This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics
Can you imagine growing up in a funeral home? On August 31st, Preeti and I will be pondering just that in an Oh, Comics! Podcast discussion of our August Book of the Month, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. And we encourage you to read along with us and join in the conversation!
A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.
This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel’s sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, it’s a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.
Meet Alison’s father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family’s Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter’s complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned “fun home,” as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive.
Fun Home is available through Amazon, comic shops, fine book stores, and many public libraries.
If you’d like us to read your thoughts on Fun Home in our recording next week, please share your comments, questions, and observations below or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!