Sk8 Dad Summer is one publication in the 2022 Birdcage Bottom Books distribution list, for which there is a Kickstarter currently happening (and I hope that you help fund - go check it out!). As a parent of young children, I found a lot to relate to in this book. It is a refreshingly real look at parenting that I feel captures the spirit of contemporary culture. And although I have not been a dedicated skater, I could empathize with wanting to share my interests and joys with my children, though they often have their own ideas about what is cool and what they would prefer to do.
The main narrative of this book involves the author making a half pipe in his backyard, but he uses this device as a platform for pondering multiple aspects of his life. He thinks about when he was as a young skater and how his life has changed now that he is in his 40s. Once, he literally had to scavenge materials and deal with prohibitive authorities, but now he is part of the authority structure and can readily buy high quality construction materials. Now, he tries to encourage his child to skate, with mixed results. It also makes him think of his own relationship with his father, who was a preacher. The skate ramp also becomes a center of activity for the neighborhood, attracting both nearby children and parents, so it embodies a certain sense of community.
All of these threads of the story weave into a humorous exploration of parenthood, community, marriage, and life in general. In many ways, it reminded me of the recent aging punk anthology I read, in that it shows how being a skater informed his life in a way that has colored his experiences and formed his ethics. And although it is relatively short, this book is memorable, packing a heartfelt and emotional punch. It is highly entertaining, insightful, and frequently funny. I loved reading it, and I cannot wait to have a hard copy in my hands.
This book's creator Brett Hamil is an artist, comedian, and writer who regularly publishes comics in Seattle's Child. He also draws a weekly political comic for the South Seattle Emerald. I just been getting into his various works, and I have dug what I have seen so far.
I could only locate one review of this book so far, and it was a positive one. Cheryl Murfin (scroll to page 57) called it a "sweet, funny, poignant little book." It deserves much more attention, and I hope it receives it.
Sk8 Dad Summer was/will be published by Birdcage Bottom Books, and they offer a preview and more here on their Kickstarter page. Please consider funding this and other great books from this indie publisher. The campaign ends in a week on March 17, and they could use your support.