Book 1: Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high-school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and the family babysitter.
The art in this graphic memoir is truly beautiful: line drawings in muted monochrome. And it goes hand in hand with the delicacy with which it treats the subject at hand, feminism, gender and identity. Alison Bechdel doesn't have all the answers, and she was trying to make sense of her own life through fiction. I do this, but as a reader. However, her questions are important, for which this memoir is now lauded as a classic, as it shoud be. To top it off, it is laced with super clever literary references that I loved with my whole heart. This spoke to me.
Book 2: Superior, by Mark Millar & Leinil Yu
Simon Pooni is living with multiple sclerosis, missing all the things he used to take for granted, and escaping into the world of movies and comics with his best friend. Then SUPERIOR entered his life.
Book 3: Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi
This is an entertaining and enlightening look into the sex lives of Iranian women, as recounted by the women of Marjane's family, gathered for an afternoon of tea drinking and talking.
This is the comic I didn't know I wanted, and I did enjoy it very much. It is my first Satrapi, too, and now I want to read Persepolis more than ever. This is a short, light-hearted memoir composed of vignettes ranging from the dismal to the absurd. Every story openly laughs at the sexual constraints imposed to Iranian women, as every woman gets her revenge on the men that slighted her. I liked the sense of community that is shown in these pages. To my very Western eyes, this has been eye-opening.
Book 4: Blue is the Warmest Color, by Julie Maroh
Clementine is a junior high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. Then she meets Emma. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine will find herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity.
Another coming out story in simple monochrome, which I think really fits introspective stories. Again, the art is truly beautiful, and underlines the truly beautiful love story contained in this short book. A story about acceptance, growth, and the problems of being a homosexual teenager in 90s France. It isn't ground-breaking, but it is really well done, with equal amounts of tragedy and hope. My only quibble with this is that it is too short, and it felt a bit rushed, but I definitely recommend it.