‘Letters to an Absent Father’ Explores the Softer Side of the Pokemon Journey [Comic]
Despite the mountain of licensed manga released over the course of Pokémon’s ongoing 15 year multimedia reign, there are a few questions stemming from US localized anime protagonist Ash Ketchum’s life that continue to haunt fans: Where’s his dad?
Those who grew up following Ash and Pikachu’s exploits have their own theories on his father’s identity ranging from a generic absentee pokémon trainer to someone more sinister, but the bottom line is fans will probably never know the real story. Aiming to fill this gaping plot hole, artist Maré Odomo created Letters to an Absent Father, a Game Boy-sized minicomic that frames Ash’s experiences through touching and presumably unanswered correspondence with the faceless Mr. Ketchum.The series of strips follows Ash’s adventures from aspiring novice to certified champion, reflecting the highs and lows associated with becoming “the very best” with the young trainer’s father issues. While the first few strips enjoy a bit of goofiness, they become increasingly poignant, resulting in a sentiment that touches hearts both in and out of the Indigo League.
Our thanks to Odomo for allowing us to post the strips in full. Fans can pick up the full minicomic at Odomo’s online store, and check out more of the creator’s work in EXP. Video Game Art & Culture: Book 1 and The Controller: Book 2. Odomo has also transplanted Adventure Time onto the cover of MF Doom’s “MM.. Food.”
Check out the Letters to an Absent Father strips below: