Alison Bechdel, Lock Haven, Pa., native and author of the groundbreaking comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For," is coming to speak at Penn State in March.
Bechdel, a lesbian, is also well known for her graphic memoir "Fun Home," which chronicles her early life growing up in central Pennsylvania.
Bechdel will speak March 4 in room 129ABC in the HUB-Robeson Center, said Eileen Akin, coordinator of the Fred Waring Collection and Audiovisual Collections in the Special Collections Library.
Bechdel's visit is part of the "Graphic Novel Speaker Series," which Akin started in spring 2007, she said.
The coordinator considers Bechdel the "Mark Twain of our time" and said she's wanted to bring the author here since the series began.
"[There are] a lot of people interested in seeing her among the gay and lesbian community, and among those interested in graphic novels and comics, and anyone else who may be intrigued by her work and may want to know more about her," Akin said.
Susan Squier, a professor of women's studies and English, said the Ph.D. seminar she teaches is focusing on graphic novels and will be reading "Fun Home" this semester, which is why she wanted Bechdel to visit Penn State.
"It's just a terrific, wonderful, smart memoir," Squier said. "It's set in Pennsylvania, and it just seemed like she should be here."
Bechdel will speak to Squier's class in the afternoon and will then speak to the public in the evening.
Allison Subasic, director of the LGBTA Student Resource Center, described "Fun Home" as a "touching and moving story," saying students will be interested to hear from Bechdel.
"I think it will be nice for the Penn State community to hear her experiences of coming out in Pennsylvania and what that was like for her and maybe ways people can learn to be allies for the LGBT community," Subasic said. "She's very entertaining and nice, so I think people will see her as a real and genuine person."
This article incorrectly quoted Eileen Akin. Akin considers Harvey Pekar, who had previously been a part of the series, to be the "Mark Twain of our time."