Cooner was born to a family of raccoons in the Lehigh Valley, just north of the Philadelphia area in Eastern Pennsyvlania.
Growing up in rural suburbia, he entertained a number of interests through childhood, including science, computers, cooking, and architecture. Ultimately, though, he would be destined to draw cartoons and funny animals.
He's spent time living in central Florida, Southern California, and central Texas since that time, but currently he's keeping an eye on the trash cans of San Jose in Northern California.
A random assortment of facts about Cooner:
- He earned a bachelor's degree in Graphic Arts and Advertising Design, with a minor in Computer Science. At the time, graphic arts often involved optical typesetting and mechanical paste-up, and computer science involved stringing NAND gates together and fiddling with assembly code.
- In college he completed a year-long independent project and wrote a thesis titled Sequential Art and the Use of Anthroporphic Animal Characters, for which he graduated with Honors.
- He was cartoonist for his high school newspaper, editor-in-chief of his college newspaper, promotions manager for his college radio station, and for a time he was Layout Editor and Production Manager for a regional business journal.
- He worked on at least one theatrically released film.
- His name has appeared in the credits of several television series, in type so small and fast it could barely be seen by the naked eye.
- He has been Lead Animator or Art Director on a number of educational computer games.
- As a street caricature artist, he has drawn pictures of people from all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, England, Japan, and India.
- He was once asked to draw a guest as Indiana Jones running down a mountain of spaghetti escaping a giant rolling meatball while carrying the Holy Eggplant. This he illustrated with aplomb.
- He's storyboarded two feature films that were never produced.
- He's drawn a mural in front of hundreds of children and adults as a wind ensemble played Peter and the Wolf behind him.
- He once had sushi with Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Joel paid the bill.
- He worked for two years in a tobacco store, and has never smoked in his life.
- He worked for three years in a neighborhood deli, and has eaten many, many sandwiches.
- He worked in a technical support call center for three weeks.
- He likes all kinds of international cuisine, but has never gotten the hang of mushrooms.
- He once rescued a dog, and misses her very much now that she's gone.