Artist and stay-at-home dad Ken Rolston has many adventures with his three-year-old son. Based in the Vancouver, Canada, this dynamic duo’s everyday happenings are hilarious – so Rolston decided to turn them into art.
His series of weekly web comics, “Dad vs. the Threenager,” has amassed quite an audience – with almost 10,000 Instagram followers and over 75 completed comic strips, it seems like anyone who knows a “threenager” can relate to the father and son.
Whether they’re depicting a trip to the grocery store or an attempt at yoga, Rolston’s comics want to make you smile – and remind you to appreciate the magic in the mundane.
Here’s a look at some of his funniest strips.
Before his son was born, Rolston worked as an artist in the children’s entertainment industry.
When he left to be a stay-at-home dad, Rolston began drawing pictures of his son in a sketchbook — starting the day he was born.
“The original idea was to document those little stories that are easily forgotten as time passes,” Rolston told INSIDER.
“By the time he turned three, I had joined the ‘Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators’ who inspired me to write more, and so the comic strip grew out of an exercise to write a story in three panels.”
Rolston draws a comic strip once a week, which allows him time to have adventures with his son that inspire the art.
“It usually takes a couple of days to draw a comic strip, but that’s mostly due to being interrupted to play trains, or cars,” Rolston says. “I don’t want to miss this time with him. On the days I can sit down and draw it all once, I would say it takes six to eight hours to complete.”
Rolston thought the strips would make people laugh, so he decided to share them on Instagram.
He says Instagram has been the best outlet he’s found — so far.
“It has taken some time to figure out how to use hashtags to my advantage, but I have had fun with the challenge,” Rolston says.
The term “threenager” can be used to describe the tumultuous — yet comical — phase in every child’s third year of life.
Rolston defines a “threenager” as “a three-year-old with the attitude of a teenager.”
“But as a parent I’m sure I’ll still see him as my little boy when he” going to college, so the three-year-old part is flexible,” he admits.
Rolston hopes to continue drawing the comics in some form.
But ultimately, he says it’s up to his son.
“Whether or not it reverts back to the sketchbook only is up to him,” Rolston says. “He gets final say, I don’t want to make a cartoon that embarrasses him, and so if he doesn’t like it, the Instagram comic will end.”
“There’s so much negative energy online these days I wanted to be part of the positive energy,” Rolston says.
“If I can make a few minutes of just one person’s day a little better, I’m happy. Having a little one around makes you appreciate the little things.”
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