John Kovaleski has been drawing comics ever since he can remember. Over the years, his work has covered monkeys, family pets and talking toys.
On Sunday, Kovaleski launched a new comic strip called “Daddy Daze” through King Features Syndicate.
“Daddy Daze” follows the adventures of a divorced dad named Paul who juggles his stay-at-home job with co-parenting his young son Angus. The comic is loosely based on the artist’s own experiences as the father of a now-8-year-old boy.
“I was looking for a new project to do and ended up reviewing some old projects for inspiration. One of those was an on-line weekly strip I did in grad school about being a first-time father,” Kovaleski told HuffPost in an email.
“This was during my son’s first year. All those strips were based on true stories, but for ‘Daddy Daze’ I fictionalized it up, and kept the character based on my son an infant, as opposed to the gigantic grade-schooler he is now,” he added.
“Daddy Daze” covers nap time, questions from inquisitive tots, kid antics and more. Although much of it is fictionalized, baby Angus does share some traits with Kovaleski’s son.
“When my son was about 6 months old he started verbalizing, except he only said one word ― ‘Ba’ ― over and over, but he really thought he was talking. I decided to give this trait to Angus, but his ‘Ba’s’ actually do mean something, sort of like when Lassie’s barking would mean ‘Timmy’s stuck in the well,’” the artist explained. “Only Angus’s family can understand him and they translate for the reader. And let me say, he’s quite eloquent for someone still in diapers.”
Kovaleski hopes everyone can get get a chuckle out of “Daddy Daze.”
“For parents specifically, I hope they see themselves reflected in the strip,” he said. “Just all the weirdness that comes with parenting, dealing with small versions of themselves who are inquisitive and sweet, and bewildering all at the same time.”
Keep scrolling for a sample of the new comic strip, and look out for more “Daddy Daze” online and in newspapers around the world.