Paying bills with Puppy pt. 6!

Paying bills with Puppy pt. 6!Jul 18, 2014

The bittersweet end of an era. But at least I got a “your mother” joke in there.

Cool Jerk and San Diego Comic-Con 2014Jul 22, 2014

This week marks Cool Jerk’s 12th year of tabling at San Diego Comic-Con International! That’s just CRAZY! Remember way back to the early 2000s when all I had were buttons and ashcans?

Well, I’m bringing ashcans back — Cool Jerk Sketchbook v2.0! I haven’t done a sketchbook since 2007 so I figured it was due time. It’s the best $3 you’ll spend at the show, but you can get it free with any purchase of $20 or more! Do you like original, one-of-a-kind artist sketches? I’ll have a small handful of blank-cover variants for $10, and you get to choose something/someone for me to draw on the cover! Or hell, take it to another artist for a sketch. I don’t mind!

Many ‘con regulars missed last year’s show, but don’t worry, friends — I got your back. I’ll have all my Cool Jerk collections on hand — literally — including last year’s lovely Thinkulus (Cool Jerk Vol. 4). As always, I’ll be running my special comic-con discounts because damn, you already had to pay mass bucks for tickets, right? Figure I could help you recoup a few $$.

Folks just love these, so I’ll also have several new Canvas Panels debuting at the show! A mere $15 a pop for hand-sized artwork, suitable for any room in the house!

I also have all the other items you could ever possibly want:

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

Click it to enlarge it

Here’s a map I made while you were at Office Depot buying poster tubes.

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!

Destroy All Hunger! Where to eat during San Diego Comic-ConJul 21, 2014

Click to enlarge

Please — for the sake of all that’s holy — don’t eat at the convention center during San Diego Comic-Con!

Darlene’s full write-up (including photos and some breakfast extras) here.

Denver Hat Trick photo recapJun 18, 2014

"Cool Jerk is awesome and Horn is dead hexy," says Scarlet Witch.

Denver Comic Con’s third convention was another one for the win column. Attendance grew yet again, cresting somewhere around 86,000 (up from 61,000 in 2013). That’s awesome and one of the reasons Denver is one of my favorite shows — you guys love your comics.

Due to scheduling conflicts, prior commitments and travel delays, I didn’t arrive until late in the day Friday, which double-sucked because Denver Comic Con made Friday a full day (previous years it was from 6-10pm). So I was only there for about a half-hour, but still managed to sell some stuff. On Saturday I had help from long-time friend Monica, who acted as a guest member of Team Cool Jerk in Darlene’s absence. Sunday went by too fast and I came pretty close to selling out of Hodabeast and Chickadoowa, and I would have if I hadn’t brought extra inventory. Thanks, Denver!

And now, onto the photos!

I guess I’ll start with Hawkman and Hawkgirl, who had the best Thanagarian costumes at the show.

This gal was a total Brainiac.

Selfie with Godzilla. He was actually several hundred feet tall; this was just a foreshortened angle. Swear!

Here’s my assistant Monica, one of the few times she was at the table and not buying a Brews Wayne beer for her blog.

That’s a hella-bitchin’ Hela and Loki I ran into outside the ‘con.

I’ve been to scores of comic conventions over the past 30 years, and I can’t ever recall seeing anyone cosplay the New Mutants, especially Mirage and Warpath. Bravo, you guys!

Also, this would be the first Invader Zim cosplayer I’ve ever encountered. Bonus points for the antennae.

Donna Troy aka Wonder Girl took some time away from her fellow Teen Titans to show off her guns.

I wish this was in better focus (damn iPhone), but here’s the cast to The Tick.

The ever-delightful Isabelle Laursen as Firestorm the Nuclear (Wo)man. My, how your corona has grown!

This giggly trio of Car2Go ambassadors were amazed that I had a Car2Go card in my wallet. I was amazed that they hand-made their costumes (the photo doesn’t do it justice, but the little cars they’re wearing are really well done)!

And I’ll end with Reed and Sue Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman). I don’t know how she did it, but her costume was mind-blowing!

Cool Jerk and Denver Comic Con — a three-fer!Jun 9, 2014

As required by Colorado state law, Cool Jerk will again be exhibiting at Denver Comic Con this weekend, Friday-Sunday (June 13-15). This is both Denver Comic Con’s and Cool Jerk’s third year and I’m really happy to be a part of it!

Since last year’s DCC, I released Thinkulus (Cool Jerk Vol. 4) onto the world. I’ll also have more than 4 dozen varieties of my Cool Jerk Canvas Panels, a sure-fire crowd-pleaser! Beyond that, expect all my other books and some other cool odds and ends at the table. My sketches are always free so don’t forget your sketchbook!

Since I’m flying to this convention, I can only pack a modest amount of books. Last two years I had sell-outs by show’s end, so here’s a PRO TIP: Buy early!

Here’s a map I whipped up. Come find me at B17 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!

Maggot, Mokey™ and a Memorial — Part IIJun 6, 2014

(continued from part 1)

Maggot’s unnamed friend has a complex origin, dating back in time to January, 1992. My friend Bob Adams and I were tapped by a Reno sporting goods store to develop some recurring characters for a line of t-shirts, posters and the like. Bob — a cartoonist I hired for the UNR Sagebrush years earlier — and I developed four female characters: Ghetto Skate Queen Kanice Lavine™, Snowboard Goddess Pogonip™, Shitatsu the Roller-Hockey Ninja™, and Larva Girl™, a roller derby tomboy.

Pogonip and Kanice Lavine by Bob Adams (click to enlarge)

Larva Girl and Shitatsu (click to enlarge)

In these sketches that Bob and I produced, you’ll see a familiar icon… the same “GRRR! face” icon that was always present on Maggot’s unnamed friend’s tank top. The sporting goods store didn’t pursue the t-shirt idea because if memory serves, they fell on tough times and went out of business. So those four characters remained as concepts only, squirreled away in my portfolio for 20+ years.

(The concepts for these girls didn’t completely die on the vine, though. At the time, I hadn’t yet reintroduced Like, For Shore! mainstays Maggot or Chippie Tenderloin into Cool Jerk. In 1994 I brought up Maggot’s androgyny for a short series of strips where — at the end — Maggot was christened “Larvae Girl.” And when I reintroduced Chippie as Yuri Tomato in 1995, I mentioned she was in the Spittle Beach roller hockey league.)

I mentioned that Bob was a cartoonist. Yep, he created a universe of characters and named his weekly strip “Action Comics,” which debuted in the UNR Sagebrush in Jan. 1989 while Bob was still a senior at Reno High School. We became fast friends and ended up spending a lot of free time drawing people at the malls and on campus, honing our cartooning skills and eating lunch at Port of Subs. We’d even drawn each other’s characters and mused about a “blended universe” where he could draw Doc Splatter with his characters, and vice versa. One of Bob’s myriad characters is Mokey™, a teenage skateboarder. While it wasn’t 100% my intent to have Maggot’s friend be Mokey™ from the very start, there’s no denying that “Maggot’s unnamed friend” is a spitting image of Mokey™: the age, build, haircut, skateboard, shorts and tank top (but with the “GRRR! face” icon).

The Saga of Rusty Plates by Bob Adams

Bob and I drifted apart after I moved to San Diego and he moved to Utah. During that time, Bob published two comic books— “U.S. 395″ and “The Saga of Rusty Plates.” We’d since reconnected briefly via Facebook a few years ago (he’d returned to Reno and was working as security at UNR) but lines of communication dropped again when he deleted his Facebook profile.

Last autumn (2013) I received an email from Bob Adams’ aunt, who told me that Bob had died in February. She sought me out specifically because in Bob’s stacks of sketchbooks, drawings, art studies and comics, my name and characters kept showing up. I was — and am — shellshocked. Bob’s death has weighed on me for many months and I felt I needed to memorialize his work and passing. So I put forth a plan to make the big reveal that “Maggot’s unnamed friend” was Mokey™, and that Mokey™ was not from around these parts. In fact, Mokey™ is from a parallel universe — Bob Adams’ universe.

Like, For Shore! and Action Comics — the team-up supreme-up! (Mokey™ is highlighted, next to Maggot)

Here’s a drawing of Bob’s where he assembled his Action Comics characters and my Like, For Shore! characters (plus Doc Splatter and the ever-vomiting Timmy). I’m still having a rough time wrapping my head around the loss of Bob. Though he was a few years younger than me, Bob was one of my major “real-life” influences on my cartooning art style, not to mention his sense of humor and passion for ’80s action movies. While we never got a chance to collaborate on a comic, I intend to pay my respects to Bob throughout the year. So keep reading Cool Jerk to see those stories unfold.

That's me and Bob (on the right) circa 1990, judging by the Sagebrush t-shirt I'm wearing and the Action Comics t-shirt Bob's wearing.

Peace out, Bob.

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