Erin Bradley’s Park Slope Family Circus blog appropriates one of a longest running American comic strips, Family Circus, and injects it with social commentary. It’s as if artist Norman Rockwell’s idyllic vision of America was transformed into an episode of Portlandia, the popular hipster-lampooning TV series.
Park Slope, for those of you who might not know, is the very affluent neighborhood of Brooklyn, which lives in the popular imagination as a place overtaken by hippies in the 1960s, then a bastion of the city’s lesbian community with whispers of “secret lesbian discounts,” and later transformed in the postcard of Brooklyn’s hyper-gentrification … look out for the baby strollers and the growlers of kombucha!
But Bradley’s creation hits on something more universal, because what is happening in Park Slope is happening, well, everywhere, though perhaps not as quickly or at the same scale.
L Magazine spoke to the creator and she explained why she chose Family Circus as the target of him lampoon, “I think Cathy was initially discussed, but the quintessential Park Sloper is a breeder. Or, if you’re like me, one half of a married couple with too many dogs.”
This isn’t the first hijacking of Family Circus, whose original creator Bill Keane died in 2011, but it might be one of the most clever in a very long while. Though I’m still pretty fond of Nietzche’s Family Circus.