The Dandelion King; love and loss in the gas line (Cross-platform, graphic novel series, in progress).
Written, drawn and designed by Heide Solbrig
The Dandelion King is a graphic novel which incorporates digital audio-visual and phone-based production, traditional illustration and graphic design, and a rigorous sociological imagination. The personal story that forms The Dandelion King’s central strand is underpinned by an account of social change in the 1970s that links, evangelical movements and their rise to political power in southern Los Angeles county, skyrocketing divorce rates and changes in family law, the transformation of California’s mental health policy. The book tells my family history through the intersection of various incipient projects of neo-liberalization under Governor Ronald Reagan, along with proliferating pop-psychological trends such as encounter groups, consciousness raising, and the economic and political upheavals that drove my father from Argentina. As a multi-platform narrative, The Dandelion King’s personal story of growing up in the 1970s is accompanied and elaborated by extracts of non-theatrical films and social-issue documentaries of the period. For example, Journey Into the Self (McGaw,1968) and Hurry, Tomorrow (Cohen,1974) ground my mother’s experience as divorcé and psychiatric social worker. The graphic novel component of the project includes written and visual commentary on liberal philosophy, film and management theory, and the legal history of divorce all woven into a visceral, pen-and-ink portrayal of childhood loss.