May 13, 2018

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Graphic Nonfiction: Allyson Shwed on the History of Mother's Day

It's been awhile, but here's another entry in our Graphic Nonfiction series, where we highlight online work of creators who are here not to tell you a story, but to hit you with stone cold fact.

Happy Mother's Day to all of our readers who are mothers! We're so happy you've taken the time from your life to raise someone else!

Mother's Day is something we see all over the media around this time, as with any holiday. But just as how we see sales on the day we celebrate a socialist who was murdered for his views on civil rights in the US and abroad, Mother's Day has, over time, become less about recognizing the struggles of mothers everywhere and more about getting a deal on a new car.

Well, that would anger the founder of Mother's Day even more than she already was at the commercialization of her celebration. That's just what Allyson Shwed points out in her brief history of Mother's Day, as recently featured on The Nib.

As you can see, after trying so hard to get the holiday established:

Once it started getting diluted, she wasn't happy:


I really like the layout of these panels and those in the rest of the comic. Shwed doesn't try to do anything overly detailed, but you can clearly see the emotions on the faces of the people she portrays, such as how those people behind Anna look positively puzzled that she's taking out her rage on mayo-covered tubers.

The final splash panel at the end is especially well-crafted, with a background of stores and a mother who just really need a break--not a bouquet of flowers. You'll want to go over to the site and see it for yourself.

So after reading this comic, maybe instead of taking Mom out for dinner, take out the trash like you're supposed do. Or better yet, do both. Happy Mother's Day!