Monday, March 17, 2014

From another lifetime

My friend Jim posted this on Facebook last week. It was quite the blast from the past. The early 80's I believe.

This is one of perhaps a hundred or so cartoon ideas we cranked out at the time.

I like to think it still passes muster.

In another lifetime, Jim and I contemplated a career in cartooning. We dreamed of getting staff jobs with the New Yorker and tickling the intelligentsia with our wry observations on politics, religion and the random often illogical rhythms of life.

Instead, we both ended up as junior writers in advertising.

He, shilling circuit boards and catheters.
And me, writing Help Wanted ads for Northrup and Boeing and TRW.

In addition to being a longtime friend and writing partner, here are two of our collaborations…

…Jim is also my former boss. He gave me my first job in the ad world. As a Mailroom Clerk at Needham Harper & Steers, which is now RPA.

Together we schlepped boxes, moved furniture, delivered mail, restocked the cabinets in the coffee room, and occasionally retrieved dry cleaning and Cuban-made cigars for the company big wigs. You know, the kind of errands two recent college graduates can only dream of.

We bitched and moaned at the time, but the friendship and camaraderie we developed were well worth the price. We were both brought up on National Lampoon. We both shared a passion for writing. And above all, we both yearned to get the hell out of the mailroom.

And so we pushed each other. Honing our portfolios. And knocking our brains together, along with the extremely-talented and curmudgeonly Tom Parker, to find ways of making stuff: ads, cartoons, magazine parodies, even screenplays.

The truth is, I'd have a hard time naming someone who has had a more positive impact on the trajectory of my career and my life.

Fittingly, today Jim chairs the Screenwriting Department at the New York Film Academy as is doing the same for young aspiring writers.

But don't let the high falutin title fool you.
No one appreciates a good fart joke more than Mr. Jim.

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