Romance Roundtable #27: Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Comic Book

Welcome to Romance Roundtable: a feature where the editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss a Harlequin romance manga romance manga romance media, just, like, in general. As a follow-up to our last Romance Roundtable this time we’re covering Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Comic Book — Oni Press’s collection of all five Dream Daddy comics. Get ready for wild Dream Daddy Zodiac Sign speculation (and, of course, hot dad & cute dog #content).


Jenny: ready to talk about these daddies??

Ashley: yeah!!

CC: yaaaay I’m so ready to talk about these dads

Rachel: yes!!!
it was so nice seeing all of them again

Jenny: shall we begin at the beginning? w rachel’s good boy bro

Rachel: AHHH
actually let’s start a step back!
let’s say what this book is
basically, it’s a short story anthology that expands the canon of the Dream Dad-iverse
It features several different Dadsonas

Jenny: lol daddyverse!
oh yeah loved that there was variety in the dadsonas

CC: I loved that each Dadsona is different :heart:
a cornucopia of dads
daducopia?
i don’t like that but uh, anyway
lotta dads!

Jenny: yeah it was nice to see the different dads mixed in with the set character dads

Rachel: also loved seeing the dads interact with each other more!

CC: I feel like that’s a great approach to comics about games where you can customize your characters
like, having a custom one each time
I’d love to see that more in licensed comics about games haha

Rachel: ohhh yes

Jenny: oh man yeah — did the dragon age’s comics have that?

CC: mostly they just avoid showing a cannon protag
in the DA comics
they’re just about ~ expanding the lore ~ (which they do very well!!!!!)
but yeah, also loved these dad interactions (dadteractions? interdadctions? ok I will stop now lmao)

Jenny: lol yeah i def found myself drawn to the comics that were exploring the set dad characters — like when damien and robert become friends!!

Ashley: hahahA yes that one was possibly my fave

Rachel: yes!! that’s one thing that will deviate a bit from this Romance Roundtable
there is actually very little romance happening in these stories
EXCEPT for the first one!! with Craig!!!!

CC: omg rachel that craig comic

Ashley: it was soooooo gooooooood

Craig out of the shower with a towel slung low on his hips, saying "Can you... help me figure out what to wear to this thing? You were always better than me at this... heh."
The next panel shows various outfit options strewn across the bed.
The final panel shows Craig dressed. Dadsona says "You clean up well!"
Craig: "Thanks, bro. Tie, or no tie?"
Dadsona: "Nah."

Jenny: this felt like a personal attack but i am here for it

Ashley: mmmm yep

Rachel: the artist for this comic, Ryan Maniulit is so good and does really good romance comics of his own
highly recommend

CC: rachel:

A panel from a Junji Ito comic, with a man screaming "Th-this is my hole! It was made for me!"

Rachel: LOL YES

Ashley: so real
but yeah, this comic really nailed the delightful HOT BROMANCE tension!!

CC: as soon as I saw that cover

Craig, lounging in his underwear with his university sweater mostly off, looking directly into the camera.

Rachel: Kris Anka with the covers
[chef’s kiss]

Ashley: i love how in the back matter he’s like, yeah craig is my fave and IT SHOWS

CC: you know, it really does hahaha
I think this one was my favorite tbh!
very sweet, and good mom content too

Craig and Dadsona at the sink, helping Craig's mom with dishes.
Craig's mom: "It's so good to see you again. I know this one missed you quite a lot."
Craig, embarrassed: "MOM!"

Jenny: hell yes hell yes hell yes

Ashley: YES the mom scenes ❤️ ❤️

Craig's mom: "Craig has always worked so hard to be a good dad and provider to those girls. And I am so proud of him. He goes above and beyond. But he needs to take care of HIM, too. Can you try to make him be a little more sociable every now and again?"
Dadsona, blushing a little: "I will do my best!"

Rachel: craig’s mom is my fave!!!
listen to your mom craig!!!

CC: also this cute ginger Dadsona

Jenny: yeah! this one really felt like his own character, if only for this morbidity

Dadsona, thinking to himself: "Man, everyone looks so grown-up. Do I look grown-up, too? Is this what aging is like? Watching people you knew at a certain space and time look weird and different in another space and time? Oh my god, we're OLD, and someday we'll leave this mortal plane — "
Craig interrupts: "Sorry 'bout that. Brett talked my ear off about his car dealership out in White Pine."
Dadsona, nervously: "AHAHA IT'S FINE I WAS JUST... HAVING SOME THOUGHTS..."

CC: this was TOO REAL LMA

Ashley: agreed! he felt very real and relatable

CC: I also loved the way this one expanded the lore and we see that shredded craig is a new thing

Ashley: kegstand craig had a beer belly!!

CC: (I had just assumed that he was one of those Youths who eat like, canned beans for every meal but is still in very good shape bc early 20s, I guess LOL)

Jenny: you love to see it
but re: expanding lore
i was SO HAPPY for an update on their secret 3rd roommate

Craig, showing an old dog on his phone: "He got re-homed to a new owner. A free-range duck farmer who lives in California. I found him on Dadstagram a few years ago, he's pretty popular now!"

CC: carl!!!!!

Ashley: hahahaha yessss
so cuuuuuuute

CC: I think this comic really uses the “childhood” (young adult? lol) friend trope the best
gets at all the things I like about friends to lovers as a storytelling device
history
change over time
winning a cool mom’s approval
love to see it

Ashley: AND familiar same-sex nudity that is suddenly not as banal as before!!

Jenny: and truly what change over time better than:

Dadsona, thinking to himself as he gets water from Craig's fridge: "I can't believe Kegstand Craig puts lemons in his water now. Wow. The ratio of citrus to water is perfect. This is so refreshing!"

Jenny: i can only dream of this day for myself

Ashley: HAHAH so cute
i really enjoyed the little details in this comic a lot

Rachel: i love the little blush!!!
like yes, it would also cause me to blush
reminiscing about my old friend and thinking of them in a new light, embodied by this perfectly citrused water

Jenny: relationships (and citrus water) are all about balance!
the citrus, it complements the water
so refreshing; so hydrating

Ashley: ✨😳🍋✨

Jenny: but def this comic delivered the most on romance

Dadsona and Craig KISS!!! Then they hug, and Craig says, "Goodnight, bro."

Rachel: ahhhhh
in a way, this comic being the first book i felt set me up a bit for disappointment
i kept hoping the other comics would explore the other dating options in the same romantic way
i really liked seeing the other daddies being friends, but i just love romance

Jenny: yeah, fair! i kind of thought that the robert/damien one was going to be a romance too

Ashley: SAME

Rachel: yeah!! i would have been here for that!!

Ashley: it feels like maybe it’s hinting at it at the end, but definitely up for interpretation

CC: yeah agreed — this first one did the most with balancing the romance with ~ expanding the dream daddy universe ~ hahaha
although my god, the cover for the second comic

Damien looking like a vampire, coming up from behind Robert like he's going to bite his neck.

Ashley: HOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

Jenny: yeah maybe this is why i thought there would be more romance in this one

Rachel: lol it’s definitely hinting at SOMETHING
i think the pairing of the cryptid-obsessed bad dad with the vampire goth dad is so good

Ashley: calm down guys, they’re just one-on-one LARPing

Jenny: def def made a lot of sense
but also loved to see robert go into detective/cryptid-hunting mode

In a noir style, movie-title text says, "The HUNTER or the HUNTED?"
Robert smoking a cigarette, thinking to himself, "Not alone, I see. Whatever it is, it's quick. Means it's dangerous. I better be careful."

Jenny: this was truly just so cute and so fun

Ashley: because i am Me, i thoroughly enjoying the jokes/references to Robert’s cinephile side

Rachel: LOL i definitely had thoughts while reading these stories of “I bet Ashley gets this joke”

Ashley: HAHAHHA

CC: LOL

Ashley: i feel like i got a deeper glimpse into Robert’s enigmatic soul – his tragic flaw of wanting every element of life to be as exciting and beautiful and scary as a good movie

Jenny: yeah and i think this visual shift was a really good way to get at that, when juxtaposed w the rest of the comic, like:

Damien, in profile, with two small dark circles on his neck (vampire bites??)

Jenny: but also lol made me wonder if damien had those like, tattooed on

Rachel: !!!!

Ashley: yep, haha, i think those are canon tattoos

Jenny: ultimate goth move

Ashley: he is nothing if not committed to the aesthetic

Jenny: but also maybe the true ultimate goth commitment to aesthetic would be tattooing on mime make up??

Damien: "Mimes are a rare subset of goth."

CC: LMAO

Jenny: tbh i did not see this one coming

Ashley: lmaoooooooo
gosh i just love damien

CC: he’s not wrong tbh

Gackt, in a clown mime look.

Jenny: LOLOLOL

Rachel: i love damien and i love the creator’s little loving digs at damien

Robert, reading a book thats says: "Chapter 1
Garlic, Stakes, Holy Water, and Other Myths
Unless deriving from cinematic masterpieces such as Blade (1998) or The Lost Boys (1987), vampires or vampyres maintain a consistent, irrefutable trait vampire hunters have been trained to identify since the dawn of the Hunter's Guild.
They're tacky."

Ashley: HAHAHA
that’s so rude!!!!!

Jenny: so good!!

Ashley: honestly, what i love about Damien is how the commitment to the kind of goth-Victorian model of masculinity gives him so much room to be SURPISING and CHARMING and SMOOTH and SELF-POSSESSED
like, he is approached by a strange man with a knife and is like, “oh he must be troubled, let me keep this safe for him and invite him to tea later”

Rachel: “and show him my knives”
just an opportunity for bonding!!
(and maybe bondage??? ho ho ho)

Ashley: hehehe

Jenny: lololol
also loved the casual seance invitation

Robert: "You're the one who bought the haunted victorian?"
Damien: "The real estate agent informed me of the lore, but I believe séances are a great source of entertainment. Wonderful for parties."

Jenny: (and if you’d like to host your own, have we got the guide for you!!)

Ashley: ya!!!!!

CC: I love that Damien is so into his hobbies
just has so many and is knocking them out of the park

Damien: "There's nothing like a moonlight stroll to clear one's mind after a laborious afternoon organizing and mounting the taxidermy."
Robert: *looks alarmed*

Jenny: the commitment is truly admirable!! and in the game too — his garden was INTENSE!!

Ashley: it really was

CC: i bet damien was real into visual kei in high school

Ashley: ** snort **

CC: nothing in this comic definitively says this, but his whole vibe this time and his bound naruto fanfiction in the game
it just
look, if I need to post the malice mizer clown again I will, is all I can say

Ashley: it 100% adds up imo

CC: (can u believe I did not make this blingee? it already existed)

A horrible Gackt blingee that says "CLOWN" in flaming letters.

Ashley: AHHHHHH HAHAHAHA
this is the kinda shit that would make Damien’s kid die of embarrassment on the spot

CC: god i just love him so much

Jenny: LOL you mean like

Amanda's Youtube video uploads: "DEAD GOTH AND BEYOND HAUL VIDEO XD", "NARUTO SEASON 5 RECAP/REVIEW", "EVANGELION X LINK PARK AMV"

Ashley: HAHAHAHA yes

CC: EVANGELION X LINKIN PARK AMV LMAO I MISSED THAT

Ashley: i have never related more to amanda than with that AMV joke lollll

Rachel: ahahahaha
i loved whenever amanda was in these stories

Ashley: me too! i feel like all the writers really nailed the dad-Amanda dynamic

Jenny: and this story in particular, w mat, i think was maximum dad

Amanda: "We're looking for a new member for our alien abduction research team if you're not doing anything later."
Mat: "Sounds... dare I say... out of this world?"
Amanda: "NEVERMIND!"

Ashley: LOL YES

CC: this dadsona’s shirt was my favorite
i would wear this shirt

Dadsona with Amanda, and he's wearing a pink shirt with a smiley, sparkly hamburger on it.

Ashley: it’s very cute !!!!

Rachel: i think that’s a shirt your dadsona could wear right??
i felt like all the dadsonas we saw were very true to the dadsona creation options

Ashley: yes, totally agree

Jenny: i think so? i’m not 100% though — it’s def v much of the vibe of many of the shirts in the character creator

CC: dang, I must have missed this one, but also I would absolutely believe it was in the game

Ashley: the outfit craig wears to the reunion i think is really close to one of the dadsona outfit options

Amanda and Dadsona in the background of a scene, and Dadsona is wearing a white shirt with pink accents at the neckline and shirtsleeve cuffs, with a little breast pocket with a heart on it.

Rachel: the little heart pocket shirt was def an option
loved seeing it in action

Jenny: for sure for sure

Ashley: hahahaha yaaaaaa

Jenny: but also i loved this story so much!!
i really don’t care for joseph but i love daisy and i do really love brian
(as much as i could never romance brian)

Ashley: i liked it too!!! the understanding between daisy and the twins was really fun and hilarious
i’m glad joseph was present mostly only to be made fun of

CC: truly

Amanda: "Crying doesn't mean— Look, y'don't HAVE to cry. You just have to... be KIDS. I'm not supposed to tell you this, real-deal adult secret stuff. But they really, REALLY do care about you. That's why they're doing this. You just have to show 'em it's the wrong thing to be caring about."
Daisy: "Y-you mean... MISBEHAVE?"

Rachel: daisy continues to be such a gem

Daisy: "Dad, c'mon. Any time I've really tried at this sorta thing, the teachers just think you made it for me. Remember my asteroid-mining diarama?"
Brian: "That was an EXCEPTIONAL use of styrofoam, Daisybear."
Daisy: "Yeah... and everyone thought I cheated. I'll just do something a bunch of other kids are doing, too. It's SAFER."

Jenny: she’s so good!
she’s too good! and i must protect her!!

Ashley: daisy in this comic is a personal attack on my childhood self

CC: omg I know
angry on her behalf that anybody would think she would cheat on anything in her life

Jenny: def!!

Ashley: she just wants to be a kid, not an astronaut president!!! let her live!

Jenny: but also i so loved the way brian recognized that she is actually much smarter than him and knows how best to proceed in this situation!
and he apologized so well!
i cried!!

Brian: "You're just such a good kid. A GREAT kid. You're my pride and joy. And I'm proud to say I KNOW you. We're buddies. So I know what it took for you to do what you did in there. You were really unhappy, and I wasn't helping at all. I... I know it's tough being ahead of the curve, Daze. And when I see that in you, I wanna show the world. But that's not something I oughta do without your say-so."

Ashley: awwwww

Rachel: this was so good!!

Ashley: it was really excellent, really nailed the characters, continued the Dream Daddy tradition of just punching you in the heart with good dad moments

Rachel: so i think the only story we haven’t mentioned yet is the last one, Dungeons and Dads!!

All the daddies (minus Hugo, who is acting as DM) as their various DnD characters.

Ashley: DUNGEONS AND DAAAAAADS

CC: dungeons!! and!!! dads!!!!!!!

Ashley: omg, their characters and outfits were SO DELIGHTFUL

CC: the character classes were so perfect and I love that damien is just dressed like he always is

Ashley: lol yes

CC: I love that he lives his best life every day
and even in high fantasy, the coolest thing damien can be
is
himself
;o;

Ashley: so true
i mean, they’re all good and make excellent sense, gotta say Brian really steals the show with his getup. Daisies in his beard!!!!! 😭

Jenny: also hugo’s first-time dm struggles were v real for me, personally

Hugo: "...it could only be the work of an advanced society. A proud people whose achievements in agriculture, engineering, and the —"
One of the daddies: "Hugo, PLEASE!"
Hugo: "Fine, fine..."

Ashley: HAHAHA oh hugo

Jenny: just a: i’ve prepared this lecture on the lore and also no you can’t just turn around — i didn’t prepare for you to just turn around??
very stressful!!

Ashley: i was called out. he displayed every baby DM trap i have fallen into

CC: see, this is why I don’t think I’ll ever get my dragon age tabletop game off the ground
“who wants to hear about the hundreds of years of lore-consistent continental upheavals that led to the creation of this dungeon”?
party just blows the dungeon up

Ashley: cc YOU CAN DO IT I BELIEVE IN YOU

Jenny: honestly i’ve spent too much of my time making fun of people who go to improv classes to ever be a good dm

Rachel: LOL JENNY

CC: hahahaha so real jenny

Rachel: that is the storytelling equivalent of pulling your ACL while making fun of parkour

CC: L M A

Jenny: LOLOLOLOLOL

Ashley: EEEEEE LOL

Rachel: 👀

Ashley: not that that’s ever happened to anyone in this chat

Jenny: i def agree that brian stole the show with his BEAR-BARIAN get up though

Craig, as his DnD character falls: "Newbies gotta stick together... you goofy bear-barian."

Jenny: just what a line

Ashley: so CUUUUUUUTE

Rachel: Craiiggggg

Ashley: loved the vibe b/t Craig and Brian

Jenny: oh man yeah
they could definitely build a deck together

CC: I felt so personally attacked by this

Brian, rushing to Craig's character: "Craig, no! You were the only one worse at this game than I am."

Ashley: lmaoooooooo ugh stoppppp i see all my characters’ lives flashing before before my eyes

Jenny: but also what an in-character thing for brian
the competitive one

CC: also filed under “now that’s what I call character development, volume 57” but
I wonder what their zodiac signs are
lol

Ashley: OH BOY now you’ve done it

Jenny: LOL do we want to make that final thoughts??

Rachel: YES

Ashley: perfect

Rachel: Robert is a Scorpio??

Jenny: def

Ashley: for sure

Jenny: i feel ok calling brian a capricorn
but could be an aries, frankly

Ashley: yep, i feel same!!
cap that is

CC: i, too, do not like to lose so I can see that

Ashley: i’m claiming Mat as a gemini

Jenny: fair

Rachel: ohh yes good
i think Hugo……. HMMMM

Ashley: Virgo
100%

Jenny: LOL yes

CC: LOL

Rachel: bless

Jenny: damien could be an aquarius

Ashley: yea i can see that!
or honestly, maybe even a taurus?

Jenny: he does really commit to the sensual
so i could see taurus too

Ashley: he’s soooooo focused on the aesthetic and the material quality of everything yknow

CC: or also a gemini; dualities, right? i mean idk
I admittedly am a little out of my depth on these lol

Rachel: lol CC
i can only recognize zodiac signs of you three and my partner
and myself
other zodiacs are a mystery to me

CC: yeah I still don’t know what a sagittarius is

Jenny: sagittarius is most likely to up and move to a different country w/o telling anyone
imo

Ashley: HAHA YES

CC: joseph???

Rachel: oh!! hmm maybe Mary then
lol not a daddy but still

Jenny: LOL yes i could see mary

Ashley: sags are like… who is the deer friend in aggretsuko?

Rachel: Fenneko!!

CC: OHHHH L O L

Rachel: oh i love her
yes, Mary
OH WAIT
not fenneko
deer friend
hmmm

Ashley: no not fenneko, the one with the business

Rachel: oh the cat lady!! she like had a clothing import/export thing?
yes

Jenny: yeah the one who like stays at home and works for 6mo then goes abroad and parties
endless cycle

Ashley: lol yes, classic sag
Puko!!! she’s a panther or something

Rachel: ok what is Craig
i can’t place this good boy

Ashley: Craig… honestly I’m going with Cancer
he’s so family-focused

Rachel: i knew i liked him

Jenny: yeah that’s where i was leaning too but he’d need some kind of wild moon sign

Ashley: oh for sure, aries moon i think

CC: HAH

Jenny: i could see that
lol rachel

Rachel: carolynn and i high five

Ashley: hahahahaha

CC: nice, in unison
LOL
ok but what about joseph (please don’t say aries)
what’s the zodiac sign for being unforgivably fake as hell

Ashley: oh god JOSEPH
he is obviously a PISCES
because: pisces are my nemesis, and also jesus fish

Jenny: lol i didn’t want to say it bc i am a known pisces-hater, but i was def thinking it

CC: oooooh nice catch

Jenny: lol
catch

Ashley: cc, most people would call geminis the fakest sign but as WE ALL KNOW HERE, that is not true

CC: oh yeah for sure, for sure
also, I just checked the dream daddy wiki and their b-days aren’t on here!
there is no cannon for this! we’re off the map yall!!!

Rachel: THEN WHAT WE SAY GOES OH HO HO HOHO

Ashley: we’re bravely forging new lore

Rachel: we didn’t miss anybody right?? that’s all the daddies?

Jenny: i think so — unless we want to call amanda?

Ashley: amanda, hmmm… i could see Amanda as a very well-adjusted Leo

Jenny: i could see amanda as an aquarius fwiw — if only for the art-kid angle

Rachel: those both sound feasible to me
as a The Stars-novice

CC: I was thinking cancer bc she works hard at her art but also has big feelings about the people she cares about
and also I just assume everybody is one of the four signs I am familiar with hahahaha

Ashley: this is very true
very nurturing – befriending all the neighborhood kids

Jenny: honestly fair
big cancer vibes

Rachel: 🦀
so proud that we both enjoyed this story and added new dimensions to it
you’re welcome, fans of Daddies everywhere

Ashley: yes!! lol

Jenny: lololo

CC: so proud to be adding to the literary canon on this one

Ashley: a noble calling for sure


Join us next time for even more love story shouting in our next Romance Roundtable! In the meantime, check out our Patreon for just a few bonus goofs that didn’t make it into today’s roundtable, as a treat. Plus: so, so many pictures of disgusting Victorian-style jellies.

Carolynn Calabrese

Carolynn Calabrese

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.
Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
Ashley Gallagher

Ashley Gallagher

Ashley writes comics and emails from zir burrow in the Pacific Northwest. Ze is a sentient subtropical swamp fern whose favorite food is old words.
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