15th Manga Division Excellence Award
Fun Home -A Family Tragicomic-
Manga published in book form, in magazine [USA / Japan]
Alison BECHDEL (Artist) / SHIINA Yukari (Translation)
This is an autobiographical graphic novel told from the perspective of Alison, who has the same name as the author and who was raised as the eldest daughter of a family who ran a funeral home in a remote rural area. It tells the story of a father and daughter who were both homosexual, who both loved literature, and who continued to be at cross purposes, even though they felt sympathy for one another. Alison, who eventually lost her father without achieving a rapprochement with him, uses delicate brushwork to depict how the weak threads linking them were strained, while quoting from a vast range of literary works. It has attracted attention, having been acclaimed in countless parts of the media, including the New York Times, as the book of the year.
Reason for Award
A profound tale of family & sexuality told matter-of-factly
This is a work that draws you in if you read it carefully. After initially being filled with fundamental doubts about whether the topic was right for the comic book format, as we got deeper into the text we began to wonder how it would read without the supplementary images. Although more difficult to follow than Japanese manga, which pay such careful attention to their effect on the reader, the depth of the work was astonishing and we found myself unable to put it down. The realism of the topic and its forthright portrayal certainly attracted interest, but the biggest reason for this work to receive an award is the conviction that it could not have been written except for the way it interweaves the three elements of diary, text and drawings. The way the work brings this austere and unaffected tale to conclusion through the force of inevitability rather than anything so ordinary as beauty or persuasiveness is worthy of praise.