A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting

Writer / Artist
A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Drawn & Quarterly - 978-177046-117-8
  • Release date: 2012
  • English language release date: 2013
  • Format: Black and white
  • UPC: 9781770461178
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Autobiography, Humour

Guy Delisle is best known for the observational travelogues he produces when shipped around the world as an animation supervisor, but he’s in completely different territory here dashing off bon-mots about his relationship with his children.

These are very loose and sketchy, even more so than his usual style, and appear to be his method of compiling the memories of childhood universally stockpiled by parents. There are some amusing moments, but from the outside nothing that many parents haven’t experienced several times over. There’s the awkward conversations about the Easter Bunny, or the mouse that leaves money when a child’s tooth falls out, the practical joke or unsuitable story pushed way beyond the acceptable boundaries between joke and terror, and prompting the child to do something via the wrong method. Other familiar routines for parents include the lies told about watching their child, pretending to know more or be more competent than they are, and the mistaken explanation. The funniest sequence is about Delisle himself. Presented with a picture by his infant daughter he begins with the confidence-building praise, segues into a suggestion she try drawing comics like daddy, and then devolves into a professional critique of her drawing and a rant about talentless hacks.

As mildly diverting as these anecdotes are, pretty well all of them are covered above. This is a ten minute read on pulp paper costing $12.95, which is very poor value for money. That money would be far better spent with an extra $5 added to buy Jerusalem, containing some similar material and far more besides. There has been a follow-up: Even More Bad Parenting Advice.