The Funnies by J.Robert Lennon

The Funnies

J.Robert Lennon

The Funnies is a cartoon strip which Tim Mix hopes to continue drawing after the creator, his father, dies. The novel contrasts the idealistic Mix family of the cartoon and the dysfunctional family which is the reality. An intruiging observation of American family life today.

Extract

Maybe Dad conceived of it as a way to control us. In the unbreachable box of the comic strip, we could be charming and obedient, and we would stay that way, year after year. Maybe it was his own peurile self-doubt, his lack of self-control -the classic bad-dad syndrome - that made this seem like a good idea. Whatever precipitated it, the Family Funnies made him rich and famous, transformed him from Carl Mix, rotten father, into Carl Mix, middle-class hero, preeminent architect of Good Clean Fun. And it turned us, of course, into objects of public humiliation, imperfect prototypes for our gleaming, dimwitted twins, who were implicitly held up to us as model kids, as everything we were lamentably not.

Parallels
  • Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
  • Cranberry Queen by Kathleen de Marco