Posts Tagged Takin’ care of business

Multi-media Marvel!

I don’t know why or how, but the stars must’ve been in alignment — the last couple of weeks were a crazy convergence of Cool Jerk media saturation.

• I was interviewed for a KPBS feature on San Diego webcomic creators (the other interviewee was Little Vampires’ Rebecca Hicks), conducted by Beth Accomando and camera work/production by Katie Euphrat. This originally aired on Friday, April 27, and was subsequently broadcast on KPBS radio and posted online. Beth and Katie were terrific and I’m really happy with the end result!

ALSO: if you jump to my Facebook page, you can see a time-lapse clip of me drawing Puppy and Armpit (requires Flash).

• A few days later, I showed up on a San Diego 6 (The CW network) San Diego Living morning segment spotlighting Southern California Comics and their big plans for Free Comic Book Day, May 5. Jamie Newbold (SCC’s owner) and I go way back, and I was happy to participate by holding a signing at his shop on FCBD. Thanks, Jamie!

• I can also be heard on an Austin, TX-based podcast, conducted by Timothy Danger of Old Man and Bitter Girl Productions. We met at the Staple! show a couple months ago. Tune in and listen to me say “um” a quarter-million times!

WonderCon ’12 recap!

Aw, you didn’t think I’d let WonderCon go by without a requisite photo recap, did you? FOR SHAME!

Let’s start with Megan Rae as Daenerys Targaryen — chowing on a horse heart — from HBO’s Game of Thrones. A week ago, I wouldn’t have had any idea who this was (Darlene and I binged on all 10 episodes over three days). And what’s funny is Megan did the exact same thing at the same time! I swear we weren’t in collusion! You might recognize Megan — she was a Dalek at SDCCI ‘09.

Here’s Megara (from Disney’s Hercules) and Aang the Last Airbender. First time I’ve ever seen a Megara cosplayer… and about the 400th Airbender.

Here are some pals (L to R) — Michelle Mauk, who was tabling a few spots down from me. Deb Aoki, who was on assignment for You can also see Patrick Scullin of Super Siblings, standing next to the Cool Jerk table.

More pals — the never-not-hyperactive Little Vampires creator Rebecca Hicks and one-man, ogre-smiting army Daniel Davis of Steam Crow fame.

The movie version of the Avengers walked by.

Here’s the charming and delightful Sarah Straub and her husband Beau.

Dawww! What’s a comic-con without a little Star Wars crossplay action?

Mrowr! Male version of Cheetah, yes?

And probably my favorite cosplayer of the show — Darkwing Duck. Reasons? A) C’mon. DARKWING DUCK! B) She was totally into it. C) Her little gun smoked (OK it was probably water vapor). D) It was refreshing to not see a beloved kid-friendly character all slutted out. I’m looking at you, Booba Fett!

Cool Jerk invades WonderCon invades Anaheim!

It’s true! Cool Jerk will be at WonderCon this weekend (March 16-18) at the Anaheim Convention Center. For the first time since I can remember, WonderCon has left its home in San Francisco and has laid down temporary roots in Anaheim. I understand this is only a 2012 thing; WonderCon will return to the Moscone Center in 2013. The good news is that it becomes a local (more or less) convention for Cool Jerk, but the bad news is that likely several thousand Bay Area-native attendees will not be making the six-hour drive to Orange County.

The last time I tabled at WonderCon was in 2010, before Cool Jerk Vol. 3: Bimboozled, Cool Jerk Canvas Panels, Cool Jerk OMG Color! Vol. 1 and my second 24-Hour Comic were printed (not to mention two new t-shirt designs). This means Bay-Area WonderCon attendees will see a bunch of new stuff at the table. Plus, I hope WonderCon’s Southern California presence attracts a bunch of folks who maybe otherwise aren’t able to attend San Diego Comic-Con. Either way, I’ll have all sorts of stuff to sell, and will be offering excellent convention-only discounts!

Click it to WONDERCON-size it!

Here’s a map I whipped up to help you find me among the thousands of retailers, cosplayers and attendees. Hope to see you there!

Cool Jerk does Staple!

This weekend (March 3 & 4), Team Cool Jerk will be tabling at Staple! — The Independent Media Expo. We’ll be splitting a table with amazing simian-centric illustrator Chet Phillips! YOU CAN’T MISS US!

Here's a lil' map I whipped up for ya!

We’re really looking forward to it because A) we’ve never been to Austin, TX (although I’ve been to Austin, NV), B) we’ve heard nothing but good things about the show — which has expanded to two days starting this year, C) we’ve heard the attendees have a voracious appetite for indy comics and self-publishing creative types, and D) speaking of “having an appetite,” Darlene and I will be poking around the Austin area for cool and unusual places to eat. On the list: The Junction House in Kingsland. If the house looks familiar but you can’t quite place where you’ve seen it, let me give you a couple of hints: Tobe Hooper. Chainsaw. Leatherface.

I can’t wait to infect the Lone Star State with Cool Jerk madness. Hope to see you there! (If you can’t make it but have a Texan pal who likes comics — tell him/her to head on over!)

Cool Jerk’s comic-con commitments for 2012

Since my checks evidently didn’t bounce, I can now share the official schedule of Cool Jerk comic-con appearances in 2012 thus far; Cool Jerk may attend a ‘con or two later in the year. (Any suggestions?)

Staple! • Austin, TX

March 3-4

We’ve never been to Austin or Staple! so we’re really looking forward to this little independent show. We’ve heard nothing but good things about the city, the people and the attendees’ appetite for comics.

WonderCon • Anaheim

March 16-18

This will be Cool Jerk’s fifth year at WonderCon! They moved the venue from San Francisco while the Moscone Center is being renovated, so it’ll be interesting to see who makes the pilgrimage down from the Bay Area.

Phoenix Comicon • Phoenix

May 27-30

Really on the fence about Phoenix Comicon. The last time I tabled there (2010) it seemed more like “early Halloween” than a place for people to buy comics. So I’m likely giving it a pass.

Denver Comic Con • Denver

June 15-17

Cool Jerk has never exhibited in Denver, either… and that’s probably because Denver has never had a comic-con before now! The inaugural Denver Comic Con looks to fill the comic-con void in the Rockies, drawing in people from several adjacent states!

Comic-Con International • San Diego

July 11-15

Ten years in a row for Cool Jerk, in the same spot as always (Small Press K10, next to the restrooms and vomitorium)!

GeekGirlCon • Seattle

TBD (October?)

In lieu of spring’s Emerald City Comic-Con, Cool Jerk will be attending the second GeekGirlCon in the fall (if they hold a second con — stay tuned).

So mark your calendars, put in vacation time, book those flights and bring your wallets!

Buggin’ out!

Click it for detail!

Thought I’d do a quick recap of my Cool Jerk book signing at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach last Wednesday.

I arrived a bit early (I padded my drive time by an extra hour because it was raining pretty hard between San Diego and L.A.) and hung out with The Bug Crew— Mike, Jun and Greg. By time I got my table set up, justJENN and her youthful entourage (read: kids) arrived with boxes of cupcakes for book-buyers.

And let me tell you about the cupcakes. When I opened a box and peeked in, I burst into laughter. JENN had decorated each of the scrumptious red velvet cupcakes with a little Cool Jerk art element! So people could choose a Yuri Tomato cupcake, a Ghost of Paul Lynde cupcake or a projectile-puking Seashelly Dumpster cupcake (I ate that one). There were a couple bonus cupcakes adorned with images of my face and business card. (I worried if someone would choose those!)

Turnout was pretty good for a dreary* and humid Wednesday, and nearly everyone who stopped by the table and bought something was a new face! Thanks to Felix, Michelle and her family, Greg (and Alex, by proxy), Alan, Liz and Dianne (aka Pirate Space Queen) for adding Cool Jerk books to your Buy Pile this week! Also I got to meet comics writer Tracey Claverie. He was doing a signing for his comic, Scar Unit, right next to me. When there were lulls in patrons we ended up talking about comics influences, inappropriate cosplay and the best cheeseburgers in the tri-county area. Good guy, that Tracey.

Thanks again to The Comic Bug and justJENN, without whom the signing wouldn’t have been possible.

*Steve Jobs, R.I.P.


(That’s “Taking Care of Business,” as Elvis would say)

A couple weekends ago Darlene and I attended my 25th high school reunion in Carson City, Nev. This is the first one I’ve been to since the 10th in 1996 (I didn’t know there was a 15th, and I missed the 20th in 2006 because it was the same weekend as San Diego Comic-Con). It was a lovely affair, and I got to meet up and reminisce with many friends and former classmates, and even finally meet a few face-to-face for the first time. The festivities— ranging from a barbecue at Mark Funke’s home to golf and meet-ups at bars and restaurants— started Friday afternoon and lasted through Sunday. We only had time to socialize on Friday.

It was a lot of fun and doubly so to introduce Darlene to many kids (yeah, I know we’re all in our early forties… it’s a habit) I used to see in classes and pal around with. A couple kids (Wendy Johnston and… oh, jeez I forgot!) mentioned they still had my first business card from when I was a senior. Wow! How cool is that! Darlene hadn’t even seen that one before, so she suggested my next blog post should showcase my freelance business cards.

So here we go!

Ironically, I did get freelance work using this card. Go figure.

Here’s my first freelance business card, from my senior year. “86 RULES, DUDE!!” Can you tell I didn’t have access to a Macintosh?? This little beauty was created with a Sharpie marker (a dull one, by looks of it) and was likely created in less time than it took for me to write this paragraph.

These are so old, photo retouching was done with Aldus Digital Darkroom!

I like to think I had other freelance business cards during college… but I did not. I probably used one of the business cards I created for the UNR Sagebrush newspaper staff, which also had a self-portrait on it. Regardless, here’s a set of six freelance cards from 1990 (photos taken by Greg Moyle).

Boy, those red acrylic arrows are heavier than they look!

When I moved to San Diego in 1994, those cards became obsolete. I didn’t have freelance business cards until I started professionally exhibiting at San Diego Comic-Con in 2003, and I would just use Cool Jerk cards (reminder to self: do a blog post showcasing all those cards). But after I quit The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2006, I realized I needed a card that showcased my mad infographics skillz, yo. So that’s when I created the current card.

SDCCI ’11 photo recap!

Because I forgot to have one taken last year, here’s a pic of me at the Cool Jerk table. There were lots of cool stuffs to get this year, including a dozen new Canvas Panels, two new styles of t-shirts and OMG Color! Vol. 1. I also introduced the Über Canvas Panel, a premium product I’m offering that you can order with your favorite strip! Here’s a pic of me WEARING A COLLARED SHIRT!! with long-time reader and pal Richard Foley, who always makes a harrowing pilgrimage to Comic-Con! (Holy shit I look just like my Commentary avatar from 1996!)

And surprise! Lucky Cool Jerk readers and patrons got a delicious Cool Jerk sugar cookie, courtesy Jenny Wenny Cakes. They were in extremely limited quantity and you pretty much had to buy something from me or cash in your Subscriber Coupon to get one!

Our tablemate to the left was Jose Cabrera (Crying Macho Man), who was without his wonderful wife Naomi this weekend. Instead, he partnered with Jim Lujan, an animator and all-around funny guy. To our right was Ben Seto and his bro-in-law Patrick. Ben’s comic is Skull Bunnies and Patrick was representing his wife’s pillow-quilting gig. Above is a drawing Ben did of Puppy!

Here’s one of Darlene’s obsessions this year: Tokidoki’s Marvel Frenzies. She was determined to not leave Comic-Con without getting all of the Fantastic Four. Mission accomplished!

That’s all well and good, but I know why you’re here— to see all the crazy costumes!

Let’s start with a mash-up. Here’s Star Wars meets Pulp Fiction.

And here’s one for the ladies! Say hello to patriotic and sparkly vampire R.Patz (“Twilight”) wearing Captain America shorts HA! MADE YOU LOOK!!

Here’s a trio of Doctor Who cosplayers: TARDIS, River Song and Amy Pond (in her policeman’s get-up). I’m happy to report Doctor Who cosplayers were abundant this year, and there wasn’t a single Johnny Depp/Capt. Jack Sparrow to be seen!

I always felt safe, knowing Nick Fury and his S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were on patrol.

Here’s Doctor Doom, quenching his thirst. I like how the monarch of Latveria is such a bad-ass that he can walk around with a handmade Wolverine man-purse and no one’s gonna get in his grill.

Here’s Firestar, Alpha Flight’s team leader Vindicator, H.A.M.M.E.R. Deputy Director Victoria Hand and… some gal in a red dress.

This is great! Here are about half of Darkseid’s Female Furies (Big Barda, Lashina and Granny Goodness). I’ve seen other pics online that includes Darkseid himself, along with Mad Harriet and Stompa (they might’ve all been at Starbucks or in the bathroom at this time).

The following photos I like to call “Crappy Old Nikon Blur-O-Rama!” Here’s Jason Isaacs (l.) of the Harry Potter films, and Rowdy Roddy Piper (r.), notorious for drop-kicking Cyndi Lauper back in the days of MTV/Wrestlemania.

Here are some professional cosplayers: On the left we have Kit Quinn as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (along with The Monarch). On the right is Yaya Han as the Asgardian warrior Sif (along with an unidentified Black Cat).

As Darlene and I took the trolley to the convention center one morning, we shared the ride with Thor and another Sif, Scarlet Witch and Jessica Nigri as Anya Stroud from Gears of War 3. (You might remember Jessica as Pikachu a few years back.)

Here are some characters I’ve never seen cosplayed (l to r): Galacta (the daughter of Galactus) and Rojhaz (from Marvel 1602), animated-style Beetlejuice and Lydia Deetz, Judy and Jane Jetson. Bravo, all!

Darlene took these pics of probably the biggest gun on the floor.

One of my favorite crossplayers, Nicki Catterlin as Booster Gold, who ditched Skeets this year and is instead joined by BFF Blue Beetle (played by Mary Stanfield). Here’s Booster and Skeets in 2008.

Not to be outdone, here are some more crossplayers. Actually, they’re cosplaying DC’s Earth-11 heroes Green Arrow (Little Hotshot), Batwoman (Tallest Silver), Plastic Woman, Vixen and Flash (Catherine Pow). Kit Quinn was pulling double-duty this weekend as Superwoman (not pictured). More pics of them at this year’s WonderCon here!

Bring on the mutants! Here we have Dark Phoenix, X-23, Wolverine, Emma Frost and the Beast (doing the splits). Beast might look familiar— here he is in 2006.

Saturday was interrupted by some cosplayers who got into a fight outside of the convention center.

Here’s John Layman and Rob Guillory, fresh off their second Eisner Award win in as many years. And by “fresh” I mean “hungover.” If you’re not reading Chew, you should.

Say hello to Chris and Heather Barber, friends and former Union-Tribune co-workers of ours. This was their first SDCC and they LOVED it! (Also pictured is their entourage whose names I forget.)

Sean and Lacie came by with a print-out of the Cool Jerk strip I sneaked them into earlier this year, and I signed it for them. Lacie has come by the table probably every year since 2003, and Sean the year after (I know this because they’ve been subscribers that long). I’m a little sketchy on the details, but I think one of those Comic-Cons was one of their first dates… and they married last year!

Darlene and cartoonist Emi Lenox, discussing the convention, fashion tips or food. It was cool to meet Emi, especially after reading her book Emi Town. We’re glad she took some time to hunt us down and say “Hi!!”

As you can tell, Thor was a pretty popular costume choice this year. The best part of this photo is the guy in the background peeing on the wall. (Joke— don’t sue, Mr. Allegedly Peeing in Public Guy.)

Here’s a couple who Darlene officially refers to as “Sexy Chewbacca and Emo Han Solo.”

Isn’t he the most adorable lil’ serial killer you ever did see??

I love having cosplayers pose with my books. Here’s Tootsie, one of the best and most original costumes of the weekend! She told us “Some people think I’m cosplaying Ugly Jessica Rabbit.”

And here are… well, I actually don’t have a clue. Let’s call her Silver Bodypaint Alien Sexbot and her friend Ms. Fishnets. I took a photo of Ms. Fishnets holding my book Bimboozled last year, when she was dressed either as Emma Frost/White Queen or just forgot to put on all her clothes (the jury is still out). Note the dude in the background also taking advantage of the photo-op (yes, they were wearing thongs).

I think what we need is a palate-cleanser. Here are three lovely Disney princesses— Ariel, Belle and Snow White.

Darlene got to wander the exhibit hall quite a bit, sometimes to find friends, run errands, get lunch or do some shopping. One thing I look forward to each year is getting the new ashcan sketchbook by Adam Hughes. This year, Darlene was able to get Adam to do a sketch for me. She called to ask who I would want. I always wanted an Adam Hughes sketch! My mind started to race— Should I ask for one of Darlene’s or my favorite characters like Susan Storm or Barbara Gordon? Should I ask for someone obscure like Aurora of Alpha Flight? I decided on Puppy… and voila! *kermit flail* HOLY CRAP ADAM HUGHES DREW MY CHARACTER! *gets the vapors, faints*

Darlene also got to meet comics demigod Walt Simonson. “He was really, really nice!” Darlene says. She told him that I thought his run on Thor was one of the defining moments in Marvel Comics. He asked where I was and Darlene told him I was working my table. AND I WAS! >sob!< I met Walt back in 1985— he graciously autographed for me my set of every Thor comic he’d written and drawn (up to that point) PLUS drew a Thor for me on a comics backing board.

OK. Show of hands— who remembers “V?” I’m talking the original series from the ’80s, not the remake from last year. These guys rocked the freaking casbah. They even brought rats to snack on!

No convention is complete without a zombie outbreak in the Gaslamp Quarter.

As we were eating dinner alfresco outside Ralphs, Aquaman and, um, female Aquaman wandered by. I hope they weren’t offended— we were eating fresh-fried swai.

The end of the show. Here we are, packing it up and hauling it out. BONUS: I’ve attached my only existing photo from SDCCI 2003, the first year Cool Jerk exhibited in Small Press. Darlene hasn’t changed one bit in nine years!

As Comic-Con drew to a close, another life goal of mine was achieved. After years of searching, I finally found Waldo.

For more coverage, check out Darlene’s food-related Comic-Con blog post here!

SDCCI ’11— I survived!

San Diego Comic-Con International 2011 is in the rear-view mirror, and I caught the ConSARS/Nerd Flu as always. But I battled it hard and as of today, I’m nearly back to 100%! Lots of fun, but lots of work. It’s actually pretty grueling to work a convention, especially when it’s the hemisphere’s largest. Darlene and I took a slew of photos and I’ll get to those later in my annual SDCCI Photogasm Recap, as usual.

This year’s ’Con I debuted Cool Jerk OMG Color! Vol. 1, two new t-shirts and a dozen new varieties of Cool Jerk Canvas Panels. I was cautious of the economy and that I wasn’t offering a $12 book this year, but I must’ve hit the right chord with attendees because this year was my second-best in nine years of tabling in Small Press! Huzzah! That means I’m having THREE toppings on my pizza tonight!

This year’s coupon — available ONLY to subscribers — was like “Let’s Make a Deal.” With a coupon, you could either get a couple bucks off anything on the table, a character sketch or Door Number Three — the mystery gift! One reader got a Capri Sun. Another got an out-of-print limited edition Cool Jerk ashcan from 2007. Another got some Cool Jerk Post-It Notes and another got Puppy thong undiepants. Such is the way I thank you for supporting small press and independent cartoonists, and for being a subscriber!

ALSO— did you get a Cool Jerk cookie? Attendees who checked in at my table via foursquare and bought something got a free Cool Jerk cookie, courtesy Jenny Wenny Cakes. They were delicious!

The main attractions at Comic-Con were the “Twilight,” “Torchwood,” “Doctor Who” and “Glee!” panels, along with pretty much every upcoming movie in the next 12 months (“Avengers,” “Men in Black 3,” “Amazing Spider-Man,” the next Dark Knight movie, etc.). There was no shortage of Harry Potter or Captain America fans, either. In fact, I can’t recall seeing a single Johnny Depp wannabe from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. Maybe that’s all played out??

It’s always exciting to visit with friends who I usually only see at Comic-Con: Richard Foley & Karen, Jay Halili and Jamie Lim, Marc Mason, Eric and Jocelyn, Wendy the Rollergirl, Lacie and Sean Youtsey (married since last year’s ‘Con), Dennis Schamp, Kim the Catgirl & her mom, Bethany & Denzel and Marcus, Brian G., Marian, Bridget and Josh, Larry C., Dan B., Nathan, Barry, John, Ben, Joesph, Shaylan and Ty (of the Poway Posse), LEGO Maniac David Oakes, Jonathan Solomon, Peg and Ken Gartin, Mason, Erin, Linda, Jenny, J.P., Dana and her pal who loves Scooby-Doo, Demeterius, Brian G., a slew of former co-workers (Heather & Chris Barber, Michelle Breier, Rose & Jeff Dillon, Luis Monteagudo, Cristina Martinez Byvik, David Poller and Steve Schmidt), Apri, Steve Yatson and Fahim Niaz from Poser/Manga Studio. I also met Marianne (Gina’s neighbor), Brian Guthrie, Kalyan Pokala, Liz Ohanesian, Melodie Tao, Lauren & Dom from Australia, Sarah from Poway, Greg S., Randy, R.C., Lee Anne Moore and her Oceanside posse, Makenna and Jonathan and jeez probably a hundred other attendees! I also spotted Armando (who always stops by but this year we missed each other) and cosplayer pals Kit Quinn, Tallest Silver, Betty Felon and Jessica Nigri.

I got to see/say hi to/chat with colleagues JustJenn, Eric & Jodi Kurland, Sarah Kuhn and Jeff Chen, Daniel and Dawna Davis, Ryan Claytor, Ben Walker & Amanda, Jose Cabrera, Bavarian Erin and Superfro, Deb Aoki, James & Rebecca Hicks, Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga, John Layman, Keith Knight, Chet Phillips, Justin Orr, P.J. Perez, Leslie Levings and Allen Passalaqua.

I also got to meet fellow creators Neil Segura, Emi Lenox, Sarah and Beau Straub, Jim Lujan and our neighbors Ben Seto & Patrick.

It’s nearly impossible to mention you all. I hope I didn’t leave out anyone who’s reading this!

Special thanks goes to the other half of Team Cool Jerk, my wonderful wife Darlene! She’s becoming a veteran at table management and many people came by specifically to meet her in person. MWAH!

Photos to come!

Cool Jerk and San Diego Comic-Con 2011

It’s that time of year! I’m talking San Diego Comic-Con International, and Cool Jerk will be there OF COURSE!

So I bet you’re wondering, “What’s at the table THIS year, homeslice?” Well, I have a few offerings that will likely make you squeal “OMG!”

The first is the debut of Cool Jerk OMG Color! Vol. 1! Sorry about all the exclamation points, there. It’s a companion comic that contains EVERY Sunday-sized strip from Hodabeast and Chickadoowa… IN COLOR FOR THE FIRST TIME! Now that they’re in hand, I can attest that they look specTACular! They’re $4 each UNLESS you buy a Canvas Panel, T-shirt or both Hodabeast and Chickadoowa… then it’s FREE! (One freebee per qualifying purchase, please, since the print run is EXTREMELY LIMITED to 100 copies!)

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Another item that’s perfect for your house, office or motor home is the Cool Jerk Canvas Panel. I’ve added a dozen NEW panel choices to the series I started last year, and I’m sure you’ll want to buy 8-9 at a time! $15 each.

ALSO for the first time this year, I have a premium item for SDCCI— the Longform Canvas Panel! This is really limited to what you see here, in both black and white variations. They run $60 apiece. NOTE: Want your favorite strip on a canvas? Worry not— I will also take orders at the show!

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And did I mention T-shirts? Yes! Available in a myriad of sizes for both guys and gals are TWO shirts! The 20th Anniversary CJ shirt, which has probably your favorite character on it (trust me on this) and the JERKea shirt, which I beta-tested last summer to overwhelming acclaim! The CJ shirt runs $15 and JERKea is $20.

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I also have all the other items you’ve been jonesing for in years past, incl. ALL my books, Sharpie original art breakdowns, stickers, buttons and the like. We’re in the same spot we’ve always been, right by the Sweaty Cosplayer Hose-Down Station. Here’s a little map I whipped up while you were clipping your toenails.

(Click it to GET INTO THAT BAD BOY!)

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And starting tomorrow, be sure to check in to my table via foursquare for a special treat!

Hope to see you there!

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