The first year of Wonder Dad

Our parenting cartoon celebrates a birthday


When Susy Schultz invited me to create a comic strip suitable for Chicago Parent, I was hit by a big wave of memories.     We are a family of four: my wife, my daughter, my son and me. Since the very first moment we knew we would become parents, life as we saw it changed forever. A deep sense of self-giving and protection came into our natural ways of being. As the kids developed, this sense evolved into awe and surprise, then expectation and dreams.

I still can’t stop wondering how my kids will turn out as adults. I’ve turned—in a certain way—into an “I wonder …” dad. Some years have passed since our initiation day and the surprises haven’t stopped.

“Wonder Dad” is a comic strip that intends to represent the wonders of daily family life. I feel guilty doing my vision of parenting—a dad’s vision—when I see so much merit and feel so much love and admiration for Mom, but then I realize these frames merely show my version of things.

As an artist, I feel frustrated that I can’t better represent this overwhelmingly enriching issue of family-hood. “Wonder Dad” is alive. Its frames try to embrace our biological moments, our happy and sweet memories—and the occasional sad ones that are undoubtedly part of a normal family life.

It is my hope that I can express all of that in “Wonder Dad” one day.  Luis Contreras


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