People & Places

Vermont Conversation: Cartoonist Alison Bechdel reveals the ‘Secret to Superhuman Strength’

Alison Bechdel
Alison Bechdel, the former Vermont cartoonist laureate, has released a new graphic memoir about fitness. Photo courtesy the MacArthur Foundation

The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman is a VTDigger podcast that features in-depth interviews on local and national issues with politicians, activists, artists, changemakers and citizens who are making a difference. Listen below, and subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Spotify to hear more.

Alison Bechdel is obsessed. Her passion is exercise — karate, cycling, running, skiing in all its forms, to name a few of her pursuits. This obsession is the focus of Bechdel’s new graphic memoir, The Secret to Superhuman Strength. A New York Times book review declares, “This is a true delight of graphic literature, and nobody does it better. You feel as if you’re peering through a plexiglass panel right into Bechdel’s marvelous brain. … [It is] a nearly perfect book.”

Bechdel has been cartoonist laureate of Vermont and a recipient of a MacArthur genius award. She garnered a cult following with her early comic strip, “Dykes to Watch Out For.” Her best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home, was adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical. Fun Home tells the story of growing up in a family that ran a funeral home, and how after Bechdel came out as a lesbian, her closeted gay father died in a presumed suicide. The cartoonist is also known for the Bechdel Test, which rates movies on whether they include at least one scene in which two women talk to each other about something other than men.

Bechdel runs, skis and bikes from her home in West Bolton, which she shares with her partner Holly Rae Taylor, who is the colorist for her new book.

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David Goodman

About David

David Goodman is an award-winning journalist and the author of a dozen books, including four New York Times bestsellers that he co-authored with his sister, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. His work has appeared in Mother Jones, New York Times, Outside, Boston Globe and other publications. He is the host of The Vermont Conversation, a VTDigger podcast featuring in-depth interviews about local and national topics. The Vermont Conversation is also an hour-long weekly radio program that can be heard on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on WDEV/Radio Vermont.

Email: [email protected]

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