Alison Bechdel

25 Essential Graphic Novels

Long dismissed as a less serious art form, graphic novels have finally started to gain more mainstream credibility over the last 20 years. There are many, many excellent examples out there, but if you’re looking for a place to start, start here! The world of the graphic novel is one that spans a wide range of authors, artists, styles, and subject matter, and this primer covers all the… Read More

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It’s Pointless to Argue Over Whether a Film — or Any Work of Art — Is Feminist

Depending on your political orientation, it sounds like a news story from either feminist utopia or authoritarian hell (or, if you’re among those of us lucky enough to live with much ambivalence and cognitive dissonance, both): “Swedish cinemas take aim at gender bias with Bechdel test rating.” I was certainly shocked to hear, last week, that Dykes to Watch Out For and Fun Home creator Alison Bechdel’s gender-based test for films had not only reached Scandinavia, but was affecting cinema policy over there. … Read More

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50 Sublime Coffee Table Books for the True Sophisticate

Let’s face it: the coffee table book is not just a book; it’s an item designed to indicate the relative level of sophistication of its owner. It’s a fetish object which ideally turns the sophistication dial up to “high.” Displaying coffee table books is, thus, essentially an invitation to people to judge you. A lot of people go wrong there, in my opinion. So here are 50 books that should be populating your coffee table instead of the latest collection of Vanity Fair‘s photo… Read More

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The Gay Bechdel Test: Why Hollywood Needs to Expand Its Representation of LGBT Characters

For years, I’ve enjoyed putting popular films through the Bechdel Test. Named after cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the test was introduced in her long-running comic Dykes to Watch Out For. Named “The Rule,” what became known as the Bechdel Test had three requirements: a film had to feature two named female characters, those characters had to speak to each other, and the subject of conversation had to be about something other than a man. Sounds pretty simple, right? It’s pretty astonishing how many movies fail the pretty easy test — especially in 2013. (A website that keeps track of movie releases and whether they pass the test already lists at least 38 films from 2013; only 21 pass the Bechdel test.) It got me thinking: could there be a similar test about gay characters, and how many movies would actually pass it? … Read More

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10 LGBT-Themed Novels That Every Student Should Read

The California Department of Education’s new recommended reading list, which was released last week, is causing some controversy because — gasp! — it includes a handful of books with LGBT themes. Though the list, which contains over 7,800 books, recommends only 32 that fall into the “gay-themed” category, several conservative critics are saying predictably nasty things. Never mind that this list has included books with gay and transgender characters for the past ten years. Between this news and the Supreme Court marriage equality hearings, we figured it was a good time to throw in our two cents: ten novels with LGBT themes that we think every student should read. We tried to suggest a range of books, from classics to YA, but since there are so many and we can’t list them all, add your favorites in the comments. … Read More

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In Case You Missed It: From Famous People's Business Cards to the Next Bechdel

This week on Flavorwire, we were a little more obsessed with famous people than we usually are around these parts, examining everything from their fascinating business cards to their final photographs to the evolution of their private jets. We met the people who hang out at New York’s public libraries and eight worthy successors to Alison Bechdel. We got an interesting look at some lovely burlesque performers both costumed and in the nude. … Read More

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8 Worthy Successors to Alison Bechdel

So you love Alison Bechdel, but you’ve read everything she’s ever written. What’s a graphic memoir lover to do? Well, read some more, of course. Today marks the release of Nicole Georges’ engaging first graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura, and to mark the occasion, we’ve put together a list of worthy “successors” to… Read More

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What Your Favorite Comic Says About You

Yesterday, at long last, the paperback edition of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes hit stores. As far as we can tell, there is a certain kind of person who really goes gaga for Calvin and Hobbes — the person who as a kid loved to tromp through the forest all day and come home to read on the couch with a fat hot chocolate at night, who maybe saw things a little differently than those pesky grownups — and that got us to thinking. While being into comics already gets you into the first stage of nerdery, the stories the form brings us range from the serious to the goofball, the superhero to the realist, so there’s no real way to lump comic fans all together. So what does your favorite comic (or graphic novel, just to be inclusive) say about you? Find out after the jump — and let us know if we’ve hit the nail on the head or if you’re plotting our demise in the comments. … Read More

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Alison Bechdel’s ‘Fun Home’ Musical to Premiere in New York

Finally, some news for fans of musical theater and comics who weren’t impressed by Julie Taymor and U2′s endless Spider-man disaster: Alison Bechdel’s genre-defining 2006 graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is about to make its stage debut. For those who aren’t familiar with its plot, the book — which happens to be one… Read More

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10 Graphic Novels That Would Make Awesome TV Shows

To our delight, we recently found out that one of our favorite graphic novelists, Daniel Clowes, is working on a pilot for HBO. Though Clowes’s new TV show is apparently an original, the news got us thinking about great graphic novels that we think would be absolutely perfect for television. Note: for simplicity’s sake, we’ve excluded graphic novels that have already been made into movies (Clowes’s Ghost World, Persepolis, Watchmen) or are best known as series (Sandman, Tintin). Click through to check out which graphic novels we desperately want to see for six seasons and a movie, and then let us know which ones you’d watch on the small screen in the comments. … Read More

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