Fun Home: A Family Tragicomedy

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomedy

By Alison Bechdel

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomedy is a autobiographical graphic novel about Bechdel’s childhood with a closeted gay father who would eventually go on to kill himself. Her parents’ relationship is virtually loveless and her siblings and herself were raised in a sort of decorated museum more than a typical home. A large portion of this novel centers around Bechdel’s own sexuality, about which she is open and able to live freely, juxtaposed with her father’s repressed/ secret sexuality.

I find graphic novels a very interesting venue for serious issues, particularly those tied to an author’s autobiography. I wanted to love this book, especially as LGBT issues are very close to my heart. Sadly, I can only say that it was okay. Not amazing, not shitty- but somewhere in between. The story itself is fascinating and told in a blunt yet lovely manner with plenty of humor and honesty. For me, something about the way the pages were laid out (too much clutter in the gutters for anyone who knows comic terminology) and the over-use of text in panels with text above and alongside the panels was just too much. I felt compelled to rush to get through this book to avoid a migraine from the process of reading it. This might just be my own weird aesthetic issue (which would not be a surprise as I get motion sick insanely easily) but I really struggled with it and felt frustrated that it got in the way of such an interesting story.

My school schedule worked against this novel, big time. I think an intentionally slow reading would be majorly beneficial- read a chapter, take a long break, avoid a headache.

If you have the time to pace yourself OR don’t have chronic vertigo, read it!

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