Rules For Dating My Daughter is a slice of life. It gives glimpses into the domestic and professional life of cartoonist and father Mike Dawson, as he navigates earning a living, finding creative inspiration, and raising children (together with his wife).
The book intersperses mundane everyday experiences, told in illustrated diary form, with comics where he tackles massive issues: climate change, the scale of history, the ethics of eating meat, gun violence, and modern feminism. The shifts aren't jarring because ultimately this is a collection about parenthood. Global issues like environmental change are made to feel personal, now that Dawson is responsible for two young lives.
The central questions — how to be a good person, and how to raise good people — are universal. Dawson tackles these with disarming honesty and attention to detail, whether he's teaching his daughter how to play Minecraft or wrestling with making his kids do something he's not willing to do himself. In its quiet way, Rules For Dating My Daughter is a refreshing change from lots of pop culture depictions of fatherhood. It shows how hard parenting can be, and how easy it is to get lost in both abstract big-picture stuff and mundane trivialities.
Rules For Dating My Daughter: The Modern Father's Guide to Good Parenting
by Mike Dawson
2016, 160 pages, 6.0 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches, Paperback
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