Saturday, November 21, 2015

Introducing Fun Home

In 2006 Time Magazine picked Fun Home as the best book of the year. Not as the best comic book or graphic novel, or fiction or memoir, but best BOOK period. Here's a multimedia roundup of Fun Home information you may find of interest.

First, some stuff to read:

The Wikipedia entry on Alison Bechdel is pretty good. Here you will learn useful things and fun trivia such as Bechdel is a member of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary and her baby brother John is now a keyboardist who's played with Ministry, Fear Factory, Prong and Killing Joke among other bands.

Alison Bechdel's website is a compendium of useful items: an archive of her comic strip, information about other past and future projects, links to reviews about Fun Home and so on. One thing you might want to take a look at is a piece she wrote for Slate about telling her mother she was writing about their family.

Here's a short YouTube video of Bechdel drawing the wallpaper endpapers of Fun Home:

And here she talks about her process of drawing many of the scenes in the book by acting out and photographing herself in many of the character's roles (adding more to the many uses of photography in Fun Home):

Here's an early (1981) strip which now reads as trial run for part of Fun Home. Coming Out Story covers some of the same incidents that are also represented in Fun Home.

And if you want to see how academics have treated Fun Home, here are links to three downloadable .pdf's of papers presented at a scholarly conference in France: Double Trajectories: Crossing Lines in Fun Home, by Karim Chabani, Images as Paratext in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, by Agnes Muller and Drag as Metaphor and the Quest for Meaning in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, a Family Tragicomic, by Helene Tison.

In 2009, Fun Home was adapted as a musical by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori. It debuted Off-Broadway in 2013 and was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, winning the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical and the Obie Award for Musical Theater the same year.  A Broadway production began in 2015, which won five Tony Awards.

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