Syllabus: Gay Comics: Alison Bechdel's Fun Home
By Noah Michelson
Fun Home follows Alison as she comes to terms with her sexuality, and as she attempts to solve the dark mysteries surrounding her father and his apparent suicide. With her father being a funeral home director the book reads like a smarter Six Feet Under episode, and includes scenes every gay kid can relate to, whether it be looking up the word "gay" in a dictionary (or this case "lesbian") to your first same-sex experience.
Though the subject matter is bleak, Bechdel's constant witty dialogue and internal monologue keep the reader laughing no matter how tough life gets for the Bechdel family. The book is ultimately about the love between a daughter and a father, and how they each deal with their internal struggles to be true to themselves. Fun Home may not have any superheroes, and it may even be a stretch from the apocalyptic world of Watchmen, but these two graphic novels showcase how far the medium of comics can go, and whether it be a superhero saving the world or a girl coming to terms with her sexuality, comics can transport the reader as almost no other medium is capable of. The subtitle for Fun Home is "A Family Tragicomic," and "tragicomic" is the best way to describe this beautiful novel about the long distance two people can live from one another, even if they are under the same roof.
-- CHRISTOPHER RUDOLPH
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