Congratulations, Alison Bechdel!

by Audrey Cerchiara

We are super psyched for one of our favorite feminist-graphic-artist-memoirists, Alison Bechdel, who, we just found out, is a 2014 MacArthur Fellow. That means that Bechdel now has $625,000 to use for snacks while writing and drawing about the complexities of queer lifestyles and histories. We look forward to seeing what kind of creativity that amount of snacks can produce. If I only had that much money for cashews…

Each year, based on a kind of mysterious nomination process by anonymous experts in various fields, the MacArthur Foundation announces a class of people who write or make films or study brains, and who will be awarded $625,000 over five years. They say that the phone just rings and suddenly you are a “genius” (with a lot of money for snacks). 

Bechdel is one of nine women to be awarded the grant this year. The other unstoppable women include a physicist studying brain connectivity, an environmental engineer studying the health effects of carbon emissions, and a labor organizer for domestic workers. Another deserving fellow is Mary L. Bonauto, one of the most important civil rights lawyers advocating for marriage equality for same-sex couples. We could spend the whole day getting seriously inspired by these brilliant women. 

If you don’t know Bechdel (and also, if you do) check out her website with archives of her early comic strips or get to a library and check out one of her graphic novels. Bechdel changed the way we think about female representation in film with three simple questions, so grab some snacks and watch a few Bechdel Test-approved films while you’re at it (they make more money anyway). 


Image by Alison Bechdel via


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