Now there's no excuse. Fence sitters can no longer complain about the format or the price or the confusing order of the previously issued volumes of Alison Bechdel's seminal strip. To celebrate it's 25th year, Houghton Mifflin has released this hunky hardcover edition. Weighing in at 392 pages, it contains a very substantial serving of the extant DTWOF strips, making it much more than your standard "best of" collection. Even longtime fans of the strip (like us) who own all the individual volumes will be hard pressed to resist this volume. Format fiends may find that they prefer the balance of the squarish, vertical presentation of the strips as single-pages, over their previous horizontal formatting as side by side two-pagers. And then there's the irresistible icing on the cake: the all-new, never-before-seen, 12-page strip that serves as the introduction. It is the long awaited (at least by us, anyway) "secret origin" of Dykes to Watch Out For, telling the story of Ms. Bechdel's gradual realization and embrace of her latent, long-repressed desire to be a professional cartoonist. What's that? You say you're not a lesbian and so why should you read this? Well, listen up -- here's why: DTWOF is the best ongoing continuity comic strip of its time. The characters that populate this volume are pen and ink creations that live, breath and grow in concise single page strips that precisely capture the underlying humanity that we all share and in the process have defined an era. Yes, it helps if your politics are towards the left of the political spectrum, but even this is not a prerequisite to enjoying the pleasures of this cartoon text (the Norman Rockwell homage of the front cover serving as ample testimony to this fact). Open yourself up to opportunity and you'll make some new friends.