Well, at least they understand one another.

Welcome back to Average Joe, everyone – and Happy Australia Day! This seems like a very well-timed update, with one of the most iconically-Australian birds (besides perhaps the noble Emu) taking centre point :-)

The character ‘Mate’ is based on a cockatoo by the same name which my Dad used to own (Just as Joe and Tobias’ father used to own this one) – for those of you who aren’t familiar with Cockatoos, they really can live over 50 years; in fact, it is not uncommon for a healthy cockatoo to age well into their 70′s when living in captivity. Poor old Mate I was not quite as venerable as that, passing at an age closer to Mate II as described in today’s strip , but he was an important part of my Dad’s family (and an exciting family member for we small kids to visit on the old family homestead where he lived out the end of his life), and it’s nice that I get to bring something of him here into Average Joe. And yes, Mate I really¬†did have all the sweetness of a toddler (apart from those couple of times he nearly took one of our fingers off) – he had a much better temperament than the cranky old Mate II as depicted in Average Joe :-)

And for those who are interested, here’s a list of the other appearances of Mate in this comic:

And on that note, fine readers – I hope you enjoy the remainder of Australia day and I look forward to seeing you back here for another, patriotic adventure on Wednesday :-)

Terence MacManus