I just wanted the opportunity to weigh in on Fun Home, which I bought last week and Rhian swiped (and posted about!) before I got a chance to read. I read it, and I have to agree with Rhian, it's fantastic.
I always thought DTWOF was a pretty good strip--Bechdel's drawing style has always appealed to me, and her characters are strong. But the strip was always a little too relentlessly contemporary for my taste, tending to focus more on the intersection of character and politics than that of character and memory. The latter being the milieu I hold most dear.
Wow, the book certainly gave me what I wanted. It's brilliant--the perfect blend of reminiscence, analysis, erudition and inspiration. Plus there's lots of stuff about Proust and Joyce in it, not to mention some hot and heavy lovin'.
There is one drawing of Bechdel's family sprawled out in their museumesque living room, sloppily going about their lives--playing with cars and Tinkertoys, watching TV, and so on. Her detached, aesthete father is scrunched up between the fainting couch and the bookcase with a big bucket of fried chicken in his lap, and I find this image amazingly moving--the kind of perfect character detail that literary fiction is supposed to be providing for our culture, but hasn't bothered to for some time. At the same time I was reading the new Acme Novelty Library and the latest from Paul Hornschemeier, and while they're both good (particularly the Ware, whose Jimmy Corrigan is one of the greatest examples of the form ever), Bechdel has them both beat. Fun Home is pretty much perfect, right down to the last panel.