Part of our agreement with the law firm we keep on retainer, Hart, Chapman, & Knox, is that we are required to keep meticulous records. All Hard Knock intellectual property needs to be catalogued, scanned, backed up, backed up off-site, or destroyed (on the occasion we need to rewrite a bit of history). Recently I was forced into a room with H C & K’s archivist Ferginald (or whatever the fuck his name is) and spent countless hours* reviewing materials and providing mind-numbing metadata. Digging through documents from The HK Archives, I rediscovered these early mock-ups from The Hard Knock Gear Catalog.
By 2000, the demand for HK gear had reached a fever pitch. Stickers and pogs were selling out. Tee shirts wouldn’t stay on the shelves in the Yonkers store for more than a day and were being resold on eBay at huge markup. We couldn’t hire interns in charge of hiring interns fast enough to keep up.
Stickers and pogs were selling out.
We thought it was well time that fans earned their gear. That’s when “Satch Points” (later re-imagined as “Dhoti Points”) were to be added as clippable coupons to the back covers of reprinted issues. Readers could redeem their collected points for rare Hard Knock gear at the sacrifice of the resale value of their precious books.
You grade schoolers might not remember but cashing in points for shit was all the rage back then. Before he was assassinated, Joe Camel’s phallic face was all over Monopoly-style moneys which could be exchanged for the grandest of beach towels or the most enviable of poker sets.
Cashing in points for shit was all the rage back then.
In 2000, you had gear coming out of all your orifices except for the ones you used to smoke with. That’s exactly why the catalog never saw print. The gear economy crashed and burned before we could bring it to our fans. By late 2000, you couldn’t find a mini catalog printer who would take the work at any price. Lawyers would refuse to craft that silly “Terms and Restrictions” copy that denies anyone in Hawaii and Alaska from participating. We had to pitch the idea altogether.
Somewhere in the New Mexico desert, I’m not saying where, huge stacks of Hard Knock back issues worth hundreds of thousands of Dhoti Points are buried. I thought Hawaii would be best, you know, just to be safe, but I was outvoted.
Please enjoy the few remaining scraps of The Hard Knock Gear Catalog from the Archive.
*He’s a damned OCTOPUS, that Reginand is! We could’ve been done in a fraction of the time if it weren’t for his intrepid groping.