In Fun Home, images and texts are simple tools in the hands of a genius. Alison has crafted purity out of the ore about the same way an oyster conceives pearl involving internal and external forces and elements.
Actually, Fun Home is the presentation of an individual and her family through the multi-media mix of texts and images. The choice and mode of the presentation are by themselves well thought out strategy and scheme conceived out of a mind possessing an array of personal and professional resources delectably executed with the characters and the end users in mind. The result is clarity of purpose, vision, mission and consummation.
Alison has all the raw material in place borne out of her own familial experiences including tragic ones. She has this rare desire to portray the dilemma of man's raison d'tre through the eyes of her own family members. She nurtures the desire in silent secrecy for one full year, using the time to weave images and texts in her mind while recollecting and choosing incidents in the family from the past and present. It is not the form of images and text she is concerned with in the formation stage. As a seasoned comic artist with twenty years experience behind her, it is not so difficult to organize style and sequence. The difficult part is to convince her family members why they must come under the gaze of the cartoonist. She is brutally frank about her own role in the story. In her own words, "It was a relief to go back to the comics and get my head out of my own ass, because there's only so long you can obsess about your own childhood." (Shauna Swartz) Having buried her own past and proclivities, she is in better position to empathize with her parents and siblings. Empathy is a strong feature in cartoons and characterization. Without empathy, one descends into an abyss of criticism and blame.
Image and text
This is the information age where people do not have time for details. Alison is generous with her visuals and economical with details. The characters in Fun Home are familiar to the reader because they happen to be the writer's family and develop rather quick rapport with readers who readily accept the "tragicomic" element in the book with a combination of amusement and sympathy. To Alison, it was important to strike the right balance between fact and fallacy. Facts were important because they exist, although sometimes it was difficult to explain why they existed in the first place. Fallacies also were placed side by side with facts as otherwise it was difficult to do justice to the script. She took the blatant truth out of her life and that of her deviant father and deftly organized them side by side to highlight the paradox common to both fact and fallacy. Ultimately, the redeeming feature in the image and text is the bungling humor of the comic world where everything, every one, and every event find place and acceptance.
Fun Home is based on lucid images of the past in the writer's life and organized with a flourish combining the best