Like many fathers, mine could occasionally be prevailed on for a spot of “airplane.” As he launched me, my full weight would fall on the pivot point between his feet and my stomach.
Alison Bechdel subtitled Fun Home “A Family Tragicomic” and those words describe it perfectly. Part coming-of-age story and part dysfunctional family memoir, I was captivated. The story is both bleak and funny which is a tough trick to pull off. Surely it is dark with mental illness, isolation, and death as prominent themes. But Bechdel allows room for more than simply darkness, both through her compassion for her younger self and family and through her lovely art. The beautiful drawings are more than a mere complement to the words. They are worth examining for their own beauty as well as the clues they provide to the story. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a family drama or likes their stories a bit dark, and especially for graphic novel beginners who want to see how well pictures and words can fit together.
Check the BPL catalog for this title: Fun Home