Posts Tagged Takin’ care of business

Reno Comic Con Photo Recap!


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!


Reno Comic Con— I know, right??

I never thought I’d see the day, but my old stomping grounds (and the birthplace of Cool Jerk and Doc Splatter) is hosting its very own comic convention this week.

Reno Comic Con — part of a series of conventions put on by Wizard World — will mark its debut in the Truckee Meadows this Friday through Sunday, Nov. 21-23. I’ve been given the status of “Special Guest” so that means I can show up drunk and take anything I want from other people’s tables. Crazy, right? Home team has its privileges!

Last time I had a book signing in Reno was 2011, and since then I’ve released Cool Jerk Vol. 4: Thinkulus. So all of you completionists will certainly need to swing by my table to pick one up! 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, stickers and my ever-grinnin’ mug. 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!

Click it to expand-a-size it!


Need some help getting there? Here’s a locator I whipped up while simultaneously placing an order at Port of Subs.

So bring your Christmas shopping list and some folding money (I also take credit cards) and come by the Cool Jerk outpost C-41 in Artists Alley, on the far right side of Hall 2. I expect to see a bunch of friendly, familiar faces… hope yours is one of them!

SHOW HOURS
Friday, Nov. 21: 3pm-8pm
Saturday, Nov. 22: 10am-7pm
Sunday, Nov. 23: 11am-5pm


SDCCI ’14 Photo Recap


That’s right, kiddos — if it’s August, that must mean it’s time for the San Diego Comic-Con recap! This year was unexpectedly decent, even though I’m in a year “between books.” But I did debut the second volume of the Cool Jerk sketchbook, not seen at a comic-con since 2007. They were either free with a book, t-shirt or canvas panel purchase, or $3 a al carte. I also had the blank cover variant for $10, where the customer would receive a one-of-a-kind, pencil-and-ink drawing of their choice. That seemed to go over like hot cakes, which kept me plenty busy at the table (and at home if I ran out of time at the show). Seen above is a drawing of “Dr. Armadillo v2.0″ for Dan Bois, and below are some select covers for various friends and allies of Cool Jerk.

Click to enlarge!

A hearty and heartfelt thanks to everyone who came by the table, whether to buy Cool Jerk stuff, talk shop, catch up, share laughs or just say hi and give a hug. I hope you had as much fun as we did, and I also hope to see you online on a regular basis.

And now, onto the show!


Spy vs. Spy!


Vanellope von Schweetz and her candy-covered cart (from “Wreck-It Ralph)! One of the most elaborate cosplays we witnessed at the show.


I don’t know what this is, but it looks like a mash-up of Star Trek + Playboy + vampires!


Here are three Avengers — Black Widow, Ms. Marvel and Scarlet Witch — checking out artwork by Adam Hughes and Allison Sohn.


Darlene witnessed this tragic scene with Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy! “DON’T BE DEAD, GWEN — I DON’T WANT YOU TO BE DEAD!”


My Sharpie sketch of Scooby-Doo for Kalyan, a Cool Jerk fan with a huge sketchbook!


A Michael Myers parade! I think I just peed a little.


Customized Cool Jerk sketchbook cover (she wanted Cool Jerk, zombies and a kitty — I swear) for Shayla Morreale!


Two of my favorite cosplayers this year — Mojo Jojo and The Him!


While on a walkabout, Darlene spotted a gaggle of Marge Simpsons!


Sparks, Nevada’s very own Mädchen Amick, promoting Lifetime’s “Witches of East End.” She’s only the second Twin Peaks cast member I’ve ever seen in real life (the other was Michael J. Anderson at SDCC in the late 1990).


Natasha and Steve, taking a break from saving the world from Hydra.

Click to enlarge!

Standout cosplayers I was lucky to witness after the doors shut one evening. Presenting: The Monster and the Bride!


Darlene got to chat a bit with Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy). Here he is, displaying his Skeleton Head syrah label.


It just isn’t a comic-con without running into The Monarch (Steven Meissner) and his bride, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (Kit Quinn). Not sure who the other dude is….


Freddy Krueger decided he wanted one of my Doc Splatter Ominous Omnibus books.


That’s AmberSkies as Kim Possible (note she’s holding Rufus the naked mole rat)! For some reason, Kim Possible was big this year; I saw no fewer than four Kim cosplayers.


“What’s in YOUR bookshelf?” That’s actually Elliott Branch as Jules from “Pulp Fiction.”


There’s Evangeline Lilly, signing copies of her book, The Squickerwonkers. News broke during Comic-Con that she’ll be playing Hope Pym in next year’s “Ant-Man.”


Kevin Smith (hockey jersey, of course) being interviewed at a hotel across from the convention center.


I love group cosplay, and here’s a group paying tribute to “Game of Thrones.”


Sketchbook commission for my friends Eric and Jocelyn, who desperately wanted something to do with “Frozen.”


Eric and Jocelyn’s reaction to the finished “Frozen” piece. Eric decided to title it, “‘Monster Turns On Creator,’ Sharpie and colored pencil, 2014.”


By the Winds of Watoomb! It’s Dr. Strange and Scarlet Witch!


Wish I had better pix of Apocalypse — he was huge and had a voice changer (I think)!


Waiting to cross over to the Hilton parking garage was none other than Ares, God of War!


Up close and personal with the Beast (of X-Men and Avengers fame, not the Disney cartoon, natch)!


A triptych of Batgirls!


I think that’s Jean Grey wearing Rogue’s outfit (or Rogue wearing Jean Grey’s wig?), Vlad Dracul von Chesty and Blink!


Hodor, Amora (aka The Enchantress) and a Jawa!


Crossplayers as Starfox and Roger Rabbit! Starfox was charming in that what she lacked in sewing skills, she made up for with encyclopedic knowledge of the Marvel character. (Quick reference: Starfox is brother to Thanos.)


Guess we’ll end this the only way possible — at Terminus!


Cool Jerk and San Diego Comic-Con 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-Con

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 recap

"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!

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!


Free shipping all January!

SEVERE CROP!


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!


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!


Regret Printing Services

The long national nightmare is over — Thinkulus is finally here in my possession. I say “nightmare” because I went with a Chinese book printer that has printer reps here in San Diego, and the whole process was massively stressful. (I’m not going to broadcast anyone’s names — I don’t want to give them any extra publicity, even if it’s negative. Contact me if you’re curious.) Here’s the bullet list:

• I was led to believe that having my books printed in China would be quite a bit less expensive than having them printed in Hong Kong (or stateside, of course). It wasn’t. In fact, I’m pretty sure it cost more than what the HK printer I used for Hodabeast and Doc Splatter Ominous Omnibus would have charged, based on a quote from 2011.

• When I tried to upload the book to their FTP site, I discovered it was offline/unresponsive. (I used 8 different browsers, incl. Fetch, on three different Macs, each with a different OS. Nothing worked. I called the printing rep and they didn’t get back to me until the next day.)

• The gave me a production schedule, which ended up butchered and amended so many times by them that my calendar looks like a prop from “Homeland.”

• When I received the initial PDF proof, there was a notice that I needed to state “PRINTED IN CHINA” on the indicia. It was right there, on the indicia, all along. This should have been a warning sign that the printers in China didn’t exactly sweat the details.

• My printing rep assured me I could get a carton of Thinkulus (40 ct.) flown over to me from China if desired, which would arrive weeks before the scheduled delivery of the rest of the books. This was comforting, knowing how messed up the printing schedule had become and that I could have books in hand for Comic-Con, guaranteed. I was told a 4o lb. box of books would cost far less than $100, likely around $60-$70. It ended up costing $105-$130, depending on 2-3 day or 4-5 day service. That’s a pretty rookie mistake coming from a printing rep who should know this stuff inside and out. (She said the heaviest carton the printers will load is 40 lbs., so her price estimate shouldn’t fluctuate by double).

• I expected high-resolution proofs but got low-resolution instead (I had specifically requested hi-rez, even to the point of documenting the phone call with my printing rep and immediately following up that call with an email to her associate. Later, my printing rep told me that “never happened.”)

• The dummy book they sent used the wrong paper weight (120 gsm instead of 100 gsm). This was the second mistake they made on the paper weight; I had to correct it on the contract a couple weeks previous.

• The proofs that finally arrived — weeks after they were initially scheduled to arrive — and they were trimmed to the wrong size. I signed off on those proofs, with the stipulation that the book is trimmed to the specs I ordered.

• They sent another set of proofs against my wishes, which was a huge inconvenience for Darlene and I as we were planning a vacation. We had to wait around for FedEx instead of prepping for the trip. And I had to give approval — a second time — that day in order to “stay on schedule.”

• I had to remind them time after time of certain concerns, as if they never read or absorbed the content of my emails. This includes book trim sizes and paper weight (mentioned above). I also had to inform them what days I’d be out of town, which would have fallen into a “dead zones” on the original schedule (when no action was needed by me). But since the schedule got jacked up time and time again, these days ended up encroaching on our time, which was a hassle and stressful.

• For my hassles and peace of mind I requested a box of Thinkulus to be flown over to San Diego on their nickel (their track record didn’t instill me with confidence that my books would arrive before Comic-Con), but conveniently the palette was already on the ship. An interesting convenience, considering they needed my final payment that very same day… leaving me to wonder what they would have done if I were a day late getting payment to them.

• I brought up all of the above concerns several times with the printing rep and she was unrepentant, arrogant or just flat-out dismissive. Customer service clearly is not their strong suit.

I need to mention that NONE of the scheduling problems, delays, errors in proofs or other aforementioned problems were generated by me.

The whole experience wasn’t a total nightmare. The books looks gorgeous, are all packed securely and (so far) damage-free, and were delivered right to my door more-or-less on the due date (I say “more-or-less” because the bill of lading said delivery would be July 8 but the final schedule said July 10. The books arrived on July 10.)

I’ve printed three other Cool Jerk volumes, one Doc Splatter volume and two “floppy” color comic books. Two were printed by Ho-Wai in Hong Kong, two were by R.R. Donnelley stateside and two were by ComixPress (based in New England, now defunct). I can literally count any printing problems and hassles among those six books on one hand — combined.

I’ll be the first to admit that Thinkulus was hardly a big job for them; J.K. Rowling I’m not. But I’m still a customer and a small print run is not excuse for jacking me around, whether that was their mindset or not.

They really went the extra nanometer for me, and now that it’s all said and done, they will not get any positive recommendations or referrals from me or Darlene.


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