Maggot, Mokey™ and a Memorial — Part I

When this year was barely a week old, I’d decided it was time to shake up the very foundation of Cool Jerk. I had four goals in mind:

• Focus on some of the b-list characters that never carry storylines on their own,
• Give Maggot a “make-over” (so to speak),
• Introduce and eliminate a character from Cool Jerk, and
• Pay respects to a friend who passed away last year.

And with the culmination of the 5-month Maggot/Mokey™ odyssey, I’ve done exactly that.

First, I wanted to focus on the b-listers. Despite Maggot being featured on the cover of Chickadoowa, I always considered him/her a b-list character — someone who never had enough gravitas to carry his/her own story aside from general punkass hi-jinks and being a target of retaliation. With the addition of Maggot’s unnamed friend (more on him later), Dangerman, Seashelly Dumpster, Pokéyman and Ah-Kan Dahak, suddenly I had a new cast of characters to write, even though most of them are Cool Jerk veterans of 20+ years.

For the love of god please don't click the image!

Maggot appeared in the very first Like, For Shore! (my college comic strip that beget Cool Jerk) on Sept. 1, 1987, along with Armpit, Puppy and Manhattan. I’ve had in my mind ever since reintroducing Maggot in Cool Jerk (Jan. 30, 1993) that his/her shtick would be gender ambiguity, which he/she would use for the following 21 years as a defining character trait. There’s even a pencil sketch of “female” Maggot in Hodabeast, which published in 2007. So at the very least, I’d been thinking about the “Maggot make-over” story for at least seven years. Once I saw a commercial for Axiron — and its side effects disclaimer — I knew I had to give Maggot the bewbs. The big reveal: Maggot is a girl.

Also debuting in the same 1993 strip with Maggot is “Maggot’s unnamed friend,” as he’s been known for more than 20 years (even getting index entries with that name in all four Cool Jerk books). It wasn’t until this storyline that I decided to reveal his name, who he is and then retire him indefinitely.

Next: The sad story of Mokey™

  1. Marek says:

    I love reading backstories on comics.


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