Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Freddie & Me

Subtitled "A Coming-of-Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody," Freddie & Me is one story with multiple aspects. It is the tale of a young boy growing up, an account of a British family adjusting to life in the US, and also a portrait of a fan's fixation on Freddie Mercury. The story follows Mike from a young boy, detailing his squabbles with his sister, his awkward teen years, and his fish-out-of-water social life in school. It is a relatable, evocative story that captures many of the beats of a typical disaffected teenager story, but it does so with great elan.

Running parallel to this narrative is also a look at popular music in the 1970s and 1980s. Freddie Mercury's life, including his work with the mega-popular group Queen, is detailed alongside Mike's. Also, there are fun cameos by other musical figures, including George Michael, Andrew Ridgely, and Brian May. Changes in musical tastes and attitudes accompany the life changes that Mike goes through.

Mike Dawson, who wrote and drew Freddie & Me, was nominated in the Promising New Talent category of the Ignatz Awards in 2002. Aside from this book, he is most famous for his series about a 30-something supernerd, Gabagool! This interview with Tom Spurgeon details much about his life, creative process, and more information about Freddie & Me. Also, here is an podcast interview with Dawson that was posted on iFanboy.

Reviews about the book are generally good, though sometimes tepid. Greg McElhatton thoroughly enjoyed the story and found himself humming the Queen songs aloud to himself. Johanna Draper Carlson expresses a disappointment with a lack of in-depth explanations and also wonders whether the events depicted are extraordinary enough to warrant attention. A range of other reviews can be found at Goodreads.

This book was published in the US by Bloomsbury. 10 preview pages are available here from Publishers Weekly.


  1. Fantastic blog!
    Been wanting to check out Freddie & Me, just need the time to pick up a copy.

  2. Thanks for the compliment :)
    I liked the mix of obvious love for the music and artist with all of the ups and downs of adolescence. It was funny and sad and pretty fun to read. Check it out!