For me, as a sheltered 13-year-old comics nerd, Alison Bechdel’s soap-operatic comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For was my first real window into gay life. Here were funny, smart women who were fumbling toward happiness as best they could; they felt like my friends. Bechdel’s last comic-book-memoir, Fun Home, was a deeply literate portrait of her closeted father, and her newest, Are You My Mother?, examines her difficult relationship with her emotionally distant mom. Her genius is that she takes very particular experiences and crafts them into something universal. (University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free)