Cartoonist Alison Bechdel On Turning 50: “I Hope I’m Not At The Top Of My Game”

I’m immensely grateful that I have something I like to do so much and that I get to do it and that I get paid to do it. But I also feel – and I have to figure out a way to talk about this without sounding really incredibly whiny and obnoxious, and some other adjective that my menopausal brain is not accessing—but I feel like when I look around at my work life, I’m like at the top of my field and I find this a really alarming and disconcerting thing. Because I feel like, “How did this happen?” I mean, I’m happy. I’m happy it happened, but I don’t feel like. . . It hasn’t been like . . . I haven’t figured this all out.B

I hope I’m not at the top of my game, but I do feel like, you know, in terms of the field of graphic novels and cartooning I am perceived as this big success. And I am a big success, but I feel like an utter fraud. I mean, I’m okay. I do good work. I know I do good work. But I haven’t quite . . . I feel like . . . My new challenge is to grow into my reputation, to like really inhabit my potential as much as I can. I want to do really good work. I feel like I have maybe 10, maybe 15 years to really do some substantive work, and I really hope I can rise to that challenge.

—Award-winning lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For, Fun Home, Are You My Mother?) discusses turning 50 (today), on Jezebel. Happy birthday, Alison!

Photo: Matt Valentine

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