Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life
by Ulli Lust

Today is the Last Day by Ulli Lust

Days of the glorious past, Austrian cartoonist Uli Lust takes us back to the time when she was 17. Rebellious, wild and of course a punk-hearted soul, Lust’s summer of 1984 is pitted with danger, tears and laughter. The charming simplicity with which she talks about her journey makes this 464 graphic novel, translated by Kim Thompson, is one of the best executed coming of age tales.

 

Today is the Last Day 01

 

Tracing Lust’s road-trip across Italy, the book is a celebration of memories, imagination and emotions. Accompanied by an eccentric and promiscuous best friend, this particular trip makes you realise that women in their own right can be heroes like Kerouac and Cassady. If they really put their hearts to it, they can leave cares that stifle them behind and revel in new experiences. Amidst all the surrealism of Lust’s depictions of youth, dark themes of gloom, desolation and betrayal makes this read real enough to give you goosebumps.

 

 

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

 

This memoir, deals with issues of gender identity and sexuality. The complex procedure of young Bechdel taking life decisions is presented to the reader via quirky text and gorgeous illustrations. As Bechdel explores and accepts the queer streak in her, the realisation of her father’s closeted homosexuality is overwhelming for Bechdel, the teenager.

 

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With “Fun Home” being a reference to the funeral home her father worked in, loss and grief weaves their way perfectly into the narrative. Bechdel’s use of literary elements makes for a delightful read — From the Odyssey to The Importance of Being Earnest, from the story of Daedalus & Icarus to James Joyce’s Ulysses, every instance of literary reference is beautifully justified, proving once and for all that books can indeed teach you valuable lessons; not much different from the journey of life. Amidst all the heartbreak and drama, that surrounds the tale of the one who grew up to be The Dyke to Watch Out For, she makes sure to keep it real by adding a healthy dose of humour.

 

Embroideries
by Marjane Satrapi

Set in an Iranian household in the early 90s, we are allowed to assume the role of eavesdroppers. And what are we eavesdropping on? Nothing but good old-fashioned gossip! As the men of the house indulge in afternoon naps, the women sit with their teas and speak of sex so freely that I found it hard to believe that we are still in Iran. As they speak of pre-marital sex and razor-blades, it is easy to realise why some impatient (and unimaginative) ones choose to label this as nothing but a sex-fest.

 

Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

 

But that is where they go wrong. By creeping into a sacredly secret place, Satrapi through her bold, minimal strokes make us understand the horrifying sham in the name of women’s rights.

 

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Stories of wilder pasts, shameful revelations, guilty confessions and morbid frustration make realise the clever game Satrapi is playing. They make you realise that though women were promised freedom, they never really got anything more than a placebo. And it makes you angry. But amidst the struggle to find good sex and good partners, these unlikely women from an Iranian household find themselves assuming a role that is alien to women in the realm of comics.