Getting Up There 12/13/18

This week we take a look at getting older. How do we deal with age? It’s the noises we make when we bend down to pick up something we dropped. When we get into a car. When we get out. Just going through the motions requires a little more of us than it used to. I can see it in John’s balky knee. Or my neck.

About that neck. I was 24 years old, just starting my first job in advertising at NW Ayer Chicago. I started on 7/7/77 (got married on 7/7/84, so 7/7 is a big day for yours truly) and they promptly told me they had a slo-pitch softball team. Well, I’m not the world’s most naturally gifted athlete, but I love playing softball. I rode a bike to the office and after work, hurriedly pedaled to the park where we were playing. No time to warm up, but what the hell, I was 24. I put on my glove and was told they don’t play with mitts in Chicago. The ball its a little bigger in circumference and after it gets smashed around for a few innings, it becomes slightly mushy. They put me at third base. Wouldn’t you know it, but the first pitch got smashed on the ground to third. I fielded it cleanly, and it hurt like a mother, but I wasn’t gonna let anyone know that. I was going to show off my “rocket” arm. So I reared back and threw was hard as I could to impress my new co-workers. I felt something tear between my neck and shoulder on the right side as the ball went on a straight line…5 feet over the first baseman’s head. Today, I still wake up and feel shoulder/neck stiffness in the exact same place.

So we took Sam to an undefined gym class and watched him compensate. This was an amalgamation of John’s knee, which made him switch from singles to doubles. And my shoulder and recently my foot. Oh yeah, and tennis elbow too. There’s always golf, but the tennis elbow put a damper on that. There’s hiking in the woods, which my wife loves as well. Well plantar fasciitis starts rearing up but only after 4 miles. Every time. So I could stand that and kept the walks to that length or less. But when you compensate (top of the toes) and then it hurts to walk, period. But there’s always the elliptical. And if that hurts the exercise bike.

We had fun with Sam dealing with the very same shortcomings. Read it and see what he ends up doing.

We’ll talk to you next week, our last comic of the year before taking a couple weeks off. But I gotta run. I’m late for Pilates.

The New 60

Having an Act II 12/7/18

Act II. It’s a cliche that means, what are you doing or going to do now that you’re retired, fired, or winding down. John and I had some fun with this awhile ago and wondered what would our characters do with their own second acts. We came up with a franchise idea, Pizza on a Stick. For those of you that didn’t know, John did a whole bunch of Little Caesars Pizza commercials back in the day, and he’s been to more than one convention. I’ve been to a few conventions myself, but they were for soft drinks and beer. Believe us, conventions are filled with comic fodder.

When I was looking for my Act II, I thought about writing a comic strip. I called John and the rest, as they say, is history. Now obviously we’re having a little fun with Al and Joanne’s second act and she’s a little more skeptical than he is. But when you’re in or close to the age range of The New 60, pondering Act II is important. C’mon, you’re thinking about it, right?

Most of us have probably worked for some sort of big corporation or in the case of ad people, worked for several corporations within the same industry. Your time is not exactly your own and while you do get a nice paycheck plus medical, you give a lot of your brain and your free time in return. With NO residuals, I might add. One of my lasting memories is of writing a commercial for Herbal Essences. After literally months and months of back and forth with the client, we sold our idea. Then we cast for the lead actress. When we finally boarded the plane, the actress, who had put in about 2 minutes on the project so far, was seated in first class while I (along with my art director) went back to coach. Because them’s the rules.

When you start your own thing, you make your own rules. Nobody tells you what to do. But while there’s no guarantee of a paycheck, it’s really exciting to watch your own creation start to take off. We are closing in on a year’s worth of comic strips. So for those of you who follow us, and comment on our work, and like us and share our comics, and offer us ideas and inspiration, we want to say a profound thank you. It’s a really cool journey and we couldn’t take it without you.

Peace,

TheNew60

Andy and John

Phoning it in 11/30/18

No, we’re not actually phoning it in. We’re doing a “Then and Now” about the ubiquitous, sometimes obnoxious, and always interruptus … cell phone. When we got the idea I thought it would be great to show all the things you used to do and show how they’re done now. But John said no, I have a different insight. It doesn't matter what the current technology happens to be, we’re still doing exactly the same stuff we used to do, only now it’s on a phone. Better angle. That phone brings joy and pain, and like the people in your life that are most important to you, there are times you can’t live with them, but god forbid you try to live without them.

A good case in point was involved the Landorf family dog, a wheaten terrier (we called him a Wheaten Terrorist) named Otis. Unfortunately Otis grew increasingly aggressive after he turned 7 or 8. He became agitated when I went to work. And would bark in a menacing way. Every morning I had to go downstairs, put him in a cage, get my work bag and coat, come back downstairs and take a biscuit. I’d let Otis out of the cage and toss the biscuit across the room. He’d chase after it and I’d open the door to the garage and quickly shut it behind me. Until one day when I left my cell phone behind. Rather than deal with my dog, I spent the day without a phone. But soon thereafter, we were without Otis. Trust me, we tried to make it work.

The motivation for the next comic came from the midterm elections. We noticed a raft of younger and younger candidates. They overcame long odds and beat their much older and more established opponents in the primaries and then went on to win their respective midterms. So many of them sounded so mature and reasonable and full of energy. We were mutually impressed. And then we wondered if either of us could have run for congress when we were in our twenties. The answer was a resounding no. (Something about getting into a car after consuming two pot brownies probably disqualified me).

We had fun thinking that one up and recalling all the intelligent things we did in our 20’s.

At any rate, we hope you enjoy this week’s strips (take your minds out of the gutter) and we’ll be back with two new ones next week.

Have a terrific weekend (even if you’re a Giants or Jets fan)

The New 60

Stuffing the turkey, stuffing ourselves 11/23/18

It seems hard to believe but Thanksgiving is upon us once again. As we get a little older, we lose a few miles per hour off our fastballs, but maybe, hopefully, we gain perspective. The prospect of metaphorically losing a few miles off your fastball is of course was what led John to the fly swatter. Not that HE’S lost anything mind you.

We think a wonderful source of comedy is the difference between how we see ourselves and the way the rest of the world sees us. In our minds, we’re not that much different from when we were in our 20’s and 30’s. At least mentally. But then stuff happens. The cute waitress calls you “sir.” Someone gets up on the bus and offers you their seat. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, some lady leaned out of a car window and said “you’re crossing against the light, old man.” I looked behind me to see who she was talking to (not really, I knew who she was talking to, but being called old man was still a shock.)

Even an act as simple as catching a fly (not a fly ball, but the kind that flies around in the kitchen) becomes a test of “I’ve still got it.” Which is better than a test of reflexes, because let’s face it, they’re slower than they used to be. This week’s first comic shows Al grappling with a fly, and of course, with getting older. But with perspective we adjust. Playing more doubles than singles in tennis. Hitting from a forward tee in golf and mulling a switch to senior shafts. And, speaking of fly balls, playing in an over 60 slo-pitch softball league. But with perspective, it’s all okay. ‘Cause we’re still out there playing tennis, golf and softball (well I’m not playing softball, but as soon as I find an over 60 league, I’m back, and watch out fellas, I can still throw the ball all the way from the pitchers mound to first base.)

The second comic is John’s tribute to Norman Rockwell’s famed Thanksgiving portrait, using our characters. And it’s a reminder to have a great Thanksgiving. Enjoy your families and don’t talk politics until Uncle Albert goes home.

Happy Holidays

The New 60

who couldn't use a little bathroom humor? 11/16/18

Here’s what happens when you’re over 60. Somethings are easier than they used to be. For instance, paying tolls with EZ-Pass and depositing checks online. But some things are more complicated, like going to the bathroom in a public space. I know I’ve been to at least one place where there were urinals and toilets in the bathroom, but a long communal, co-ed sink outside the bathroom, complete with my all-time favorite, an attendant who hands you a paper towel when you are finished washing your hands. You sort of have to tip the poor guy. He doesn't want to be there anymore than you want him to be there. But this guy also had peppermint lifesavers, so…

This week, we explore the bathroom, ‘cause let’s face it, we have to go a lot more than we used to. John recalled one of his least favorite aspects of going. Assholes (not literal assholes, which are essential to the bathroom experience, but figurative assholes) the kind who talk on their cell phones as if nobody were around. We figured out the most obnoxious conversation you could possibly have in a stall, and came up with a loud conversation with the stall person’s stockbroker. A special shout out to my cousin, financial wiz Tommy Lowell, for keeping us honest on our dialogue about what someone would actually say to a stockbroker. And I promise, I did not talk to him from the bathroom.

Then John talked how frustrating it is to use those automatic sinks. You wave your hands under the soap dispenser, it doesn't work. You wave your hands under the sink, it works, but no soap. Then you go back to the soap and this time it works but now you can’t get the water to turn on. You move sinks, same story. A young guy walks in, puts his hands under the faucet, voila, water! How do they do it? It must be in the wrists. In fact, the jerk who was discussing his portfolio from the crapper probably has no trouble with the automatic sink. To hell with him.

At any rate, wishing you a good weekend despite the snow. Hopefully you won’t be spending too much of it in the bathroom.

Later,

The New 60

On politics and being politically incorrect 11/9/18

The inspiration for our first comic requires no explanation. We try to stay clear of politics these days, because the subject causes a lot of hatred and the complete inability to see the other side. Nonetheless we sent out our first comic of the week, “Vote” to everyone. No matter how you ended up voting, it was good you voted. We wondered, how can we get people to vote? And John said, “How about just using the word VOTE?” I said, “it’s clear but what’s funny about that? And he said, “We’ll make fun of Sam. We’ll say every vote counts, even his.” I thought, poor Sam, he gets the fewest frames and now, we’re making fun of the poor guy. But after all, he’s just a drawing, So we went with it.

Since we were in a political frame of mind, we thought about political correctness, Everyone is so careful these days. Stepping on eggshells. Back in my ad days I had a very straight, politically correct client and we were in Canada for casting. As an example, if we were casting a black person in a role, he’d refer to him as an African American. Accurate but stiff, formal and I think, shows that that person is uncomfortable. So there I was in Canada with my client and the casting agent asked why we weren't casting the lead role of a black woman in Canada. Putting on my best client hat, I replied “Oh do you have a strong African American talent pool here?” Without missing a beat, the casting director said, “No, we have a strong African-Canadian talent pool.” Served me right. So much for political correctness. In our second comic, Al and Joanne have dinner with their friends, two new characters in the strip. Their friends happen to be gay. And we handle that topic like we handle most everything. With a sense of humor. That’s something this country could use a little more of. No matter which side of the aisle you’re on.

Thanks for reading

The New 60

On being funny after a sad week. 11/02/18

We love doing this comic strip. But sometimes, it’s harder to be funny than others. After a week filled with hate crimes, we had to take a step back, gather our collective breath before forging ahead. In the end, we figured, we can all use a little laugh more than ever right now.

Last week, when John was compiling a list of our greatest hits for submission to a syndicate, he said “Let’s do something around a weekend walk in the woods, we haven’t done that yet.” Maybe it was the crisp autumn air, maybe it was the beautifully colored leaves that inspired him or maybe he was gong for a different look. But when he said it, I told him I’d never go for a long walk during a Giants game and he said, “Bingo, there’s a comic.” I must say however, that when the aforementioned Giants go 1-7, it gets harder and harder to justify staying home.

Our other effort this week revolves around setting your clock back, or forgetting to set your clock back. We try to be topical when appropriate. Remember that comic about forgetting Valentine’s Day we ran on Valentine’s Day? With the marathon coming up as well as Daylight Savings Time, we had our choice of a couple topics. Since neither of us is exactly in marathon running shape, the choice of a subject was easy.

John has a state of the art, solar powered watch that requires no winding, no batteries and no resetting. Which is great, until the watch gets it wrong. Which his watch did. (Don’t tell John I told you this, but he’s been walking around with a watch that’s an hour off for months with no way to fix it). Hopefully Daylight Savings will set that all straight, but maybe not. For full disclosure, my wife and I have driven around with car clocks that needed resetting for ages. “Where is that manual again? Oh sounds complicated. Forget it, I don’t have the time to do this. Maybe Saturday.” Sound familiar? Al tackles this dilemma at the diner.

Have a great weekend everybody and remember to set your clocks back (if you can figure out how). That makes two great things to look forward to (I know, never end your sentence with a preposition, but I just did, so there!) 1) We get an extra hour of sleep and 2) The Giants wont lose (they have the week off — maybe I’ll take that walk after all).

Andy & John

Who you calling old??? 10/26/18

A couple weeks ago I was walking the mean streets of Tarrytown, NY. Well, they’re not that mean actually, unless you think ethnic restaurants and antique stores qualify as mean. At any rate, I was crossing the street. I had a green light but the “don’t walk” sign was lit up as well. Since there were no cars, I walked. As I started across a woman in a mini makes a right turn into the crosswalk and honks at me. I threw my hands up in one of those “You must be fuckin’ kidding me” kind of poses, when she rolls down her window, and says, “Read the sign, old man.” Now, being the mature individual I am, I may or may not have shouted back, “Have another donut, fatso!” But her comment stuck. Old man? Surely she wasn’t talking to me.

But of course, I let her remark get to me. I don’t think of myself as old, but to younger people, I am old. And that leads us to one of our new comics today.

The other subject we tackled is portion control, aka, how we fool ourselves. I have been through, at different times in my life, Weight Watchers, Atkins, The Power Hour (eat no carbs all day then whatever the hell you want for one hour each night), even the infamous Vegan Before 6. My preferred technique is to take what I like about each diet and combine them. For instance the Vegan one has no limit on bread, while Atkins loves bacon cheeseburgers, but leaves the bread out. I just combine the two diets and eat a bacon cheeseburger with a bun. 

The real inspiration for this cartoon came when I was trying to attempt to use portion control, by bringing a side of potato chips to take into the office (the shared workplace where I write) for lunch. It was a narrow ziplock kind of bag. At first I started taking only as many cape cod salt and vinegars as I could fit (about 8 but who’s counting), but then I found if you broke them in half, you could get way more in there. Marv’s attempt at portion control is similar. As John put it, and we considered it for an alternate ending, “you’re making a mockery of portion control.” He said this as he was polishing off a dark chocolate covered pretzel, while mentioning the health benefits of dark chocolate, by the way.

If you’re old enough to be reading this comic on a regular basis you’re probably old enough (except for you Ali, Greg, Mark, Marissa and Maddie and all your buddies) to have no idea how you look to younger people and no idea how to manage portion control. But don’t worry. That’s why you have us (except we have no idea either).

Thanks for reading

Andy

Why am I being followed? 10/18/18

You know how it is. Those annoying little ads that keep following you around every time you check your phone or iPad or laptop. For me it’s Golfballs.com, Mack Weldon underwear and t-shirts, Bombas socks and Russian Brides, oh wait a minute, forget that last one. Well today we (or rather Al’s son) explains how to get rid of them, the cookies, not the Russian Brides. The problem is I don’t understand a word of to get rid of cookies (John copied the instructions from the inter web and I’m not convinced he knows either.) But it’s creepy isn’t it? How do “they” know? I’ve had friends tell me they just said something to someone, and their phone picks it up and then ads for that thing suddenly appear on their computer screen. And by the way Golfballs.com, if you’re so smart you’d know to stop sending me ads in December. It’s too cold to play, damn it. If you were so smart, you’d know that.

Our other hot topic concerns, well, uhh, going to the bathroom. How you learn at a certain age to go before you leave (does that make any sense at all??) because if you don’t, you’ll regret it. I mean, that’s what people tell me. I won’t regret it because that’s not a problem for ME, but for most guys my age…

Okay, okay, it’s a problem for me too. It’s one of those little tricks nature plays on you. You’re fine when you get up to leave the restaurant, but then when you’re driving home, oh boy. And then you’ve got to park the car, and, umm, did we get the mail yet, oh it can wait until the morning and where the hell are my keys, and where’s the damn elevator already and oh my god, I can’t open the front door, and, you get the idea.

Point is, you’ve got to adjust as you go along and make allowances for things you can no longer do, like hold it in for an extra hour. When you’re young and growing up you adjust to all the new things you CAN do. Look mom, I can crawl, I can walk, I can run…and now, it’s the complete opposite. Although I am not giving up. I am going to run in one of those marathons yet. Just you wait.

Have a nice weekend and go Giants (even though they’re going nowhere)

Andy

BONUS WEEK 10/12/18

Today, I was in the gym on a treadmill while Kanye West was blathering on to Donald Trump. In this gym, they had MSNBC on a tv to the left of me and Fox News to the right. Seriously. But what I noticed, is that the middle was empty. How’s that for a metaphor? When you think about ideas for comics you think about the things we do that make us alike. Things that we can all relate to. As opposed to things that drive us apart.

Case in point, have you ever struggled with those new-fangled parking meters? Well I was meeting John for breakfast one early morning after we were interviewed on a local radio show. He was rushed on the other end because he had a tennis game coming up. I pulled up to one of those new meters where you have to download a parking app and add a user name and password, not to mention the zone number, meter number and my credit card number. Phew. All this on an empty block and it took almost 20 minutes before I came inside the diner. When I got there, John was finishing breakfast and had to leave in 5 minutes. This, we thought, deserves to get turned into a comic.

When you do this stuff long enough you start to see the world through the prism of your comic strip. Yep, that’s a comic. Nope, that’s not a comic.

Take a couple of weekends ago for example. My whole family was invited to a wedding. The groom was the son of very close friends and two years ago, said son even officiated my daughter’s wedding. My wife and I know most of the “kids” there. Knew them since they were, well, actual kids. Now they were young adults either approaching 30 or well into their 30’s. People who had important jobs, fascinating careers, and in some case, children of their own. We spoke as peers, but deep down I still saw them as kids and they still saw me as Mr. Landorf, or Ali and Greg’s dad. And that difference, between the way we think and the way we act, is what makes for good material. And was the inspiration for our second comic this week.

If you’ve read this far you’ve come to the “bonus” part. A third new comic. But if you read us on Facebook at thenew60comic.com (how’s that for a subtle plug) you’ve seen it already this morning. It’s a new format we've come up with. One that we will throw in there from time to time. It’s called Then and Now. It’s about, unsurprisingly, the way we did things back then, and the way we do them now. It’s fun to think back about the way we were, and for John, it’s fun to draw tie dye shirts, ponytails and mutton chop sideburns.

That’s it for this week, and if we’ve done our jobs right, it’ll be funny for Democrats and Republicans. Independents, not so much. Kidding.

Have a great weekend

Andy/John

This week's comics and other stuff 9/17/18

A lot of our ideas we make up from our own heads. A lot come from stuff that happens to us or our families. And a further source of ideas is having our friends engage and suggest new ones. Not all of them are good, but sometimes, something somebody (that’s three “some” words in a row, if you’re counting) says leads in another direction and then becomes a comic. Last week, a buddy of John’s responded to a comic we wrote about a 5-pound jug of paprika. He shared how he would always drink the extra large soda at movies, with predictable results. BAM! We had a comic figured out in the next 5 minutes. My step mother shared an idea about an older man who had a hot car. A young woman commented on IT, but not about him. Bingo, the next day we had our character Craig thinking a young woman was interested in him, when she was really interested in fixing him up with her mom.

About a year ago, a friend of a friend went into a restaurant to get a table from a hostess he thought he had charmed, until he read her (less than flattering) description of him. Now THAT, we thought, has to be a comic. A two-part comic no less.

A fantastic source of comedy is 60-something guys feeling, hey, we’ve still got it. Because in our heads, we still do. But then every once in a while, reality sinks in. Like last week, when I walked across a street with a don’t walk sign, a portly driver in a mini honked at me and shouted out, “Hey watch the light old man!” Being the mature older gentleman I am, I responded, “Eat another donut, fatso.” But the knife was in. Old man. Who was she talking about? Surely not me.

Which brings me to the NY Giants. They are the living, breathing proof that I’m not an old man. An old man wouldn’t care about a stupid football team so much, he’d consider spending a sunny day indoors, right Michael Grieco? An old guy would never even think about passing up a trip to South America because it was during the playoffs, would he? No. And if by chance I was describing myself, my utter immaturity would prove I’m not an old man, get it? Okay, it didn’t make that much sense to me either. I still go to the games and yell and scream as if I were much younger. And I still care wayyyy too much whether they win or lose. But even in the escapist world of sports, as the song goes, there’s always something there to remind you. Case in point: I grew up watching Archie Manning play for the New Orleans Saints. Years after his retirement, I watched his sons Peyton and Eli, play professional football, Eli with my beloved Giants. And now he’s getting old. The talk is about his retirement. Yikes.

At least we can always feel young in our hearts and heads, or as Bob Dylan sang, Forever Young. But man oh man, is HE getting old. Enough from me. I’m gonna work on turning back the clock.

Back to Work 9/6/18

Well, it's officially after Labor Day.  The football season is about to kick off tonight.  It means back to work for the adults, and back to school for the kids.  But what does it mean to the 60 somethings?  Let me put it to you this way.  I returned from two weeks at the beach with my family and a few friends coming in and out of the beach house.  We returned home Tuesday and my wife had a work conference at a Brooklyn hotel starting the next night.  I went in last night and while my wife was at a work dinner, I met my daughter for dinner in Williamsburg (Brooklyn for those non New Yorkers of you).  After dinner we met her husband for drinks, I raved about the hotel we were staying at.  It even had an outdoor swimming pool and a spectacular outdoor lounge with panoramic views of Manhattan.  I told my son-in-law that it felt like being on vacation.  And he replied, "you must have really needed one."  After all, I had been back home for a full 24 hours.

He could have said, "vacation from what?"  And all of that is true.  I find myself doing things on Monday-Thursday that are too crowded to do on weekends.  And I work whenever.  It is a great life.  And it gives us (John and I) great material for new comics.

Another insight into being in your 60's is this: if people in their 20's and 30's knew what was in the heads of people in their 60's, they'd be surprised.  Very surprised.  Because it isn't very different that what went on in our heads in our 20's and 30's.  Maybe, hopefully, we've developed a lot better perspective but the point remains, it's a jungle in there (our heads).  And to that topic goes this week's comic.  We see Craig at a cocktail party trying to act like a young man. As John likes to say, "Hilarity ensues."

We'll be back next week with one final single comic then it's "back to work" with two per week. It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.

Andy

Becoming a responsible adult at 65

Writing and producing a comic strip takes a certain amount of skill and self discipline.  No more bosses saying, "where are you going?"  No more phone calls claiming illness.  No "sneaking out" and hoping nobody notices.  Nope it's all up to you.  Which in this case is me.

Which takes us to tomorrow.  Tomorrow is Wednesday.  John and I have developed a rhythm. We meet on Wednesdays to develop three or four ideas ahead of our self-imposed deadlines of new comics every Tuesday and Friday.  By now there are millions of people breathlessly awaiting the new releases every Tuesday and Friday.  Okay, not millions.  Hundreds of thousands.  Fine, like a lot of people, okay?

Point is Wednesdays are important.  But some Wednesdays are Met home games during the day.  And we are both Mets fans.  I know, masochists.  There is something about a day baseball game that is delicious.  It is a throwback to yesteryear.  It is relatively uncrowded, save for a few zillion camp kids in the upper decks.  And it feels like playing hooky. Although with no boss and no school principal, who are you hiding from?

However, as much as I love baseball I am mature enough to realize that my new job comes first. So instead of going to the game we decided to work.  At the game.  But it'll be mostly work.  Except when the Mets are up to bat.  Or when deGrom is pitching.  But please, shhh. Don't tell anyone.  I don't want my boss to find out.

Speaking of Food 7/26/18

This week we happened to do a couple comics about eating in a fancy restaurant.  Which got me thinking about food.  The older I get the more I think about it. Which is part and parcel of going through your 60's.  For the first 40-50 years all I thought about was sports and sex.  Then your testosterone levels drop and you stop playing in your softball league, and tennis goes from singles to doubles, running starts to kill your knees, Crossfit hurts your back, skiing...well, I never really learned how to ski, I just go down a mountain in a modified snowplow and I'm told it looks sort of pathetic. Bicycling is okay, not so much pounding, but really all your left with is golf.  In a cart.  So this, in a long-winded way, is why food takes on an ever more important place in the life of 60 somethings.

We start reading restaurant critics. We extol the virtues of the spaghetti carbonara at this place and the caprese salad across town. We frown on the preponderance of kale and note how the addition of truffles automatically raises the price of any item by $16.00.  And of course there is the built-in utter ridiculousness of restaurant menu descriptions, which we made fun of in this week's comics.

The other fun thing about food is how by giving something an appetizing name, it suddenly becomes a popular food.  Anyone for some Patagonian Toothfish?  I didn't think so.  That's why it's been renamed Chilean Sea Bass.  Much, much tastier.  And prunes, yuck.  That brigs up an image of constipated old people.  Not very attractive,  But call them dried plums -- now you're talking.  And imagine a sign in a restaurant saying our fries are cooked in pure rapeseed oil.  Certainly not in the era of Harvey Weinstein.  But call it canola oil, and there's no problem, plus, it's healthy.

Next time you order sushi and tell the waiter, no uni, you might want to try out the initial name, whore's eggs.  And what was once Chinese gooseberries has now become kiwi.

That's it for me this week.  I'm hungry again.

WE WANT YOU 7/20/18

We have had a whirlwind week.  In the past couple days we've been on WVOX radio in New Rochelle, Fios 1 in the lower Hudson Valley, featured on Lou Diamond's Thrive Loud podcast, interviewed by Patch magazine and the Daily Voice, Armonk edition.  But enough about us.  Let's talk about you.  What do YOU think of us?  Just kidding.  But on a more serious note we'd like to hear from you.  Did anything funny happen to you or someone you know that you think might be good fodder for the strip?  Send it on in.  You can send it to andy@thenew60.com or john@thenew60.com. And if we choose it we'll give you absolutely no credit.  No that's not true, what we'll do is give you an autographed print of the comic strip that went into developing your idea.  Then you can frame it.  And put it on your wall.  And your life will be complete.  

Now that we are starting to get established we are thinking up ideas to engage you, our fans on social media.  At least those of our fans who know what the hell social media even is.  In the future we might even give you a few endings to pick for one of our upcoming ideas.  The possibilities are endless.  Maybe not endless, but you get the idea.

It's fun watching your baby start to grow up.  And we want you to watch it grow up and help it grow up with us. (The only thing I didn't love was getting up at 5:45 to go to the radio station, that and downloading the special New Rochelle parking app when we went for breakfast afterwards.)  So send in your thoughts and we will get back to you, really.  We love to hear from our readers. It's what we live for.  Well, that and a nice creme brûlée.

See you next week.

Andy and John

 

 

 

The dog days of summer blog 7/12/18

Is it just me or does time seem to whiz by a lot faster the older you get?  We just launched this comic a couple months ago.  I remember the summer starting and it's already halfway over.  At least the Mets are halfway through their misery.  But as I contemplate the various vagaries of aging I think less about time and more about space.

No not the outer outer space kind of space.  But space or the lack thereof.  Recently, (okay not recently, 4 years ago) my wife and I sold the house because the kids were grown up and out of the house.  And because the school taxes where we used to live were out of sight.  We bought an apartment.  The thing about houses is you can store a lot of crap you don't need and will never use.  But when you downsize into an apartment, well, that's a different story. First, you buy a storage unit to store the things you don't need and will never use.  You have discussions like, MAN: Do we really need to keep three sets of china?  Really?  WOMAN:  Do we really need 4 tv's? Really?  

And then there are the day to day realities of not being able to buy in bulk. Oh my gosh, we're almost out of a)toilet paper b) paper towels c)bourbon.  Just kidding.  About the bourbon. And where exactly do we fit the 5 pound jar of (you name it) from Costco?  

Having less space makes you think about what you need and what you don't.  And you don't really need that much. Except for the three tv's.  And the bourbon.  But the battle for space and need keeps bubbling up.  Even when it comes to the comic.  What stays and what goes?  We only have four frames.  How much stuff can you possibly squeeze into one dialogue balloon?  Space and the lack thereof is bound to be new fodder for the New 60.  Stay tuned.

Andy

A peek behind the curtain. 6/29/18

The other day I went to the swimming pool in the complex where I live.  I was with my son who chatted up a very attractive lifeguard.  When the conversation got going it was revealed she was the little girl who was riding around on her tricycle in our neighborhood when my son was a teenager.  Oops.  Embarrassing but true story.  

Then I got it in my head to try something like that with our characters.  I pitched it to my partner John who immediately smiled and we got to work.  We thought we would take our character who's single, Craig and have him pick up a woman in a bar, only to have him realize that she is the now grown up daughter of one of his friends. And then he'd have to backpedal his way out of the situation. Funny idea, right?

But then we got to thinking, does that make him a dirty old man?  Do we want to have a strip of dirty old men? Can we make her 45 so that Craig's 65, doesn't seem so old?  How do you draw a 45 year old as opposed to a 30 year old and at what point does it become creepy?  So we didn't end up doing that particular idea.  And that's the back and forth of collaborating on a comic.  Where does the topic fit in the cultural zeitgeist?  Which one of our characters would be most likely to have this happen to them?  How timely is the subject?  Is it something that captures what it feels like to be in your 60's at this very moment in time (we ought to know)?  And most of all, is it funny?

When I was in advertising, my clients and my partner Frank used to tease me for saying, "That's a lot to fit into a :30," meaning, that it was a lot of story or content to fit into a 30 second commercial.  Now that has transformed into, "That's a lot to fit into four frames."  Except it's usually John who says that as opposed to me.  Because he's the one who has to fit all the characters, colors, words, thought balloons and dialogue balloons into each frame.  Sometimes you want them packed and sometimes you want them to breathe.

Ultimately, we want to reveal the inner truths of what it feels like to be this age in this time.  And we want our readers to have a laugh and say, "Yep, that's me," or "I know exactly how that feels."  To that end, we'd love to know what you, dear readers are thinking about our comic strips.  When you get a chance, drop us a line and let us know how we're doing.  We read everything we get.  Promise.  And please, if you like the material, share it with your friends.  

Have a great weekend.

Andy

FDOSB (First Day Of Summer Blog)

Let me tell you about Wednesday.  And being in my 60's. I played a form of golf known as a scramble with my brother in law, sister in law and nephew.  On an almost empty course on a gorgeous day.  A scramble means everyone in the group hits a shot.  And wherever the best shot lands, everybody hits their second shot from there.  Same with the third and fourth and so on.  It's an interesting format because it makes all the participants into a team. All pulling for each other. It gave everybody a chance to be the hero on different holes.  And it allowed us to shoot perilously close to par the entire day.  I wish the country worked like that.  Everyone pulling together for the common good, but that's another topic for another day.

After that, we celebrated my sister in law's big birthday with her cousin and husband at Blue Hill restaurant at Stone Barns.  This spectacular feast went from 9 pm to almost 1 am. On a Wednesday.  But here's the thing. Those of us at the table who worked, were established enough in their careers to sleep a little later and take a later train the next morning.  Those who weren't working or no longer working in a business not their own (like me) slept a little later and didn't have to tell anyone about it.

And I think that is the beauty of this time in one's life.  Sure, you've got aching bones.  You need thyroid pills and would a little statin be such a bad thing?  But It's a comfort that comes with knowing yourself and accepting your strengths and limitations.  (One of the limitations of being in your 60's apparently is not knowing how to share on social media or websites, but John and I are going to do something about that, by making a video and showing you how to share.) Yeah,  I know your mothers all taught you how to share already but that was a different kind.

So if you're in your 60's or even in your 50's (or even 49 like one of my friends who shall go nameless) or younger like John's and my kids, have a terrific summer and congratulations for making it this far without two hip replacements.  I hope you recognize yourself in these strips (or recognize your parents) and that it brings you some much needed laughter.  And thank you so much for following us.  We really appreciate it.

Andy

Musings from the New 60, 6/15/18

What does it mean to be in your 60's and working on your "second act?" It's a lot more fun than the first act.  That I can tell you.  But also a lot less lucrative, at least so far.  Being in your 60's means waking up to meet some friends to play golf on a Tuesday morning.  And then opening with a triple bogey.  It means getting pissed at the aforementioned triple bogey and then not giving a damn.  It means riding a bike without constantly hearing "on your left," because you're the only one on the path. It means working at 9 am or 3 pm or 1 am because nobody's asking, "Where were you?  Now only I ask myself, "Where was I," and frequently, I forget.  

Even stuff that's a pain in the butt like grocery shopping and doing errands are easier because you can do them when the rest of the working world isn't doing them.  It even means taking the time to try out new recipes.  And then saying "the hell with it and going out to dinner when it doesn't work out."  

Now that the World Cup has started, it means not having to sneak out of work at 11 am to watch a game in a nearby bar (as I had done on several occasions with my co-creator and fellow soccer buff, John Colquhoun).

And it also means staying up waaayyyyy too late because you don't really have to be up at 6:30 am the next morning.  I know I lot of people my age that say they can no longer sleep past 6 in the morning.  I am not one of those people.

Next week, we'll be back with a couple new comics, and I will have lived a few more embarrassing  situations to be fodder for future comics.  And I may even take a crack at baking bread. "'Cause if if it doesn't work out, I can always get a proper loaf on Arthur Avenue.

Have a great weekend

Andy

Our first blog

After over a year’s worth of work with my partner and collaborator, John Colquhoun, we have a comic, The New 60.  And a new website, which you already know because that’s the only way you could be reading this blog.

It's going to be dedicated to musings from John and me that relate to what the strip is about … what it’s like to be in our 60’s in this day and age.

So I could have written about the recent court case, where the parents of a 30 year old young man had to sue him in order to get him to move out of their split level house (true story), but that seemed a bit removed.

Or I could have written about how I stayed up until 1:30 last night watching the Mets actually win a game that was delayed by rain for 3 hours.  The Mets, for crying out loud.  But this is not a sports writing venue (that doesn’t mean I won’t try from time to time).

Nope.  Instead this is going to be about a trip I took to a golf superstore.  Now that I am not working full time, I have a lot more “me time.”  I got fitted for new clubs and the pro suggested I buy clubs with “senior shafts.” It may not sound like much to you if you’re not a golfer, but to me, it was tantamount to the guy saying, “Listen gramps, you’re old, you need a senior shaft. Get over it.”  But on my part, it was an acceptance of aging and even a grappling with mortality.

If you’re a fan of the New 60, you no doubt saw the comic strip we did around that subject, making a sophomoric dick joke, but the point is, the comic hopefully reflects what we all go through during this aging process (that we can sort of cheat with diet, exercise, medicine and botox.)

Life events like the golf store experience are simply idea starters. Then we play with them, add to them, subtract from them and tailor them to (hopefully) make them funny.  In only four frames.  With color. If we’re doing our jobs right, you dear reader, will say “Oh wow, that is so me!”

That’s it for now.  Feels good.  Had to get that first blog published.  Especially so you’ll have something to read when you click that header that says “Blog”.

Best,

Andy