In the second half of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, like the first, the pictures and words carry equal weight. While I believe that this story utilizes illustrations in a great way and would have to be written entirely different without the illustrations, I believe that it is Bechdel’s quality writing that makes this story so compelling.
The second half of the graphic novel is less uncomfortable in a sense and far easier to read. In the first half, Bechdel would drop these bombs on the reader such as her father having affairs with younger men, her father killing himself, and her father being abused as a child. While these developments make for a good story, in a way the pictures, while cartoons, make it much more real. Towards the end of the book, the focus is shifted to Bechdel’s attempts at a relationship with her father, in some ways humanizing him after all the things we learned about him in the beginning. I want to say that I expected some sort of resolution in Fun Home, but because of Bechdel’s sultry and morbid style in the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure how the rest would play out, which I enjoyed. It was a complete story and one that I was far more interested in than I expected I would be. It changed my view somewhat on graphic novels and what they can be and the way they can tell stories.