Saturday, December 13, 2008

Best-Loved Books of 2008, #13: Favorite graphic novel memoir

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Freddie and Me: A Coming-of-Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody by Mike Dawson (Bloomsbury)
(bonus: up-and-coming author/artist)

When Mike Dawson spoke at our store, he opined that, in an era of CGI special effects, superheroes are better on the big screen -- which leaves memoir as the form best suited to comics. Bechdel and Spiegelman prove his point, and Dawson adds a doozy to the ranks of graphic memoir with his dreamy, episodic, gently self-deprecating story of a British kid in America obsessed with the band Queen. It's really a meditation on what we remember from our lives and why. It's also lovely and funny for anyone who was ever a self-dramatizing adolescent (Dawson confessed that much of the dialogue and narration was taken from his own terribly moody teenage diaries), or for anyone who loved a band so much they found it told the narrative of their lives. A great gift for fans of comics, music, or memoir.