POPCORN is a cartoon strip that George Cole wrote and I drew back in 1985 while we were living together at 189 North Auburndale ("Distemper House") in Memphis. I wrote the below introduction for a self-published 1989 fanzine that contained all 27 Popcorn strips. Since then George Cole has changed his name to George Takeada and Jello Biafra has taken a shit in his Bathroom.

• Long Live Charles Schultz • Mike McCarthy • Memphis, 2007


I look outside and see the rain...

It's been months since George's birthday and to tell the truth, I forgot about it. When I did remember it (I think he reminded me), I later thought, "Screw him, he never gives me anything - not even when we lived together!"

Well that's not entirely true. I never received many material things from George (he did cover the rent once or twice), but I did get lot's of inspiration and story ideas from our Cole-laborations together.

That list of team efforts is an unfinished and obscure (albeit timely) batch. If I have my way about it all these projects will one day come to light outside the pages of this volume in one form or another.

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KID ANARCHY, JUNKIE RATS & NOSEDIVE Fanzine were doomed projects and one-shots borne out of the 1983 & 84. And in them lay the seeds of POPCORN!


KID ANARCHY came about one evening in 1983 as Chuck Moonchow, George Cole, and I were sitting around my room. We were creating characters for some stupid contest the Comic Buyers Guide was running at the time. Chuck came up with a creature who ate Outer Space and George had the concept of CAPTAIN ANARCHY.

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The Captain soon became a kid. It had too. We populated the story with refreshing stereotypes and the rest is history ... our history anyway.

The kid represented a tiny span of time. The late '70's to the early '80's. The time in which it took him (and us) to grow up.

JUNKIE RATS was for an issue of FALLOUT (that free-thinking journal of the Eighties that poked anarchy at Ronald Reagan.

And of the publisher/artist of that paper we can only ask, "Winston Smith, where are you?"

The Dead Kennedys can no longer be reached for an answer.

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I remember discussing NOSEDIVE with George as he and first travelled back and forth to Memphis. The title was taken from a joke off the Letterman show.

It was to be a forum for KID ANARCHY and to glorify our retentive childhood traits; shared comic book memories like the Flash Veggie-Mobile or Four-Armed Stories).

There could also have been some Andy Kaufman worship in it too (the best and most misunderstood comedian ever!).

But don't look for NOSEDIVE in the cardboard box of your favorite haunt. It doesn't exist. I mean, there are only so many hours in an evening.

larger image of Kid Anarchy (unpublished)

The cloud of discontent that we first brought to Memphis (with Navy bound, fellow Rockroach John Prescott) was about waste high by 1985. George and I had gotten comfortable in Memphis by the Spring. We even had friends by the winter.

But the rebellious nature and cultural ideas behind the KID were fading. Like Hardcore was fading. The pop/social signposts of the early '80's are now taken for granted, sterilized, and mass-marketed.

The Dungeon & Dragon tapes played on, although those days were long gone. Our old friends, like John, had dropped out of sight and the new ones begain to get under our skin.

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To fill the void, George read Bloom County alot. I worked on my own ideas, like CADAVERA, whom i created initially on a trip back from Dallas with fellow BATPUNK Eric Page. Comico, a new publisher, showed interest in KID ANARCHY but later cancelled their amateur showcase book "Primer". The KID was shelved alongside Proudhon and ARCHIE Comics.

During this time, George convinced me to do thumbnail sketches of Chuck Moonchow and Sam Woodchuck (characters in KID ANARCHY) for a "Bloomish" strip called COLE COUNTRY (guess who thought that title up.) All that soon changed to drawing ourselves in the strip. More of that self-idolization spirit again. We figured that was doing Bloom County one better.

This was POPCORN!

It became an excellent soapbox for George to show his disdain for us anal retentives (ask him to show you his robust collection of beer cans sometime!) and his opinions of house guests, alcohol, and Music. I tried to put my opinions across with the expressions and visual reactions of the characters. I certainly knew my characters because they were real-life friends like Rusty Crump.

I disagreed with George on two items: The original name "Cole Country" (we came up with POPCORN while standing in the frozen foods section in Piggly Wiggly one night), and in refusing to draw the John Lennon strip which I thought an untrue representation of myself (if not the other people) in that particular strip. It is included here, undrawn, nonetheless.

Around that time, the end of '85 or so, POPCORN was bludgeoned in some corner of our brains (okay, my brain maybe). I had been invited in on a Memphis zine called ALL IN BLACK AND WHITE FOR A STAGGERING FEE by Mike Ward (aka MR. BOOGER) and Chas. Berlin (aka COIN OP MAN).

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Then after Eric, George, and I saw the Replacements in New Orleans (and again in Memphis), our band DISTEMPER began to jam and the promise of doing more POPCORN became a less priority. But passions fade, even most of the COKE YOUTH don't even drink the stuff anymore.

So where were you in 1985?

We were up to our ass in POPCORN.

Dingo Jones
Memphis, TN
May 29, 1989

larger image of Kid Anarchy Bunch

See all 27 Popcorn strips