Archive for June, 2010

sad, sweet story

June 28th, 2010

Photo on 2010-06-28 at 07.58 #3

This is a photo of Stormé DeLarverie from JEB’s 1987 book of photographs, “Making A way: Lesbians Out Front.” It was taken in 1986 when she was the bouncer at the Cubby Hole. She used to perform as a male impersonator with a troupe of drag queens in the old days. Michelle Parkerson made a documentary about her.

Yesterday the New York Times ran this really great piece about Stormé, “A Stonewall Veteran, 89, Misses the Parade.” She has dementia and is in a nursing home.

15th Anniversary Edition of Stuck Rubber Baby

June 15th, 2010

Photo on 2010-06-15 at 21.37

Check it. Howard Cruse’s groundbreaking graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby has just been reprinted by Vertigo. You can read more about it at Howard’s blog. I got to write the introduction, which was a great honor. Howard has been a big influence on me in my cartooning career—if it weren’t for him, I might have gone to law school or something. If you’re in the NYC area, you can see Howard in person along with dyke cartoonist legend Jennifer Camper, and the amazing Ivan Velez Jr, creator of Tales of the Closet, at the below events.

Serious Funnies
Howard Cruse, Jennifer Camper, Ivan Velez, Jr.
Slide show, spirited discussion and book signing
Wednesday, June 16 — 8pm
BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance
841 Barreto Street, 2nd Floor
Bronx, NY (718) 842-5223
for directions:

Jim Hanley’s Universe
Howard Cruse, Jennifer Camper, Ivan Velez, Jr.
Panel moderated by Joan Hilty and book signing
Thursday, June 17 — 6 – 8pm
4 West 33rd St. (opposite The Empire State Bldg.)
(212) 268-7088

Queer Comix
Howard Cruse, Jennifer Camper, Ivan Velez, Jr.
Slide show, spirited discussion and book signing
Friday, June 18 — 7:30 – 9pm
Bluestockings Bookstore
172 Allen St (between Stanton and Rivington)
(212) 777-6028

cover girl, in theory

June 6th, 2010


My friend the Queer Theory Professor just wrote an article on my graphic memoir Fun Home for GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies. It made the cover, with this image of me searching the HQ shelves in a library.


It’s an odd sensation, reading an academic examination of my work. It’s sort of like being psychoanalyzed in public, but not exactly, since it’s the book and not myself on the couch. And because I don’t really have any training in critical theory, I only have a partial grasp of what people are talking about. The QTP’s article is called “In the Queer Archive.” I can’t really summarize it accurately, but it’s about the way I try to provide documentary evidence in my memoir—maps, photos, newspaper reports, etc.—and how that relates to something that Jacques Derrida calls “archive fever.” Here’s a nice disorienting quote.

We know, of course, that the historical person Alison Bechdel is distinct from the “I” of the narrator’s voice, and that this narrating consciousness, whose words fill the top of many graphic panels, is also none of the past selves, the Alisons aged two to twenty whom we see on the page. In part this proliferation of subjects is endemic to the autobiography, which must re-create past selves through retrospective projection and, in so doing, must cause them to anticipate the author who is to come.

Hmm. I’m not sure which Alison is making this blog post. The one who logged in to WordPress and hit “new post,” or the one who is just about to hit the “publish” button.