Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real

Every so often, a comic comes along that really “gets” parenthood and the surreal insanity that often accompanies it. Lynn Johnston’s For Better of For Worse is a classic of the genre. Lunarbaboon is a regular webcomic that simultaneously tags your funny bone and pulls at your heartstrings.

And now I’m adding Brian Gordon’s Fowl Language to that list. It’s flat-out hilarious and should be required reading for every parent: new, old, rookie, experienced, naive, or jaded.

Fowl Language is a webcomic (that you should absolutely subscribe to and become a regular reader of), and The Struggle is Real is the second collection of the strip. I’ll admit that this was the first I’ve heard of it. Listen, there are a LOT of great webcomics out there; it’s hard to keep up with ALL of them.

But I’ve made a point of going back and reading through the back catalog to catch up.

In a nutshell, the strip features an often perplexed, frustrated, and exhausted duck – our parental hero – as he struggles with the little ducklings who run circles around him.

The strip is filled with gags aplenty, as you would expect from a daily strip or webcomic consisting of only a few panels. A vast majority of the jokes land, which is the true hallmark of a great comic strip. I found myself literally laughing out loud every 2-3 pages, which is HIGH praise indeed.

My kids were immediately attracted to the art, and for the most part, the strips work with an all-ages audience. Fair warning, though, that there’s a bit of “fowl language” sprinkled throughout, so you may want to read through the book before handing it off to the kids. It’s nothing incredibly inappropriate and – in all likelihood – it’s probably stuff the kids have already heard you say around the house.

Fowl Language is an absolute must for every parent. Add it to your bookshelf and all gift lists for new parents and parents-to-be. They’ll thank you later.

(Disclosure: Andrews McMeel provided me with a review copy of this book. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.