On turning #Babylife into a Comic Strip With Guy Elnathan
Dadditude Newsletter #29
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On Comics and Fatherhood, With Guy Elnathan
Guy is a Webcomic artist who just recently became a proud father of one! He currently works from home creating comics for Webtoon with his creative partner. Together they make: My Dictator Boyfriend and Deadlove
We’re big fans of his slice-of-life comic, “Chronicles of Us,” that follows him and his wife’s daily adventures as parents and as a couple.
We spoke with Guy recently about the transition to fatherhood, life as an independent artist, and how to turn your baby into a comic.
Tell us about your son.
Our son will be turning 4 months this week! He’s objectively cute and surprisingly chill. Just a very pleasant presence to be around.
How did you get into comics and illustration?
I’ve been drawing and reading comics since I was very young. I studied animation in college and got into storyboarding, from there the transition into comics was very natural. I had started posting comics on Webtoon as a hobby. After becoming friends with Teo he asked me if I wanted to collaborate on a comic he was developing called My Dictator Boyfriend, so I really do owe my big break to him. We had a great click creatively and I decided to devote more of my time to comics and since then we’ve made multiple series together. So far I’ve been very fortunate to have a steady job in the field.
How does being a father influence your current comics, and vice versa?
For me, every aspect of my life feeds the comics I create, regardless of theme and story. However, with parenthood the most obvious influence is on my slice-of-life comic where I post daily about our adventures in parenthood. As for vice versa, I’m always mindful of funny/relatable situations that arise while we’re parenting, so I’m constantly taking notes and saving them for future comics.
Do you have a comic-book Dad role-model?
I don’t think I do at the moment, but my biggest role models are Charles Schulz (Peanuts) and Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes). I think their influence can be seen daily on my 4 panel parenting comics.
What was the process like for creating ‘Mr. Baby’ and his persona for ‘Chronicles of Us’?
The process was very natural, I knew the baby was coming and he would play a big role in our lives. I guess you could say I introduced him the moment my wife was pregnant. As the pregnancy progressed and remained healthy, I allowed myself to explore visual interpretations of the baby, and very quickly arrived at the design you see today. It’s a very generic design, which I like both for privacy reasons and also because it allows the readers to relate to the character more and imprint themselves and their children on him. The shirt color (purple) was an obvious choice since in the comic my shirt is blue, and my wife’s is pink.
What do you think is your biggest strength as a young parent?
I don’t know if I have any clear strengths, but as a couple we have good communication skills so we’re good at solving problems together. Also, I'm a morning person so I always take the morning shift, so maybe that’s a strength lol.
What stresses you out the most as a parent these days?
I’d say I’m mostly concerned with my work/life balance. Being an independent artist comes with a lot of flexibility but it also means you don’t have a fixed income. I worry sometimes if I’ll be able to maintain a steady job that will fit our lifestyle and the kind of parent I want to be. Of course, I’m always thinking about income and being able to provide for my family, but I find that worrying is kind of pointless and endless so I try to focus more on the present. If things change in the future, we’ll find a way to deal with it.
Can you tell us about an especially favorite/special moment with ‘Mr. Baby’ recently?
To be honest, every day has its moments, and it’s very fun to see him grow and change from day to day. I’m excited to see what the future has in store, and to meet the person he will become!
Thank you Guy!
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Throwback: Dadditude Newsletter #13: On Introspection and Exploration, With Joshua Haynes and Scott Culley
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