Reading Resolution: “Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Comic Book” by Leighton Gray and Vernon Shaw

28. Wild Card: Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Comic Book by Leighton Gray and Vernon Shaw

List Progress: 13/30

Sometimes a piece of media goes beyond “popcorn” to become “caramel corn”: easy to consume and aggressively sweet. But in the year of our lord 2021, there is absolutely a place for fluffy vignette comics based off of an indie dating simulator video game. Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Comic Book is deeply inessential, but it is cute and fun and well-made, and sometimes that’s all you need.

If you are not familiar with the game Dream Daddy, it is a dating simulator released in 2017 by the internet video group Game Grumps, and written by Leighton Gray and Vernon Shaw. The player character is a single father who has just moved into a new neighborhood and meets lots of other single fathers, all of whom can be romanced depending on what choices the player makes. It was fun and fluffy, with lots of cute tropey romances to explore and instantly memorable characters in each of the Dads. You have the jock, the bad boy, the goth, the Christian, the hipster, the nerd and the competitor. The Dream Daddy comic captures this multi-path story by telling five vignettes, each by a different writer and artist. This is a wise approach for the subject material, giving everyone a chance to see their favorite characters in the center. The player character is only present in two of the five stories, as most of the stories involve the Dads interacting among themselves, which must warm the heart of many a shipper.

The stories are of slightly variable quality; I was not a fan of the one where the bad boy is convinced the fancy goth might be an actual vampire, as that seemed to strain the rules of this pretty-grounded reality. My favorites were probably the first, where the jock was played for pure eye candy, and the fourth, about a rivalry between the competitive and Christian dads, which was the one to involve the child characters the most and have fun with the fatherhood aspects of the premise. But all of the stories have something to offer, even if it’s just a few laughs and a lot of sweetness. Sometimes you just want to read about queer people being happy.

It’s not strictly necessary to know these characters to get into the comic, as they are mostly archetypes, but this is clearly made for fans who want to spend some more time in this world. It’s sweet and not much else, but I am not one to turn down caramel corn.

Would I Recommend It: Yes, to fans of the game.

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