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Dispatches from the Home Front

From Journalista! comes the lovely news that Alison Bechdel's graphic novel Fun Home has been named Time Magazine's best book of the year.

It was the only narrative graphic novel released in 2006 that absolutely sang to me*, and with any luck it will keep showing up on lists - and, if the book world is a real grown-up this year, win some awards.

I hope it's a further harbinger of a wave of successful, literate, psychological books aimed at an adult market. My secret hope is that by 2009, any member of the literati misguided enough to still avoid comics will receive vicious scoldings at any cocktail party they attend. Rice crackers will be thrown, glasses of Chianti dropped into laps, grants rescinded, &c.

Now as soon as a work of comics fiction makes its way in, I'll start maintaining hopes of not dying destitute and alone.

---------------------

*granted I have a giant target painted on my forehead when it comes to articulate renderings of the family dynamics of a group of intellectuals from the viewpoint of a queer female cartoonist working in monotone. Nonetheless.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
signifier
Dec. 19th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC)
That suggests that there were one or more non-narrative graphic novels with a tune or two--what was it/where they?
quirkybird
Dec. 19th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
To be obvious about it,
If I read Making Comics less than three hours before bedtime, I can't fall asleep properly. In fact, even thinking about it makes me a little crazy in the head. Why the hell am I on the internet right now? Why am I not drawing? Christ!!!!
makarov
Dec. 19th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
yes, but there is a 38 yr old man in Wi who has enjoyed your illustrations since one day, quite by accident he stumbled across a most interesting comic about vampires, werewolves & a cute barmaid at Le Ferret Rouge, that takes place during the french revolution
music_slut
Dec. 19th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
I think I would argue with that selection; as much as I loved Fun Home, I really do think that Cormac McCarthy's The Road deserves to be at the top of that list. I honestly think he wrote something here that will be really remembered 20 or 30 years down the road (no pun intended), it's that good.

BUT. Yay for comics!
quirkybird
Dec. 19th, 2006 10:44 pm (UTC)
I haven't read The Road, so I can't speak to it one way or the other - I'll make sure to get a hold of it.

For what it's worth, though, I think Fun Home is good enough that it has staying power outside of its generational context - or maybe as a generational testament, a genre which when thoughtfully written tends to remain interesting over time as its subject gets refiltered through history.
unrendered
Dec. 19th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
Despite not loving autobios, i was a pretty amazing book.
lx
Dec. 20th, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)
Yes, yes you was.
unrendered
Dec. 20th, 2006 12:03 am (UTC)
touche, john. xo
ms_xeno
Dec. 19th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
I wanted Bechdel's book since seeing it a Powell's six months ago, but that has to wait.

[loads cannon with lots of free grant money and aims it at the target]
(Deleted comment)
ms_xeno
Dec. 20th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)
So when does Chloe start prancing around in a garter belt and brandishing a giant gun ? Don't you WANT the kiddies in Harvard-- or at least Princeton ?
_w_o_o_d_
Dec. 19th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
There's been a lot of comic autobiographies in France recently, and I'm starting to be fed up with that... I want fiction ! Books like "Fun Home" make me feel like a voyeur...
nzlemming
Dec. 20th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC)
LiveJournal makes me feel like a voyeur. Go with the flow... ;-)
duped
Dec. 20th, 2006 05:48 am (UTC)
Don't die destitute and alone!
vogelein
Dec. 20th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
It's not just you. I enjoyed the hell out of Fun Home, and read it three times within the first month I owned it. Then I started pushing it on other people with the same zeal usually reserved for stuff like Long Tail Kitty.

It's one of the best, and most complex, books I've ever read, period.
megmccarron
Dec. 20th, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC)
god i loved that book.
quirkybird
Dec. 22nd, 2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I'm so glad to hear you say that - if you hadn't read it yet, I would've been forced to drastic measures. It has MEGHAN WILL GO CRAZY FOR THIS all over it.
shaenon
Dec. 20th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I'm thrilled about this. I remember reading an advance copy of Fun Home almost a year ago (thank you, Cartoon Art Museum, for doing a show with Alison Bechdel!) and slowly realizing that I was holding something special. I think it's a book that's going to be remembered.

Damn, but this was a good year for comics.
smccloud
Dec. 21st, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
"My secret hope is that by 2009, any member of the literati misguided enough to still avoid comics will receive vicious scoldings at any cocktail party they attend."

It's happening already. I predict that by 2009, the backlash will be in full swing.
quirkybird
Dec. 22nd, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
You never know, Scott! One of these days they might actually take! It took the prose novel a hundred fifty years or so to really catch on, and that was before the media revolution.

I'm young, I can afford enthusiasm.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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