09.28.06 Kim & Jason, rejuvenile power couple
I had a nice long chat last week with a true power couple in rejuvenile circles, Kim & Jason Kotecki. Once upon a time, Jason was a struggling cartoonist in Madison, Wisconsin who, in an attempt to woo his kindergarten-teacher girlfriend Kim, drew a strip picturing them as wisecracking kids (thus echoing the origin story of Uglydolls, the phenomenally successful line of rejuvenile dolls that began as doodles created by art student David Hovarth for his girlfriend Sun Min). Today, the Kim & Jason strip is syndicated across the country and Jason is a successful speaker on what he calls “adultitis,” that nasty blend of stress, burnout and habitual thinking commonly confused with “maturity.” Kim is now full-time advocate in the burgeoning Kim & Jason cottage industry – in addition to public appearances, they collaborate on books, comics, e-cards, podcasts and an online store packed with such goodies as rubber duckies, ice cream-scented bath salts and T-shirts printed with the slogan “Adulthood Stinks.”
Their online “Lemonade Stand” also carries artwork and books created by the pair, including a sort of prescriptive answer to Rejuvenile, Escape Adulthood: Eight Secrets from Childhood for the Stressed-Out Grown Up. For an even more user-friendly how-to manual, check out their Escape Plan, a collection of 40 specific exercises designed to “help you safely and effectively treat adultitis.” Feeling a touch of adultitis? Try “drawing a funny picture and hiding it in an unexpected place for someone else to find.” Grumpy and overburdened? Drop everything and “eat or drink something that brings back childhood memories.” (Two words: Swedish fish).
I only wish I’d known about Kim & Jason while researching my book – they’re models for the sort of productive, conscientious adults who’ve made a childlike sense of play and wonder a top adult priority (and indeed an entire business model). And they’ve smartly avoided the naïve trap of celebrating childhood as a single-ingredient recipe for happiness – they appreciate the importance of responsibility and a strong work ethic. But that doesn’t mean they also can’t enjoy the occasional water fight or superhero movie.
The Podcast on which I appear includes some discussion of our shared hatred of Bratz dolls and the glories of the Easy-Bake Oven Gourmet cookbook. I have ambitions to implement the Escape Plan myself and will keep you updated on how that goes…
Posted at 11:13 am in 1 Comments
Actually, I think I found out about you and Rejuvenile through them. Your books compliment each other well!
Posted by Daniel on 09/28 at 04:54 PM