Thursday, March 26, 2009
Freddie & Me: A Coming of Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody by Mike Dawson
Being a mid-level Queen fan and a lover of autobio comics, Freddie & Me seemed like a can’t-miss book. And Dawson’s wonderful black and white art certainly supports the theory that this book is worth having. His masterful control over the aging of the characters is up there with the Hernadezes, and cartoonists looking for a lesson in realistically following a character through years would do well to check out this book. Dawson’s depiction of his art’s maturation is also very well done. Lastly, Queen and Freddy Mercury look as cool and alien as they were and life just pours from the page when they, or Mike impersonating Freddy, are in frame. (The Wham! guys, in a delightful fictional aside, also come across as really real, pop bouffants and all).
The problem is in the story itself. Dawson’s instances of Queen-worship and adjustment to growing up and moving to America lack tension and never coalesce into a real narrative. Sadly, how the two elements inform each other is never fully established emotionally for the reader. Queen’s music is so dramatic that the tedium of Dawson’s telling of his story is unfortunately highlighted in bright red and underlined in glitter pen.