Posts Tagged Takin’ care of business

Cool Jerk Invades Wyoming, Utah and Nevada

So I bet you’re wondering: What about the second half of my Denver Comic Con road trip? Well, let me tell ya about it.

The Loft crew and my forehead (Cheyenne, Wyo.)


Once Denver Comic Con wrapped up (Memorial Day evening), I loaded the car and headed due north up I-25… which is the exact opposite route to return to San Diego. WAS I CONFUSED? ROAD-WEARY? ADDLED? Nope, I had designs on going to Cheyenne that evening, specifically The Loft— Wyoming’s best comic book shop. I arrived right at dusk, met with The Loft crew (incl. David J., Eric W. and Chris C.) and sold them a sizable stack of Cool Jerk books. The Loft gets my highest recommendation; the shop is clean and kid-friendly, the staff is helpful and super-engaged, and the owners (who were also en route from Denver Comic Con at the time) were exceptionally gracious in stocking their shelves with my books. I’d like to have a book signing there sometime in the future. Maybe next year?

Night Flight Comics' Mimi Cruz and my forehead (Salt Lake City, Utah)


Speaking of having a book signing, I had a pre-planned engagement at Night Flight Comics in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, so I continued west on I-80 and spent the night in Laramie. The next morning I continued on to Salt Lake City and had dinner with Mimi Cruz, the co-owner/manager of Night Flight Comics’ two locations in SLC. After a good night’s rest, I had my signing the next morning. I tried something different: I offered a free copy of Cool Jerk Vol. 1: Hodabeast to the first 25 people who either Liked! my Cool Jerk Facebook page or signed onto my subscriber list. I got to meet a bunch of Night Flight’s regulars and introduce them to Cool Jerk (some folks went ahead and bought other copies and some canvas panels, too). I’m hoping these Cool Jerk newbies will be full-fledged Cool Jerk addicts by time I have a follow-up book signing. Thanks so much to Mimi and her crew for the hospitality, professionalism and adding a new stack of Cool Jerk books to Night Flight’s shelves.

Jim Burns and my forehead


I couldn’t stay more than 4 1/2 hours at Night Flight because I was driving back to San Diego that day… which is about 11 hours southwest on I-15. I barreled along for more than 700 miles and will say the trip was pleasant and largely uneventful, aside from a quick meet-up with James Burns (if the name sounds familiar to you Cool Jerk readers, he’s the one who scripted Dangerman’s dialogue in his first appearances). I’ve known Burns for 35 years (!) and a couple years ago he and his family moved to Las Vegas. I couldn’t stay for more than 15-20 minutes because it was getting late, but I needed to hand-deliver a copy of Cool Jerk Vol. 4: Thinkulus to my bro. That’s customer service, I tell you what!


(ADDENDUM: Here’s a map for you road-trip enthusiasts. I removed the alternate route through Phoenix and Albuquerque.)


Denver Comic Con Photo Recap — from Ant-Man to Zardoz!

Memorial Day weekend was Denver Comic Con’s fourth annual show and it keeps getting bigger each year (word is that attendance surpassed 100,000, up from 86,000 in 2014). That’s an incredible growth spurt… it’s now the third-largest comic convention in the U.S.!

Like last year, I had help from long-time friend (and new Denver citizen) Monica Mendoza, who acted as a guest member of Team Cool Jerk while Darlene stayed in San Diego. I’m not sure having a show right on Memorial Day was a good idea, especially when Denver had been gripped by several straight days of rain and gloom (and people were itchin’ to be outdoors). I think Monday sold out, but as of Sunday evening tickets were still available. In all, it was a decent show. Thanks, Denver!

And now, onto the photos!


This motley crew was the first batch of cosplayers I saw Saturday morning. I like the look of contempt that Mr. Fantastic is giving arch-nemesis Dr. Doom.


No comic-con is complete without a Batgirl.


Popular theme this year was Avengers crossplay; saw many gals dressed as Captain America and Iron Man. While Loki has appeared as a female on occasion (in the comics), this Thor has not.


Here’s a crossplayer of Winter Soldier. The costume was top-notch.


Magik of the New Mutants, in her modern outfit. I can never get enough of the New Mutants (they’re rarely cosplayed).


A couple years ago I took a pic of a terrific Jubilee. Here’s the vampire version.


Brock Samson and Molotov Cocktease (Venture Bros.) wandered by my table (posing with them is my table neighbor, Joe Becker).


Skrull version of Reed Richards and human version of Sue Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. (I wonder if Sue is really a Skrull — they’re tricky!)


Where else but at a comic-con do you see Deadpool and Beetlejuice taking selfies together?


Straight from Westeros comes Queen Margaery Tyrell and Olenna Tyrell.


Fun candid of Dr. Strange fielding a call.


Thought I’d see more Flash cosplayers (especially since he’s got a successful series on the CW), but this one was hard to beat.


Another year, another appearance by the terrific Hawkgirl and Hawkman!


Here’s the Cartoon Network version of fan-favorite Teen Titan… Starfire!


One of the best cosplayers at the show… Ant-Man!


It isn’t a Denver Comic Con without my pal Isabelle Laursen as Firestorm. You’ll see her in each of my previous Denver Comic Con photo-recaps. How tall is that fiery plume of hair?


Here’s another pic, with me used for scale!


Well, this is just about adorable — Lil’ X-Man Rogue and Old Man Logan!


Not sure if this qualifies as “best for last,” but here’s the first Zardoz cosplayer I’ve ever witnessed with my own two eyeballs.


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!


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