The Dandelion King: love and loss in the gas line.
The Dandelion King is a trans-media graphic novel; including short films, archival media & interactive book APP, all of which contribute to a divorce biography which chronicles a social history of the 1970's. The book tells an intimate story about growing up in Los Angeles county in a particular historical moment. Each chapter combines animation with archival footage from historic documentary, linking ‘real’ films of the era with a graphic mind’s eye.
The 1970s is the decade with the largest recorded rates of divorce in history, a legacy with which my generation struggles. In 1969 my father, a political refugee from Argentina and biologist in the field of plant population genetics left his wife and his kids to marry his graduate student. My mother, brother and I moved back to Whittier, California to live with my grandparents. In this graphic novel, the personal story I explore is underpinned by social change in the 1970’s: the impact of evangelical movements and their political ascendency in southern Los Angeles county; how changes in mental health policy impact my mothers’ job at the notorious psychiatric hospital, Metropolitan State; how Argentina’s economic and political upheaval impacted my immigrant father’s life and work in the U.S.. The backdrop of my chaotic childhood are large societal shifts illustrated by the movement from Richard Nixon’s (a native son of Whittier) famous phrase, “we are all Keynsians” to the ascendance of Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980.
The Dandelion King is intimate, political, and accessible storytelling, available on multiple media platforms. Film & motion graphics will be available online, phone and tablet apps as well as in chapter ‘comic book’ and graphic novel forms.