Recently I acquired the autobiography of Charles Schultz, the well know comic strip creator. As a child, Charlie Brown and Snoopy were constants in my house and I find it very interesting to see how much of Schultz life is put into his comics. Though I know that Schultz is not considered a "graphic novelist", he still creates an ongoing story with a group of central characters detailing their adventures of growing up and learning about the world. So how does this relate to my intended topic? For my final paper I want to explore the use of autobiography in graphic novels as well as comics.
Hopefully, I intend on using Jimmy Corrigan and Fun Home as my graphic novel examples in order to make my argument more concrete. In the case of Jimmy Corrigan, the author himself has a tumultuous relationship with his absentee father. Like Jimmy, he goes and meets his father and never really gets to know the man and regrets it when he passes away. Because it is a graphic novel, the author is able to explore his difficult relationship a little bit more extensively, and with the graphics included it adds a different vibe than if it were just a biography. In the case of Fun Home, the author makes it evident that this is a story about herself and how she grows up in a home full of lies and secrets. She is very honest about her past and I hope to compare the two graphic novels and possibly explore the difference between the authors.
As for comics, right now I am going to look at and finish the biography of Charles Schultz, and the choices that he makes in including his life in his comics. I also plan on looking at other comics like Zits and maybe one other (any suggestions?) and figure out what and why a comic would choose to include themselves in their short narrative, and how they do so.