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Hey friends,

We were featured in the Geneva Republican. Article is here or pasted below:

When Joe McMahon learned the pope had resigned, he envisioned a greeting card.

The front would have a drawing of the pontiff. The inside would include two words: I quit.

The amateur cartoonist was in the process of putting his vision on paper late last month. As is his process, he printed photographs of the pope – including one of him looking out his Vatican window – to use as a drawing guide.

“I do it because, first of all, it’s an expression,” McMahon said of his artwork. “Second of all, I think it’s funny.”

But the Geneva resident also has found a charitable use for his artistry. For six years, he has produced and funded the Joman Calendar to benefit Lazarus House, a St. Charles organization that serves the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

The 12-month calendar features his one-frame cartoons and includes a donation envelope for Lazarus House. Last year the calendars raised $3,400, he said.

The McMahon became involved with the St. Charles nonprofit when his company, Geneva-based McMahon Builders, did work for the shelter. The calendar was his idea, he said, noting it has grown from 100 to 300 copies.

“This almost forces me to draw,” he said.

McMahon draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including current events and instances from his own life. For example, he said, an empty nest cartoon was inspired by robins that built a nest in lattice work at his home. The mother and father continued to visit the nest even after their babies had left, he said.

McMahon’s love of comics stem from his childhood days in New Jersey. He would collect glass soda bottles – the small Coke bottles netted him two cents and the large bottles got him a nickel – so he could buy Mad Magazine, Batman comics and Superman comics, he said.

“I liked the stories the best,” he said.

Even now, stories seem to be his priority. McMahon, who couldn’t take an art class in high school because it was overcrowded, doesn’t consider himself a good artist. His goal is to put items in a picture that will lead readers to the idea he is trying to portray, he said.

“It’s me saying something that is more meaningful than if I kept silent,” McMahon said. “It’s an expression of my thoughts.”

Christmas gifts don’t get any better than this!
Now you can put a smile on a friend’s face, brighten their wall and benefit Lazarus House all at the same time.  That’s right.  The “Joman Calendar” is back!
This coveted calendar makes a perfect gift.  For the past few years, yours truly has created a 12-month masterpiece, all for the benefit of our neighbors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  People who have seen past calendars are just waiting for the new one to come out.  You won’t want to miss it.
McMahon Builders absorbs the entire cost of the calendar; 100% of your donation goes to Lazarus House.
Order a calendar for your friends, but you’ll also want to get one for yourself.  Only 200 copies of the 2013 edition are available.  To guarantee receipt in time for Christmas gift, place your order soon!
To order, leave us a comment below or email us (joe at mcmahonbuilders dot com)   Lazarus House thanks you for your support, as will your friends.
We are doing some work at a client’s house and all the grandchildren are in attendance.
So I figured what better then a fort and a membership drive. I put a sign on the “fort” for advertising. I have seen the potential members milling about, but no applications thus far.

Well, blog readers, as you are well aware (thanks in no small part to your Joeman calendar), it is a new year. And 2011 sounds like as good of a year as any to unveil a new internet presence for McMahon Builders (2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 just didn’t feel right to us for some reason).

So today we are excited to announce the new and redesigned We’ve freshened up the look a bit and changed up some of the pictures, but basically its the same content you are used to, and you’ll always be able to get up-to-the-minute information right here on our trusty little blog. Because we wouldn’t want anyone holding their breath for the latest update on our porch addition.

Visit our new site and let us know what you think! Luckily our webmaster is more or less our internet slave still on the payroll and can make any changes we see fit!

We’re also excited to announce a new advertising venture – we’re running some ads at the Geneva Park District Fitness Center. You can see our ads on their plasma screens. Here’s a preview!

Feelin’ reinvented and reinvigorated,

Hey blog readers!

We’re just touching down from our ski vacation. Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Hey! Who put that sign there? I'm not slow.


It’s that time of year when the chosen few await the arrival of their Joman calendar. Twelve months of a new way of looking at the world. This year we will be presenting only 150 numbered calendars, which are sure to increase in value as the years zip by.

From our sources, we’ve learned that these coveted calendars make excellent gifts. Relatives high on the pecking list, friends of questionable value, just about everyone will be amazed by your thoughtfulness.

Let us remind you: your generous donation goes directly to Lazarus house. All costs are absorbed by McMahon Builders so that our friends at the shelter can distribute the monies as needed. Call/email/comment on this post to order – let’s keep a good thing going!

Many thanks for sharing,


You might have noticed that we’ve been missing from the blogosphere lately. Well, let’s just say we’re having a few, ahem, technical difficulties over here at Read: I broke my computer. We’re all friends here, so let’s be honest: I don’t know what I’m doing with these newfangled computer things. Most days I can’t even spell computer, let alone use it.

Rest assured, the situation is being remedied, but you’ll have to wait for the latest pictures on our projects since I can’t upload my pictures yet.

In the meantime, I wanted to let all of you know about a few new developments.

  • After years and years of denying my cooking skills, I decided one day to enter a chili contest. Folks, I assure you this was my first time cooking something that didn’t require a grill or microwave. Well, I won! Go figure. Watch out Rick Bayless, my cooking skills have been unleashed!
  • Our calendar is going to the presses soon! If you want to order one, send me an email or comment on this post. As in previous years, any donation for the calendars goes to Lazarus House.

I’ll be back with more pictures when that tall thing that sits next to my computer monitor is fixed. Oh, my daughter says that’s the computer. Hard drive. Whatever, I’m a chef not a techie.


It’s my birthday too, yeah!

Yes, I got Glucosamine for my birthday. That doesn’t make me old, it makes me… agile. Very agile.

Hi readers!

Today’s adventure brings us back to the living room addition. We’re working on tying the old siding in with the new:

While we were hard at work adding siding to the south side of the house, John (seen in the first picture) noticed that one of the neighbors might be in trouble. The neighbor, an older gentleman, had fallen and his wife could not get him up. Luckily, this is exactly the kind of scenario that Batman and his team are highly trained for. The only problem: a ten foot high fence separated Batman’s team from the rescue effort. Ok, maybe it was only 3.5 feet (details!).

Robin (John) and the Green Hornet (Scott) grabbed two ladders, one for each side of the treacherous fence, so they could reach the victim. The rest was a standard rescue for these superheroes. At the request of the victim, no pictures were taken. This story is probably best left to the imagination anyway.

Here’s Scott back at work dry walling with Dick; all in a day’s work!

To the Batmobile!

After we spent our last post taunting Restoration Hardware, we knew we had to deliver on our bathroom cabinet. So we really stepped it up. Check it out, its in its new home:

Happy Mother’s Day!


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