A couple of years ago two great friends and erstwhile business partners, Dr. David Anders and Rocky Ball, decided to work on a secret project.

Dr. David Anders, just for fun, in between healing and treating his patients, had been writing limericks and posting them on his Facebook page after being inspired by the far superior limericking skills of his boyhood idol, Jim Reach. On a whim, David decided to collect several of his limericks and send them to a national newspaper syndication house. He didn’t really expect much of a response... but nothing ventured, nothing gained! (There are so few things you can do with a used limerick!) To his surprise, he received a return letter from one of the editors encouraging him to consider pairing his limericks with some cartoon graphics and resubmitting them.

David called Rocky Ball, a professional musician who also happens to be a gifted copywriter and formally-trained graphic artist and cartoonist. David inquired if Rocky might be interested in a project where all of the dialogue and narration for each strip was part of a single limerick. Rocky misunderstood the question and said "Yes!"

This sparked a flurry of planning, writing and drawing. The premise of the strip was to create a collection of characters with diverse personalities, opinions, and ethnicities and fashion a place for them to congregate daily as friends and talk! (It’s almost hard to imagine that there was a time before social distancing when we could actually do those things!) They began the project and created a fictitious bar called MAX's in “anywhere” USA with a 60-something proprietor named Max who mostly listens and rarely talks.

Their work went on for well over a year creating various characters, developing story lines, wasting a lot of time while having a lot of fun getting together to laugh about life, in the process finally creating a comic strip based on David’s limericks and Rocky’s drawings. They were ready! But they then realized they would need more than one panel for a proposal, so they struggled to get back to work and produced a few more.

What Rocky and David didn’t fully realize at the time was that landing a syndication deal for a new comic strip has always been among the most difficult tasks imaginable. Most syndication houses rarely take on more than one new comic a year. To make matters worse, the entire newsprint industry was in a rapid decline as newspapers across the country reduced their budgets or outright shuttered their doors. Fearlessly, David and Rocky submitted their work, and waited. And waited. And are still waiting. Who knew? Apparently, newspapers have standards.

So now David and Rocky have decided to share a few of their comic strip creations with friends, family and unsuspecting people everywhere...

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