If your life had a soundtrack, who would be on it? For comic artist Mike Dawson, the answer is simple: “When I think of Queen, I can remember my whole life.” From the moment he sees Freddie Mercury strut his stuff on Top of the Pops as a wee lad, Mike knows he’s found his muse. When his family moves from England to New Jersey, Freddie is there, singing “I Want to Break Free” and “Death on Two Legs.” When everyone in his high school in 1991 is rocking out to Nirvana and all the other “alternative” bands, Mike can turn up his nose in favor of Freddie, who “can actually sing.” When Wayne’s World makes “Bohemian Rhapsody” a mainstream hit, Mike can brag that Queen was “his” band first. As he develops his drawing skills, suffers through his first serious romantic relationship, and tries to discover who he really is, the classic rock music of Queen is always playing in the background. This quiet, slice of life graphic memoir emphasizes the incredibly important role music plays in our lives, especially during our teen years. Dawson’s art is realistic and fearless–he isn’t afraid to depict himself in all his adolescent glory, bad haircut, braces and all. Occasionally, Dawson literally “rocks out” on impressive two page spreads (one of which hilariously depicts him singing an endless rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody at a local talent show, while the MC keeps trying to shoo him off the stage) that juice up his gently paced narrative and temper his contemplative tone. If you’re a fan of Craig Thompson’s Blankets, or the late Freddie Mercury, you’re gonna want to give Freddie & Me a go.
Freddie & Me: A Coming-of-Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody by Mike Dawson