BOLTON - This was a good year for Bolton cartoonist Alison Bechdel, creator of the long-running comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For." Seven Days profiled Bechdel on the cover last spring ["Life Drawing," May 31] as she was poised to release Fun Home, her book-length graphic memoir.
Since then, Bechdel's account of growing up and coming out as a lesbian in the shadow of her closeted gay father has been widely praised in publications as diverse as People, USA Today and The New York Times Book Review.
Last week, reliably mainstream Time magazine ranked Fun Home at the very top of its "Best Books of 2006" list. Yep, the comic book by Vermont's premier lesbian cartoonist beat novels by Dave Eggars and Cormac McCarthy, and Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, which came in at number two.
Time's write-up calls Fun Home "the unlikeliest literary success of 2006." "Forget genre and sexual orientation," it reads. "This is a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other."
As the year draws to a close, Fun Home has turned up on a number of critics' "Best Of" lists. The New York Times Book Review named it one of the year's 100 notable books. Amazon.com put it in the top 50. Salon called it one of the best debuts of 2006, and the memoir made the top-10 list at New York Magazine and The Times of London.
Bechdel is now at work on a new book proposal, and is no doubt trying to figure out how she'll top all of this in 2007.
» Read the full list of 2006 news updates.