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Don’t text and driveOct 7, 2016

Safe travels!

SDCCI ’16 Photo RecapAug 5, 2016


This was the “off year.”

Remember last year’s San Diego Comic-Con photo recap where I mentioned the kidney stone? Well, I still have it and at this writing I have two stents inside me, connecting my kidneys with my bladder. They were placed in May in order to facilitate a subsequent procedure (scheduled for next week) to remove the Rice Krispie-sized pellet of calcified crystals/crystalized calcium. The stone itself doesn’t hurt; it’s just camping out like a hibernating grizzly bear. It’s the stents that are very uncomfortable and made worse when I walk around. This will no doubt make for a terrific Cool Jerk story line somewhere down the road, judging by the reactions of friends who asked how I was doing. I was off my game, unable to actively (or hyperactively) engage with fans, friends and the Cool Jerk-curious. I had to stay sitting at the table, more or less, for the whole show. Darlene did what she could to pick up the slack, but regardless, sales suffered accordingly.

That being said, it was still terrific to exhibit in the same spot since 2003 and see old friends and make new ones. Having one down year out of 14 is not bad, but it was sobering. Darlene and I outlined an attack plan for the next 12 months, which we’re calling “Cool Jerk’s Counterattack.” Stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone who came by the table to buy some Cool Jerk ephemera/effluvia or just to say hi. Much appreciated! And now, onto the sideshow:

Let’s start with one of my few walkabout opportunities. The owls are not what they seem.

Here I am at the table, with Darlene’s second comic — The Girl Who Kicked The Donut Habit — in hand.

The back of the new book. Notice Darlene’s matching fingernails.

Here’s Darlene and Eric (both wearing awesome Cool Jerk tees) playing that goddamn Pokéymon Go game. LIKE EVERYONE ELSE ON THE ‘CON FLOOR.

Not to be outdone, here are my friends John & Charlene, who also geared up with some Cool Jerk tees! (I’ve known Char for 35+ years. In fact, she drove her brother Jim and me to our very first San Diego comic-cons in 1983 and 1984.)

Also swinging by the table were the dapper and delightful duo “Eva Halloween” (cosplaying Poison Ivy) & “Boy Drinks World.” You might remember Eva and Doc Splatter joined forces in Oct. 2013 to cross-promote each other’s websites.

So let’s have Poison Ivy escort us to this year’s cosplayer gallery:

Right off the bat we have “Barbie Deadpool.” (Plus Zombie Snow White for good measure.)

Jemm! No sign of the Holograms, however.

Couple of friends (Aubree & Brenan) as Mystery Science Theater 3000. Their creativity is on point.

Thinking outside of the box, here’s a creative cosplayer as Spider-Man 2099. Meanwhile, Darlene is letting this awesomeness sink in.

Remember Danny Phantom on Nickelodeon? I certainly did.

Darlene got this pic of the Bob’s Burgers booth. Note the Ash vs. Evil Dead bag. I WONDER WHAT’S INSIDE.

Speaking of Ash vs. Evil Dead, this interactive photo booth was either promoting that show or the adjacent Fear The Walking Dead.

Time for some mash-ups. Here’s Ronald McThor Odinson with his enchanted hammer, Happy Mealjolnir.


Scarily closer to reality than I like to imagine, here’s… well, you know.

Amazon with a Las Vegas flavor, here’s Wonder Showgirl! (I’m in the background Googling this for verification.)

What’s a comic-con without some cross-play? Here’s the female version of Dr. Strange.


Here’s the best X-Wing Pilot I’ve seen at any comic-con, ever!

I did not see any other stranded castaways.

Shag was nowhere to be seen, either.

Darlene was lucky to catch the Juggernaut busting out of Exhibit Hall A.

Also, fine renditions of Spider-Gwen and Doctor Doom.


Here’s bodypaint fanatic Todd Schmidt as Iceman, founding member of the X-Men…

…and here he is as Silver Surfer.


This gal’s Jubilee game was strong!

Refreshing to see the comics versions of Vision and Hawkeye (opposed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe ones).

This one’s kind of a mind-bender: on the left is Jessica Jones (watch the Netflix series) and on the right is Jessica Jones’ short-lived alter ego, Jewel.


Here’s Marvel’s C.B. Cebulski and Darlene, before they wandered off to talk about the San Diego food scene, comics and whatnot.

I always try to find a cool Batgirl, and this year’s is courtesy LEGO.

Saving the best cosplay for last, here are two gals as crossplay Captain America and a tauntaun

Photo courtesy Richard Foley (thanks, brudda!)

…and the next day they cosplayed as a line of dialogue from one of my favorite movies, The Silence of the Lambs. We have Jane Gumb/Buffalo Jill with the quote “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.” And on the right, the bottle of lotion IN the basket with Buffalo Jill’s doggie, Precious. Insane! They were really funny and embodied the best aspects of comic-con and cosplayers.

Cool Jerk and San Diego Comic-Con 2016Jul 20, 2016

This week is Cool Jerk’s 14th straight year exhibiting at San Diego Comic-Con International. Come find us in Small Press (K10), the same spot we’ve been in since 2003. You may have wondered why there hasn’t been much in the way of new Cool Jerk strips lately. Well, here’s why!


It’s been a long time coming, but Darlene and I are finally presenting The Girl Who Kicked The Donut Habit, the follow up to 2012’s The Girl With The Donut Tattoo which sold out after three printings. It’s another venture into Darlene’s food-centric world, and pays homage to her mom who passed away unexpectedly in 2014. It’s 24 color pages of comics, recipes, a centerfold (?!?) and costs six bucks with $1 of each sale benefiting the Colon Cancer Alliance. It’s debuting at Comic-Con, so be sure to get one from Darlene directly so she can sign it for you!


In case you missed it last year, I’ve harnessed all my pedantic anal retention into the Jerkopædia— The Official Visual Style Guide to Cool Jerk.


This is a MUST-HAVE for anyone who reads and appreciates Cool Jerk (or comic strips in general), character design and animation model sheets. And it’s much more than just fun drawings… it’s fun drawings WITH ANNOTATIONS! Find out who walks around commando! Discover the secret of Armpit’s feet! When was Arms-Over-Head Guy’s first appearance? This guide has it all AND MUCH MORE. It’s 24 pages, professionally printed with a heavy stock color cover, six bucks.


Folks just love these, so I’ll also have a few new Canvas Panels debuting at the show! Tell me— who doesn’t want a panel of zombie Jenny McCarthy on the crapper?? A mere $15 a pop for hand-sized artwork, suitable for any room in the house!

We’ll also have all the other items you could ever possibly want:

• T-shirts in a variety of styles, fits (M or F) and sizes! All shirts are $15. CHEAP!
• Sharpie original art breakdowns for $3-$5? CRAZY!
• Stickers, buttons and the like!
• As ever, sketches are free!

Click it to find that Pokemon!


Here’s a map I made while you were looking for Pokemons. To recap, we’re in the same spot we’ve always been, Small Press K10, right by the communal baths/vomitorium/emergency cosplay repair stations.

Find us on Twitter — @cooljerk and @darleneeats. We’ll be live-Tweeting throughout!

See you there!

Reno Comic Con— Now with more FREE HODABEAST!Nov 13, 2015

Reno — the birthplace of Cool Jerk and Doc Splatter — is hosting its second-annual comic convention next week, and Cool Jerk will once again be there!

Reno Comic Con — part of a series of conventions put on by Wizard World — will commandeer the Reno-Sparks Convention Center this Friday through Sunday, Nov. 20-22. I’ve been given the status of “Special Guest” so that means free limo and I get to cut to the front of any buffet line in town.

I’ll have copies of all my Cool Jerk books, including the Jerkopædia— The Official Visual Style Guide to Cool Jerk which debuted this summer. Further, I’ll have all sorts of Cool Jerk effluvia you’d expect to see at a comic-con, such as Canvas Panels, t-shirts, sketchbooks, posters, buttons and stickers. Doc Splatter Ominous Omnibus? Hell yeah I have those, too! All items are going to be discounted so THIS IS DEFINITELY THE TIME TO SHOP! Nevada sales tax? I got your back— it’s all part of the price!

I mentioned FREE HODABEAST (Cool Jerk Vol. 1), so here’s the deal: I’ll have 10 copies to give away each day… FREE with any purchase and if you LIKE! Cool Jerk on Facebook!

Join the club!


Buy a book? Free Hodabeast. T-shirt? Free Hodabeast. A $1 glow-in-the-dark Cool Jerk button YOU CHEAPSKATE? Free Hodabeast. That’s a $12 value, friend… a perk of being a fellow Northern Nevadan.

Click it to Truckee Meadows-size it!


Need directions? Here’s a locator I whipped up while eating an Awful-Awful.

So bring your Christmas shopping list and some folding money (I also take credit cards) and come by the Cool Jerk outpost C-35 in Artists Alley, on the right side of Hall 2 back by the celebrity veal pens. Remember: Only 10 free Hodabeasts per day, so plan accordingly!

SHOW HOURS
Friday, Nov. 20: 3pm-8pm
Saturday, Nov. 21: 10am-7pm
Sunday, Nov. 22: 11am-5pm

Cool Jerk— Not a great yearNov 11, 2015

You’ve probably noticed that Cool Jerk hasn’t been anywhere near weekly this past year and may be wondering if I’ve thrown in the towel or lost interest in Armpit, Puppy and the gang. Well, it’s been a tough year for cartooning and I’ll share what’s been going on.

We miss you, mom


My mother-in-law, Betty Alilain, died from cancer the day before Thanksgiving last year (actually it was on Thanksgiving when you factor in the time difference between here and the Philippines). The cancer came on suddenly and was particularly aggressive. Betty took ill in October and sought medical attention, but Darlene only received news of the official diagnosis the day I arrived in Reno for Reno Comic-Con (Nov. 20). There was nothing we could do and we couldn’t even make travel arrangements before Betty passed away.

As you can imagine, this devastated Darlene. I’m not sure a day goes by where she doesn’t cry. It’s been difficult for me, too. Betty was a lovely woman and full of life and charmed everyone who met her (she flew out from the Philippines to attend Darlene’s and my wedding, and was the surprise hit among the guests). She should’ve had another 20 or more years in her, but it didn’t come to pass. Losing her hasn’t impacted me but a shade of Darlene, but it’s there.

If you’ve ever gone though this level of loss — or your spouse has — you know it’s tough to laugh sometimes. And sometimes I feel guilty for laughing. It’s probably a sign of depression.

With Cool Jerk, I found I work best when there’s a baseline tranquility in my life, and the more laughs, the better. I guess that makes sense— I don’t know how people can be funny when they’re feeling miserable. It’s been difficult to get into — and stay in — a “funny zone” for an extended period of time. And that affects Cool Jerk directly since it takes a while to write, then design, then pencil, then ink, then scan, then make final corrections/enhancements and then finally upload the strip with some commentary. If I’m not “feeling it,” it’s a struggle.

I get easily distracted. I can’t concentrate. I make goals and sometimes can’t meet them. I get frustrated easily. I procrastinate. I overthink my jokes. I suffer with self-doubt, especially my cartooning chops. “Am I funny?” I ask myself. “Is it OK to be funny?”

So the short answer is no, I haven’t quit Cool Jerk… but I am taking some time for myself. It’ll be back at full strength sometime, I hope sooner rather than later. But until then, Darlene and I are just taking it week-by-week. Thanks for understanding.

SDCCI ’15 Photo RecapAug 3, 2015


Sorry about the delay, folks— Comic-Con kicked my ass again this year and I ended up heading to the hospital a couple weeks ago to get treatment for a simultaneous kidney stone and bronchitis (“What is this, the 19th century?” asked a friend). So it’s been a slow and energy-draining recovery, and the weather hasn’t been cooperating much either. Putting that aside, SDCC 2015 was a splendid affair, where I debuted the gorgeous, professionally printed Jerkopædia— The Official Visual Style Guide to Cool Jerk. Plus I had new shirts (“Keep Cool and Jerk On”), a reprinting of the ever-popular “Jerkea” shirt and a gaggle of new Canvas Panels. Thanks to everyone who came by the table, especially those who walked away with some Cool Jerk product!

And now, onto the sights:


First Space Ghost I’ve seen in 35 years’ worth of comic-cons!


Here’s the dude from Pixar’s “Up.


In an event riddled with Mystique cosplayers, this one was easily the best. She was waiting in line in front of me to meet Berke Breathed.


One of my idols, artist (and master of India ink) Bill Sienkiewicz.


Since I couldn’t leave the table but for rare, brief periods, many pics had to be taken of passersby. Here’s old-school (i.e. not the film version) Gamora.


And where you see Gamora, can Thanos be far behind?


Keeping with the cosmic theme, here’s Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel.


Darlene asked, “Who the hell is that?” Why, it’s Ambush Bug OF COURSE.


Here’s the deal: if you cosplay as Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Carol Danvers or Invisible Woman, I’ll probably take your photo.


When I would manage to sneak away from the table, I usually ran afoul of some ne’er-do-wells (like this couple as Immortan Joe and Nux from “Mad Max: Fury Road”).


Or maybe Bobby Moynihan (“Saturday Night Live”).


Or even Hercules (nice touch with the mace, Herc).


Another member of the Guardians of the Galaxy— Mantis!


Back at the table, sometimes I would take a break and hide behind my Cool Jerk Canvas Panel display.


And speaking of hiding…!


Soon to be seen in the next X-Men film, here’s Psylocke.


And for you ladies, here’s probably the best shirtless Wolverine I’ve seen.


Beekeepers? Where are we, Utah? No… those are Advanced Idea Mechanics scientists. Judging by Flickr uploads, I’m pretty sure there were several other factions wandering different parts of the hall.


Saturday night is Darlene’s and my usual “let’s walk around the Gaslamp” ritual, and we usually see all sorts of odd promotions, publicity stunts and industry celebs. Here’s something for the upcoming “Hitman 47″ movie.


And I confess: as of this writing, I have no idea what this is promoting. EXCEPT NIGHTMARES.


There’s Jamie Hyneman from “MythBusters.”


And saving best for last, here are Skurge (the Executioner) and Amora (the Enchantress). Individually they absolutely nailed it, but together were perfect as “best couples cosplay.”

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