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CARE package = bluff called

Click it to get in there!

About a year ago, there was this thing going around on Facebook where people were doing some sort of version of Pay it Forward where you were supposed to leave a comment on someone’s wall and then they’d send you something awesome. I posted a satire — Pay it Backward — asking people to send me something awesome and I’d repay them with a blog post.

Well, a few days afterward I received a huge envelope in the mail. It was from my buddy Nathan Pierce, whom I’ve known for years as one of the “Poway Posse” — a rag-tag group of high-school hooligans Darlene and I met at the first year we had a Cool Jerk table at San Diego Comic-Con.

The contents of the envelope are above, and it came with a note. I shall paraphrase and guide you through the exhibit.

• The first thing you’ll likely notice is the dinosaur drawing. I’ll save that for last. But on top of that drawing is a Gandalf for President button, courtesy San Diego Comic-Con.
• On the right is a Reader’s Digest that Nathan bought at London Heathrow after spending several weeks backpacking through Europe and studying abroad. He says the Princess Di story caught his eye, and was apropos of the location.
• South of that is Darwin Awards II, a mainstay read through high school proving influential on his sense of humor.
• There are two poker chips from Las Vegas. I’m not certain if they have any cash value… but I’m encouraged to find out! VEGAS, BAY-BEE!!
• A modest stack of baseball cards, which is a fraction of Nathan’s collection (along with poker chips, apparently a hobby that’s fallen by the wayside of late).
• A Hard Rock Café shot glass. I initially thought it would’ve been from La Jolla but I couldn’t be farther off. It’s from Maui. Instead of collecting shot glasses as mementos of his travels, he now opts for postcards.
• There’s a Home Alone Game Gear cartridge there, holding open a little hardcover book on how to make shadow puppets. Nathan says he used to play the Home Alone game all the time as a kid, but the book was given to him by a former roommate.
• The dinosaur drawing was drawn by Nathan’s friend Joe DiAnna, who, as a fellow founding member of the “Poway Posse,” is also one of my friends for more than a decade. What’s weird is that from the first glance I immediately knew that Joe was the artist. The story behind the drawing involves a midnight run to Mexicali, drunken debauchery, some gunplay and a bet. Or San Diego Comic-Con. Nathan was kind of sketchy on this.

So anyway, there you have it. Today is Nathan’s birthday and I think it’s a good a time as any to fulfill my obligation and post this tale for all to see. Thanks again, Nate! I’ll dedicate my upcoming episode of “Hoarders” to you!

Free shipping all January!


Title pretty much says it all. Now’s the time to shop at the Cool Jerk store because I’m offering FREE SHIPPING on Cool Jerk books, t-shirts and canvas panels all January long!

There’s one condition, though: I can only offer free shipping to U.S. addresses. Truth be told, I always take it on the chin when I ship to Canada, Mexico or overseas. Sure, I try to keep the rate down but I can’t sell a $12 book and pay another $12 to send it. That’s the cost of doing business, I guess.

You can get all my books on Amazon, and maybe your order will qualify for free shipping. But if you order directly from me, your book will be personalized to you with a drawing and I’ll probably include something else as an extra. That’s something Amazon can’t do.

So please take a look. Thinkulus (Cool Jerk Vol. 4) is my latest book and it’s pretty spiffy. Some of my favorite comics are in there, and you’ll be gobsmacked at how crisp the art looks in print! More details here!

Thanks for your support and helping me live the dream!

Shop Small this Saturday (Nov. 30)!

Tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 30) is Small Business Saturday. Please do consider patronizing small businesses, including the Cool Jerk store.

You need to go to the website and register your American Express card in order to qualify, but the gist is: spend $10 or more at a small business with your AMEX card and you’ll get a one-time $10 reimbursement. Be sure to check their website for all the details. What we’re talking about is $10 in free purchases, basically.

Last year I encouraged folks to buy from me (thanks, everyone!). This year, I’m paying it forward. Here are some other Small Businesses owned and/or operated by friends of mine:

• Get some comics and trade paperbacks at Southern California Comics (8280 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. #124, San Diego; 858.715.8669). Tell owner/comicsologist Jamie Newbold that Cool Jerk sent ya!
• Get some artworks at Steam Crow (online). Tell owner/art genius Daniel Davis that Cool Jerk sent ya!
• Get some stationery or commission some cupcakes from JustJenn Designs (online). Tell owner/design maven Jenn Fujikawa that Cool Jerk sent ya!
• Get even more comics and stuff from Alter Ego Comics (331 7th Ave., Marion, IA; 319.373.8935). Tell owner/pug aficionado Erin Tapken that Cool Jerk sent ya!
• Get some shoes at Nu Shuz (207 Ave. Del Norte, Redondo Beach, CA; 310.792.7865). Tell owner/shoemeister Teresa Loberg that Cool Jerk sent ya!

Thanks for making a difference!

DOCtoberFest 2013 recap!

Happy Halloween, darlings!

Everyone knows October is Doc Splatter’s favorite month, and each year he celebrates DOCtoberFest with brand-new Gore Score comics. Subscribers to the Cool Jerk emailer have been kept abreast of The Doc’s weekly shenanigans. But I know many people visit the home page yet don’t (yet) subscribe to the Cool Jerk emailer, so I figure I should pop all the new strips onto the blog. Just click on a strip and it’ll take you to the appropriate page.

Silent but deadly!

Face facts: you’re fugly!

Too much pussy (cat) action!

They’re Unspeakably Delicious!

Remember, kids— write The Doc and if he uses your letter, you get a goodie! And, of course, you can get a signed copy of his book here!

Quick news and notes for the end of summer

Some Cool Jerk news items for August and September:

"It's a MADHOUSE! A MAAADDHOUUUUSE!" (photos by Charles Apple)

• The Thinkulus signing at Southern California Comics was terrific, though I should have said it was only for an hour (instead of five hours). Everyone minus James and Rebecca Hicks (Little Vampires) and Charles Apple seemed to show up in the last 45 minutes of the signing! It was a sweltering day and Southern California Comics was a gracious host. Thanks to everyone who battled the heat and traffic to buy some stuff, incl. the aforementioned James & Rebecca, Charles (who came down from Orange County!), Nathan, Ben, Joe, Ricky, Ram & Deanna, Chris & Ernie, Richard & Shannon, Dennis and several others whose name I didn’t catch!

• Attention, Los Angeles Cool Jerk readers: You can now get all my books — including Thinkulus — at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach. Ask owner Mike Wellman to steer you to the spot and tell him I sent you!

• Attention, Burbank Cool Jerk readers: There’s only one store north of San Diego that carries The Girl with the Donut Tattoo… and that’s House of Secrets on Olive Ave. You can also find all Cool Jerk and Doc Splatter books there, too (incl. Thinkulus)!

• Few people have ever seen my original art. Be one of them and attend the ArtLab ¡Viva Comics! art show and exhibit, opening Saturday (Sept. 21) at 7pm. Hosted by Batton Lash and Jackie Estrada, this gathering of San Diego-local comics creators is the second-such art exhibition in as many years. Come to the gallery, have some wine, cheese, brownies and conversation with Dan Bois, Rebecca Hicks, Billy Martinez, Eric Shanower, Jeromy Cox, Mark Irwin, Phil Yeh, Jorge Pacheco, Barbara Marker, Lee Kohse, Mary Fleener, Johnny B. Gerardy, Rod Mojica, Emily Rocha, Wendy All, Jon Esparza, Dean La Crone, Joe Phillips, Beth Sotelo, Karyl Miller, Matthew Walker and more! ArtLab is at 3536 Adams Ave. (between the 805 and SR15). Bring some folding money because everyone will have stuff for sale!

• Darlene and I are on a podcast— Nerd For A Living (hosted by Adron and Wendy Buske). Good and oft-times amusing conversation discussing everything from self-publishing comics and conventioneering to food blogging and the perils of breaking one’s drawing thumb. Bookmark their site— it’s a valuable asset for creative types trying to make a living at what they love to do.

Cool Jerk Comic-CAN (Saturday, Aug. 31)

Click it to make it giganto!

I noticed a lot of San Diego (and San Diego-area) regulars didn’t make it to Comic-Con last month. Maybe it was the high cost of tickets, maybe it was the near-impossibility to get tickets, maybe it was a conflict with work, school or vacation. Whatever the reason, I’m holding another “Cool Jerk Comic-CAN” for those who could not attend SDCC.

Cool Jerk Vol. 4: Thinkulus is my newest collection, and I’ll be having a book signing at Southern California Comics in Kearny Mesa on August 31. That’s a Saturday, so I hope to catch as many of you on your day off (or at least on your lunch hour) as possible.

Thinkulus is a $12 book, but if you need other volumes (Hodabeast, Chickadoowa and/or Bimboozled) I’ll be selling those at a discount. Heck— buy any two books and you a FREE Doc Splatter Ominous Omnibus! I’ll even bring my Canvas Panels, a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

If you haven’t been to Southern California Comics, it’s kind of tricky to find. I’ve whipped up a locator map for you. In general, it’s very close to where Clairemont Mesa Blvd. crosses SR 163. Jamie Newbold is the owner; we’ve known each other for as long as his shop has been in existence. If you come by for Thinkulus, please take some extra time to explore/discover San Diego’s best comics store.

I’ll be there from opening (11 a.m.) til at least 3 p.m. Hope to see you there!

SDCCI ’13 photo recap!

Whatta week! San Diego Comic-Con International 2013 is but a memory, but what a memory it was!

One thing that set this year apart from previous years is that I did a full-page comic for the U-T San Diego (formerly known as The San Diego Union-Tribune), which ran the Sunday preceding Comic-Con. I lost count how many people came by the table to tell me they read it… even more than when I used to do Comic-Con packages for the Night&Day section 2001-2005. You can check it out here.

Also, Cool Jerk Vol. 4: Thinkulus made its debut. This marked the first new Cool Jerk collection since 2010 and sales were brisk. Thanks, people! We also had copies of the third and final printing of The Girl with the Donut Tattoo, and purchasers got a free taste of the upcoming sequel, which may or may not be named KaiChew.

One thing Darlene and I noticed was that many table “regulars” didn’t make it to the show. I know some of them couldn’t get tickets this year, and others were on vacation, had conflicting plans, were in prison, etc. That sucks. I think I’ll hold a signing in a few weeks to help accommodate those locals who missed the show.

Like last year, the Cool Jerk table was flanked by the comedy duo of José Cabrera and Jim Lujan to the left and Mark Gonyea to the right.

But you’re here for the photos, right? Let’s hop to it!

To start things off, meet Jamie Lim and Jay Halili. I’ve known them for probably a decade… maybe from the first year I tabled at Comic-Con. Jamie won a contest I held earlier this year and she got a free Thinkulus as a result (not to mention my undying gratitude). Thanks again for the back cover blurb!

Speaking of Thinkulus, here’s Robot Monster holding a copy for scale! (Under the helmet was 3D wunderkind Eric Kurland.)

As superhero cosplay goes, I didn’t see a whole lot of clever, stand-out or original creations this year. I’m sure there were plenty, but I didn’t wander far from my table… and not very often. But I did see a few. Here is a trio of Marvel fans, cosplaying Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) and Dr. Strange. Kudos to Dr. Strange who knew about the Winds of Watoomb and had the appropriate conjuring gestures.

The Invaders! Human Torch, Captain America and Sub-Mariner would rather mug for the camera than beat up a Nazi maniac WHO IS STANDING RIGHT THERE, GUYS!

Last year there was an abundance of Iron Fists. This year it was Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner. Here’s another one, flanked by Moon Knight (l) and Logan (r).

Darlene was able to venture outside of the convention center on occasion, to explore, get some fresh air or grab lunch. She encountered the usual whirlwind of Comic-Con activity — Hollywood studio interactive exhibits (“Grimm,” “Godzilla,” “Dracula,” “Ender’s Game,” etc.), food trucks, throngs of ticketless spectators, zombie survival drills and protesters (yes, there are jackasses who protest the “hedonism” of Comic-Con). Shown here is a counter-protest. GALACTUS IS NIGH indeed!

Also seen outside are the original X-Men — Iceman, Beast, Cyclops, Angel and Marvel Girl, all escorting Professor X (with Cerebro® on lap).

Segueing back indoors, here are some more X-Men: Gambit (l) and Longshot and Dazzler. I’m really impressed by the Gambit costume. I asked Longshot if he indeed had three fingers (and a thumb) on each hand. He did what he could to hide the pinky finger in this photo.

Another trio of Marvel gals: Baroness Zemo, vampire Jubilee and Natasha Romanova (aka Black Widow, seen here from a recent issue of the Eisner Award-winning “Hawkeye”). Zemo is actually Megan Rae, whom I’ve photographed as a Dalek in 2009 and as Daenerys Targaryen in 2012.

Another shameless Thinkulus plug, this time by Batwoman.

Three of my favorite cosplayers: Big Barda, Inspector Gadget and a gal dressed as a dragon from Magic: The Gathering card game whose name I don’t remember because I play HeroClix, not MTG. Most impressed by Barda’s scalemail costume, which jingled when she moved.

Lunch! These delicious burritos came from Lolita’s. Darlene did another great write-up on where to eat during Comic-Con which was popular with a lot of attendees.

Here’s long-time Cool Jerk ally Kim the Catgirl auditioning for “So You Think You Can Sing About Independent Comics Creators?” We would have given her a burrito for her efforts but we were fresh out.

Here’s a fresh take on the Disney princesses. I heard people in the crowd call out to them as “Geek princesses” and “Hipster princesses.” You decide.

Somewhat random: Here’s “Arrested Development’s” Tobias Funke, the evil queen from “Snow White” and a zombie ballerina. Evil queen is actually La Bella’s Strange Trix (aka Musicalpencil) on Flickr.

What we have here is from the Marvel booth: A Nova Corps soldier and various weaponry and equipment (incl. Drax’s knives and Starlord’s helmet) from the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie. (Sorry some of the photos aren’t as good as usual; we were trying a new camera lens the whole weekend and it didn’t live up to our expectations.)

Costume of the weekend that garnered the most buzz — not only for originality but for timeliness — would probably have to be this gal, dressed as SHARKNADO. Enough said!

(Even I jumped onto the SHARKNADO bandwagon, selling canvas panels like this at the table!)

Another couple of X-Men who can get their filthy mutie paws off The Girl with the Donut Tattoo and Thinkulus. Thanks, Colossus and Psylocke!

And I think I’ll leave you with White Trash Stormtrooper (or is it Wifebeater Stormtrooper? Maybe Kid Rock Stormtrooper?), catching the trolley back to the boonies (NOT the Death Star).

Thanks to everyone who came by the table to visit, buy stuff or ask directions! WE LOVE YOU ALL!

Cool Jerk and SDCC 2013

It’s Cool Jerk’s 11th year of tabling at San Diego Comic-Con International, and the big news is:

Cool Jerk Vol. 4: Thinkulus is here! I talked about it a bit previously, but it’s the brand-new Cool Jerk collection and you’ll be among the first to get ‘em! It contains more than 200 strips (incl. several that are “book exclusive” that will only be found within these pages), sketches, Director’s Commentary, the anal-retentive index and the foreword is by Jane Wiedlin. Limited print run! Best $12 you’ll spend at the show!

If you missed it last year (it sold out at the ‘con), Darlene and I will have a limited amount of The Girl with the Donut Tattoo as well. It’s in its third-and-final printing (“final” because the comics printing company went out of business a couple months ago) so get ‘em while they’re fresh! $5!

I’ll also have several new Canvas Panels debuting at the show. Can’t show ‘em here without inciting a riot! $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:

• ALL my books with convention-special discounts!
• T-shirts in a variety of styles, fits (M or F) and sizes!
• Sharpie original art breakdowns (original art for $3-$5? CRAZY!)
• Stickers, buttons and the like.
• And as ever, sketches are free.

Click it to hugeify it!

Here’s a map I made while you were finishing up your Scarlet Witch costume.

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!

League of Extraordinary Appetites (where to eat at Comic-Con)

Wanna know where to eat at (or before) Comic-Con? Here’s a hint: ANYWHERE but the convention center!

Darlene’s roundup of her 10 best bets for a hearty breakfast and/or lunch — without bludgeoning your budget — can be found here! We’ve been doing this for a few years now (I say “we” because I do the maps) and we’ve talked with many a conventioneer who have taken these suggestions to heart and thanked Darlene personally.

So check the link and bookmark it for convenience. Your stomach and wallet will thank you for it!

Cool Jerk and newspapers— together again!

I teased about it on the Cool Jerk Facebook page, but now that it’s in print, I suppose I can show you what I’ve been secretly working on the past several days.

Last month I was hired by U-T San Diego business editor Diana McCabe to produce a full-page comic detailing Cool Jerk and its relationship with San Diego Comic-Con’s Small Press (Cool Jerk’s vacation home for the past 11 years).

This is my first full-page San Diego Comic-Con comic in the U-T since 2005 (you can find previous ones here, here, here and here). But what makes this one different is that it’s autobio. Armpit, Puppy, Manhattan, Yuri and the Spittle Beach gang are in there… but so is Darlene. I managed to squeeze in a sasquatch, another Amish Ninja running gag, official Cool Jerk thong underwear, a pie chart, José Cabrera (Crying Macho Man) and several Cool Jerk t-shirts.

You can find it in today’s U-T (cover to Sunday Business). It looks just like this.

UPDATE Here it is, in its entirety.

Thanks to all who helped out with this, including Diana, Greg Schmidt, Nirmala Bhat and Kate Nelson at the U-T. Also Daniel & Dawna Davis (Steam Crow) and Audra Ann Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga (nemu*nemu) for the candid conversations.

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