Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
This is a graphic novel about a girl who finds out her father is gay only after she comes out as a lesbian. He dies shortly after, and she remembers her strange relationship with him, as well as her childhood growing up in and around funeral homes. There could have been a lot more emotion to the story, but I think telling it as a graphic novel kind of diminished that possibility. The drawings didn’t add much depth or insight, but it would have been a sparse story without them.
I've also read Are You My Mother? by Bechdel and had a similar reaction regarding the emotion in the book. I can see how both books were therapeutic for Bechdel to write and illustrate, but I didn't get much of that from the drawings or even the story. They were both interesting, but dragged a bit with the navel-gazing, heavy literary references, and other stuff that could have been cut out to make a snappy, impactful graphic novel.
Fun Home is going to be performed as a play at Playhouse on the Square in May, so I'm excited to see how it translates to the stage. If you've read much of this blog at all, you know I love comparing books to movies and play versions of themselves, so we'll see how Fun Home turns out!