Last week, I picked up "Fun Home," Alison "Dykes to Watch Out For
" Bechdel's autobiographical graphic novel, finding it on the recommended table at my local comic shop, the incomporable (and wittily named) Secret Headquarters
in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.
Fun Home tells the story of Bechdel's girlhood growing up with her closeted, literature-obsessed father and her bitter mother in a Victorian house that her father was remodeling, bit by bit. More than anything, this is the story of Bechdel's father, a third-generation funeral home owner who teaches English to make ends meet. Bechdel grows up surrounded by, and oblivious to, his illicit affairs, including some with the young men he hires to babysit her and her brothers. Meanwhile, Bechdel struggles with her own sexuality, coming slowly to realize first that there is such a thing as a lesbian, and then that she is one.
Bechdel's drawing style -- familiar to many from her excellent syndicated strip -- is both friendly and confessional, painful truths revealed in the lines as much as the speech-balloons. She is merciless in cracking open her life and the life of her family, and the story veers from hilarious to tragic, often on the same page.
The story is told in a dreamy style, meandering forward and back in time, illuminated with renderings of her girlhood diary, letters her father wrote to her mother, excerpts from the books that were her father's secret encoded messages to her. As an artifact, the hardcover book is handsome and mysterious, with sly die-cuts in the staid green cover and neon orange boards beneath with illustrations revealing the hidden truths of Bechdel's family home.
"Fun Home" manages the painful trick of getting us to sympathize with people whose flaws are monstrous, by laying out the way that Bechdel herself came to that sympathy.
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
Amélie Lamont, a former staffer at website-hosting startup Squarespace, writes that she often found herself disregarded and disrespected by her colleagues. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there.
In this episode of the Flash Forward podcast we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences? Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon We […]
Every company wants to harness the power of social media, but few understand how to make that happen. Be one of those select few with this Social Media Marketing Course & Certification package, now just $29 in the Boing Boing Store.Over 12 modules of course material, you’ll learn what it takes to increase a brand’s […]
If you’ve got a killer app idea, but don’t have the technical expertise to pull it off, get a crash course in all things app development with the Comprehensive Android Development Bundle, now over 90% off in the Boing Boing Store. Across 83 hours of training, you’ll learn to develop for the world’s most popular mobile OS, mastering […]
Jared Sinclair developed the RSS reader app Unread, which made $10,000 in its first 24 hours on the iOS market. And we’ve all heard the story of Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen, whose creation was reportedly earning $50,000 a day at the height of its 2013 explosion. While those are rare examples, they’re also testament to the […]