Alison Bechdel has been my favorite cartoonist since I was 14, and her new graphic novel memoir Fun Home is totally amazing. She's even been getting rave reviews and coverage in Entertainment Weekly, People, and the like. And you should buy it right this minute and try to meet her on her book tour. Here's a good profile of Alison in Seven Days, and here's a short synopsis of the book:
This breakout book by Alison Bechdel takes its place alongside the unnerving, memorable, darkly funny family memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr. It's a father-daughter tale pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings and--like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis--a story exhilaratingly suited to the graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian house, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as gay herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift . . . graphic . . . and redemptive.