As the old saying goes, you need a license to hunt or own a dog, but anybody can become a parent.
Enter Michael Kaufman, the central character of Jeffrey Cohen's "DAD CONFIDENTIAL." Sensing a void in the "dad-to-dad" market, Michael seeks to impart some of what he's learned as a married man and father of three.
Although Michael does not see himself as a "wimpy dad," he understands the value of graphics. DAD CONFIDENTIAL features the artwork of noted New York illustrator Robert Wallman (a former classmate and later work colleague of Cohen's). Not exactly a graphic novel, DAD CONFIDENTIAL is an illustrated novel, with more than 65 lively depictions located throughout the story's 13 chapters.
DAD CONFIDENTIAL is his account of a year in the life of Michael and his family – wife Karen, sons Brad (12) and Simon (6) and his daughter Faith (10). Mike discusses his views on childcare ("Some people are idiots"), sports fans ("I’ve seen the most inappropriately dressed people (not just women, mind you) at ballgames"), and spirituality ("Even back then, religion had their hand in people’s pockets").
Every family member faces a challenge during the year. Karen seeks to put a system in place to get the kids to do chores, which means establishing allowances for all of them. Older son Brad prepares for his bar mitzvah. Faith puts Mike through his paces to prepare for a father/daughter "sweetheart dance" and has many demands about her upcoming Princess-themed birthday party. Even Simon has a dilemma – what to do when older brother Brad and his friends co-opt his Halloween costume idea (a "vampirate").
Mike also observes societal mores, such as dress codes, how men are supposed to behave around women, and how older men become "invisible" around teenagers. Mike is amused that his wife's photography often catches women at a disadvantage ("I told her that's called a nip slip") and how he's called in to fix matters by adjusting clothing through the magic of photo editing.
Ultimately, DAD CONFIDENTIAL is about a man's quest for a harmonious and affectionate marriage, while remaining an engaged parent and conscientious coworker. All this while keeping his sanity when things spiral out of his control, which they tend to do, with laugh-inducing results.
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About the Author
Born and raised in New York (with a brief sojourn in New Jersey during his preteen years), Jeffrey Cohen lives in New York with his two sons. He has written several screenplays, including the 2007 Fade:In Magazine award-winning comedy FAMILY FRIEND (available for option). He is a multiple time winner of Content Management's Magnum Opus awards for his corporate publications. Jeff's podcast, "MrJeff2000 Explains It All" is available through iTunes and at mrjeff2000.podbean.com.