Sometime in September 2016, the Big Head Logo Series used for years at jerrysierra.com was removed from the site without warning. The logo family, which emerged as a playful branding element owing as much to The Three Stooges as to Salvador Dali and Terry Gilliam, were rumored to have grown out of sync with recent site priorities.
A surprising new logo, more “contemporary and cheerful,” appeared in its place over the September 24-25 weekend. At the same time, a “temporary Logo Gallery Holding Cell” emerged, featuring most of the logos that had been employed by Sierra since 2009.
This is what we know so far; Starting at about 9 p.m. the previous Friday (Sept. 23), deportation forces began to herd the aging logos into a police wagon and transported them to the Logo Gallery Holding Cell, supposedly “for their own safety.” Some logos that tried to escape were “deleted on sight.”
Mr. Sierra, owner and operator of the site, as well as the creative force behind Unreality Studios, contends that the upgrade was “long overdue,” and refused to answer questions about rumored animosity towards the once popular Big Heads.
Hours later, a secret memo describing the new logo as an “evolutionary upgrade” was leaked to KRON’s Daria Folsom.
That afternoon, at a press conference, a Hoodline Daily reporter asked whether “the monkey logo” symbolized a new focus for the web site. In anger, Sierra burst from behind a set of partitions to respond. “They’re not monkeys,” he screamed, “they’re apes!”
The young reporter did not see the glowing intensity in Sierra’s eyes and asked, still thumbing on his phone, “what’s the difference?” Sierra approached the inquisitor, who suddenly grasped the possibility of not making it home for the Holidays.
“One is a beautiful creature capable of love, art and deep reflection,” snapped Sierra, suddenly grasping a crowd of potential witnesses, “the other just reports what Apes do.”
The Sierra spoke briefly about the new logo, and in a seemingly unscripted moment, referred to the Apes as “the purest example of Earthly existence to ever grace our planet.” No questions were taken about the leaked memo.
Pundits and bloggers questioned the humanity of wiping out “a whole race of logos” that had worked hard for the site since the beginning. Some asserted that Sierra had “gone nuts,” or “is being controlled by the Trump,” or “needs a week in the Bahamas.”
On the third day of the hullabaloo, Big Head fans engineered a letter-writing campaign demanding the Big Heads be returned to their old jobs.
Hours later, KRON’s Will Tran filed this report:
Sierra’s response to the threat of forthcoming letters was quick; he stuck his head out the window (facing the crowd) put his right thumb on the tip of his nose (with his hand stretched out vertically) and wiggled his fingers. Witnesses said they could hear a faint laugh when a mysterious hand reached out, grabbed his hair and pulled him back into the apartment…
Later that night Sierra tried to diffuse the controversy in a brief Q & A with CNN's Anderson Cooper. “I’ve no animosity against the Big Heads,” he said, responding to obvious soft-ball questions. “But they’ve already had their symbolic ‘third’ Star Trek season. It’s time for the site to move on.”
“It can’t end there,” said Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to Rachel Maddow that evening, alleging that foul play may have been involved. “Taxpayers want to know what happened to the missing Big Head Logos that are NOT present in the so-called Gallery Holding Cell” she said passionately, and why they were excluded. “I’ve written a letter to the Justice League of North America outlining my concerns and requesting an immediate investigation.”
To close that night’s show, Maddow produced one of the missing logos, known as Big Head Snake Plisken, who claimed to have escaped from a scheduled “file shredding” procedure. “We represented a… more academic approach to the web site,” he said tearfully. “We’re too… cerebral for modern web audiences.”
Maddow insisted that Sierra show proof that the missing logos were not hurt, and that current site-wide vicissitudes be clarified.
Known as an eccentric recluse who doesn’t answer his phone, promote his products or issue press releases, The Sierra was forced to make another reluctant public appearance. The following report was filed by KRON’s Will Tran;
The crowds grew outside the Sierra balcony, screaming for a response from the ‘logo killer.’ From inside the compound a fog cloud was seen slowly approaching the balcony.
The crowd seemed alarmed when Sierra emerged from the fog and transformed… right before our eyes, into Thulsa Doom, as played by James Earl Jones in Conan the Barbarian.
A collective sigh of fear was heard as the sky darkened, and Sierra spread his arms to the side, palms up like two snakes. “I… SEE… YOU…”
The crowd responded in awe, then silence.
Then he took a few steps to the side and, again before our eyes, transformed into José Martí (at Steck Hall in 1892) … “FOR CUBA, THE FIRST WORDS…” He didn’t say another word about Cuba, and the next few minutes played like a press conference from the Dark Ages.
In Marti’s voice, he told of using his Jedi powers to communicate with artisans and philosophers from throughout history to embrace the ideas possible through the site’s new logo.
“There are no laws requiring us to make public the details of a site redesign,” he said, alternating between Martí’s voice and that of James Earl Jones. “The new logo serves our current needs and will remain.”
And after a brief silence; “That is all I have to say,” he concluded in his own voice before slowly dissolving into thin air, arms to the side with palms out, like Eisenheim The Illusionist, until he completely vanished.
Sierra has not been seen in public since, though there have been unconfirmed rumors of him buying coffee at Peet’s on Market Street near Castro after 11pm. But these are just rumors. The local coffee hounds refuse to confirm or deny such rumors, and will not speak about The Sierra with “outsiders.”