cover image Spawn of Dykes to Watch Out for: Cartoons

Spawn of Dykes to Watch Out for: Cartoons

Alison Bechdel. Firebrand Books, $14.95 (136pp) ISBN 978-1-56341-039-0

Bechdel returns with her lovably P.C. lesbian community, in her fifth collection of stories chronicling the lives and loves of the staff at Madwimmin Bookshop. Bookstore staff includes ``sex-positive'' Lois; bookstore owner Jezanna; wheelchair-bound Thea; and Mo, political grouch in residence. Mo's lover, Harriet, wants to break up and Mo is not taking it well. Yuppie lesbians Toni and Clarice have decided to have a child by artificial insemination. Bechdel's story takes us through their parenting adventure in amusing sequences dealing with frozen-sperm deliveries, breaking the news to parents (or, in Toni's case, pretending there's a father) and the shock of baby-support groups--all subtly illuminating the problems that same-sex couples must face to have children. Bechdel handles Toni's labor and birth (a first for a syndicated comic strip?) with tasteful detail, humor and just the right amount of sentiment. Her black-and-white drawings are charming, carefully conceived and briskly comic. (Dec.)