Friday, 29 January 2016

The Owner’s Manual to Terrible Parenting by Guy Delisle Review


The Owner’s Manual to Terrible Parenting is the third book in Guy Delisle’s series of humorous sketches as a “bad” parent after A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting and Even More Bad Parenting Advice - and unfortunately the schtick is starting to get old. It’s still enjoyable, it just feels a little played out at this point. 

Like when he throws his butane lighter onto some hot coals to make it explode and stress out his son, or when he teaches his daughter to say “son of a bitch”, or when he eats three teaspoons of mustard to impress his son, etc. - it all seems contrived, like he’s doing it to get a story for his next Bad Parent book because he’s run out of his funniest material. 

In one comic hs son even calls his dad on it: when Delisle’s teasing his son about the moon crashing into the Earth one day, his son says he should write this scene down quickly so he can include it in his next book - which he does! 

The Owner’s Manual… is definitely not a bad comic, it’s still got some cute and enjoyable moments and Delisle’s skill as a cartoonist means he can tell a perfectly good story with seemingly minimal effort - not drawing or writing too much in each frame to create some elegant strips. But it also feels like he’s scraping the bottom of the barrel for this kind of book and I hope he tries something different, like maybe a long form fiction, instead of continually churning these out every other year.

The Owner's Manual to Terrible Parenting

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