You may not know his real name, but you’ve probably seen Chris Grady’s work on your Facebook feed. He’s the Toronto father behind the web comic Lunarbaboon, a digital strip about parenting that acknowledges the darkness in the world while showing parents how to find the light.
Through his online comics and paperback collection, “Lunarbaboon: The Daily Life of Parenthood,” Grady has helped so many other parents with poignant work that manages to be funny, while also hitting people right in the heart.
His simple line drawings of a cartoon dad interacting with his kids give are infused with humor and tips for dealing with kids, critics and one’s own mental health. It makes sense, because according to a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Grady started the strip as a therapeutic way to channel his own anxiety.
“I needed a positive place to focus all my thoughts and found that when I was making comics I felt a little bit better,” he told the Huffington Post. “After posting the comics on social media for a few months, I began getting messages from many people about how they connected to the comics and it gave them hope and strength as they went through their own dark times.”
The first comics on his site appeared in 2012, and look very different from the Lunarbaboon style that is instantly recognizable today. His style has evolved as his following has grown. With almost a million followers on Facebook alone, Grady’s work spreads quickly through the online parenting world each time he releases a new strip.
Grady, who is also a school teacher, told the Huffington Post he thinks people are picking up on the positivity he tries to weave into his brand of parenting humor.
Although he deals with serious topics like consent, sexuality, bullying and depression, he does it all in a way that makes readers smile along with him. Having a positive outlook is important to him, and something he wants to give not only to other parents, but also to the next generation.
“Kids are always watching adults, and they look to the adults as role models. I try to show them that even with all my flaws and weaknesses, I am still a good person, and I can still make a positive change in the world,” says Grady.
Grady’s thoughts on positivity are perfectly captured in one of his most beloved viral comics. In it his dad character is standing at a bus stop with his son watching a superhero fight a monster. When the kid wishes he had super powers the dad turns to a nearby stranger and compliments him on his hat. The guy in the hat smiles, and the dad character turns back to his son.
“Now look at his face,” the comic version of Grady says to his son. “We all have powers.”
It’s those kind of moments that give Grady’s work that right-in-the-feels quality that so many parents find so shareable.
Judging by the numbers of shares and comments (and by the number of times a week I see his work pop up in my own feeds) Grady is doing something right and his message of positivity is spreading faster than he can draw. That’s obviously his super power.