Friday, 1 June 2012

Swoon Now! Are You My Mother?


 

When Fun Home (Jonathan Cape) won Time Magazine's Book of the Year award heads turned and possibly a corner as well - it's not often a graphic novel wins such acclaim.  Since then Alison Bechdel's Dykes To Watch Out For (Jonathan Cape) series has been collected and she edited (rather well I thought) the recent Best American Comics anthology but finally, six years after the multi-award winning arrival her follow-up book has been released.  Whereas Fun Home dealt with Bechdel's father, Are You My Mother? (Jonathan Cape) explores her relationship with her mother who stopped kissing or even touching Bechdel when she was seven years old.


As with Fun Home, it's a biography but it's also an unflinching psycho-analysis which sets it apart from its predecessor.  It's also, in my opinion, artistically superior with a slightly more relaxed and uncluttered style inked and then water coloured in red and grey.  For further reading there are interviews with Alison Bechdel at ComicBookResources and TheParisReview (see here and here) and an interesting review by a reluctant graphic novel reader at TheSeattleTimes (see here).


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