Some time ago, Joe Chiappetta contacted me by e-mail asking me to review his webcomic, Silly Daddy. For various reasons, I haven’t been reviewing solicitations lately. As I mentioned in one of the comments, it’s much easier for me to write reviews for a comic that reflect my own interests rather than tackling something that may or may not stoke my curiosity in the first place. Take the Beachnuts review I wrote, for example. This strip was solicited by the comics’ creator. Although I tried to keep as open a mind as possible, I discovered that I had my limitations. The strip is targeted for a surfing audience. Since I’m not one myself, my observations we weakened by self-doubt about whether or not I, as a layman, could ever truly enjoy jokes about how being in the water for an extended period of time causes one to be gross. On the other hand, as a proud Nintendo Wii and PS2 owner (two of the greatest consoles of all time *strut* *strut*), I can at least understand parodies Mario and Master Chief in, say, Crazy Buffet.
Thus, solicitations are often met with a tentative, “Eh, mmmmmmmaybe.” There was, however, something about Mssr. Chiappetta’s e-mail that piqued my interest immediately. First, there was the absolutely charming way in which he introduced himself: “I am a former wrestler and chess champion, but that has little or nothing to do with the comic.” (Note to aspiring webcomic artists — and, indeed, any else for all walks of life: this is the sort of cheesy trivia that tends to get people’s attention. Put this stuff on your resume. Seriously.)
Second, I was hooked on the premise: an autobiographical account on what it meant to be a father. I’m not yet a father myself, so to me, this is still some sort of magical mystery land and not some horror show combination of stress, sleeplessness, diaper changing, and love. (Awwww!)
And third, Silly Daddy actually won an award in 1998, back in the days before it was even a webcomic. During its print run (which began waaaay back in 1991), Silly Daddy received the Xeric, an award established by Peter Laird (yes, THE Peter Laird, one half of the creative duo responsible for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) for self-published comic creators. My dear reader, you know how I love to chat up award winning comics. Okay, so most of the time, it’s to question the legitimacy of the award, but no such though crossed my mind here.
I shot him back an e-mail saying that I’d be honored to check it out.
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