Benjamin Frisch's "Fun Family": good old American narcissism

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We’re happy to offer this excerpt from cartoonist Benjamin Frisch’s graphic novel debut, The Fun Family, “a subversive look at the underbelly of the All-American family through the prism of Family Circus-esque Sunday morning comic strips – a surreal deconstruction of modern parenting, childhood nostalgia, and good old American narcissism.”

I think that’s actually “good old middle-class white American narcissism.” Might as well not let that norm be as exclusionary as it already is.


A cynical look at the tropes of America? How unprecedented! Damn, at this point The Family Circus actually is subversive in that it’s not ironic.


maybe I am being obtuse to what is humorous here, but as someone who has been going through a separation and divorce for over a year now…this has been me at times quite literally. I do not find it funny. It sucks. I have suffered. My 3 kids have suffered.

so no. not funny. thanks BB for this lovely reminder and for making fun of it.


It looks like a kind of gallows humor – the way the wife and the doctor are so up-front with their hypocrisy makes it seem that way to me.

But I also distinctly thought that this is probably not the best excerpt from the book to show out of context. It really does come across like it’s beating up on the depressed father (probably because we’re jumping in the middle and haven’t formed any kind of reader’s relationship with the characters, so don’t have a great idea of how to interpret people’s actions and words in the excerpt).

Or if it is the best excerpt to show out of context, then this book really needs everything to be read in context.

Sorry to hear about your divorce and the problems it has caused for your family.

I know how you feel, it’s why I never could watch Two And A Half Men, as it came out during my separation and divorce. This seems to be the author’s own catharsis, but it doesn’t mean you have to punish yourself because a different sort of happy mutant likes it.

Dare I say it?

It would have been labeled with a trigger warning.

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