Still feeling coldish and in need of light reading so I turned to graphic novels:

Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir, Nicole J. Georges. Nicole finds out from a psychic that the father she thought was dead is actu-ally alive and her family has been lying to her all this time. It's a great premise that got me to buy this, but the actual story isn't that interesting. She jumps around from her troubled childhood with an abusive mom and stepfathers, her current unhappy relationship, and eventually the story of who her father really was and why it was a secret. The drawings are in the naive style that I like from Aileen Kominsky-Crumb but find annoying by anyone else, though she can really draw faces well.

The Tale of One Bad Rat, Bryan Talbot. A well done story of a girl fleeing sexual abuse and looking for heaing in the Lake District, home of Beatrix Potter, whom she idolizes. Beautiful art.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel. Complicated, dense, fascinating memoir of growing up in a dysfunctional fami-ly with unhappy parents. Her father was ap-parently gay, but closeted, and seems to have been manic depressive. Bechdel describes her own childhood neuroses and her eventual coming out, and wonders if that triggered her father's death, which could have been a sui-cide. I read Dykes to Watch Out For for years (when I lived where I could pick up papers that carried it) and already loved her drawings but this is on a whole other level as she finds connections between various family events, literature, her own coming out, gay history, and more.

Stitches: A Memoir, David Small. Beautifully drawn coming of age story of a boy growing up in a loveless home. He has an operation for a cyst on his neck and finds out his parents have lied to him about that, and other things.

Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama, Alison Bechdel. Probably not fair to compare them, but I can't help it. I didn't like this one as much as Fun Home. It was a lot more wordy and cerebral, and I admit that I just didn't understand a lot of the psychological terminology she used to tell the story. Also I read To The Lighthouse a few years ago and for me it was eh, so I didn't have that connection. I mean, I got the main point - and it was very poignant for me - that her mother just didn't have love to give and Alison figured out early that the best thing she could do was to not need anything. That's pretty much my relationship with my mother, so it meant a lot to me, but in some ways it was a simpler and less interesting story.

Date: 2014-06-17 03:07 am (UTC)
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
From: [personal profile] elainegrey
Thanks for your comparison of the Bechdel books. I've Fun Home and was wondering about reading the other.... We'll see. I'll keep my eye out for Stitches.

Date: 2014-07-22 10:25 pm (UTC)
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
I have the same reluctance to read Are You My Mother because I suspect I'll get less out of it than Fun Home. It's on my To Read pile though so good to know you think it's worthwhile.

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