Friday, November 5, 2010

A Chance to Own a Bit of Fun Home


I was wandering through Alison Bechdel's website (here) and took a look at the Art for Sale section (here) where I discovered that she was selling original art pages from her graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.

Here's what she has to say.  I couldn't post the picture she referred to, for reasons of copyright, so the picture above is of the book's cover:

I have lots of pages from Fun Home available for sale. The originals don’t look exactly like what you see in the book because I worked on separate layers and did the lettering in Photoshop. For each page, there’s a black and white drawing on 11 x 14 Bristol board, and a 9 x 12 sheet of watercolor paper with the ink wash shading on it. In this photo, I’ve also included a print of the way the finished page looks in the book, including the text.

If you buy a page, I’ll give you these three components. And if you like, I can also hand letter the drawing.
The prices for the pages vary based on how interesting they are. This one (page 137) is medium-interest, and I’m asking $375 for it. Click here for a little closer look at the individual pages.

The prices are not exactly cheap (and you'll have to fork out good money to have them matted and framed, too) -- unless you consider what you're getting.  Fun Home is a brilliant and trail-breaking work of graphic literature.  Getting to own a page of it is akin to owning a page of the original manuscript of Catcher in the Rye. 

So if you've got lots of money and a sweetheart of a literary bent . . . well, Christmas is coming.

And if you haven't read Fun Home yet, rush right out and nab yourself a copy.  I've been reading comic books and comix and graphic novels all my life, but before reading this I had no idea how good the form could be.  And, yes, I have read Maus.  

Which gives me the opportunity to tell my only Alison Bechdel story . . .

Years ago, I discovered it was possible to buy the original art for Aliscon Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For strip.  I wrote to her asking for the price for a particular strip and in between the query and the reply, my car's transmission died, sticking me with a very big repair bill.

For a time I thought I wouldn't be able to afford the artwork (but later some royalties came in, so I could and did buy it) and wrote to Ms Bechdel apologizing for having wasted her time.

She wrote back, beginning with the sentence, "Michael Swanwick isn't rich?"  Then she explained that this was a joke, that a great many people assumed that because she was famous she must necessarily be rich, and were terribly disillusioned to find out otherwise.

And I stood there, looking at those words and feeling a terrible sense of the inherent wrongness of this world.  Aloud, I said, "Alison Bechdel isn't rich?"



David Stone said...

Here's hoping Disney buys movie rights to Iron Dragon's Daughter or the Darger and Surplus fiction, and hires you to do the film adaptation. It could happen!

bruce said...

A remarkable memoir, indeed. Completely beside the point, my middle name is Allen and I also collect books. Haven't read Proust and, just maybe, I'll start Swann's Way ere Christmas. (Great comment on 'In Search of Lost Time' re: the meaning of 'Time'.)

Thanks for the tip, Michael.