Fowl language comics! First of all, can we all take a moment to appreciate that pun in our era of puns and PJs? This guy has got the parenting experience down to the tee! I was hooked on these comics for a good hour while at Bangalore Club; I'm pretty sure I got some weird looks as I laughed silently to myself, sipping my coffee.
Brian Gordon, cartoonist-cum-dad, has enough inspiration from his own life to illustrate these (mostly) PG comics. On being interviewed, he often jokes that these comics are the thing he is least horrible at and his motivation to continue is avoiding the joys of starvation. He also says that a lot of his comics are instances taken right out of his actual interactions with his offsprings. His comics deal with a lot of aspects of our lives, one of which is parenting. As parents, I'm sure most of us know the struggles faced when dealing with our children. Whether at home, in the car, at school or on the playground, we've all had our moments. Moments of frustration, moments of joy, moments of love, moments we want to curl up into a ball and cry ourselves to sleep. Gordon has done an excellent job in capturing these moments.
I dare you to deny that you've encountered at least 90% of the instances he has so effortlessly illustrated. His comics cover it all; from the days we feel like our kids are spawns of the devil, to the nights we want to cry and hug them for saying something we can actually relate to for once. They show us that we're not alone in our (let's face it) frequent urges to tear out our hair at our little angels’ shenanigans. They highlight how parenting really is imperfect and how it's perfectly okay to feel worthy of the “Worst Parent Of The Year” award. With kids, every day is a new adventure. For them, most experiences are new ones, and hearing about it from a person experiencing it for the first time makes it feel like the first time for us as well. It fills us with all these emotions - fear, awe, excitement. What's more, it's a way of connecting with our children. On the other hand, we’re also faced with the conflicts of protecting our kids and giving them the freedom they vie for - Finding a balance between letting them make and learn from their own mistakes, and guiding them through it all to make sure they don't face pain in the future. Achieving a balance between what we ought to do and what we are or want to be is a task that most of us find challenging and this is what Gordon tries to portray in his work.
Most importantly, it feels good to hear what Gordon has to say. It's like seeing what’s running through our minds, but through someone else's words and images. The best part about his comics is that they offer neither advice nor criticism regarding our methods of child rearing. We're so used to getting advice from our friends and families about the best way to do something and the easiest way to do something else. But we very rarely ask ourselves whether we really want to follow someone else's parenting styles or formulate our own. Sometimes it's good to have your own experiences and learn from your own mistakes rather than living a life in which you can anticipate every moment.
It's a good break from your regular nosy neighbour and favourite annoying aunt. There's no preaching about the right way to manage your kid, sleep cycle, work schedule, and life in general. His sole aim is providing comic relief about the joys and horrors of parenting and the good old fashioned humorous (*ahem* torturous) life of an adult.