Ever since I became a father, I’ve been drawn to stories about parenthood. One of which I particularly enjoy is Kelly Tindall’s The Adventurers. It’s a series of web comics that’s been running for a few years about the awkward, often funny interaction with his daughter. You see her grow as a person, develop a personality and find new ways to completely befuddle her parents. One I remember vividly was a simple strip where his daughter trips and lands on the wall. Kelly jokingly says :”Be careful, you’re gonna hurt yourself you little drunk” something she immediately picks up and starts repeating ad nauseam as her father realize words can and will be repeated and hopefully she’ll stop saying “drunk” over and over by the time her mother gets back home. Or when his daughter, as she’s learning to speak, says a bunch of broken words to signify things she knows (Pa Cay for pancakes), but she can say “Love you daddy” very well, and perhaps those are sometimes the only words that matter. There’s a poignancy to these strips because they are so real. The silliness of what they say, the joy they bring, even when it’s not easy to be with them.
Tindall’s style here is much different than what he uses in his other long running comic Strangebeard. It’s much looser and closer to a clean sketch than the fully polished comics he typically does. This look reinforces the authenticity of the material. It really does feel like quick sketches a cartoonist would put together in the moment before it vanishes forever. I’m learning more and more that these moments happen regularly and eventually stops abruptly never to be repeated again. Tindall also chose to use a light blue as the only colour for the comic. He uses it well, whether it’s for depth or colour and it gives the strip a charming style.
I’d recommend starting from the beginning, but you can jump in at any point. If you know any parents with young kid, you’re likely to have seen or heard of similar stories. They might enjoy these stories as well.
Philippe Leblanc is a Canadian comics journalist. In his regular life, he improves Canadian medical education, and is the co-host of the Ottawa Comic Book Club. He reads alternative, indie and art comics at night and write about them for the Comics Beat.