Hugo Lindgren in the New York Times Book Review:

Lund3The comics collected in this book range fairly far and wide, but the strong center of gravity is plaintive tales of everyday life, set in the present, and usually about the social groups that comic artists themselves belong to. The appeal of such work is its emotional directness — in this age of highly branded, executive-produced cultural output, comics promise a more resonant and unadulterated link between creator and reader.

When the connection works, the reading experience can be deeply satisfying. Consider the excerpt here from Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home.” Even if you’re not too familiar with comics, you may know of Bechdel. In a watershed moment for the entire field, this graphic-novel autobiography was chosen as the best book of 2006 by Time magazine. As stories go, there’s little unusual about “Fun Home”: it’s about a lonely girl in a small town, trying to come to terms with secrets her family kept by, in part, learning to write and draw. But it’s wonderfully executed. With terse prose and fluid shifts in scale and perspective, Bechdel puts adolescence in its pure form right on the page — the jagged feelings of inadequacy, the growing sense of distance from others, the slow realization that life is difficult and thorny and that you have to figure out some way to help yourself because nobody else is going to. Bechdel conveys all this without ever seeming maudlin or self-pitying. She’s also really funny.

More here.