Maxine’s Maxims

An International Women’s Day tribute to Maxine – may her caustic humour keep us in splits for years!
An International Women’s Day tribute to Maxine – may her caustic humour keep us in splits for years!

Who would have thought that a grey-haired, cantankerous old woman would have everyone in splits with her acerbic wit? And even stranger – who would have thought that she could have been created by a man? This sourpuss of a woman who is crabbiness personified looks straight at you from the cartoon she’s in and gives you the laughs you need for the day. It doesn’t stop there however. She also makes you think – and makes you want to say, ‘So what?’ to what the world thinks.


She was ‘born’ in 1986 and her creator John Wagner, an artist working with Hallmark created her for a smaller greeting card line in Hallmark called Shoebox Greetings. She was a character inspired by his mother, his grandmother and his maiden aunts. The staff at Hallmark was concerned – would the world accept her? Would the older audience out there take it amiss? They really had no cause to worry – everyone just welcomed her and she became an icon for the older woman. In fact, she made it fashionable to be crabby! No topic is too sacrosanct for Maxine to sneer at – no one is above the line of her direct hitting barbs of sarcasm. And the nastier she is, the more you love her!


From greeting cards to comic books to all kinds of licensed merchandise – you’ll find Maxine’s scowl peering at you and you can’t help but smile. For John Wagner, if he could put a smile on the face of an older woman who was lonely and felt out of sorts with the rest of the world, he was happy. What no one expected was that Maxine would grow to become a cult and that her cartoon strip would be one of the most eagerly awaited ones in over one hundred newspapers. Who better than Maxine to honour this International Women’s Day?

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Comments 57 comments

Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Maxine is SOOOOOO my mother-in-law. I crosstiched her a Maxine one year. She was saying, "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it."!!!

She does tell it like it is!! Thanks for the background!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Ohh Proud Mom - she sounds fun hahaha - I love those Maxine forwards - and thought today was a good day to pay a tribute to her :D


Laila Rajaratnam profile image

Laila Rajaratnam 7 years ago from India

Shalini..this is great!I thoroughly enjoyed this!Thanks for the link as well..I'm floored!I want a daily dose of Maxine now!LOL!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks Laila - I laugh at them and wonder if it's because I'm getting to be like her :D


Laila Rajaratnam profile image

Laila Rajaratnam 7 years ago from India

Shalini..surely you cannot be like her! Your writings are great and awesome and show no sign of a cynic! :)


B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 7 years ago from Hell, MI

I love Maxine! I know a kindred spirit when I see one! Oops, am I the only man in the room?


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Probably. But we're glad you're here....;-)


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

I derive a lot of inspiration from Maxine. Love the one about slipping into something more comfortable. . . thanks for the smiles!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Maxine definitely liberated "women of a certain age" from having to be nice old ladies! She's my role model for when I reach that age! ;D


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

We saw a lady driving down the expressway yesterday who had to have been 80. She was having an awesome time driving her Harley with a Skull Cap and a GREAT BIG SMILE!! Maxine for sure!


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

Hi Shalini!

I burst out laughing when I read that one about slipping into a coma, and that thing about being as pretty as a picture!

The others were amusing too!

LOL!

Thanks!

 


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Laila - thank you so much - wish I could be a bit like her though :P

BT - welcome, welcome - thanks for stopping by - it was a guy who created Maxine after all!

PM - I echo that - do you think Maxine Evilpants has a certain ring to it?? That skull cap clad 80 year old sounds fun!

Teresa - she inspires me too - so much of what she says I wish I had the brains to think of in certain situations!

Jama - she's my role model too - and I have reached that age LOL!

quicksand - thanks as always for stopping to read :)


kirubaharris 7 years ago

Great, thanks for Maxine's background story. I love her and may be growing to be like her. Go Maxine go.....


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for coming by coz! You just got to love her - considering how many Maxine forwards I get from you haha!


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

Definitely some funny stuff. Our 2008 calendar, which hung on our refrigerator, was none other.


Netters profile image

Netters 7 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

I love Maxine. I didn't know she was created by a man. Thank you!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

I'm with Netters, I love Maxine and never knew she was created by a man. Thanks for the link to her. I am going to check it out!


ParadigmShift... profile image

ParadigmShift... 7 years ago from San Jose, CA

Hey, where's the male representation for this character?? I've seen "Grumpy Old Men" a bunch of times and I say there oughtta be a "Max" character for all the old Fogeys out there to identify with. Maybe they could actually co-mingle in a few cartoons on holidays, and show what really happens between couples during those stressful moments dealing with in-laws and such!

Nice hub!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi CWB - now that must have brightened up your days no end!

Thanks for reading Netters - isn't it amazing?

Hi k@ri - thanks for stopping by!

ParadigmShift... what a great idea - Maxine can have her Max and will all then be well? Thanks for reading!


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

Hi Shalini!

great hub, I love Maxine and I think there's a bit of her in all of us- just that she's kept under control. All in all I think she is brilliant!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I love this old woman from Bitchville. Give me cranky and acid-spewing characters anyday - they make better companions that wallflowers :D


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

Hey Maxine! Don't sugar coat it! Tell it like it is!

Maxine is the greatest.


Iphigenia 7 years ago

She's new to me - thanks for introducing her. Still chuckling away here.


BrianS profile image

BrianS 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

Not come across Maxine either, but I think she's great. I think we all have days where we would like to speak to someone like that but we rarely do, no matter how much they deserve it.


newsworthy 7 years ago

Maxine sure knows how to loosen up. She's such the smile high woman.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks Vibha - yes, she's such a hoot!

Cris - Bitchville? Sounds a nice place to be in :D

Tom - guess bittercoat would be more her style!

Iphigenia - glad you met her here :)

BrianS - yes - how true - hope she brightens up youir days ahead!

Lgali - thanks.

newsworthy - does loosen you up, doesn't she?


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

You know I never knew her name and I always find in her emails from my aunt and ex coworkers. Maxine is my kind of lady.


jjrubio 7 years ago

She is hella cool.....sounds like my grandma, serious about what she says

but yet it sounds so funny it makes every laugh there ass off


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi GT - now why did I think she would be?? :D

jjrubio - glad you liked it - thanks for commenting!


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

You gotta just love the ol' gal!

Nice work Shal! :)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

,,,and thanks for all those Maxine fwds :D


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

I had a neighbor just like Maxine, she used lots of swear words, it was funny to hear. Not good for health but good to hear :)


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

I loved the "I think I've reached my Sexpiration date"  LOL Great hub my dear thanks for the chuckles...G-Ma :O) Hugs & PEACE


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Hi, Shalini! I've seen Maxine around but never knew her backstory. Thanks for all the great details and the link. Maxine is hilarious. Another winner!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi cgull - Maxines in real life must be something!!!

G-Ma - thanks for reading and hugs back to you too :)

Christoph - Thanks as always for stopping by and reading!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

What a great tribute to a character whom I not only adore but also aspire to be (as some other Hubbers do, I see from the comments)...some day, that is. I remember when I first learned of her. A friend of mine sent me a card to cheer me up after a row I had with a close male friend that left me feeling pretty low. I'll never forget the words: Finding a good man is harder than nailing jello to a tree.

Cheers for Maxine and more cheers for you! Wonderful Hub.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Haha Sally - I haven't seen that one - absolutely great - you wonder how a man could think like that, don't you? Yes, I'd love to be like Maxine too - but the words don't flow that easy! Thanks as always for stopping by!


Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

Maxine has given us quotes that we can use. I love the one about slipping into a coma; I have to find a time to use that one.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

How true Pete - I often store them up in my mind - and then go forget them when I really need something biting and sarcastic! Thanks for reading!


mandybeau profile image

mandybeau 7 years ago

Shalini How cool I love this Hub

mandybeau


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks Mandy for coming by and reading!


Benjimester profile image

Benjimester 7 years ago from San Diego, California

Haha, those are really funny. Thanks for posting them. I think I like #6 the best.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Glad you liked them Benji - isn't she a riot?

Thanks Lgali!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

Maxine rocks! I think everyone can relate to her comments - I was tickled to see the link to Maxine Online. No idea why I didn't think to google her LOL...

Will definetely be back to read more!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Glad you enjoyed it Enelle - yes, she really rocks!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

Oh, Shalini,

I so love Maxine! She certainly tells it like it is LOL. I only wish I could remember half the things she says, since so many of these fit situations I've been in.

Thanks for the laughs!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi Trish - you said it - I just wish I could remember them too - for when I need it!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Lovely stuff!

Love and peace

Tony


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading Tony!


Writer Rider 7 years ago

Cute hub. Maxine reminds me of my grandmother...they even look alike. Or looked alike (she's dead).


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading Writer Rider - I guess most of us have a Maxine in our families - they do liven up our lives, don't they?


seanorjohn profile image

seanorjohn 6 years ago

Love this Maxine character. Where do you find such stuff? Brill.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Hi seanorjohn - glad you liked it - I just love a daily dose of her crabbiness!


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 5 years ago from Michigan

Maxine is such a funny character - great for a laugh!!!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Absolutely, Support Med!


VICKI 5 years ago

I LOVE MAXINE !


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Thanks Vicki - so do I!

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