Mike Dawson – Freddie & Me: A Coming of Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody


High Fidelity meets Wayne’s World in this utterly charming graphic memoir about a young man’s life-long obsession with the rock band Queen.

Mike Dawson was born in Scotland in 1975, grew up in the Midlands, and then moved to the United States at the age of eleven. He studied painting at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Following that he self-published a number of comic books, most notably the six-issue humor series Gabagool!, which he co-wrote and drew. His comics have also appeared in many anthologies. He lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife.

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All of us have had that one band with which we identify, the band that was always there for us during good times and bad. For Mike Dawson it’s always been Queen and Freddie Mercury.

Not unlike “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Freddie & Me takes readers on a rock-opera-like journey from Mike’s childhood in the UK, through high school in New Jersey, and into the nineties, when grunge ruled the day and Queen was terminally uncool.

As Mike works to navigate the trials and tribulations that accompany the road to adulthood (with Queen behind him every step of the way), he must grapple with the fears we all find ourselves facing: committing to one person for the rest of our lives, pursuing our dream job, coming to terms with our familial responsibilities, and even facing our own mortality.

With humor, sensitivity, and some wonderfully imagined appearances by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, George Michael, and Andrew Ridgeley (among others), Freddie & Me is a touching reminder of how our favorite music is the soundtrack for so many of our most important memories and moments. And how one note can bring them all flooding back.

A wonderfully funny and moving graphic memoir of Mike Dawson’s lifelong obsession with Freddie Mercury and Queen.

Told alternately from Mike’s childhood, teenage and adult perspectives, Freddie and Me explores the way in which music changes and shapes our lives, and the way in which random memories can both prop up and undermine the stories we tell ourselves.

The counterpoint to Mike’s obsession is his younger sister’s love of George Michael and Wham -including several deliciously funny imagined scenes featuring a post-break-up Andrew Ridgeley – which, like the book as a whole, is written and drawn with a brilliant combination of exuberance and subtlety.