Rad Dad (18) by Tomas Moniz

Reviewed by Amanda Kimmerly

Upon first glance at the zine Rad Dad 18, I imagined a collection dedicated to fathers across America trying to stay hip and in-tune with their children, along with the misfires that come when attempting to translate young generational slang (i.e. the famous scene in 10 Things I Hate About You, when the father quips, “Those damn Dawson’s river kids, sleeping in each other’s beds and whatnot.”).

Luckily, that’s maybe 0.2 percent of it. This small zine, run by Tomas Moniz, covers topics from parenting and child nudity to open relationships and anti-breeding anarchists. Basically, if it’s a relationship or practice outside of the “norm,” it qualifies.

While some stories, by nature, proved more interesting and mysterious, like attempting polyamory after nine years of “dry monogamy,” the entire non-fiction collection, from start to finish, kept my full attention—so much that I stupidly missed a doctor’s appointment in the vigorous process.

Even as a person without any kids, I found myself relating to every article or using it as a preparation for, perhaps, a (daunting!) future of childbearing. For those with children, or non-traditional ways of living, I imagine it could provide a sense of compassion and understanding, the way a Sci-Fi convention might comfort the kid who only wears Trekkie outfits to class. The point is: relationships are weird, messy, and ever-evolving. The storytellers in Rad Dad 18 tackle this observation by sharing their insights and frustrations in a positive, healthy light while at the same time skillfully using elements of craft as a piece of compelling short fiction.

Instead of a magazine geared toward fathers, or even parents, it is one for, as Jason Gonzales beautifully said in his story, “Earth Abides,” “warriors committed to a multi-generational movement of positive change.” In sexual relationships, parental relationships, environmental relationships, and foremost, the relationships we keep with ourselves.

New and back issues of Rad Dad are available at raddadzine.blogspot.com.

Amanda Kimmerly graduated with a BA in Journalism and minor in Creative Writing from  Stephen F. Austin State University. She writes mostly fiction and poetry and is currently co-authoring two books: a YA novel exploring the peculiar habits and inhabitants of podunk East Texas and a Dvarsh glossary for the Hidden Lands of Nod fantasy series, by Robert Stikmanz. She reads fiction submissions for Fringe Literary Magazine and just recently extended her hand to Black Heart Magazine as a volunteer book reviewer and poetry reader. She promises she is not as drab in real life as her bio suggests.