Articulating Ideas


How a design-obsessed dad and his pretty awesome kid turned a pen, a subway ride and a post-it note into the ultimate bond. Meet Wandermonster. 

I was a kid who loved to draw…and who never stopped. I introduced that love to my son Ben when he was tiny. We invented back-and-forth drawing games to pass time on long subway rides in New York City. When he started school, I stuck them in his lunch box to complete when we were apart. Now he’s 9, and we continue to create these Lunch Posts.
Collaborations like this are a key part of our relationship. This is a great time to be a dad. We get to play a bigger role in our kids’ lives than men of previous generations. We can also take advantage of the rise of the DIY and crafting cultures, the return of learning how to make things. I want to spread the joy of making stuff with your kids, whether it’s drawing, or in a woodshop, or a kitchen, or at a sewing machine.
I interviewed Ben to get his thoughts about the Lunch Posts and our history of drawing together, using a hidden recorder. Here is what he said: 

Me: What is a Lunch Post?
Ben: An idea collaboration between two people that we both create together. It’s like a one-panel comic. A 100-page story on one tiny piece of paper.

Me: Do you remember how Lunch Posts started?
Ben: I half-remember. Basically it was to help me learn how to spell. You put letters—and one missing letter—and a picture. The ones I remember the clearest were ‘ant’ and ‘dracula’. And then after that, we started doing this fun thing where you drew an awesome monster and said “this monster’s name is…”

Me: Have they gotten better over time?
Ben: Nope, they’ve been the same. I’m a little better drawer but…I might do a couple more creative things, but I still think I did creative things back then.

Me: How about me?
Ben: You’ve stayed the same.

Me: Really? I hoped my drawings got better.
Ben: I think that at some age, you just stay in the same place.

Me: What age is that?
Ben [in dramatic voice]: “The Age of Awesome.” [laughs] Dude, that’s just a joke.

Me: How about the future of Lunch Posts?
Ben: Its cool how they evolved. I feel like we’ve done many stages, and I still love all these different stages, but I want to see what it would feel like to do make a new one at this age. I say we’re going to do actual stories. They have to be at least three lunch posts long. Maybe it can be a whole long story that never ends. Like it could start with “Once there was a man with glasses” that eventually turns into “and then the dinosaur took his sword and smashed it into the samurai helmet…”and at the end of each one you write “continued.”