Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel (b. 1960) became a cartoonist and writer after growing up in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, where both her parents were high school English teachers; her father also ran a family-owned funeral home that his children called the "fun home." This selection is from Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006), a best-selling graphic memoir that was made into an award-winning Broadway musical. In it, Bechdel chronicles her child-hood and her coming to recognize both her own homosexuality and her father's, which she learned of only after his death. Before publishing Fun Home, she had become known for her cartoon strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which followed the lives of a group of lesbian characters over twenty-five years; the strips were published in gay and lesbian newspapers and eventually on the web, as well as in twelve book-length collections. In 2012, Bechdel published another graphic memoir, Are You My Mother?, which focuses on her relationship with her mother. Bechdel's work has also appeared in Ms., Slate, the Village Voice, the Advocate, Out, and many comic books and anthologies.