The Colorblind Art Teacher #2 by Mark Teel

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The Colorblind Art Teacher #2
by Mark Teel
Self-published

cbateacher2It doesn’t matter what your anxieties or weaknesses are when you’re a parent.  Because once you have kids, you’re the grown-up.  By default.

The Colorblind Art Teacher #2 appears to be an autobiographical story about Mark Teel and his daughter Audrey as he takes her to her first swimming lessons.  The book is mostly straight-forward, but makes a few non-linear escapes to reflect on literature or the past.  Not in the expected, fictional-realism sort of way that some autobio comics skew towards — more like stream-of-consciousness narrative that offers perspective and pleasantly strengthens the conflict.

Mark has the summer off from teaching, but it’s not really a break.  The time it affords him to take his daughter to swimming classes isn’t exactly relaxing.  She has trouble with the water, which Mark attributes this to a lack of trust between the two of them.  Comically, she screams and shouts and refuses to behave for him in the water.  It hardly seems like a lack of trust, more like a typical child reacting fearfully to a new thing, but Mark’s anxiety about the situation seems to be rooted in his childhood experience with learning to swim.

Teel’s artwork has a lovely shakiness to the line that expresses both the youthful innocence of the story and Mark’s own misgivings about the situation.  The art spreads across the page, panels butting up against each other.  It’s black and white with no grayscale and minimal crosshatching.  I really liked the word bubbles, which are kind of square and occasionally fit together in a tetris-like manner.  The cover weight is the same as the interior pages, but it does use color.  The book is 32 pages long and measures 5″x5″.  The Colorblind Art Teacher #2 is available for $4 through Teel’s website.

– Sarah Morean

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