This week I am doing a discussion on a comic book that I had seen floating around on Twitter and Facebook feeds–and I am glad I downloaded it! It is called Raising Dion by Dennis Liu.
Right now you can get the first copy free at http://www.dennis-liu.com/ as a PDF, or purchase a paper copy.
This comic puts a different spin on the plot–raising a superhero. The first comic starts with some silly panels on raising Dion, the superhero child. He has a variety of powers that he grows in and out of, and he learns how to use them thinking in simple terms of childhood fun–making popcorn with his heat rays, going invisible to sneak around his mother, and floating cookies to his mouth.
Dion’s mother, Nicole, then goes into a flashback about how Dion was conceived. She was dating Mark Warren when a freak storm happened, giving him powers. However, there are no explanations of the storm or what it means for the first 22 pages, just that something weird had happened and that she had become pregnant. Mark has yet to reveal what the storm had done to him. The end of this first comic stops with Nicole giving the news that she’s pregnant, and asking what his news was.
The storm brings in lightning-like weather that hits the ground. Mark gets real close to it, trying to record it and ends up being engulfed by it. However, whatever it did to him does not get explained. He experiences weird reactions like invisibility, but hides it from Nicole. At the end of the comic, he is about to reveal what happened to him when she tells him she is pregnant.
This teaser leaves the reader wondering what the storm did to Mark, and what will happen next. It gives you enough background to make you suspect something while forcing you to wait for more information. I love these factors in comic books. I don’t want all the information right away, but I want to genuinely care about the characters.
I am looking forward to the next one. This comic definitely takes a new stance and stands behind feminism. For anyone who has raised children, this puts a new spin on how difficult it can be. It also touches upon the idea that motherhood is complicated.
Nicole seems to be this funny mother who knows whenever Dion is up to no good through the first few panels, but the trailer Youtube video tells us there is more to expect from this series. It describes Nicole as a hero herself because she has to protect Dion from what he will not understand yet.
While we have not gotten a ton of information yet, I think we’re in for a great series ahead. I am looking forward to finding out why Nicole is a single parent, what happened to Mark, and learning more about Dion.
The artwork for this comic is also beautifully done, and in color. There are several panels from cool angles like from a recording camera, or from behind an invisible Dion.
Here is an example of the camera recording–the lines across the panel indicate that we are looking through the camera while Mark is explaining their work place and creating a company tour for new employees.
Something else I noticed while looking into this work is that it has supported many mothers out there. On Dennis Liu’s website, someone posted that this has helped with their struggles as a single mom, who is also on active duty. This comic already shows support for women and especially single moms by putting a new swing on the superhero plot and telling it from a new perspective.
For learning more and reading your own copy, check out Dennis Liu’s site, http://www.dennis-liu.com/.
You can also subscribe there for updates on new editions, information, etc. as well as help support the artists.
Let me know what you think! I am really excited to check out the next copy.