will know anything has changed, the rest just see that therapists' door every time they check in.
great to be able to read the strip here, but I could only get it to very legible size for a second, then it shrank again - something I did?
And Ashley, who for all her talk, is really starting to
show herself as just another obnoxious frat boy with her
"But if you really loved me...." line.

I thought it was more like "when you're ready to give up the privileged option of deciding that you were never really gay, we can talk."

Not, of course, that that's the only reason anyone would balk at sex. But in my experience, it's a good candidate for what "oh! how dare you! don't you know that's wrong?" means (as opposed to "I want to too, but the reasons to wait are better").
thank you! hurrah!

but PLEASE PLEASE make it a little bigger. i can't read any of the detailing, like what the TV's saying, and I just know I'm missing good jokes!
When I clicked on the "bigger size" caption, I actually got a SMALLER, and far more illegible cartoon! Do I have to wait for the next book to read DTWOF?
caprice said...
> but PLEASE PLEASE make it a little
> bigger. i can't read any of the
> detailing, like what the TV's saying,
> and I just know I'm missing good jokes!

and Anonymous said...
> When I clicked on the "bigger size"
> caption, I actually got a SMALLER, >
> and far more illegible cartoon!

The actualy image at Flickr is much bigger than you are describing. For example, you should easily be able to read the speech coming out of the TV.

HOWEVER, different browsers sometimes display the image, initially, in a compressed or "unzoomed" size.

For example, when I view the episode #484 on either Netscape or IExplorer, the browser shows me the image at a *much* smaller size when it first appears.

Any browser that does this should have some (easy) way of expanding the image to full-size.

For example, in the version of Netscape that I have, if I move my mouse over the image, the mouse-cursor looks like a little magnifying glass. When I click on the image it expands to a full size.

Likewise, when I view the image in IExplorer it is shown with a little icon beside the image. When I click on the icon, the image expands.

Different browsers handle this in different ways. But all of them should
have some way of expanding the image.

If nothing else works, try clicking your right mouse-button over the image, and see if there is anything promisigin sounding on the menu there.

In short, the full-sized image should be plenty wide for you to see all details. (or example, you should be able to easily see all all the individual hairs on JR's head in the next to last panel. If you can't then your browser's hiding something from you.

sorry but im having problems reading the strip.
I press the see it in larger formatt button and for a second its in landscape formatt and then goes to portrait and i cant read it.
ive read this one from this page instead but its still hard.
i cant read all the little bits such as tip o th enib and th ebook titles/signs etc
I hope you're not just going to give the strip away on your blog. Or if you do, you should stick a pay pal button up and do like they do on NPR and ask for $. There needs to be a way for readers to pay you.

I just want to see you compensated for what I know is *a lot* of work.
another bit of appreciation for your octavia butler nod. i don't have a paypal account but would consider getting one to help line your deserving pockets. keep up the wonderful work.
First off, thanks for posting the new comic in your blog. Still, I must say I found the flickr image hard to read on my computer. The lettering is sort of fuzzy in places, especially all the fun bits like the signs and newspapers and television blurbs. Is there any way to fix this?
Yeah, my browser shrank it too. I'm stuck on the PCs at work. So I right-clicked on it, saved it to my desktop, and opened it up with Photo Editor. Not an elegant solution, but it did the job.
I hope you don't mind I did that.
Method for posting works well.

Thank you for the Octavia Butler mention.
Where can I find the ones between where Planet Out leaves off, and the one you posted?
Alison, thanks so much for the interim fix!

On my setup, (PowerMac G3, OS9.2.2, iCab browser) the Flickr based image displays perfectly!

Please, set up a tip jar or a PayPal account so we can pay you for your work!
The "larger, legible version" is much better. Here one can read ths whole page as it was meant to be; not all broken up and/or on multiple pages like the Planet Out's method of doing things.
Someone earlier asked about Alison having a PO Box. She has it listed in the Contact Us section of the DTWOF website.
This is stunning, stupendous, splendid, spectacular!

Finally, the panels in their natural arrangement, not torn apart in that weird planetout way!

And the size! I could never get my local print source (Extra West) to puplish the strip in a legible size.

Thank you so much!
Many thanks---it works well, great fix for now.

For the longer term, I would support a pay-per-view, or any method that would allow you to be paid for your work. Keep trying!
I think the main thing this experiment shows is people only click on the picture itself and ignore the text you write.

Folks, right above the picture in Alison's original posting is a link (linked to the word "here") to the big version!
Oh frabjous day! I just found this site. I've been going crazy searching for new strips on PlanetOut. Where can I find #481 and #482?

I will gladly pay for a subscription. Name your price! Just don't leave me again.
Tres's aunt asked:

"Where can I find #481 and #482?"

They're in the PlanetOut archives:


Hey-- so I'd be happy to pay... you deserve it-- and all the better, re planet out. Can't wait to read Fun House. Your doting fan, Deborah
wow....guess it's all good for women to be pressured into having sex before they're ready--as long as it's by other women.
bothers me like the "coochie-snorcher" Vagina Monologue about a young girl finding sexual self-awakening as a lesbian--but through an older woman, therefore glorifying pedophilia in a really grotesque manner (IMO).

gender sexual double-standards. oy.
Maybe one of the sexphobes on here can explain to me how, exactly, waiting until she "feels ready" is supposed to save Cynthia from having her heart broken?

How is she supposed to learn without doing?
Wow... Guess it's all good for women to be pressured into abstinence, so long as it's by other women. Bring on the nuns.

Deitybox, you may be comforted to know that some of us are also skeptical about pedophile hysteria in a hetero context. See Judith Levine, _Harmful to Minors_.

Being as explicit as I can about "pressure":

1. Cynthia is pressuring Ashley just as much as Ashley is pressuring Cynthia. Either one of them could pick up and move on. In fact, what they have is a mutual disagreement. Cynthia wants a chaste relationship, Ashley doesn't. For the moment, Cynthia seems to be winning.

2. Cynthia's "principles" involve violent pressure against sexually active women she has never met. She wants to expose them to STDs. She wants to force them to become pregnant, and force them to carry the pregnancies to term. If they keep the resulting children, she wants to deny them adequate education, housing, and health care. She wants them to get cancer. Of course, women could in principle avoid those violent consequences by choosing abstinence. But that is exactly what "pressure" means.

Now, I have to admit that most of those consequences are more likely to apply to hetero women than lesbians. I trust we're not indulging any "gender sexual double standards" and excluding het women from consideration.

When it comes to putting pressure on peoples' sexuality, Ashley is a novice compared to Cynthia.
On the slender chance that anyone is still reading this thread, I need to correct myself slightly. I should have said that many people, including me, are skeptical of hetero pedophilia hysteria. There is no "us" I can claim to speak for. In particular, I am straight and I like grownups. (This relates to my response, above, to deitybox.)
Bring on the nuns? What about a woman's right to choose....when she has sex?? Would you really be saying this if Ashley was a guy pressuring Cynthia, or if her being "not ready" had to do with something other than Christianity? My comment wasn't intended to be a rallying call for abstinence or abstinence-only education, and of course not an endorsement of the politics cynthia represents. I was stating the simple fact that losing one's virginity is (ideally) a personal and meaningful choice, and I didn't like Ashley's tone of manipulating Cynthia into sleeping with her, when Cynthia has some very sincere, if arguably misguided, qualms. I wasn't under the impression that the two are in a "relationship," seems like they're just hooking up, sort of. Even if it is a relationship, the decision to have or not to have sex should be mutual, and so I agree that Cynthia is pressuring Ashley also, but is being drawn here as doing it more out of fear, innocence, and ignorance than manipulation. She seems to want a relationship, while Ashley just wants to get laid. Doesn't bode well.
Deitybox, *all else* being equal, yes, I would still have the same response in a hetero context in which religion didn't matter. I'm not saying that Cynthia should have sex with Ashley. I do think Cynthia would be happier that way, but you're absolutely right that it's not for me to decide. What I am saying is that Ashley is not exerting any inappropriate pressure on Cynthia (as well as making some observations about Cynthia and pressure). My main point is to defend Ashley by pointing out that they have a mutual disagreement. It's not one way.

You and I disagree about Ashley's character. Which of us is right remains to be seen. If it turns out that Ashley is just looking for a quicky AND she is willing to manipulate Cynthia's desire for a more serious relationship in order to get it, then I could not support that. But I think if Ashley was just looking for a quicky she'd be long gone by now.

This is not really supposed to be a discussion forum. With all respect, I'm not going to post any further responses specifically to you here. If you haven't already, you might want to take a look at the livejournal forum, where this issue has been discussed at some length.
(Different anon poster here.) I agree with dietybox in the sense that there are people out there who pressure you into doing things you do not honestly want to do at that time, with that person. Pressure causes confusion and rushing and if you end up doing something that was untrue to yourself, then you feel ashamed of yourself and, more, disgusted with the person who was so disrespectful and callous.

(The post that just popped up while I was composing this suggests they are equally pressuring each other. My sense is that Ashley is more willful, even angry. Good point, though, that she would not still be around if it were purely a casual relationship to her.)

Mostly what I think in reading this end of the discussion is that DTWOF is a comic strip, seeing life in a different way than, say, a novel. Yes, they seem like real people, but there is also the value of comic strips simplifying things. Stu is a lesbian (see #284: Lois actually says it). Ashley is a frat boy (482). It's an interesting way to question what we think of different categories of people.
WOW! I Love it...
and i thing thats good for you >>

บันเทิง ดารา : แตงกวา จิราพร ขึ้นแท่น สาวหล่อ
Thank you!
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