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Lemme see… upload to Twitter… aaaand doneMay 15, 2015

How about Babyface Fizgig™?

Denver Comic Con Photo Recap — from Ant-Man to Zardoz!Jun 4, 2015

Memorial Day weekend was Denver Comic Con’s fourth annual show and it keeps getting bigger each year (word is that attendance surpassed 100,000, up from 86,000 in 2014). That’s an incredible growth spurt… it’s now the third-largest comic convention in the U.S.!

Like last year, I had help from long-time friend (and new Denver citizen) Monica Mendoza, who acted as a guest member of Team Cool Jerk while Darlene stayed in San Diego. I’m not sure having a show right on Memorial Day was a good idea, especially when Denver had been gripped by several straight days of rain and gloom (and people were itchin’ to be outdoors). I think Monday sold out, but as of Sunday evening tickets were still available. In all, it was a decent show. Thanks, Denver!

And now, onto the photos!


This motley crew was the first batch of cosplayers I saw Saturday morning. I like the look of contempt that Mr. Fantastic is giving arch-nemesis Dr. Doom.


No comic-con is complete without a Batgirl.


Popular theme this year was Avengers crossplay; saw many gals dressed as Captain America and Iron Man. While Loki has appeared as a female on occasion (in the comics), this Thor has not.


Here’s a crossplayer of Winter Soldier. The costume was top-notch.


Magik of the New Mutants, in her modern outfit. I can never get enough of the New Mutants (they’re rarely cosplayed).


A couple years ago I took a pic of a terrific Jubilee. Here’s the vampire version.


Brock Samson and Molotov Cocktease (Venture Bros.) wandered by my table (posing with them is my table neighbor, Joe Becker).


Skrull version of Reed Richards and human version of Sue Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. (I wonder if Sue is really a Skrull — they’re tricky!)


Where else but at a comic-con do you see Deadpool and Beetlejuice taking selfies together?


Straight from Westeros comes Queen Margaery Tyrell and Olenna Tyrell.


Fun candid of Dr. Strange fielding a call.


Thought I’d see more Flash cosplayers (especially since he’s got a successful series on the CW), but this one was hard to beat.


Another year, another appearance by the terrific Hawkgirl and Hawkman!


Here’s the Cartoon Network version of fan-favorite Teen Titan… Starfire!


One of the best cosplayers at the show… Ant-Man!


It isn’t a Denver Comic Con without my pal Isabelle Laursen as Firestorm. You’ll see her in each of my previous Denver Comic Con photo-recaps. How tall is that fiery plume of hair?


Here’s another pic, with me used for scale!


Well, this is just about adorable — Lil’ X-Man Rogue and Old Man Logan!


Not sure if this qualifies as “best for last,” but here’s the first Zardoz cosplayer I’ve ever witnessed with my own two eyeballs.

Book Signing at Night Flight Comics (SLC)!May 21, 2015

Hey, kids— I’ll be having a book signing at Night Flight Comics, Salt Lake City, on Wed. May 27! Like my library book “The Bigfoot Casebook,” it’s long overdue. I’ve known store owner Mimi Cruz for several years and when I found myself driving to/from Denver Comic Con, I had to make it a point to stop by for a few hours!

I admit, there may not be much familiarity with Cool Jerk up there in SLC, so I’m sweetening the experience. I’m giving away a FREE copy of Cool Jerk vol. 1: Hodabeast to the first 25 people to come by my table and LIKE! Cool Jerk on Facebook and/or sign up for my emailer.

Here’s a poster with all the info you could ever possibly need (except a map).

Click it to get the deets!

Here’s a map I whipped up while you were checking out the poster.

Many thanks to Night Flight Comics (and the staff) for hosting me for a few hours. Be sure to come by from 11am-3pm, get a free Hodabeast and help fund my drive back to San Diego by buying some of my other books!

Denver Comic Con — fourth time’s a charm!May 18, 2015

Because they can’t keep me away, Cool Jerk will again be exhibiting at Denver Comic Con this weekend, Saturday-Memorial Day Monday (May 23-25). This marks the fourth year in a row for both Denver Comic Con and my exhibiting there!

I’m driving out this time, so the Cool Jerk All-Terrain Assault Vehicle™ will be loaded with things not normally seen in Denver, like Cool Jerk T-shirts and original art! Expect crowd-pleasers like my canvas panels, buttons, stickers and enough Cool Jerk and Doc Splatter books to prevent the usual sell-out. My sketches are always free so don’t forget your sketchbook!


Here’s a map I whipped up. Come find me at C25 in Artists Valley!

Denver Comic Con consistently amazes me with its collective passion and enthusiasm for comics and pop culture. I hope to see you there!

We experienced… The Marvel ExperienceFeb 17, 2015


Last week Darlene and I had the opportunity to check out The Marvel Experience at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. It’s on tour across the U.S. and will be here locally through Sunday, March 1.


It’s a self-contained, interactive attraction — sort of like a miniature theme park meets video game meets hands-on museum… and a gigantic house ad for Marvel’s movie and TV properties.


The gist is that Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Samuel L. Jackson-style, not David Hasselhoff-style) needs help to battle the crime organization Hydra. So we “new recruits” are issued I.D. cards and sent through a crash-course basic training regimen.


“Recruits” are ushered into one of many connected domes. Within, we receive our training (flying in Iron Man’s armor, running a laser maze designed for the Black Widow, shooting at various Hydra adaptoid robots, Spider-Man wall-climbing, etc.) via interactive video games (think first-person shooters or Dance Dance Revolution-style arcade gaming) or hands-on equipment. Joining the aforementioned Marvel characters, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Wolverine, Black Panther, Iron Fist, Vision and She-Hulk are prominently featured on video screens at each exhibit and instruct “recruits” on what tasks to complete.

Click image to experience his shame up close and personal!

Afterward, we’re led to a 360° 3D simularium which does a very good job of putting you within a video game. The plot thickens, Hydra makes their move. From there, you board an Avengers Quinjet to help the Avengers tackle a gigantic Hydra menace. This would be via a Star Tours-type VR ride and is considered the grand finale. From there you exit via the gift shop and you’ve just spent a good two hours of escapism.


My take on it is that the 10-year-old me would have had a complete blast. It’s clearly aimed at small fry and there’s enough there to keep parents and older Marvel fans entertained. But make no mistake: this is absolutely geared toward youngsters. The jokes and dialogue are corny, the interactivity of the main Recruit Training Center will keeps kids occupied and excited, and the Quinjet ride will hit them with plenty of shock and awe.


As a critique, Darlene and I were disappointed there weren’t more female characters represented in the interactivity dome. When it came time to Customize a Costume or try your skill at one of the exhibits, there was only one female choice (Black Widow) for the girls. Now, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill, sentient robot Jocasta (seen above) and Bruce Banner’s fun-loving cousin She-Hulk were also seen here and there on video screens, but that was about it. Research shows that girls make up about half of the comics-reading population. Marvel/Disney needs to be more inclusive in the future.

I also think the Marvel Experience could have been improved with the occasional cosplayer — in total character — dropping in to check out the “recruits” and give them some face-to-face encouragement (not to mention photo ops). I don’t think it would have been that big a deal to have a random Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Black Panther or She-Hulk walk among the crowd on occasion. When Universal Studios (Los Angeles) had its Marvel attractions and restaurant in the late 1990s, you could talk with Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine or Storm… and I think that went a long way to keeping the adults entertained while the younger set would gush and geek out. (Full disclosure: I gushed and geeked out when Captain America deputized my friend Burns and me as Avengers back in 1998. And I was pushing 30.)

Official info for The Marvel Experience here.

Disclaimer: I was invited to check out The Marvel Experience. My tickets were complimentary and I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own. A-doy.

Reno Comic Con Photo Recap!Nov 30, 2014


So Reno had its first comic con (it should be christened “The Biggest Little Comic Con in the World”) and it was terrific! Darlene stayed in San Diego so I flew solo (actually, I drove, which is always a preferred option as I can bring more books and t-shirts to sell). I was surprised — and a little humbled — that so many attendees remembered Cool Jerk from its days in the Reno Gazette-Journal (1991-1996) and even its original incarnation “Like, For Shore!” when it ran in the UNR Sagebrush (1987-1990). One attendee told me that whenever a new Sagebrush came out, he always went straight to the comics and always read “Like, For Shore!” first. That was awesome to hear.

So I sold t-shirts, canvas panels and many books, almost running out of Cool Jerk Vol. 2: Chickadoowa. I caught up with fellow cartoonist from college days, Brian Foote, and that alone nearly made the trip worthwhile. Well, I could bore you with all this stuff but instead, let’s go to the photo-recap!


I’ll start with my stop at the Reno Nugget for one of their Awful Awfuls. This was the night before the convention, and who should I see in line ahead of me…?


THIS guy! Dude, cosplay officially starts in 12 hours! Trust me from experience: Don’t freak out the locals! (This is Stephen Thompson, a Renoite who should know better than to wander downtown as a Borg-assimilated Shakespearean actor.)


One of the first — and best — cosplayers I saw on Friday was this gal dressed as Belle, who roadtripped from Virginia (!) just for this show!


And I’ve seen plenty of Green Lanterns in my day, but I think this might be the first Guy Gardner. Bravo, tough guy!


Lots of cosplayers in the couples category. Let’s start with Angela and Spawn


Here’s Popeye and Olive


Mordecai and Rigby


Beast Boy and Raven


Spidey and Mary Jane Watson


Here’s the PowerPuff Family (?)…


And here’s one of the best: Batgirl in her new “Burnside” outfit (complete with snap-on cape and respectable combat boots)!


More costumes to come, but here’s where I’ll show you a 3-minute Sharpie™ sketch of Daryl from “The Walking Dead.” Norman Reedus was one of the many special celebrity guests in attendance. This was for the daughter of a long-time Cool Jerk reader and friend Will Bento.


Here’s the top part of my first-ever convention-exclusive print. Can’t show you the whole thing because, you know, secret punch line. They went pretty fast but I still have about 8-10 left. Buzz me if you’d like to buy one! $15 signed, and that includes shipping and sales tax.


Meet Robert Harris. He’s not only been a longtime Cool Jerk reader, but also remembered a bunch of storylines from old “Like, For Shore!” strips (like when I had Rocket and Sunset rent out their guest rooms to Britpop New Wave quartet Fuzzbox). Plus, he also “guest-wrote” one particular Cool Jerk strip from 2007. It was awesome to finally meet him in person and save him a bunch of postage and sales tax when he bought up a stack of goods. Thanks again, Robert!


Here’s my bro Justin Orr, who was the only other exhibitor I knew (we met at WonderCon a bunch of years ago, when he was my next-door table neighbor). I always look forward to visiting with him and talk about influences, from Frank Frazetta to Charles Harper. He hails from the Bay Area and I recommend his art highly.


Back to the sights! Here’s Deadpool and Alien vs. Thor… (Deadpool was the brother of my next-door table neighbor, author Cynthia Vespia)


Here’s Black Cat

Click to get right up in there!

…and slumber party variant of Harley Quinn. One of my favorite cosplayers at Reno Comic Con — take a look at her expression. SHE WAS REALLY INTO IT.


This gal built a FREAKIN’ TARDIS out of wood and rolled around the convention floor while inside. She got Karen Gillan (also a special guest) to climb in and autograph it.

And to wrap things up, on the last day, Ted Raimi stopped by the table to say hi.

In all, it was a terrific show and a great turn out… especially for Reno. I’m already looking forward to next year (also the third weekend in November). Thanks again to the Wizard World crew for making this happen!

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