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EndgameMar 7, 2019

(Click it to reduce eye strain!)

The note kind of spells it out.

NOT THE END! See you all again before you know it.

Cool Jerk and SDCC 2020, or “Sorry folks, park’s closed. Moose out front shoulda told ya.”Jul 22, 2020

This year, the “con crud” could kill you

Due to Covid-19, San Diego Comic-Con had to cancel its annual 5-day event for the first time in its 51-year history. I know people are depressed, disappointed, upset… but considering how every summer SDCC becomes a Petri dish with a population 133,000 regardless of a coronavirus (Darlene and I get sick about every third year post-con), I can’t even imagine how many people would be exposed to Covid-19. Due to my congenital asthma, I probably have less than a 50-50 shot at surviving a full-blown case.

I haven’t missed a SDCC since my first year attending in 1983; one year I only managed the last 3 hours on a Sunday but hey admission was like $6 and I got the souvenir book. I’d be absolutely ruined (emotionally) if I couldn’t make it due to illness or some other conflict (I blew off my 20-year class reunion because of SDCC)… but this year I’m just sad that so many people had to scuttle plans for this show, the largest of its kind in the U.S. And I really feel for my fellow professionals who rely on comic-conventions to make a living. For me, it’s officially a side hustle though I won’t sugar-coat it, I’ll definitely miss the income exhibiting at SDCC provides each year.

The last convention I exhibited at was San Diego Comic Fest in March, and it seems like last year TBH. I had hand sanitizer at my table, people were semi-jokingly greeting each other with elbow bumps and people were sharing news of other conventions/events across the U.S. that were being canceled (WonderCon, Emerald City Comic Con, SXSW, Burning Man, concerts, monster truck pulls, campaign rallies, etc.). The salad days.

A month later, the folks at SDCC announced their cancellation of the 2020 show, though they thought up a Plan B— a virtual comic-con you can attend from your home computer or mobile device. I haven’t seen it in action yet, but apparently you’ll be able to wander through the convention floor and explore exhibitors’ tables and booths as you would in real life. And it won’t cost a nickel to attend.

Not 100% certain how this Comic-Con@Home will translate to buying Cool Jerk books and merchandise from yours truly, but I think once you come to my “table” in Small Press, K-9, you’ll be able to link to my website and online store. From there, I think you can order my goods and I’ll ship them out (or maybe do a safe in-person delivery if you’re a local). As ever, I’ll personalize books to you and include a quickie character sketch.

This virtual comic-con will run today (Wednesday) through Sunday, July 26. I hope you’ll swing by between Zoom panels, YouTube programming, webinars, cosplay live-feeds and virtual awards ceremonies.

This summer just won’t feel the same without the annual pilgrimage to the San Diego Convention Center, loading in and setting up the Cool Jerk table, catching up with my friends, sharing war stories with fellow exhibitors, meeting (and making) new fans of Cool Jerk and Doc Splatter, stalking my mentors, having chance encounters with comics celebrities, buying that one item you can’t get anywhere else, “swimming through the sweaty rivers of meat” (i.e. the crowds) in order to explore the convention, laughing until I’m hoarse, having the traditional Saturday night downtown dinner with Darlene, taking photos of mind-blowing cosplay and exclusive merchandise, getting as-it-happens updates and scuttlebutt from the movie studios, the inevitable projectile vomiting (not necessarily from me)….

sigh.

Thanks for reading, thanks for coming by (virtually) and thanks for helping to support the independent creators. Darlene and I will miss you all terribly, but we’ll make up for it next year. Now be safe and go have fun!

Cool Jerk @ Reno Pop Culture Con 2019Nov 6, 2019

Reno — the birthplace of Cool Jerk and Doc Splatter — is hosting a comic convention this weekend, and Cool Jerk will be there!

Reno Pop Culture Con — a spin-off from the wildly popular Denver Pop Culture Con — will commandeer the Reno-Sparks Convention Center this Friday through Sunday, Nov. 8-10. I’ve been given the status of “Special Guest” so that means free limo and I get to cut to the front of any buffet line in town. Yes, even Circus Circus.

I’ll have copies of all my Cool Jerk books, including a small quantity of the limited edition, three-volume sets of my UNR college strip Like, For Shore!, all digitally remastered in lovely graphite. These are the strips that begat Cool Jerk, and no one AND I MEAN NO ONE has seen them all in their entirety like this! They’re a limited print run of 75 so be sure to put this top on your list!

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, enamel pins and other comics (Jerkopaedia, The Mightily Marvelous Cool Jerk Fun Book Vol. 1, The Girl Who Kicked the Donut Habit). Doc Splatter Ominous Omnibus? Hell yeah I have those, too! THIS IS DEFINITELY THE TIME TO SHOP! Nevada sales tax? I got your back. It’s all part of the price, friend… a perk of being a fellow Northern Nevadan.

 

Need directions? Here’s a locator I whipped up while eating an Awesome-Awesome.

So bring your Christmas shopping list and some folding money (I also take credit cards) and come by the Cool Jerk outpost J1 (Jay-one) in Artists Valley, on the right side of the hall en route to the celebrity veal pens.

SHOW HOURS
Friday, Nov. 8: 10am-7pm
Saturday, Nov. 9: 10am-7pm
Sunday, Nov. 10: 10am-5pm

SDCCI ’19 Photo RecapAug 1, 2019


San Diego Comic-Con 2019 was kind to Cool Jerk, despite me spraining my back a few days before the show and being in teeth-gritting agony most days. New items this year included The Mightily Marvelous Cool Jerk Fun Book (my legit first and only all-ages publication) and something I called the Official Cool Jerk Mystery Funbag, a blind box-style lootsack with roughly $80 of Cool Jerk merch for a mere $30. I had hidden behind the table a select few of the three-volume Like, For Shore! The Complete Works college strip collections. These were limited to 75 editions and I literally had them under wraps and off the table because they were made especially for Cool Jerk patrons who have all the books. (Also available to the general public via my Cool Jerk store, here!)

This was my 17th year in a row exhibiting in Small Press, in pretty much the exact same spot. What’s mind-blowing is that a bunch of high school kids I met that first year in 2003 (The Poway Posse) are now the same age I was when I met them! As ever, it was great to see so many of my friends and meet new ones. Special thanks to Nathan, Ricky and his nephew Brandon, and Richard’s pal Alex for helping me with table stuff this year.

Now, on with the show!

Here’s our doggo, Doctor, charming attendees outside Hall B. (The top photo is also him, cosplaying as Doctor Strange.)

Timely and popular cosplay pairs this year include Thanos and Death

… and Thanos with youngster Gamora.

Also popular this year were various takes from “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Especially Spider-Gwen (aka Ghost Spider) and warmup-sweats-wearing Peter Parker.

Saw this same dude at Denver Pop Culture Con earlier this summer, also cosplaying Madcap.

Sort of a casual-Friday-meets-hipster version of Thundercats’ Cheetara.

I confess I have no idea who she’s cosplaying. Anyone?

For all you European readers, here’s Obelisk and Asterisk. Nice job!

Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. The wardrobe and hair were on point; the fact he stayed in character (gait, exaggerated pantomiming) was just gravy.

Brianna Turnier as Jubilee (non-vampire version because she left her fangs at home). Her hands did give off bright lights, despite the photo.

Me, with a Damage Control employee and Taskmaster. Wish I’d gotten a full-figure pic of Taskmaster; George Pérez would’ve been honored.

PRO TIP: Try to call out a cosplayer by their character name when asking for pics or selfies. They love that. I was able to get Arachne‘s attention by calling out “Excuse me… Julia Carpenter? Can I get a pic with you?”

XY chromosome version of She-Ra and a non-barefoot Fred Flintstone (with bonus Dino).

I’m… not certain who they are, but they’re terrific. Anone throw me a bone here?

Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man. No safari jacket? Well, I can’t blame him. It was pretty warm and humid that weekend.

An above-average Felicia Hardy a.k.a. Black Cat.

Another Marvel couple— Havok and Polaris.

Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort. His wand fu was exceptional.

I wasn’t able to sneak away from the Cool Jerk table except for the few minutes before the show opens each day, but I was able to see the actual (?) prop of the Oxygen Destroyer from the first Godzilla movie, Gojira (1954). Also in the frame are one of King Ghidora‘s heads and a small-size Mothra larvae.

And I was also able to get a sweet, up-close pic of the actual Godzilla 2000 suit, also part of the Toho Pictures display.

Onto the Cool Jerk table itself. Here are a couple versions of my Cool Jerk enamel pins, where each pin comes with an original drawing on the backing board. These were both snatched up before the day ended.

This particular Cool Jerk Canvas Panel sold like gangbusters. In fact…

…this knot of Handmaids purchased the last one I had at the show. If you’d like one for yourself, buzz me (contact information at the top of the page) and order one up!

Totally unrelated to the previous photos, here are longtime pals Sean and Lacie. I was surprised they made it, what with Lacie being due pretty much two weeks after the ‘con. I think their not-quite-ready-for-the-world daughter cosplaying as the Death Star is adorable.

Also coming by the table are Mason and Pamela. I think I’ve known Mason at least 10 years and Pamela had just cleaned off her cosplay…

…as Pennywise. (FULL DISCLOSURE: This pic of Pamela, promoting the “IT!” board game, was not taken by me.)

Our cartoonist buddy Abby Denson (Dolltopia) came by and got to catch up a bit with Darlene.

Sorry, folks— another one I don’t recognize. Anyone…?

My cosplay of the day winner was this rather dark version of Ariel

…and the following day I had to give it to Vlad Dracul.

Cool Jerk @ San Diego Comic-Con 2019Jul 18, 2019


OK I’m officially old. No, not because I turned 50 (!) since last year’s San Diego Comic-Con International (map below). Not because this is Cool Jerk’s 17th consecutive year in Small Press. But because I sprained my back carrying some of the tablescape out of storage (seen above). PRO TIP: don’t sprain your back. If anyone asks you “hey, wanna sprain your back?” Just remember my advice and kindly decline.

Pain and limited mobility aside, just because I’m taking a sabbatical from the weekly comic doesn’t mean I’m not bringing new, fun stuff to the show!


First and foremost is The Mightily Marvelous Cool Jerk Fun Book! It’s my first all-ages product, if you can believe that. *looks through archive, believes it* It’s a magazine-sized laugh-maker filled with puzzles, games, mazes and other fun stuff. A mere $7. (Later this year will be volume 2, which will be most-ages. Stay tuned!)


Also this year I have a special product— the official Cool Jerk Mystery Funbag! Anyone remember the Happy Happy Funbags from the mid-2000s? Well, it’s like that Funbag had a baby with a Lootcrate and voilà! It’s a blind buy, but guaranteed in each Funbag is one random Cool Jerk book, Doc Splatter Ominous Omnibus, a Cool Jerk T-shirt, Fridge Bling (Cool Jerk magnet— brand new!), a Cool Jerk window decal, stickers, Post-Its, a random Canvas Panel… and a heap of other stuff! Limited to 15 Funbags, this is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to quickly catch up on Cool Jerk swag or take care of that special someone’s birthday or Christmas gift. Easily a $70+ value, but only $30. Sorry, online folks— I can’t really ship this out without adding a dumb amount of postage.

I still have a limited quantity of Like, For Shore! The Complete Works. It’s three volumes collecting more than 170 college-era strips that preceded Cool Jerk. Armpit, Puppy and the rest of the Spittle Beach gang are all there, and I remastered nearly every strip in graphite. The first printing is in a very limited run of 75 signed and numbered copies, and most are gone. Sold as a set, $18.

Like every year I added some new Canvas Panel designs, which I’ll Tweet during the show (find me on Twitter: @cooljerk). I also reprinted a stack of old favorites that always seem to sell out. $15 a pop, or $40 if you want a long-form canvas (contains a whole strip, not just one panel), which I can custom-make for you if you order one up in person or online.

I have a limited supply of last year’s runaway hit, the Cool Jerk Enamel Pins. They’re $10 and you get one-of-a-kind original art with each pin. Choose among the Cool word balloon, Jerk thought balloon and/or the ubiquitous CENSORED bar… perfect for any jacket, backpack or tongue piercing!

Attendees will also find The Girl Who Kicked The Donut Habit (Darlene’s second comic) and the Jerkopædia (Official Style Guide to Cool Jerk), both of which I’ll have on hand in limited supply. Also running a bit low on T-shirts, but I’ll bring what I have.

And last but not least, here’s a convenient map I whipped up while sucking down some CBD.

Click it!

Hope to see you at the show!

Cool Jerk and I are taking a breakApr 16, 2019

Hi, everyone— buckle in for some quick Cool Jerk news!


• Have you checked out the latest Cool Jerk? In the longest single Cool Jerk story arc, I wrapped up a 10-year dangling plot thread and put a bow on it, bringing closure to the whole “shabu shabu to go” story line from 2008 (!). This leads me to the next blurb.

•Due to the National Emergency that’s going on, I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from weekly Cool Jerk strips. Just doesn’t seem right to cartoon while, you know, we’re in the middle of a National Emergency. On the flip side, this will give me time to complete TWO all-new Cool Jerk books that will be back from the printers before I exhibit at the Denver Pop Culture Con (May 31-June 2). I’ll likely return to Cool Jerk later in the year (so long as the National Emergency ends, of course); I have some changes in mind that might make it necessary to call it “Cool Jerk 2.0.” Stay ‘tooned to my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates, random nonsense and such.

• At San Diego Comic-Con last summer, I unveiled the never-before-seen remastered college strips — Like, For Shore! The Complete Works. (Read more about the LFS! collections here.) The first printing is limited to 75 copies, and some are now available at the Cool Jerk store!

• Cool Jerk will be at Southern California Comics (Kearny Mesa, San Diego) on May 4 for Free Comic Book Day. In the spirit of the day, I will legit have about 25 Cool Jerk books available for FREE. And I’ll have other items for sale, too (such as Like, For Shore! numbered collections, enamel pins, canvas panels, t-shirts and other stuff)! Selling merch means I can fund the next book. And speaking of…

• Work is well underway on the new Cool Jerk collection. These things take time but I intend to have it off to the printers in late 2019 or early 2020. Its name: Cool Jerk Vol. 5: WUAAARGH.

Thanks for reading, stick around and I hope to see you online (and/or at FCBD, Denver and/or San Diego Comic-Con)!

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