Last spring, Allison Bechdel came to my university campus to speak. I’d long been a huge fan and chronic re-reader of her most popular and widely acclaimed graphic novel, Fun Home, and it was fascinating to learn about her extremely detailed creative process. When I say her drawings take a long time, I mean a LONG TIME.
If you examine even one of the panels in the book, you’ll notice that every square inch is filled with details–background objects, textures, shading, patterns (she doesn’t just draw a couch; she draws a plaid couch!). But to make sure that her drawings are accurate, Allison Bechdel literally tapes videos of herself moving so that she can study the lines of her muscles, how her knees lift when she walks, or jumps, or does a cart-wheel (there are no cartwheels in the book, but you get the point) over and over again.
Not only did I get to see all these examples of her creative process, but her slide show also gave a few sneak peaks of the panels in her upcoming book, Are You My Mother?
Obviously, I put it on my goodreads list immediately. But as it wasn’t due to come out for nearly a year, I forgot about it pretty much immediately.
But I noticed it in a bookstore the other day and CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on a copy! (PS: If you’re interested in winning a copy–and a $100 Threadless gift card–Largehearted Boy is having a contest this week. Contest ends on May 11th, so hurry over to enter!)
Being the book nerd that I am, I put a lot of book release dates on my calendar and count down the days with anxious anticipation. Currently I’m looking forward to:
- Markus Zusak’s (author of The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, two of my all-time-favorite novels), Bridge of Clay, forthcoming in September 2012.
- J.K. Rowling’s new adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, forthcoming in September 27, 2012
What books are you counting down the day’s until?
5 thoughts on “Save the Date, Bookworm Style!”
Thanks for this. I have just instituted a graphic novel course in the school I teach in for next year, and this is a good title to have.
Awesome, glad to be of help! I loved my graphic novel class in college. Our course readings included Fun Home, A Contract with God, Persepolis, What It Is, Book #2 of the Sandman series, and Maus. Maus was probably one of the best books of any form that I’ve ever read. If it’s not already on your list, definitely include it!
I LOVED Fun Home, too! So good. I’ve been reading graphic novels by the bucket-load lately. Recently finished Ghost World by Daniel Clowes. I think my favorite of the year, though, may still be Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary by Keshni Kashyap. I’ll definitely add Are You My Mother to my reading list.
I haven’t heard of either of those graphic novels–thanks for the recommendation! It’s hard to get a hold of copies unless you’re buying them yourself, and online. My Barnes and Noble rarely carries any (unless it’s a graphic novel of Twilight. I refrain from comment) and my library doesn’t even have copies of the Sandman series–I stopped at #7 and haven’t been able to finish!
Nice to hear about her new book, I too am a fan of Fun Home. Cheers for the heads up on Largehearted Boy’s contest too!