Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fun Home

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Dykes to Watch Out for author Alison Bechdel's brutally honest memoir, Fun Home, focuses on her childhood and coming-of-age. The "fun" in the graphic novel's title is both a shortening of funeral (the family runs a funeral home) and wonderfully sarcastic (her home was such a fun place to grow up).

Fun Home is as much about Bechdel growing up and developing her sense of self as it is about her relationship with her father. His untimely and somewhat suspicious death makes her father even more of an enigma and Bechdel struggles to understand both him as a person and how much she had in common with him.

One of the things I like about Fun Home is how literary it is, literary in a very accessible way. Bechdel references both well- and lesser known works of literature and uses lots of uncommon words. She also does things like this bit I photographed from page 106

(click on the image to bring up a larger, more legible version), which follows a panel depicting Bechdel and some of her lesbian friends stopping by a bar in Greenwich Village called Chumley's.

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