10/06/2014 04:20 pm ET Updated Oct 07, 2014

Alison Bechdel Explains The Effect Art Spiegelman's Had On Graphic Novels

Alison Bechdel's graphic novel "Fun Home" earned praise from critics for the way it conveyed the moving narrative of growing up with a closeted father, as well as the author's own coming out process, in a format usually reserved for topical material. In a HuffPost Live interview on Friday, the cartoonist and "Bechdel test" founder credited fellow graphic novelist Art Spiegelman, who penned the Holocaust-centric "Maus," as having paved the way for her to take on more serious subject matters.

"Comics were once sort of [for] superhero action stories," she recalled. "That was pretty much all they did, and [then] people started pushing the boundaries. Underground cartoonists in the '70s started writing about more adult topics and themes."

She specifically credited "the more artistic cartoonists of the '80s" as well as Spigelman as having "completed changed the medium" of graphic novels.

"Spiegelman's 'Maus' changed comics forever," she said. "Comics now can be about anything -- any topics that's as serious as you can come up with."

See the rest of Alison Bechdel's conversation with HuffPost Live here.

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