Reflections on the Beginning of Fun Home

Having left this assignment till the last minute and becoming thoroughly bored with class discussions on Akira, I will write this reflection on Fun Home. We have not started to talk about this novel yet in class, but I have started reading it and find that I like it much better than Akira. Akira was great, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary as far as graphic novels go. It has action and explosions, car chases and intimate combat scenes, but that is really nothing new for graphic novels. Fun Home is the first graphic novel I have seen that is a memoir. It isn’t an action packed adventure story, it feels much more real. I can’t really say that Fun Home is better than Akira. They have such different aims that it is difficult to make a comparison. Fun Home is more appealing to me because it feels real, but not too real.

I am only a chapter or two into Alison Bechdel’s memoir. So far, Fun Home shows us bits and pieces of her life growing up. Her experiences, for the most part are very relatable, but it doesn’t feel so relatable that it is boring. Her opening line seems to sum it up well: “Like many fathers, mine could occasionally be prevailed on to a spot of ‘airplane.’” She describes a game that many children played with their parents, and all the thoughts and feelings that come with it. We can all remember playing this game with our parents and feeling that the struggle to stay in such an uncomfortable position was “worth the moment of perfect balance.” She describes many familiar moments like these from her childhood, moments that nearly all of us can relate to, but then she includes the moments her childhood had that most of ours did not. By taking the reader back to a familiar memory, the story becomes more real, even if the experience she adds to this familiar memory is one which the reader has never experienced. We may not have experienced it, but it has been thrown in with other emotions that we did feel and are being taken back to. I think that this is why Bechdel’s memoir holds my attention much better than the classic graphic novel or comic.

  1 comment for “Reflections on the Beginning of Fun Home

  1. dahlia
    October 29, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Fun Home is definitely innovative and a fun read, but I disagree on your take of Akira. While the manga seems conventional by today’s standards, in 1982 when it was initially serialized Akira was considered novel, which lead to its popular and critical success. Akira has more depth to it than the initial action sequences; plot devices are used to reflect the milieu of the early 80s, and I believe that if we had read the other volumes you may have come to appreciate it more.

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