cover image SK8 Dad Summer: Ramps, Rebellion, and Raising a Kid

SK8 Dad Summer: Ramps, Rebellion, and Raising a Kid

Brett Hamil. Birdcage Bottom, $10 trade paper (64p) ISBN 978-1-73315-096-5

Hamil rediscovers his love of skateboarding in a philosophical debut graphic memoir about parenting and finding purpose. Struggling to make ends meet as a cartoonist, and burned out by his day job, Hamil is another “old guy heeding the call” in Seattle to skate while his young son naps. Then, he hits a Field of Dreams moment when he decides to construct a half-pipe in his backyard. The installation and maintenance of the ramp provides opportunities to bond with his kid—and for Hamil to become a neighborhood folk hero in the process. The son of a preacher, his pulpit is the skate ramp, where he delivers homilies on life, recovering from setbacks, and the power of positivity. “When we’re here, we pump each other up,” he opines, his son laughing as Hamil takes an epic spill. Despite envying toddlers skating on Instagram, he embraces how his son sits to glide on the board (musing that parenting means realizing kids are “always gonna do some different, weirder thing.”) The homespun quick-sketch cartooning style suits the stripped-down, meditative philosophy delivered as a skater dad regains balance, both on the ramp and in life. Consider it a comics Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for the Thrasher set. (Apr.)