While reading “Fun Home,” I discovered different techniques that can be implemented in writing using comic strips. I enjoyed how the pictures broke up the page and livened up the story. At the beginning they show him abusing his children, but the words talk about his skill at redesigning the house. As the story progresses, there were times that two stories were told simultaneously: one through the comic and another through the caption. She did this a lot when explaining how her parents were like characters from famous texts. The part about Great Gatsby really helped me to understand how her father acted and grew up. The writing itself was very powerful because it dropped huge pieces of information on the reader very abruptly. The story is just moving along and then all of a sudden you learn her father killed himself. That caught me off guard. But then he might not have killed himself, it is just a theory his own family conjured. The story itself is very deep, and the way it is written draws on the emotions of the reader. As it progresses, you see the reasons why it is so easy for the author to present the information about her dad so blatantly. She has been through so much and repressed her emotions for so long that these shocking events do not faze her. The next big thing that is dropped on the reader is that she has a girlfriend. She casually throws into the story that she is a lesbian. The pictures during this section are slightly more graphic than I was expecting. When explaining that her father was having an affair with her mother, however, she examines that fact in depth. It almost seems like she only explains what she finds shocking and not what the reader would be taken aback by. Overall, it is an interesting read so far, teaching me a lot about the advantages of visual story telling.
The first thing that came to my mind after finishing the reading was a mix between how bizarre yet tragic it was. The father's obsession with the house and the furniture seemed surreal, and the way he employed his children as almost little slaves was shocking. Then as the story takes somewhat of a twist to talk about her father's supposed suicide, and the affairs he had with other men it was hard to read. Especially because this overshadowed Allison's admittance as a lesbian, a time when she needs the support of family. Allison appears to be almost indifferent to her fathers death and not at all shocked about the affairs. After all, she is the only one who thinks he committed suicide. However, if I grew up in that house, where my father treated material things like furniture and a house as his only love, and his children as an after thought I do not know how I would feel. And then the fact that he used his daughter to bring out his feminine side when she was begging to be more masculine was sad. Additionally, the fact that the mother, whom I believed to be a supportive mother the whole time would isolate her daughter and scold her for being a lesbian is hard to believe. Certainly there has been plenty of drama so far, and the book keeps the reader constantly guessing, and I look forward to finishing the second half.
After reading the first half of Fun Home, I am intrigued. I found the style of the book, a graphic novel, to be fascinating. I thought it was a really cool way to portray the story and I found it to be a really effective way to express her feelings and thoughts about her unique and somewhat tragic childhood. In addition, I also found the story itself very interesting. Although it was extremely sad at some points, I think it had a lot to offer about her growth as a person and her discovery of her identity. I found the disconnect between her father and her family to be especially sad because I personally had an extremely involved father figure in my life all throughout my childhood. It seems as if this disconnect leads to her resentment towards him and her seemingly casualty about his death and potential suicide. I found it strange that all throughout her life growing up, he disapproved of her desire to be a tom boy and not as girly, when he himself was hiding his true sexuality. It is unfortunate that she had to grow up in a home that appears very dysfunctional. Her courage to come out to her parents was a big step and it does seem somewhat overshadowed by her father's death. I look forward to continuing to read this story which I have found so intriguing. I am anxious to see how it all plays out in the end.
"Fun Home" is very different to the usual type of readings I'm accustomed to reading. It seems that it has a lot of visual aids that helps get one more immersed into the family and how everything works. Up to what I have read the story has a sad/tragic mood to it and the visual aids being practically monotone adds to this. The plot is one of a house with a very different family. One where the father has an obsession with himself, his furniture among other things that would lead him to lose appreciation and love for his family. The story is told through the perspective of one of the daughters, how she has been raised under this old and excessively furnished home, that she despises. The events all lead up to the father's "suicide", a tragic ending that everybody thinks was an accident. The daughter knows better, knowing how horrible his father really was. Overall it's an interesting story and gives me some insight into the comic strip format of telling stories.
Before I started reading Fun Home, I did not know what to expect. I had never read a comic strip whether in the form of a novel or magazine. I was excited to see how Alison would incorporate visuals in addition to her writing and how it changes the reading experience. Right away, it was evident how Alison wanted the reader to read her comic. She broke up the pages into columns and rows and as a result breaks up the reading. Additionally, she added comments in the pictures that were relevant to the story but not essential to read, more like a tool to use if you were unsure in what she was talking about in the actual dialogue. What I found entertaining about the way she organized the book, which can be tricky and confusing if not done appropriately, was how she did not set up the book chronologically from point A to point B. Also the way in which she used the visuals accentuated the mood of the book. In addition to the somber and tragic story, the monotone pictures enhanced these feelings.
In specifics to the actual narrative, Alison was not afraid to be straightforward and blunt with the reader. She explained and elaborated on topics that other people may have shied away from. She went from topic to topic but in some cases, the pictures described another aspect/point of view to what the words were saying. In other words, the pictures showed a different perspective of the same thing than the words did. For example, the dialogue talked about the skill and talent her father has with redesigning the house whereas the pictures showed the abusive nature of her father on her and her family. The pictures gradually got more graphic and disturbing and the family’s true emotions, specifically Alison’s, came across. All the different plots for example the apparent suicide, the way she deals with the death, the affair, the fact that she is a lesbian and how her mother handles that, are all real-life events that people experience. Although I cannot relate, I am cognizant, as everyone should be, of the realities people face in our society. What I find inspirational is how honest and real the story is, but what I also will take away from the reading, so far, is how the graphics are as, if not more, important as the writing.
The first time I saw the actual words “Fun Home” in the book, I immediately felt it was sarcastic. The home described in it had nothing to do with “fun”. On the contrary, it was sad and tedious. The parents seemed not to care about their children. Instead, they had their own business or passion and looked ruthless most of the time. And the children were growing up hating their house, not feeling as normal as other children because of their living circumstances. I found the overall mood of the contents I had read so far to be extremely depressing. The experience of Alison was nothing like mine. I could not imagine living in such house, being cautious all the day and never got a chance to stay away from it. It never surprised me by how nearly indifferent Alison was to her father’s death, who behaved like nothing serious happened. But such fact made me feel distressed because the death of a father could not even evoke much of his child’s feeling. It was above sad that Alison’s mother was unwilling to see her children or even accused Alison of being a lesbian rather than supported her during her hardest time. It was such an atypical family from my understanding. Nevertheless, as a comic it was great with enough dramas and sarcasm. It had its humors and had materials to attract readers. It presented an useful method to portrait people’s experiences and feelings in a more picturesque and visual way.
*Charlie, not Charlle.
Before reading Fun Home, I expected it to describe the fun aspect of a happy family. However, the story that the author, Alison, told us is more of a tragic story than a happy one. The topic being discussed in this book are sexual orientations, suicide, and strange family structures.She talks about about her memories and things happened in the past but in an non-linear way. I was surprised to see a comic strip using non-linear format. Like what we did on our autoethnography project, she brought up a topic and, to further explain or deepen its meaning, she would refer to works of literature as well as Greek myth. Although this may help readers to understand more about the situations mentioned in the scenario, it actually makes it harder for me to understand because I am not familiar with those works. Because of its non-linear format, some facts and events in the story has not been mentioned for just one time. I like the fact that Alison makes the story of her family seemed very real by presenting those vibrant images to the readers. She not only includes specific pictures such as letters and receipt, but also provides us images in the allusion part of her story, such as the part where her grandmother told her children about her father's childhood. Alison also likes to throw out sudden change in her story. I was really shocked when I read about her father's death, her claiming to be a lesbian, and her father's sexual relationship with men. I think this is a very interesting technique. Making stories full of suprises can always makes the reader want to read more. I also think her use of language is interesting. I like the way she is being sarcastic at times.
Fun home picked up social issues and displayed it in a visual format .I liked the way the story is portrayed .The first half shows how the father was so passionate about the design and interiors of his house .His passion for his house is seen as he used to treat his furniture as family and family as furniture. The book is seen through Allison’s views and so from her view point her father commits suicide and how his own kids were unaffected by that news. But they aren’t to blame because there childhood memories only involved their father treating them like slaves and abusing them .It also talks about the fathers affairs, the mothers unsupportive nature towards her daughter on getting to know that she’s A lesbian Even thought the title of the story gives a view of a happy household after reading the book its shows the miserable living not in terms of wealth but emotionally what they go through .The book also makes use of sarcasm and humor to portray certain issues.
After reading Fun Home, I found it was not in the least what I expected. I thought it would be a funny comic book, or at least one with less serious content. The matters that Alison Bechdel touched on were things that are still hard to discuss in society today, such as with her father's sexuality crisis and her own discovery of being lesbian. I was stunned when the author wrote about her father having sex with teenage boys since it came out of nowhere (pg. 17). I could sense through the reading that her father might be homosexual, but only based on stereotypes that I did not want to go off of. After her father killed himself, I was stunned when the author said she wanted to be the reason her father committed suicide (pg. 86). The fact that she felt as though it brought her closer to her father was appalling. I do not think that anyone would want to be the cause of their parents death. The cynical undertone of the book left me feeling confused mostly because I have not witnessed such family issues before, especially with her father barely caring about his kids except for getting them to do his chores. The book definitely kept me interested and made me want to keep reading due to its abnormal storyline.
The comics that I have read before have been humorous and funny. When I began reading “Fun Home” I was struck by how dark it was just because it looks so appealing but the words and pictures are the opposite. It definitely was not what I was expecting out of a comic book. I have never read a comic book this long so I was also surprised that the author was able to develop characters and a plot, just with less words and more pictures. I grew up in a vastly different experience than the main character so it was shocking to read about her experience. Reflecting on the piece, it’s surprising that some children may have grown up in an environment like this and gave me some perspective on how lucky I was to have grown up in such a caring environment. The comic form makes it easier to stay engaged in the reading because it is so visual. The story is full of emotional issues as well which kept me interested in it as I read along.
I think it is fair to say that the story was strikingly depressing for a comic book entitled "Fun Home". While we are used to humorous graphic books, after reading "Fun Home" we are left with nothing but abnormal, shocking and depressing events that have always been controversial in today's society. Before I could even digest a major happening, the author throws out another sudden and significant aspect about Allison or her dad into the story line, making us wondering what else is waiting to be revealed. Although the story is not told in a linear way, that makes it more interesting to observe the developments in the characters. I also liked the pictures and captions as they sometimes refer to two different stories at the same time, enabling the author to communicate with the reader in two different ways. Also, the author does not only present pictures of the characters and figures, she also highlights letters, objects and basically everything that is of importance to the story in one way or another. Because of that, I feel more engaged in the story and that kept me interested in reading.
No doubt this was one of the best autobiographies that I have ever read. I found myself very intrigued by her family anecdotes that described her perfectly dysfunctional family. It was a different experience reading a graphic memoir, since I have never read one before, however, I loved every aspect of it. I feel like the images provided another perspective of the characters and their relationships. Fun house addressed themes of gender stereotypes, family chaos, sexual orientation, and death through compassion, fear, annoyance, pity and love. I felt Allison's honesty to be brave and interesting to say the least. Adding her secrets was the perfect warm touch needed that satisfied all the pieces of her autobiography together in immaculate detail. I found this coming out story to be difficult to put down due to it depth and lively content. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic, funny and brilliant memoir.
Naturally, when one begins reading a comic strip, he or she expects a light-hearted story with humorous pictures or at least something of that nature. That being said, I was thoroughly surprised at the heaviness of the plot. In terms of the comic itself, I think that Bechel did a good job using the illustrations to complement the dialogue. Overall, I'm finding the comic interesting.
The memoir "Fun Home" is based around the relationship between Alison and her father Bruce Bechdel. In the beginning of the story Bruce is portrayed as obsessive-compulsive in regards to his Victorian house. It I notice how his obsession with his house caused him to become so distant from his family. On page 14 Alison says "I grew to resent the way my father treated his furniture like children and his children like furniture." This shows he was too immersed in his house and his children came second to him. Throughout the memoir Alison struggles with her sexual identity. She eventually comes out to her parents that she is a lesbian. There is a major theme of sexual orientation. Alison discovers herself despite what her parents think. I found Alison's reaction to her fathers death both interesting and shocking. Knowing what a strained relationship she had with him it is understandable that she was very indifferent about his death. She was upset, but got over it much quicker than most people would have. The story does a good just portraying exactly what Alison is thinking and how she feels in every encounter.
I found it very ironic in the sense that the title was "Fun Home" but the story itself was depressing. The story focuses on the crises of Alison and where she have struggles of her sexual identity. The story was also dark and I was shocked when the father committed suicide. I look forward to finishing the story.
After reading the first half of Fun Home, I will never look at comic strips the same. The way Bechdel chose to tell her story helped me relate to her and struggled more than if it was only through text like a traditional book. I really enjoy the story so far, and I owe a lot of it to the way this story is presented. I felt sympathy as well as pity for her childhood growing up with an emotionally detached father. This lacking father-daughter relationship paved the way for many other devastating events. She was honest throughout her story about her father's suicide,and her lack of emotion during his death. I am enjoying this book very much, and I believe it will be finished soon.
In the book "Fun House," there were some important aspects of the book that really stuck out to me. The most important one was the use of comics to tell such a tragic story. The story includes abuse, issues regarding sexual preference, divorce, suicide, and other unpleasant acts. However, I feel the use of comics for such a book is extremely powerful and effective. Just as the readers of Art Spiegelman's book series, "Maus," became so popular for the same reason. It described the Jews simply as mice and other nationalities as other animals. It allowed you to fully understand and physically "see" and experience what the author felt at the time.
Fun Home is, at the very least, harrowing. It is uncomfortable on every level of a graphic novel, from the physical design of the panels and the writing to the coloring of the tale to the narrative itself. The pages are clustered with images, excerpts, block passages, and speech bubbles. It is not an incredibly linear or easy to maneuver text. I noticed that unlike many graphic novels, the book is driven not by character interaction but by the author’s narration. I felt that this helped emphasize the isolation in which the Bechdel family was trapped, as well as the author’s own isolation from her sexuality and the society which surrounded her. The blue/black coloring created a mixed effect of melancholy and optimism. The monochromatic style is pessimistic, but at least there is some color, with differing shades to emphasize the pages’ emotional intensity which provides a human feel to the tale. It would be worse if it was in black and white. The most impressive feat is the ultra-realism that the images have. It truly brings the story to life, the characters are not comic superheroes or metaphorical symbols, but real people living in an absurd world. All of these effects combine to cause the reader of the novel feel as though he or she are inside the mind of the author, seeing her memories and jumping from thought to thought with her, attempting to keep up with her hectic and slightly apathetic story telling attitude. I am interested to see how the relationship between the author and her mother develops as the mother absorbs the information that her daughter is a lesbian. I am also interested to see the how the author’s story arc ends, because this is not a traditional coming-of-age story read in a high school class, to which everyone can relate. This story is about a woman discovering both herself and the familial roots that caused her to grow into the woman she is at a relatively late age. Her life experiences up to that point provide often distressing context for the realizations she has of herself.
It is ironic to use comics to present such a tragic story, but I think it is just this striking contrast between the form and content that attrats and impresses the readers. And one thing that makes the book more outstanding and distinctive is the vocabulary the author use in the text. Usually the comic book put more emphasis on the pictures that on the texts, but in this book I think the words the author uses are polished and revealing And the literary allusions in the book like Fitzgerald and Proust she compares with her father also help this book excel the comic form and become a thoughtful and profound memoir. And by revealing her personal story, the author not only fully display the characteristics of the people in the her book to readers, but also touches some phycological and social issues through her and her father's homosexuality. Furthermore, through the whole book, the author expresses the dislike, indiference and even critics to her father, but in my view she also seem to understand her father through the common and unspoken bond of their homosexuality. The whole book is ironic and melancholy, but also engaging and thought-provoking.
Prior to beginning Fun Home, I expected it to be an easy read. Upon opening the book, however, I quickly realized that this was not the kind of comic I am used to reading. For one, it has a strange beginning that causes a feeling of uncertainty regarding what to expect. Rather than being light in nature, like all of the comics I have read prior, Fun Home is far from fun. When one steps back to look, it is actually a very morbid story. However, I believe that this is what makes it interesting and compels the reader to flip through the pages. It’s unusual and non-linear nature make each frame stand out. Within the story there are many strange connections and ironies that keep the reader alert. For instance, Alison explains that she and her brothers had a lot of fun in their family’s business, which they called the “Fun Home”. This business, however, was a funeral home, which makes the situation odd and ironic. Furthermore, difficult situations that are typically extensively explained and gradually built up do are not present in this comic. Instead, tragic or typically overwhelming situations are spontaneously described in between the narration of far less emotional situations. Though this is atypical to storytelling, especially through a comic, I enjoy it because it is representative of real life. For instance, as when reading this story, in real life we also don’t get warned prior to experiencing the death of a loved one. Instead, it just happens and we’re usually unsure of how to react to the situation, but know we must move on with our lives. While reading this story, the reader is not sure how to react to the difficult things that are spontaneously brought up when he or she least expects them, but moves on by continuing to read.
Bechdel utilized the comic mode to portray This piece of art...this piece of literary art is profoundly ironic. While in the comic mode, this author takes what should be a lighthearted story and TRANSFORMS it into a dark, mysterious trench of loneliness.
(I'm very sorry for the post above my roommate thought it would be funny to change around some words and post it.)
After reading this comic it was clear to me why it received so much popularity and critical success. I think what makes this book so unique is the way the author uses unique comparisons between relevant allusions and her stories to imply deeper meaning. In a way she uses her literature to understand herself, her family, and events in her life. I also like how the author uses a very non- chronological format which in a way helps the reader understand key events such as how the death of her father effected her and her experiences throughout her life before she realized she was a lesbian.
Before I started reading the book “Fun home”, I thought it was going to be an interesting and funny comic like the ones I had read before. As story progresses, however, it turns out that the book, both a comic and a memoir, is actually a tragedy and has a very deep meaning. Bruce Bechdel, Allison’s father, was a gay and died while Allison also struggled with her sexual identity.
The narrative is non-linear. The story is told in light of new information rather than chronologically. What’s more, I find it very vivid, with captions and speech bubbles in the panels. I particularly like the opposition presented on page 15, “I was Spartan to my father’s Athenian. Modern to his Victorian. Butch to his nelly. Utilitarian to his aesthete”, which indicates the tension between Allison and Bruce.
"Fun Home" is a comic full of irony. It's also told from an extremely non-linear style. Professor Julian provided a background story but I was still shocked when the author professes her sexual orientation and other serious details. It was presented in a casual way and it was odd considering these topics are taken seriously. There is undoubtedly reasons why this tragicomic received such widespread publicity. The title alone provides a play on words. Considering this story was written in the method of a comic, I was expecting a light-hearted story, but it was signifying the funeral home in which the children were raised in. There was a centralizing topic of death that made the comic almost morbidly ironic and humorous. Humorous in a sense that there is so much irony in her life that there is no other way to handle such circumstances but to laugh it off. It's almost a coping mechanism used by Bechdel.
It's very interesting, sad, and the story line is very intricate.
Fun Home is not like any other piece of literature that I've read. It is very unique in aspects other than the fact that it tells a story in a comic book form. This allows the author to be able to tell their story in a very different way. She is telling her serious story in a way that depicts it as if it was comical. This gives off an easier aura rather than if it was a basic text novel. Other aspects that set Fun Home apart are: the exclusion of classic cliches that ruin most stories, predictability, and the usual happy emotions that come with most family stories.
This was a spring 2015 forum. We mostly used our Facebook group for discussion forum.