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Behind My Nose

A bitter, yet heady bouquet of outwardly focused criticism, observation and praise.

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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

I'm a leftist bookseller, writer and sometimes activist. I'm not "high-energy," "outgoing," or "outdoorsy," nor do I enjoy sports (except for watching football) or other pointless activities such as kayaking, entertaining large groups of acquaintances in my home or tossing pointy objects at targets. I love to write short fiction & essays. I love laughing really hard and breathing fresh air. I'm a transman. I live with my partner, Kris, a narcoleptic bulldog, a hound dog and a cat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Fun Home

I once received an email from Allison Bechdel, not that she knew she was sending the email to me, per say, it was just to the bookstore where I work. Anyway, I saved it because it's not every day you get an email, especially a nice one, from an artist as talented, maybe even more so than Gary Trudeau.

A couple of days ago, while slogging through some of the advance readers copies I get to take home, I came upon Fun Home which is her graphic novel-like memoir (think Persepolis I and II only lesbian and set in America.) Outstanding! I can't believe a major publisher actually picked her up FINALLY. Jeez, what does a queer have to do to get noticed?! In fact, the note inside the book from the publicist actually said something like, "I'd never even heard of Allison Bechdel before this, but it doesn't matter, this is a phenominal book."

Well I, and millions of other queers and savvy straights, have heard of her and this book is really one of her best. She brilliantly illustrates a dark, but ultimately redemptive story about her relationship with her father who runs the local Funeral Home they dub the "Fun Home." He is at odds with his own identity at the same time she is struggling with her sexuality, and the culmination of all these threads is quite frankly worth every page.

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