In 2006, Alison was invited to sit on the Usage Panel for the American Heritage Dictionary. The Usage Panel is a group of people who the American Heritage Dictionary asks the opinions of on “problematic words”, words with controversy over their usage; such as the word deceptively. For example, when you say a pool is “deceptively shallow”, does that mean that it is very shallow and looks deep, or that it is deep but looks shallow? Alison considers this opportunity the “pinnacle of her career” as she states in an interview. On her website she says it’s a “far far greater honour” for her than winning a Pulitzer prize would be. Perhaps the images of dictionary pages Alison accurately re-created in her book won the American Heritage Dictionary over.
I have scoured the internet looking for a “low point” in Alison’s career, but all I can find is that she used to work boring office jobs in the publishing industry after being rejected from many art schools in New York prior to slipping into the world of cartooning. Alison is obviously a person who is very open about all of her personal issues so I can’t imagine she’d be keeping any information about low points of her career from the public. Perhaps she’s just been very fortunate career-wise.
- Steven Twigg