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Sunday, 15 January 2012

That Deaf Guy

A webcomic
By Matt and Kay Daigle
What's it about?
That Deaf Guy is about the everyday adventures of a Deaf man with a hearing son and wife.  It is created by husband and wife team, Matt and Kay Daigle.  Matt draws, Kay writes.  Matt was born Deaf, his wife is hearing, and together they create a comic strip about everyday life - raising a small child, managing money, working out Halloween costumes, appropriate winter finger wear, and being Deaf.

Heh heh. "glittens"
What's good about it?
Drawn in newspaper strip style, it's dead easy to read and jump into.It's also darn funny.  That Deaf Guy chronicles the life and times of a small family, so much of the jokes will be recognisable to anyone who's ever lived in a family environment or dealt with young kids.
The punchlines are delivered superbly with the story being told in the artwork as much as the text.
The creators have said they wish to create a strip that appealed to both Deaf and hearing people, in that I reckon they've succeeded.  Some strips deal with life in the Deaf world, some deal with family life, and some deal with when the Deaf and hearing worlds collide.  The gags are delivered simply and effectively. with style.  Some of them are bit surreal, exactly the thing to appeal to my odd sense of humour.

Going through the strips and trying to find ones to highlight was hard - simply because there's just so many good examples I want to share with you!  I have a list of twenty I'd like to share, but that would be silly, so really, just go read the comic!
What's bad about it?
I really like this.  I think it's fun and interesting.  I started reading it because I'm interested in Deaf stuff, but I can see that if you are not interested in families or Deaf stuff, or if you don't like newspaper style comic strips, you might not like it.  However, I would urge you to give it a go, it doesn't take long to read through the archive and it is genuinely funny.

What's the art like?
The art has a lovely cartoony feel to it, reminiscent of traditional comic strips, like Garfield or Peanuts.  The faces are open, movement is shown by a few small lines, there's not a lot in the background to distract the eye.  I love this style of cartooning - it's really accessible and perfect for when you don't want to get into something too heavy.

As you can see from the samples posted, the strips are both black and white and in colour.  The black and white ones are the early strips, the more recent ones are in colour.  Colour suits it.  The things in the foreground seem it be coloured in blocky, strong colours, with the background a more faded, washed out type of shade.  It gives a lovely sense of depth to the images.

Other information
That Deaf Guy can be found online at http://www.thatdeafguy.com/.  Read an interview with Matt here.
Follow Matt on twitter @DeafCartoonist or like the facebook page.

Thanks to Matt and Kay Daigle for allowing me to post example strips.


  1. I am deaf and I love reading Matt Daigle's comic strips. A lot of them are relatable through personal experiences, as a deaf person, as a mother, as a wife, so on. I am also an ASL teacher and I show these strips to my students as part of their Deaf Culture part of the course. Some students get them and laugh, and some do not quite get them and give me blank stares (I only show Deaf Culture ones).

  2. I love reading Matt Daigle's comic strip. It gives me a lift in my daily life as a happily married hard of hearing mother with a family of three kids. i like that even in a Deaf world that even we can find comic relief in a what we call everyday normal life. I will always share his comics with my friends and family. Mr. Daigle's comic strip not only is a relief but also provides a lesson to those who just may not get it..

  3. Thanks so much for highlighting Matt Daigle and his off-beat brand of humor. Not enough people are exposed to deaf culture and this does it in a very humorous way.

  4. Hi all.
    Thank you for the comments. I definitely agree that more people need to be exposed to Deaf culture! I am hearing, but sign, and intend to qualify as an interpreter within the next 2 years.

    If you want to read more comics with Deaf characters please check out my reviews of Daredevil/Echo: Parts of a Hole http://paipicks.blogspot.com/2010/09/daredevilecho-parts-of-hole.html
    and Daredevil/Echo: Vision Quest.

    They are fantastic books, and to my mind, have the only Deaf superhero. Marvel and DC need to create more.

  5. They're good! Keep them coming! :D

  6. Hi Candace, do you mean the reviews or 'that deaf guy' the comic strip?! :p
    More seriously, thanks for the positive comment (whicheer you meant!) :)

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