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The Life Lifter: Coot Avengers to the Rescue
Imagine a world where four courageous yet completely ornery older people—Granny, Frank the Fixer, Madge the Merciless, and Emile the Organizer—take on the evils of today's society, battling nefarious financial planners and knocking out health insurance company representatives. This is the inspired, much-needed idea behind Coot Avengers, a comic book now being funded on Kickstarter. (Technically, the project has already reached its $2,500 goal, but we advise donating anyway—just for the free-with-donation gift comic entitled Everything I Know About Wall Street, I Learned From My Cat.)
The geniuses behind the mature, laugh-lined superheroes are Kay Wood (age 60), Michael Silverstein (age 70) and Doris Lane Grey (age 72) who got together one afternoon for pastries, only to begin discussing getting older and dealing with various bureaucratic agencies. Silverstein in particular was in the middle of a nasty battle with an insurance agent over who was going to pay for a colonoscopy. "People our age are in a daily fight with government agencies, city hall, and even private employers who don't want to hire anybody over 50," says Wood.
Soon the three had pooled their artistic resources to try something new for all of them—a comic, populated with characters who are "feisty, wise, and when circumstances demand, intimidating."
"The project has been so enlightening," says Silverstein, "to be able to have a medium that allow you to focus attention on these issues—not beat people over the head with them—but present them in a really poignant, fun way." His particular comic alter-ego, he claims, is Frank the Fixer: "a tall, slender, gawky guy who doesn't like to take a lot of guff from people."
The fact that originators of the Coot Avengers are seemingly as feisty and wise are their characters is not that much of a surprise, but one tidbit on their website did wow us: Some 44 million Baby Boomers will be eligible for Social Security between now and 2029. With those kind of numbers, you have to wonder if that particular group needs a superhero—given that the last time they stood up for something, it was for the end of the Vietnam War.
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