Everything I Know About Parenting, I Learned From A Comic Book

Parenting

Everything I Know About Parenting, I Learned From A Comic Book

Okay, not really.

But I’ve been in love with this graphic novel series lately called Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

It’s a story about family and the love, sacrifice, pain, fear, pride, and joy of being a parent. It’s also about magic and robots and fantasy and war and sex and the consequences of violence and oh so much more.

It’s the kind of book that you’ll fall in love with even if you “don’t read comic books,” I’ve been kind of subtly trying to convince my wife to read it and she’s a hardcore traditional book nerd all the way.

Comic Book Writers Are Parents Too

The series is a sprawling space fantasy epic with massive conflict, drama, and action, but it also spends a lot of time with the family: Alana (Mother, from the planet of Landfall), Marko (Father, from Wreath, Landfall’s moon, in a generations-old ongoing war with each other), and Hazel (their daughter, considered an abomination to most of her native planet and moon).

There’s a scene in an early issue of Saga where Alana is having no luck calming her crying baby, when their live-in nanny (and ghost of half of a teenage girl) says:

Guess what? That protip changed the burping game for me. I went from spending 10 minutes with a crying gassy baby to instant calm.

Some Parenting Truth

Since Saga is taking a hiatus for the next 12 months, I’ve started filling my reading time with another graphic novel called Locke and Key by full-time horror novelist (and yes, Stephen King’s son) Joe Hill.

It’s another story about family. The Locke family who, after the father is murdered, moves out to the mysterious “Keyhouse,” their father’s childhood home. Ghosts and demons and magical keys abound.

Anyway, the mother of the three children has sort of drowned herself in alcohol since her husband’s death. She strolls into her oldest son’s room one night and says to him:

“Don’t ever have kids. Not until you’re ready to live in fear every day. Every minute worrying about something horrible happening and losing you forever. I couldn’t go on if I lost one of you…”

It’s meant to come off as a little harsh considering she comes in drunk with a bottle in her hand, waking her son up at such a late hour, but every parent reading those words knows how true they are.

It’s terrifying being a parent. But at least we’re all terrified together. Even the big time comic book writers.

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