Posts Tagged Jane Wiedlin

Thinkulus is here and ready for the show

The fourth Cool Jerk volume, Thinkulus, has officially arrived here at Cool Jerk Base Camp Zebra. It was a long journey and I had to deal with some of the worst customer service ever in order to get it printed, but the end result is pretty spiffy. It looks especially nice next to the other volumes.

Thinkulus will drop at SDCC, then will be available at Like previous volumes, it has more than 200 strips, many of which are “book exclusive.” Sketches, Director’s Commentary, the Index… no Cool Jerk collection would be complete without ’em! All the comics are digitally remastered and look incredible compared to reading them online. The foreword is by my favorite cyborg and long-time fishing buddy Jane Wiedlin (Go-Go’s), and the back cover blurb is by my other long-time fishing buddy and Cool Jerk contest winner Jamie Lim. Retail price is $12 for 144 pages of quality entertainment.

(It sounds like several Comic-Con regulars aren’t going to be at the show this year. If that ends up being the case, I’ll hold another “Cool Jerk Comic-CAN” here in San Diego somewhere so we can visit a bit in person instead of ordering via the mail. I’ll keep everyone posted!)

Thinkulus is coming…

Apparently enough of you guys like Hodabeast, Chickadoowa and Bimboozled enough to merit Cool Jerk Vol. 4: Thinkulus… because it’s at the printers and it’ll be here in about six weeks. Let me tell you a little bit about it!

• It’s a handsome tome, in the same format and architecture as previous volumes. It contains more than 210 comics, a whopping 10 percent of which are brand-new for the book! THAT’S JUST CRAZYPANTS!! And like previous book-only strips, they’re not available online so don’t bother looking! On second thought, knock yourself out!

• Foreword is by the ever-charming and delightful Jane Wiedlin.

• I held a Facebook contest to decide which route to take for the cover illustration: The Lynch Mob or Dangerman vs Pokéyman. The votes were tallied and not only did you vote for Dangerman vs Pokéyman BUT I randomly selected one winning voter to adorn my cover with a blurb. Congratulations, Jamie Lim! I don’t think a comic-con has gone by without her visiting the Cool Jerk table; hoping this year is no different!

Side note: I occasionally hold contests and/or encourage readers to participate in Cool Jerk hi-jinks. The Facebook contest was open only to people who gave that page a LIKE. So if you haven’t already, please give that page a LIKE so you can participate in future crowdsourcing interactions!

Thinkulus is 144 pages of comics, sketches, cutting-room floor rarities and other worthwhile stuff. People just love the director’s commentary and anal-retentive index, so we’ve got those, too!

Thinkulus retails for the low, low price of $12, and will be available at San Diego Comic-Con International (its debut) and at the Cool Jerk store and thereafter.

What have I done…?!? (or, “I had no Clue!”)

So I was at WonderCon (San Francisco) last week, manning the Cool Jerk table and all the things that entails — selling books and T-shirts, doing sketches, chatting with readers and making new friends, Tweeting and texting updates to Darlene (she opted to stay in San Diego so she could join me in Phoenix next month).

A couple of petite women wandered up to my table amid a small flurry of traffic. They started leafing through my Cool Jerk books and after a few seconds, the one closest to me dressed in pink and green gestured to the covers of my books and asked, “So are you a fan of The Capitols?” (the reference: The Capitols did the song “Cool Jerk” in 1966)

My face widened in a smile, “No, I’m much more of a Go-Go’s fan.” The gal who asked the question smiled back. (the reference: The Go-Go’s covered “Cool Jerk” on their 1982 album “Vacation.”)

We chatted the usual comic-con small talk back and forth across the table for a minute or two. “Are you having a good convention?” “How many times have you been to WonderCon?” “Has it started raining outside?” “Are you here all three days?” Her answers led me to think I might be talking to a fellow professional, as she said she’s been to the San Diego Comic-Con International a few years in a row and that it’s good to chill out at WonderCon where she can just walk around and have fun. I glanced down at her badge but it was turned around, so her identity remained a complete mystery. But I had a gut feeling, brought on by her answers and a familiar, distinctive squeakiness in her voice that I didn’t quite place when we first started talking. I waited until she was looking away and I said one word.


She turned around and said, “Yes?”

Yes, this whole time I was talking to Jane Wiedlin. Guitarist of The Go-Go’s. And I sincerely had no Clue up until about 30 seconds into our chat. (I wonder if someone were filming this, at what point I had my “a-ha” moment… and if it was even noticeable)

I continued with my conversation. “At the expense of being a dork, could I get a photo of you, please?” Jane not only said yes, but came around to my side of the Cool Jerk table. She introduced me to her sister, who graciously took a photo of us. I took another one for good measure. Afterward we continued chatting about comics. She said she’ll be at SDCCI promoting her comic — Lady Robotika — coming out this summer. I told her to come by Small Press and say Hi again.

Photo by Meg Wiedlin

Photo by Meg Wiedlin

As they were leaving, I said “Hold on a sec.” I gave Jane the display copy of the ladies’ Cool Jerk tank with narrow strappy straps as a thank you for the decades of good music. I asked her to wear it in good faith and promote Cool Jerk — whether lounging around or washing the car, etc. She said, “Oh! I’ll probably have to wear something underneath it,” as she held it up to her small frame and laughed.

Jane rocks (you can tell by the secret double devil-horn hand gestures)!

Jane rocks (you can tell by the secret double devil-horn hand gestures)!

Jane Wiedlin. How ’bout that. Anyone who’s known me for more than a few years knows I adore The Go-Go’s. I even have an autographed Go-Go’s poster on the wall next to my Mac that I got in San Diego at a 1999 reunion concert.

I texted Darlene immediately afterward and we laughed loud about it, because Darlene has an otherworldly ability to lock in and remember faces in some cyber-techo-organic mental database. SHE would’ve known that was Jane Wiedlin 20 yards away. God as my witness (and Jane, if you’re reading this, I’m crapping you not), it took me a minute of conversation — WELL AFTER I mentioned I was a Go-Go’s fan — before I realized who I was talking to.

A couple days later I’m back in San Diego, and I know I have to write a blog about this. I wanted to verify Jane’s sister’s name, but the Internet wasn’t very helpful in that regard. So I Tweeted her and asked, “@janewiedlin I’d like to give credit to your sister for taking a photo of us at #wondercon; Meg, right?”

A little while later Jane replied, “Yes, Meg! I love my CJ dress, wearing it as nightie.”

>shudder< WHAT HAVE I DONE…?!? Fellas (and a bunch'a you ladies, don't deny it), I apologize -- if it weren't for Cool Jerk, Jane Wiedlin would be sleeping in the nude.

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