Dawn of the Dad Vol. 1
Writer/Artist: Anita Zaramella
It is a fact universally acknowledged that parents inflict abject humiliation on their teenage children through a deadly combination of being old and lame. Rebecca Amelia McQuarrie's father is no exception to this rule; indeed, he's an exceptional case. Not only does he follow his daughter to parties and barge in on the festivities; he refuses to let his own death stop him from following his daughter to parties and barging in on festivities.
That's the premise of Anita Zaramella's web-comic Dawn of the Dad, currently publishing its first volume online at the pace of one page per week. The ghostly Mr McQuarrie takes helicopter parenting to paranormal extremes, refusing to go into the light following his death and clinging to the earthly realm so he can continue raising his daughter. Think Bill Cosby's Ghost Dad, but without the awful deadbeat in the lead. Naturally, this unusual parenting situation sparks the concern of child welfare services...
Dawn of the Dad is entertaining fare, lightweight but with themes recognisable to anyone who's been in the thick of youthful quagmires. We've been fortunate to get a sneak peek at the complete first volume and see where Zaramella's story is headed, and can confirm it takes an interesting turn and lays foundations for further story arcs: in short, the story's not just the sum of its gag premise and there's genuine gas in its tank. Zaramella's artwork is bright and colourful, making great strategic use of green and purple, and there's a nice rubbery expressiveness to her characters.
Whilst there are some telltale giveaways of its D.I.Y. status (e.g. Rebecca's surname is spelled ‘McQuarrie’ in one spot and ‘McQuarry’ elsewhere), Dawn of the Dad is a likeable read.
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