Roxane Gay, Carrie Brownstein, Roberta Colindrez, Jane Lynch To Star in Audible Adaptation of Dykes To Watch Out For

feature image photo of Roxane Gay by Frazer Harrison / Staff via Getty Images; photo of Carrie Brownstein by Albert L. Ortega / Contributor via Getty Images; photo of Roberta Colindrez by Rob Kim / Stringer via Getty Images; photo of Jane Lynch by Steve Granitz / Contributor via Getty Images

🚨 CALLING ALL ALISON BECHDEL HEADS!!!! 🚨 An Audible adaptation of Alison Bechdel‘s iconic weekly comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For — which ran from 1983 to 2008 — is coming just in time for Pride month. The project has tapped a truly bonkers good lineup of queer talent to voice Bechdel’s long-running characters, including queer Broadway performer Jenn Colella, Carrie Brownstein, Roberta Colindrez, Roxane Gay, and Jane Lynch. It’s quite the star-studded and GAY voiceover cast!!!!!

Bechdel told the Advocate about this project and its cast: “I’m absolutely speechless. Fortunately, these actors have plenty to say, and they do so with dykely aplomb.” And now I need a hat that says “dykely aplomb” STAT!!!!!!

Playwright and writer on Only Murders in the Building Madeleine George adapted the Audible version, and it’s director by stage director Leigh Silverman. Original music will be provided by Alana Davis, Faith Soloway, and Bitch, and there will be a soundtrack, too, with music from lesbian artists like Ferron, Holly Near, and Cris Williamson.

The original Dykes to Watch Out For followed central character Mo and her expansive queer friend group, including drag king Lois, environmental lawyer Clarice, bisexual Sparrow, Mo’s ex Harriet, and so many others. From the official Audible description, it appears the audiobook version will be released episodically. As far as scope, the official description reads:

Follow the trials and tribulations of Mo, Lois, Toni, Clarice, and the rest of their friends as they surf the waves of dyke drama from the softball field to the women’s bookstore, from the brunch rush at the vegan Café Topaz all the way to the steps of the Supreme Court, in a very special episode set at the landmark 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of this groundbreaking comic that holds such a special place in so many of our hearts or are looking to dive in for the first time, I strongly recommend picking up a copy of The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For! It would make a perfect gift to yourself for Pride and a great companion to this upcoming audiobook version, which debuts on June 1. The compendium does not include every single Dykes to Watch Out For strip Bechdel ever wrote — a feat that would be near impossible just because of the sheer abundance of this comic — but it does have about 74% of the extant episodes in this universe and also includes a bonus interlude where Bechdel looks back over her career. You can browse some strip archives and character bios on Bechdel’s website, too, but seriously if you can get your hands on the omnibus version of her work, it’s so worth it. Ask a straight person to get it for you as a Pride gift (wow, we really should normalize asking our straight friends for Pride gifts).

The Audible adaptation of Dykes to Watch Out For comes out on June 1. Maybe if it’s popular enough, we can finally get the goddamn screen adaptation we deserve!!!!!!

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 847 articles for us.

17 Comments

  1. Honestly when I first heard about this I wasn’t sure – an audio-only medium for a comic strip? How would that even work??

    But then I saw the CAST. Hoooooooly shit that cast is amazing. These folks can do ANYTHING. So now I’m all in. Bring on the dykes!

    • I’m so here for this! They did this with Sandman, too, and I was skeptical, but now I spend every year dying for the next episode (they’re releasing the main series in quarters, essentially.)

  2. Still dying for a screen adaptation but my god, what a cast!! Also want to echo Kayla here and say that “dykely aplomb” is iconic and should maybe make its way on some Autostraddle merch in the future. This is such great news! definitely Made my Tuesday.

  3. Has anyone ever collected the remaining 30ish percent of the comics that aren’t in the essential dykes to watch out for book into a separate smaller tome? I wanna see all the ones I missed in the same place!

    • The archive of the comics is still online so the other 30% are in there maybe someone would be so kind as to make a list *hint hint* to know which dates to look at for the missing comics.

  4. Hey everyone! Thanks for these encouraging comments. This adaptation is REALLY GOOD and I’m so excited about it! I know, how is it possible to turn a comic strip into a sound-only format? Well, with a brilliant writer and world class actors and a Broadway director, it apparently is! This is such a cool project….adaptation…they’re calling it a “podcast,” but it’s not really a podcast. Whatever it is, I hope you all like it as much as I do.

  5. I’ve been wanting a screen adaptation for soooo long (I think k it would make the perfect mockumentary sitcom), and at first glance I thought that’s what this was! But the audiobook sounds super cool too, excited to hear it

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