Twenty years?? It really only feels like 18!

Back before KRZQ went alternative!

Twenty years ago on this exact date, the FIRST Cool Jerk was published in the Reno Gazette-Journal! That’s a true fact, Chester! Many things have changed in 20 years (Armpit’s hair, no more hand lettering or Zip-a-Tone) but many more things have stayed the same (four-panel format, the logo, my sense of “humor”). I talk much more about Cool Jerk’s genesis and early days in Cool Jerk Vol. 1: Hodabeast, so if you have your copy, bust it out and thrill in the tale!

Click it to broadsheet-size it!

As you can see, I still have the tearsheet. (I’m like that— I have tearsheets and clips of everything I’ve had published since junior high school. Serious.) Some time capsule-y stuff from June 15, 1991: “City Slickers” was in the theaters, the most-popular songs in Reno were “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. and “Seeing Things” by the Black Crowes, and Sparks opened up a paintball park.

Click it to get right in there!

The first published Cool Jerk is different from the one online and collected in Hodabeast; I remastered all the older Cool Jerks with my font Hornopolis, and I made some slight changes/fixes in the process.

You’ll also see that Cool Jerk ran vertically. THAT JUST KILLED ME! Paste-up would cut the velox of my strip and arrange it vertically down the right-hand column. This happened for several months until I redesigned the page to accommodate Cool Jerk in its intended horizontal format.

So yeah. Twenty years! To commemorate this event, I revisited the other five characters who appeared with The Kid Who Would Eventually Become Armpit, none of whom we’ve seen since the first Cool Jerk strip. I also decided to give them names, which will be convenient when action figures are made of them.

  1. Man! Talk about time warp.

  2. KeithG says:

    I still have the Cool Jerk “In-action” figure somewhere.

  3. haha, “Poundcake” by Van Halen!!! Not too subtle were they? From their “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” album…


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