Saturday, 16 February 2019

TL:DW, Please Hold For Dave Sim 12-6-2018 the transcript

Hi, Everybody!

How's ya doin'?

So the Kickstarter for the Postcard From Hell? is already funded, just under the wire with only... twenty-eight days left. Hoo-Boy, it's gonna be a long month...

Here's something that happened:

So I asked on the Kickstarter:
Hello Sean Michael Batman's-grand-son*,
Senior Edit-Man: Matt Dow for the Moment of Cerebus dot comma-comma-comma-comma-chameleon webysite here.
Questions: so, are these numbered cards, available like the other Kickstarters where we can get a certain numbered card? And are the "Beat to Hell" tier and the "'DON'T YOU DARE DAMAGE MY @#$%ING POSTCARD!'" tier numbered in the SAME batch, or are they two DIFFERENT batches? And if they ARE two different batches, what if you only buy the one and want your "fer-special number" in THAT tier, but not the other? Can Jeff Seiler (Hi Jeff!) come in and swipe it out from under you (that S!O!B!!!)? And if he does, would Ben Hobbs and Dave Birdsong travel to his house in a beat up Ford pick-up truck and beat him up for you "Any-Which-Way-But-Loose"style? AND, if they WOULD, which one would be the orangutan? AND and, where do you get off calling that one a monkey? The nerve of you. You're a disgrace to your grandfather Batman.
For shame Sean.
For. Shame.
Okay, now that I've overly complicated things, Bye!
Matt Dow-World's best Edit-Man, Precious Cerebus Moments dot commie-pinkos
*See, 'cause Sean's last name is ROBINson, and Robin is Batman's son (sorta), which makes Sean Batman's grandson (sorta). Say... has anybody ever SEEN Sean Michael Robinson AND Batvark AT THE SAME TIME?!?!?!?!?!?
And I also faxed that up to Dave, as one does, and Dave responded thusly:
 So know YOU know.

And now for our regular scheduled posting:

We once again have the return of the FIRST AMOC Special Friend Of The Day of 2019!

Jesse Lee Herndon!

Still, Suitable for framing...
You all remember how Jesse won such a Prestigious Award, right?

He transcribed Please Hold For Dave Sim 12/6/2018.

And here it is:

Please Hold For Dave Sim, 12/6/2018 recorded by Matt Dow. Transcribed by Jesse Lee Herndon, transcript reviewed and corrected by Dave Sim and Matt Dow.


Matt: Hi Dave!…How’s it goin’?
Dave: …Can you hear me?
Matt: I can hear you. Can you hear me?
Dave: I can hear you.
Matt: Alright! 
Dave: Okay! Uhh… thank you for sending me the fax with sort of an outline of what we’re gonna do. Talking about the Dark Class/Deadly Class thing, that was a weird one, because definitely I was talking to a guy that works on the show, and he was calling it Dark Class. So, it… you were the one who first identified it for me as a comic book. Have you been buying it all along?
Matt: My friend Nick buys comics by the… pretty much the truckload, and lends me everything.
Dave: So, how many issues has there been?
Matt: There’s six trades, I think it’s six issues per trade, so probably in the 30s?
Dave: Oh, how ‘bout that. Have you been keeping up with it?
Matt: I read the first one, and I thought, “Okay, that’s interesting”, and I thought it was a done in one and then he lent me the next volume and I’m like, “Wait, that wasn’t a six issue miniseries?” and he’s like “no, it’s an ongoing”, and I’m like “oh, okay”, and I haven’t gotten to the second one yet, but I have 2 through 6 on my nightstand.
Dave: Alright, well it’s interesting that Brent-Nancy talked about us on Comicshop website, it compelled me to go back and go, “When did The Comicshop advertise in Cerebus?” And it turns out I had drawn an ad for them that was in Cerebus from #14 through #20, of Cerebus, and then they decided to get someone… they got, I think George Metzger to do an ad for them and that was in issues #21 to #26, so they were there for one full year.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: And… it’s definitely a positive association comic book store for me. Always had good signings there. I was… you wrote on here Diana Schutz’s comments, “so make of that what you will.” I wrote my little note here, “what do you make of it”?
Matt: (laughs) I, I… It was one of those, somebody commented on it on a post on AMOC with a link to the Facebook group and I went to it and I’m like, “Okay. I don’t know that Dave would have a problem with this.”
Dave: No, no. It was a little odd in that sense, I mean, I do not associate Diana Schutz with The Comicshop. That was one of those, if you had told me, “Did you know that Diana Schutz worked at The Comicshop?” I would probably have said, “yeah I knew that”, but you never know if just you’re giving yourself a false memory of some kind. I associate Diana Schutz with Comics and Comix Berkeley. Because that was where I first met her, when Deni and I were on the US tour, and I went and checked that too, that was October 21st, 1982. And I got the photo of Deni and Diana and I at Comics and Comix Berkeley and I got Rolly to scan it and he will be emailing it to you.
Matt: I do have it! He sent it yesterday I think.
Dave: How about that? Man! We’re far more efficient than I think we are.
Matt: So I’m gonna put it below the video when I post this on Saturday.
Dave: Okay, okay great, yeah.
Matt: So everybody, look down.
Dave: (laughs) yeah, the other big association with The Comicshop for me is that is where I met Eddie Khanna. So, that’s one of those, you never know how your life is going to go. Eddie can tell the story far more accurately than I can, but I think I was just in the store, I think maybe when I was visiting with Diana, and going in to see Ron Norton, I think? And somebody said, “you’re a Cerebus fan, that’s Dave Sim over there”. And Eddie Khanna came over and got my autograph. One of those moments where, you don’t realize it now but twenty-five years from now, that guy’s gonna be your successor.
Matt: (laughs) 
Dave: But I would’ve gone, “NO WAY!”
Matt: (laughs) Yeah, yeah, I probably would’ve done the same thing.
Dave: Okay, and then skipping on to the next part, the demon heads and skulls, was the next one. This is one of those, I would like to get a phonetic translation of this, because I’m sure you don’t pronounce Eolake Stobblehouse “E-O-Lake Stobblehouse”.
Matt: Probably not, but that’s how I’ve been pronouncing it in my head when I read it.
Dave: Right, which is like the old John Buscema, “Sub Ma-reen-er”, all that kind of stuff… we all did as a kid. So, if you can ask “E-O-Luh-kay” or “A-O-Lah-key” or “E-O-lake” how we’re all supposed to pronounce that in our heads when we see it, that would be deeply appreciated.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: Also deeply appreciated is the fact that Margaret went and found the answer on the demon heads and skulls. I don’t have a lot to add to what she found, and that’s great to me, that’s one of those, I’m hoping we’re working towards the point where… with the old Blog and Mail posts and the Yahoo Group five questions, that we’re going to have the capability of doing word searches on that. So that you can just type in “demon heads and skulls” and Margaret doesn’t have to use up her valuable time going and looking for it.
Matt: That’s uhh… I did a post about the question we asked, I think, the wildcard question for Going Home, was about Jaka’s black furry sweater from “The Night Before” in issue 36. And I’m like, “I know it’s the wildcard question, but I can’t remember what month” and I went back through like six of em. Finally found em, okay, yup, here’s the information I’m looking for. I probably need to put all of that into one file and then it’ll be, like you said, just type “demon heads and skulls” and it’ll search and it’ll show up.
Dave: Yep, yep. See, I didn’t even remember that there were wildcard questions, let alone which ones they were. And what question period they were from.
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: The only thing that I have to add to that, in terms of updating because I have so completely immersed in comic art metaphysics at this point, that I thought, okay this wasn’t my intention, but I think that it could’ve been my unconscious intention, not knowing how far immersed I was gonna get in comic art metaphysics, that because Prince Mick and Prince Keef are based on real people, as far as I know, they were the only ones to comment on demon heads and skulls. Which suggests that there’s a possibility that you can only see them if you’re in our world.
Matt: Possible. I know that Oscar and Rick paint the one that broke off in Jaka’s Story.
Dave: Yes. Yes, that’s true. But as to whether…
Matt: …as to whether they knew it was a demon skull or just a rock?
Dave: Actually, that would apply as well, because Oscar was in our world. 
Matt: Oh yeah! You’re right.
Dave: So… and I don’t think Rick ever let on he even knew it was a demon head or a skull or whatever.
Matt: Yeah, I think he was just doin what Oscar was doin.
Dave: Yeah, yeah. He was just being the charming young neighbor.
Matt: (laughs) That’s… starting next year at the beginning of the year I’m gonna reread the series with a notebook and anything I find that I have questions on, anything that… odd coincidences or things that I forgot, I’m gonna start makin notes and I’m gonna do a reread of… okay, since I’m in charge now, everything I need to remember.
Dave: There you go. There you go. Yeah, if anybody is that curious about it, it would be interesting to see if we’re forgetting anybody that referred to the demon heads and skulls. But I’m pretty sure it wasn’t until Mick said something about it, and then Keef said something about not being able to take a whiz on something that’s staring back at him.
Matt: (laughs) Yeah… I mean, the only other person who mentions them is Cerebus when he’s with the Carrot when they’re ascending, but at that point it’s earnest nonsense, so…
Dave: Yeah! Yeah. That was definitely “Through the Looking Glass”, I’ve got to find as many strange ways to cover for the fact that there’s no way to logically explain being able to go a quarter of a million of miles through a giant tube.
Matt: Yeah… that’s uhh, somebody asked…
Dave: Aside from, “ehh, it’s comics.”
Matt: Somebody asked about the Patty Cake backup that was in issue 200?
Dave: Right.
Matt: Where the Carrot shows up and takes Cerebus home and I’m… I had the issue never read it until somebody asked about it, and I’m like, “Oh yeah, I got this” and I open it up and I read it and I’m like, “That… kinda makes sense in the context of 104/105 of ‘yeah, that Carrot’s there now.’”
Dave: Yeah, yeah. Which is… that was odd that that’s what the day is, as far as I know, or the month is in the Deadly Class television show is December 1987 and they weren’t gonna have… and the last one that they have is 105 and then it was right in the middle of the Cerebus moon landing.
Matt: Yeah…
Dave: Spoiler warning!
Matt: (laughs) That’s… I know that the first trade’s set in 87, the second trade I think is 88. The premise is it’s a high school for assassins.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: And that’s why they’re the Deadly Class.
Dave: Ohhkay!
Matt: And apparently, Freshman year, bad things happen. And it goes… I mean, they’re assassins, they’re not nice people. They don’t have good backgrounds and mom and dad aren’t patting them on the head giving them, ya know, praise for their good grades. It’s you’re orphans that are gonna go kill people when you grow up.
Dave: I suppose that’s true, there’s no such thing as a nice assassin.
Matt: (laughs) Well, that’s not true, there’s a TV show called “Rick N Morty”, that… it’s a complicated show, but in one episode, Rick is the grandfather who’s basically like a drunk, evil Doc Brown from “Back to the Future”. And he’s selling weapons to an assassin who’s eminently polite and is giving Morty, the grandson, a business card of, “if ever you need anybody killed, let me know!”
Dave: Well, that’s just the civilization that we live in, I guess.
Matt: Well, it-it...
Dave: If you told people twenty years ago that that would be a television show it would be, “I don’t think so, civilization will come to an end before anything like that could happen.”
Matt: (laughs) It’s a very strange show that I probably shouldn’t watch in front of my kids, but I’m like, “Ahh, she’s two, she won’t understand it” and then she’s quoting the show, and they swear occasionally, and I’m like, “Ahh, I screwed up.”
Dave: You know better than that! Look at all of the stuff that mentally warped you when you were two years old.
Matt: When, for my birthday one year, Paula took me to a comic convention and Linda Hamilton was there and I met Linda Hamilton and explained to her that when I was five years old I saw “The Terminator” and she kinda looked at me like, “What is wrong with your parents?”
Dave: (laughs)
Matt: It was… it was a fun convention. Later on the next… in the weekend, like the next day, we were walking around and we walked past her and she stopped to say hi, cause she remembered Paula.
Dave: (laughs) She couldn’t forget that guy! Anyway… okay, and I see, that brings to EVS and Cyberfrog.
Matt: Right.
Dave: So, umm, it was interesting because you said that “the last Dave was involved was when he offered to go to Jersey to do a video with Van Sciver. Dave hasn’t heard back since. Meanwhile, EVS has announced that Dave’s coming and doing a video.” You said… I think, one of the problems that we might have here is the extra special treatment that I get from Bell Canada. (laughs)
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: …here at the Off-White House. Just a couple of weird phone things that have occurred, just in the last week. Blair Kitchen I had phoned him when he was doing his Kickstarter, and didn’t know if his Kickstarter was over, and we did a jam page together that was one of the last things that I’ve drawn. “Why don’t you offer that as a stretch drive thing if your Kickstarter isn’t over?” And then , I found out a couple of days later, yes, his Kickstarter was already over before I could get to him about that. But I didn’t hear back from Blair, and I thought, “Well that’s a little odd.” Ya know, one way or the other I would think that he would phone and let me know, “the Kickstarter’s over” or “yeah, that’s a great idea, let’s do that.” And then I just talked to Blair a couple of days ago, and he said “did you get my phone message?” And I said, “No, actually, I didn’t get a phone message”, he said, “we’ll I’m not surprised, because I tried leaving a message a couple of times and every time it sounds like the voicemail is full.” And it’s like, (laughs) “No, that’s… I know that that happens with some people, but believe me, Dave Sim… you’re never going to have a full voicemail tape for Dave Sim. Anything over three or four is just completely unheard of, and unheard of in any kind of given week [here Jesse was unsure of what Dave said, and Dave’s put “and Bell Canada will record and store an unlimited number of messages” which is DEFINETLY NOT what Dave said -Matt]. So, there is really no explaining how that happened. Another thing that happened, and has happened… I can remember specifically calling Michael R. in Easton, Pennsylvania, and calling Eddie Khanna, and in both instances, I thought, “well, they should both be there. But they’re not picking up, so I’ll leave a phone message.” Leave a phone message. And both of them, when I did talk to them said, “that was really weird, my phone didn’t ring.”
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: Then there’s also the fact that… I probably shouldn’t be talking about Rob W. in Texas, the one who leaves me phone messages when he’s drunk. I think the record so far as been nine Bob W phone messages? 
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: But he does have a valid point, that depending on what he’s leaving the message about, usually he’s building up to something. He’s gone through a whole three minutes of establishing the premise of what it is he’s telling me all of this backstory so he can tell me what it is he’s going to tell me, as drunken people tend to do. That’s when he gets cut off.
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: And the message is not only not three and a half minutes long, which is supposed to be the length of the time all of the messages are, it’s like 18 seconds. Which, I’m not complaining! (laughs)
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: Anytime Rob W gets cut off after 18 seconds, hey, I’m on board with that, cause I do listen to the messages, because I never know, okay, how many of these nine messages are Rob W and how many are somebody that I definitely need to talk to and I need their phone message. And it just seems to be part of being a famous person, if somebody is phoning you drunk and leaving you messages because they’re obsessed with your work and they’ve read it so many times, that they really got stuck on this point. Rob suggests that, what it is, he’s doing a podcast for me, a podcast for one person on my voicemail. He’s got this theory that anytime he’s doing impressions of somebody, then he won’t get cut off. And it’s true! Anytime… he did a “Stan Lee interviewing Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis” impression for me and it took up the whole three and a half minutes. And was actually very funny! That was one of the ones that I saved, and I thought, “Oh, I gotta send this to Matt.”
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: But then I thought, “No, what are the odds that as soon as you do that, send it to Matt, Stan Lee’s gonna die and I’ll be the guy that has the drunken guy doing the Stan Lee impression while everybody else is doing their honoring the passing of Stan Lee thing”.
Matt: Right.
Dave: So… long way around of saying, I don’t know, maybe Ethan did leave me a message and that’s what happened to it. It was the same thing that happened to Blair Kitchen.
Matt: Entirely possible. I know that Ethan does the Youtube videos. He did one, and it was 25 minutes and after 15 minutes I was like, “I don’t see the point to this, I think I’m done.”
Dave: Yeah, you said that… where is that? That’s here, “I’m not posting a link, because it’s 25 minutes long. Like I’m trying to stay apolitical on the whole Comicsgate thing, but damn! Dude monologues like he’s a Stan Lee comic villain. I’ve watched 15 and a half minutes of it. My only takeaway is that EVS is using his ComicArtistProSecrets Youtube channel as a forum to discuss pop culture and he has a new channel that’s gonna be promoting comics.” I do want to go down there and do a video with him because… my reaction knowing virtually nothing about any of this, was, “oh that’s good, that even the people that really really disagree with him, and are, ya know, trashing him out, he usually welcomes them to come on the show. Why don’t you come on the show and we’ll talk about it?”
Matt: That’s… it’s one of those… like I’ve said, I’m trying to stay apolitical, because I… there’s the one side is, “well everybody hates him because of his politics”, and it’s like, well… yeah, maybe? But, ya know, there’s a lot of people, and there’s a lot of reasons. Like, I was looking into it a little bit, he did an Indiegogo for Cyberfrog: Blood Honey #1 that got funded at the last day of July and was supposed to ship last month and as far as I know it didn’t, because it’s not done yet.
Dave: Right.
Matt: Which, okay, that’s fine, but that’s 97 days and if you’re doing a page a day and it’s 48 page book, the math doesn’t start to add up. But then I looked..
Dave: I was wondering about that too. I mean, when I was talking to him on the phone, it was “Ethan, can you send me Cyberfrog?” Because I had seen the covers that he had done. It looked like, pretty good Image style covers, just on Google Image Search. And it’s like, “Ahh, no, I can’t send you that.” It’s like, “I did that when I was 19 years old.” It’s like, “Ethan, I’m not gonna look at it and judge you. I would just like to know…”
Matt: Yeah, “what’s the backstory for the story I’m writing?”
Dave: What is the state of play on Cyberfrog? But, no, he absolutely did not want me to see the earlier incarnation of it. And it’s like, I’m going, “No! It’s…” To me, Ethan seems to be like the same category as Todd McFarlane, because everybody hated Todd McFarlane back in the early 1990s, particularly when Image started, it was “That guy was just a lightning rod.” Which I went, “No, this is probably the most intelligent thing I’ve heard of a comic artist doing. Leaving Marvel at the top of your game after your billion selling issue of” whatever it was, Spider-Man, for him?
Matt: Yeah!
Dave: You sold a billion copies, now you’re gonna go over and sell a million copies of your own book where you get all the money. It’s like, jeeze, good for you, kid. But he wasn’t getting a lot of that (laughs) from everybody else in the comic book field, “hey good for you kid.” Which I think was when he decided to go and get guest writers, it’s like, there was no way that Dave Sim was in the same category as Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore. But Todd can make Dave Sim be in the same category as those three guys. Cause I’ll have him write one of these things. And, the appeal for me on that was “I’ll draw whatever you write. If you want to do 22 pages of Spawny sitting on the toilet, I’ll draw 22 pages of Spawny sitting on the toilet.” Which is when I went, “Okay, that’s not what I’m gonna do, but boy does that open up the possibility of… hey, I’m gonna do something that I think is really cool, but is definitely not gonna be a big box office type thing.” And then that was the one that won the Wizard Award for best single issue. So… from… with my experience in that, that was the same reaction that I had to Ethan, was, “okay, I got no problem with doing comic book for Comicsgate, but if I do it, I want to do Cyberfrog. If I’m going to do an Image Comic, I want to do Spawn.”
Matt: Right.
Dave: Because, ya know, Spawn is the flagship title, nobody had any doubt or reservation about that. And, it would’ve made more sense for me to say, “Ger, we’re just gonna put Cerebus on hold for six months and do six Image comics. I don’t even know what they’re gonna be, but they’re gonna be superheroes, and they’re gonna sell a million copies, and that’ll be just this great payday.” It’s sort of .. it’s the same thing with this. It’s like, somebody who can raise half a million dollars for one comic book, “hey, good for you, kid.”
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: I’ll be happy to write it. And the way it stands now, it’s supposed to be that I’m script doctoring the first one. I said, “you do the story exactly the way you want the story to be done, and then I will come back with the same sort of suggestions as if we were doing a movie, where, okay, I’m script doctoring your movie, so here’s my version of your script. You can use all of this, you can use some of it.” And then, theoretically, after that one’s done, then I will actually be writing the three that come after that. That was the way we left it, I don’t know if that’s still the situation. I don’t know if Ethan went, “Dave Sim is too toxic for me”.
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: “I had no idea that people hated this guy this badly.” And, ya know, he’s a family man, he’s got like three kids, ya know, a wife and three kids…
Matt: And that’s… as a guy with two kids, I understand the, “hey yeah, this is a great idea” on Monday, then on Friday “I don’t know what’s going on”.
Dave: Right. And you always have to be thinking, if not at the back of your mind in the front of your mind, how is this going to impact my kids?
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: If it’s gonna impact your kids, that’s leverage that the mobbing community has over the Ethans of the world that it doesn’t have for the Dave Sims of the world.
Matt: Well, and that’s.. I mean, depending on who you ask, he was either chased out or he left DC, and it was one of those, ya know… it’s Todd and Image all over again, of okay, you wanna go do your own thing, do your own thing. But it seems like the “movement” is just so… there’s people on the, ya know… a lot of it stems, ya know, going back and forth lookin at stuff, it seems like these are young guys that don’t quite know the history of the medium, and they're making assumptions and when the old veterans say “yeah, no, you’re wrong” they’re taking it as a personal affront instead of listening to, ya know, like Bill Sienkiewicz, who’s saying “No, no no, this is what happened, I was there.”
Dave: Uhh, that tends to be a universal condition, as well. Those who don’t learn from George Santayana are condemned to… uhh err.. no, how does that go? Um. No, that was always my experience in comics, was most people didn’t know the history of the various things that happened. A lot of the reason I was able to do Cerebus and have it be the semi-success that it was, was learning from Jim Waley’s mistakes on Orb. Because I was there working at Orb, so it’s like, okay, don’t add a color section to your book. Don’t change the format. Don’t do an anthology title. Keep the logo the same. Don’t get rid of the letters page. But, ya know, that’s somebody who lost a fair amount of money making those mistakes so that I didn’t have to make those mistakes when it came time.
Matt: I run into the same thing at work at the machine shop, where the second shift guys are all like 19, and I look at them and I’m like, “I was you, I was as stupid as you are now, I’m telling you, the voice from the future, don’t do that!” And they just look at me like I have antenna and I’m turning green. And I’m just like, I think back to when I was 19, and it’s like, no, I was a moron, I was one of the stupidest people on Earth. And I learned. And that’s why now, almost, ya know, 20 years later it’s, oh hey, ya know, maybe don’t do that. [audio missing] …from the people that you gotta kick the chairs out from until you learn, “hey, when you kick chairs, people get mad.”
Dave: Yeah, yeah. The German expression is “we get too soon old, and too late smart”.
Matt: (laughs) Yes. I very much agree with that.
Dave: Okay. We’re sitting at… how long are we going to make these? This is uhh…
Matt: We can make em as long as you want. Cause I have a Youtube verified account. So they let me make as long a movies as I want when I put them on Youtube.
Dave: In terms of the Ethan situation, I don’t want to sound like I’m being evasive. Do you think I sound evasive?
Matt: No, it very much is a “this is the last I talked to him, I haven’t talked to him since”. It’s one of those, it’s not Dave Sim’s Cyberfrog, it’s Ethan Van Sciver’s Cyberfrog, so if you want to know about Cyberfrog you gotta ask Ethan.
Dave: Right. There is a quality of these people who do really, really phenomenally successful things that… (laugh) I definitely want to see them in person. It’s like, that was a lot of the thing with Todd that… when he was… is that when he was in? No, he wasn’t in Arizona, he was in Oregon then. And that was during the… 93 tour?
Matt: Yeah, that sounds about right.
Dave: Yeah, and I was gonna be writing the issue of Spawn, “why don’t I come over to your house and have dinner with you?” because, it’s like, what is this person actually like? And if you see him at home, you see him with the wife and Cyan I think was all of 2 years old at that point and I think they only had Cyan, they didn’t have their younger daughter yet. And it’s like, yeah this is just a regular guy. He’s making really, really good choices and ya know just absolutely major big box office. He was definitely the one who said, “this is the time to really crank these books out while they’re selling a million copies each”, the other guys didn’t do that and I think regretted it later because then the sales just started dropping and once they started dropping they started plummeting because there weren’t a million comic book fans in the world. I don’t think there’s a million comic book fans now.
Matt: That’s… one of the Comicsgate movement, the pro-side is that Marvel & DC are making business decisions that are costing them money, and ya know, we could sell a million books a month again. And it’s like, well, historically, no. Ya know, that’s where the old guys come in going, “No, no, ya know, print is dead has been somethin’ that people have been sayin for 20-30 years at this point”. And at a certain point the audience is fragmented so much that yeah, you’re not gonna sell a million copies, you’re gonna be lucky to sell 80,000.
Dave: Yeah, there was definitely more… or a big part of it was the collector thing. People buying 50 copies of the hot #1 when they were buying… Individuals were buying 50 copies of Jim Lee’s whatever it was, X-Men, he was that?
Matt: Yeah, X-Men, he was the X-Men.
Dave: X-Men #1, and Todd was the Spider-Man #1. Well, if everybody buys 50 copies (laughs) you’ve got a little bit of a problem.
Matt: There was an artist that (laugh) he took a toilet and wallpapered it with copies of X-Men #1, and sold it at auction and it sold for, I can’t even remember, it was, I think, it was a couple grand. Cause it was an art installation. And even Jim Lee was like, “yeah that’s what’s gonna happen to a lot of these copies cause there are way too many of them.”
Dave: Yeah. There are funny things that happen with that, like Pete Dixon of Paradise Comics getting me to sign Spawn 10 that he had located so that he could get them CGC graded cause he’s one of the guys authorized to do signature series for them. And he said there’s not as many mint copies of Spawn 10 as you would think, and I said, “well why is that?” And he said it’s because it had a mostly white cover and the back cover is black, so there’s a lot of smudging for those people who bought 50 copies.
Matt: Yeah, it’s… I’d have to look at my copy but I’m sure it’s got fingerprints.
Dave: There ya go. There ya go. So, yeah, I’ve also… because of the way I did comics I always did exactly what I wanted to do, I mean exactly what I wanted to do, and a lot of the fun in doing comics is doing something that… work made for hire, or whatever, that is just like, really cool. You can’t own this, but you did something with it that whoever created it went, “that was really cool”, which is a lot of the reason I wanted to write Spawn 10 and not do my own Image comic. I already had my own comic for doing what I wanted to do. Like, Ethan was really pushing for that, saying “make up a superhero! We’ll find you an artist and you can do it… ya know, a superhero. And I guarantee you it will sell…” whatever it was gonna sell and it’s like, that just didn’t sound fun to me.
Matt: Ahh.
Dave: Writing Cyberfrog, something that somebody came up with when he was a teenager, and being able to go, “oh okay, let’s bring my best writing chops to this and let’s see what we can do with it”. That was a lot of the appeal with Spawn as well, because Todd came up with Spawn when he was in high school.
Matt: That was Carson Grubaugh contacted Ethan, and I guess they had a phone conversation, and Carson reported back, saying, “Yeah, he keeps saying all Dave’s gotta do is make a hero and it’ll sell, ya know, like hotcakes.” And I was thinking about it today, and I‘m like, “ya know, I wonder if he’s ever read a copy of Power Comics #1.”
Dave: (laughs) Well, I didn’t write that one! I didn’t write that one.
Matt: Oh, I thought you had written that one. You just did the art on that one?
Dave: No, I did… the closest I came to superheroes was Phantacea. [Dave adds: I didn’t write that one either. -Matt]
Matt: Oh no, yeah! That’s it.
Dave: Yeah, Phantacea, and then Revolt 3000, [Dave adds: That one I wrote -Matt] which fortunately never got published.
Matt: Uhh, no… who published it? There was a guy that published Revolt 3000. I can’t remem…
Dave: Yes, yes. Or did I think the splash pages, and some of the… [In his copy of the transcript, Dave crossed this out and wrote: YEARS later. I drew it in 1978. -Matt]
Matt: Ahh… I can’t remember the name of the series-- I have it, cause my friend got me issue 2 of it, it was… Revolt 3000 was the backup, I think it was Deep Space? I’d have to…
Dave: That’s right. Yeah, yeah. [Dave also crossed out this and wrote: Otto Space I think it was. Jim and Ruth Keegan in 1993 -Matt. I checked my copy of #2, and Dave is indeed right.]
Matt: So it was published, you just forgot about it because you didn’t want to remember it, sorry.
Dave: I didn’t want to remember it, yes. I have got my copies of the pages completely buried where they can never be found again.
Matt: So, it’s basically like your version of Jerry Lewis’ “The Day The Clown Cried”?
Dave: Ahh… not quite that sensitive, this was just badly written and drawn, not over the edge into “I don’t think you’re allowed to do that.” Are we at the point where they’re gonna release that movie?
Matt: Uh… before he died he was asked repeatedly about it, because apparently there was a behind the scenes reel of, ya know, screen testing like the makeup and the costumes and stuff that surfaced. And somebody said, “well now that this is out, are you gonna release the movie?” And Jerry went, “No, it’s going to be destroyed when I die.”
Dave: Oh, I thought the idea was that it would be X number of years after he died.
Matt: That might’ve been what he said at one point, but towards the end he had said, no, it’s never gonna get released. Because somebody had asked if we’re ever gonna see it, and it was at a Q & A in public like they had showed some other movie and during the Q & A somebody said, “are we ever gonna see this?” and he went, “no, but I can tell ya how it ends!” (laughs)
Dave: (laughs) Great.
Matt: And it’s one of those, ya know, this is when I first heard about it and I looked into it and I researched it and I’m like, “yeah no that sounds like a movie that I’m okay with never seeing”.
Dave: Yes. (laughs)
Matt: Ya know, one of those movies, it was a great idea until they said action and started rolling film and then it turned into something that, no, no we don’t need to see that.
Dave: Well, I’m still trying to figure out how “Hogan’s Heroes” ever got made.
Matt: Uhh… “Stalag 13”, wasn’t it? 
Dave: Yeah… well, no I understood the premise, it was…
Matt: But the idea of let’s do a sitcom where half the characters are Nazis.
Dave: Right. It’s like, I don’t think you could do that now, how could you do that less than 20 years after the war?
Matt: Well, that was… I had a friend that got into… he was semiretired and he was gettin into watching “Hogan’s Heroes” repeats and he was like, “Did you ever know what Schultz did before the war?” and I’m like “no”, and he was a toymaker. And I’m like, “I never saw that episode.” And then apparently in the later seasons, Schultz knew about what the POWs were up to and just didn’t care.
Dave: (as Sgt Schultz) I saw nothing! Nothing!
Matt: And every time I quote that, all the people around me look at me like, “what are you talking about?” and I’m like, “it’s a tv show from the 70s that nobody remembers unless you’re above a certain age”. I just happened to have a subscription to Nick at Nite when I was a kid and saw all the repeats. I always liked the show, and now that I’m older, and I’m like, yeah no, you’re right, how did that get on the tv and much less stay on tv for more than a year?
Dave: Maybe we’re growing up?
Matt: That’s… ya know, that’s… (stammers)
Dave: I didn’t say “maturing” I said growing up.
Matt: When I get to the part when Cerebus throws the baby, if I am so offended I can’t finish reading the series and I have to quit the editor position, I’ll let you know.
Dave: Okay. Well, you’ve got my number, I’ve got your number.
Matt: I don’t think it’s gonna happen, cause I’ve read that a number of times and it always strikes me as being horrifically funny. We shouldn’t laugh at this, but at the same time, babies smell funny! (laughs)
Dave: Well, I did revisit that in one of the Cerebus In Hell? sequences, and if there’s any reason that Cerebus would be eternally condemned to being down with the rat-gnawed wretches, the baby throwing thing was it. And because of the fact that he’s still rationalizing it.
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: You’re infanto-throw shaming him.
Matt: I did read that sequence and it was one of those, I’m laughing at it going, “it’s funny cause it’s true”. I don’t think he would ever say, “well, ya know maybe I shouldn’t have thrown the baby”, it was more of a, “well if I pitched my arm better I could’ve gotten an extra five yards.”
Dave: You’ve got to be able to rationalize right down to the fine print. How can you throw a baby? Same way you throw a football, you just line your fingers up along the laces and let it fly.
Matt: (laughs)
Dave: There’s very few people that are willing to do comedy like that.
Matt: And I did enjoy when you revisited in Cerebus, with Todd “Farlane” McSpawn and Magenta and “aim for the big pile of dead ladies”. 
Dave: (laughs)
Matt: That still makes me chuckle. 
Dave: “Be vewwy vewwy careful with wittle Magenta.” (laughs) Yeah, never heard back from Todd on that one.
Matt: (laughs) I’m thinking he either didn’t see the issue or saw it and went, “I’m just gonna walk away… that’s a can of worms I don’t wanna open…” 
Dave: That could be it. That could be it.
Matt: I mean, he did do a book about a guy that escaped from Hell and who was stalking his ex-wife, I mean. At a certain point there are certain questions about, “well what was goin’ on there, Todd?”
Dave: Yeah, yeah… let’s not go there.
Matt: (laughs) Like you said…
Dave: Okay, Matt, I think we’re gonna wrap it up there.
Matt: Yeah, that’s good for me. We’ll do this again first Thursday in January. 
Dave: First Thursday in January.
Matt: And everybody gets to see it the first Saturday in January.
Dave: I will meet you back here in the same spot.
Matt: (laughs) Okay, take care, have a merry Christmas!
Dave: Say Hi to Paula, and Janice Pearl, and Natasha, I’m even gonna use her correct name. It’s Bullwinkle, cause I always call her Bullwinkle.
Matt: That’s… Last night, she wanted to watch a movie, I’m like, “you wanna watch Thor?” cause we’re watching the Marvel movies. And she said, “yeah!” and I walked away from it and came back and she had the Avengers and she’s, on the top of her lungs, slamming her finger on the cover, going, “that’s me! That’s me! That’s me!” I’m like, “yes. That’s Natasha” and then she’s, “you’re the Hulk!” (laughs)
Dave: (laughs)
Matt: Like, okay!
Dave: Let’s not go there!
Matt: (laughs) I haven’t turned green in months.
Dave: Have a good night, Matt.
Matt: You too, Dave! Bye.
Dave: Buh-bye.
Matt: Alright, everybody, see you back next… well, you’ll see me on Monday, you’ll see Dave…

Friday, 15 February 2019

Kickstart My Heart (Dave's Weekly Update #274) AND: Cerebus Postcard from Hell? No. 1 is NOW LIVE!

Hi, Everybody!

Heeeeeere's Dave:

There's a Indiegogo live if you missed the Kickstarter for the birthday card.

The remastered Volume 1, digitally for $9.99.

And would ya look at that:

Benjamin Hobbs:

Good news everybody!

The Cerebus Postcard from Hell? No. 1 is NOW LIVE on KICKSTARTER!   Click HERE to redirect there!

Help support CIH? by buying your BEAT TO HELL? postcard today!

Hey look, print your own!!!

And The Jaka's Story remaster won't get a Starcode number until the April previews is out, so at least a month.

Next Time: A Please Hold Transcript?

Thursday, 14 February 2019


A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

We've seen bits of Dave Sim's twenty first notebook before. Most recently in November of 2018 in Crossing Over Part Two. The notebook covers Cerebus #164 through 187 and had 260 pages scanned.

On page 3 we see the first of Swoon:

Notebook 21, page 3
It also has some dialogue from issue #164. Then on page 7 of the notebook we see a rough layout for a page from the series and some dialogue for it.

Notebook 21, page 7
On the top left corner Dave has written down that it is Cerebus #164, page 10. And indeed it is:

Cerebus #164, page 10 (aka Women page 36)

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


Benjamin Hobbs:

Welcome to the second installment of THE EVOLUTION OF A CIH? COVER! Last time, we saw the fax I sent Dave, pitching the idea for the cover of COLOUR YOUR OWN CEREBUS (Out in October! Mark your calendars NOW!)

For the rough layout, I drew this Cerebus hand holding a color pencil:

Dave saw the layout and decided to draw the Cerebus hand himself, which leads us to...


(no, it didn't take him a year TO DO IT, he just hadn't drawn a Cerebus body part... oh, FORGET it.)

Here we have the hand!

As you can see, it's holding the GIANT PLUSH PURPLE CRAYON that was teased last week.

Dave sent over a placement guide for the Cerebus grey tones as well:

Here's the in-progress version of the cover.  (The background is not in place yet.)


Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Hey, look: GERHARD!

Hi, Everybody!

There's a Indiegogo live if you missed the Kickstarter for the birthday card.

The remastered Volume 1, digitally for $9.99.

No word on the postcard Kickstarter, or a Star code for the remastered Jaka's Story, but I'll add 'em to the list when I get 'em!


From my new pal Tom Palmer Jr., Gerhard's Basic Training article from Wizard #62 (1996):

And here's the finished page 118 from Guys:
Courtesy of
Thanks Tom!
Next Time: Hobbs! Cerebus! Dore! Sim! Hell?

Monday, 11 February 2019

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag

Hi, Everybody!

As I do:
There's a Indiegogo live if you missed the Kickstarter for the birthday card.

The remastered Volume 1, digitally for $9.99.

No word on the postcard Kickstarter, or a Star code for the remastered Jaka's Story, but I'll add 'em to the list when I get 'em!

Okay, time to clean out the Ol' AMOC Mailbag:                                                                           
Item: Eddie Khanna sent in:
A link to an interview with a band called TARIM (Talking to Tarim?) which I don't think has been run on AMOC before
From the interview:
X: Is the name Tarim derived from the mummies found in the Chinese river, the fictitious god, or the city in South Yemen? Please explain. James: The name actually comes from a graphic novel series called Cerebus, a parody book featuring a barbarian aardvark. Tarim is the deity worshiped by Cerebus. We went with it to pay homage to the creator of the series, Dave Sim, but also because it just sounds cool.
Thanks Eddie!
Item: Carson Grubaugh sent in:
Hey Matt,

I don't know where all our fans are at but there will be chances for people to go see some of my original art from SDOAR and YDKJ coming soon.

There is a page from SDOAR V. 1 going up 2/1/2019-2/21/2019 at The Downtown Gallery, 102 N Main St. Kokomo, IN 46901

and a piece for YDKJ from Februrary 15, 2019- May 3,  Joseph A. Cain Memorial Gallery. Del Mar College, 101 Baldwin Blvd, Corpus Christi Texas 78404

 Thanks Carson!
Item: Travis Pelkie sent in:
Just in case you missed it another chapter of the Grant Morrison/Gerhard story is in Heavy Metal 292. 
Thanks Travis! You can order a copy here. (I don't know where part two is, Part one was in #283, and #292 says it has part three.)
Item: This one's fun, Marie Miguel send me:
Hi there, I am emailing you because I have a quick question about a mental health project I'm working on. Simply put, the goal is to try to educate more families about mental health & wellness related topics by possibly working with websites like yours. As someone that has been featured in Yahoo, ADAA, TheMighty, AMHCA, GoodMenProject, etc... mental health has become something I'm increasingly passionate about. I'm doing what I can to support and encourage more discussions about these and other important topics. After looking at a few pages of your website, initially this one I noticed it's a great resource and also that you linked to a page I thought I'd reach out. If there is a way to encourage and support you in covering these topics for the benefit of your readers, I'd like to discuss in more detail with you; even if there is a fee. If this might be something you're interested in, please let me know. If not, I understand and don't necessarily expect a response back from you. Thanks for your consideration & have a great day. Marie
I responded:
Hello Marie,

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, but the blog post you mentioned (at least I THINK it's the post you meant,) was written by someone who is not associated with A Moment of Cerebus anymore.

My blog (well, I run the joint, but I didn't start it,) mostly deals with the comic book series Cerebus the Aardvark. Mental health isn't really a prominent topic on a regular basis.

I mean, I'd be willing to run something occasionally, if I could find a way, but I don't think it's very likely.

Matt Dow
Interim Editor
A Moment of Cerebus
The post I think she meant was one written by Mara Sedlins. As she left before I took over, I don't think Marie and I are gonna be doing Mental Health Issues posts...
Item: Carson Grubaugh also sent in:
Hi Matt,

Went to a friend's studio today and he had this sculpture ( on a shelf. I said "Oh,a yellow Cerebus!"
And checking eBay, these things ain't cheap...

No, Apparently it is Lord Quasimoto, the mascot for rapper Madlib.

Thanks Carson? I guess...I mean I'll NEVER afford one of these, and it'd be SUPEREASY to turn it into Cerebus.
Item: Who's got money?
Issue #30 page 12
Issue #69 page 18
Seriously, who's got money?
Item: This one's funny:

There's a Humble Bundle for ALL of Spawn up to issue #262 (SO close to #301 and Todd's bullshit claims of "beating the record")...except issue #10.

Ya know, the one Dave wrote.

They even got the Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, and Grant Morrison issues...

That's hilarious to me.
Item: That's all I got.

Next Time: Cerebus stuff of some sort...

Sunday, 10 February 2019

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part forty

Hi, Everybody!

So, two things:

1, the bizness:
There's a Indiegogo live if you missed the Kickstarter for the birthday card.

The remastered Volume 1, digitally for $9.99.

No word on the postcard Kickstarter, or a Star code for the remastered Jaka's Story, but I'll add 'em to the list when I get 'em!
2, I ran out of pages from issue 289/290 to run in front of Dave's Genesis Question commentaries. Dave suggested I use Jewish, Christian or Muslim religious images. So:
The Last Supper by Matt Feazell, creator of Cynicalman. (I'd post a link to his website, but my anti-virus software won't let me.)

2 November 14

Hi Troy & Mia; David & Marie:

Ezekiel 43

Part of me thinks that I should have just added Ezekiel 43 to Ezekiel 40-42 since it consists of the same sort of material as the three previous chapters do.  There are a few different nuances (which is why I'm looking at it separately), but, in the main, it seems to me to be "of a piece" with the freemasonry-style content of 40-42:

Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that looketh toward the East.

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the East: and his voice like a noise of many waters, and the earth shined with his glory.

This, again, to me suggests an attempted "merging" of YHWH and God -- I say "merging" because I don't think that an actual merging or Merging is possible.  God is the creator of the universe and the YHWH is the spirit encased within the rocky confines of what we call the earth.  However, having reached an impasse in this epoch consisting of many thousands of years, I see the "consensus" approach in Ezekiel as God's only means of getting the YHWH moving in the direction of reality. 

Hence this description of the "God of Israel" -- "his voice like the noise of many waters" (water being God's medium) and "the earth shined with his glory". The earth, even if you view it from space, doesn't shine although the water covering most of it does, nor does any part of the earth at close proximity shine.  But this seems to me an example of the kind of concessions God is making here at the apex of the Judaic Revelation:  if the YHWH needs for the earth to shine with "his" glory in order to move forward in the discussion, God is content to allow the earth to be described as shining with "his" glory.

And according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, according to the vision that I saw [when I came to <interpolated: prophecie> that the city should be destroyed/when I came to destroy the city] and the visions like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar: I fell upon my face.

I really have nothing but sympathy for Ezekiel when I read a passage like this where, it seems to me, he's doing his level best to describe what he's supposed to describe but, clearly, his brain is being fried (by the "glory" of the YHWH, I would infer). 

He first asserts "according to the APPEARANCE of the vision which I saw", which is, evidently, intended as a preamble -- and then amends that (I would infer under instruction from the YHWH) to "according to the vision that I saw" ("appearance" in the context of a vision being both redundant and a negative inference of possible imagination/delusion).

That is, what seems to be conveyed is the notion that Ezekiel isn't viewing the APPEARANCE of something, he is viewing the thing ITSELF. 

And, as the passage continues, it seems clear that this moves quickly to the next level:  where "prophecy" has needed to be interpolated into the text since what the text is actually saying is "when I came to that the city should be destroyed" which is amended to "when I came to destroy the city". 

Which I would infer as a "first-person narrative" of the combined God/YHWH, conveying through Ezekiel the tandem experience of a) the realization of what is, imminently, about to happen ("when I came to: that the city should be destroyed") -- which I would infer as the YHWH experience: being brought to the realization that the city should be destroyed) --  and b) the experience of actually bringing about that happening ("when I came to destroy the city") -- which I would infer as the God experience: actually doing what the YHWH and Ezekiel are viewing as "being about to be being done".

This is followed by a non-sequitur/sentence fragment, "…and the visions like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar…" which goes nowhere, but, I would infer -- at least as far as Ezekiel is concerned -- conveys the immensity and horrific nature of what he is being made to view/experience: at which point he opts out as both participant and observer (as I read it):  "I fell upon my face". 

Which (also as I read it) then leads to a "YHWH dominant/God compliant" narrative:       

And the glory of the YHWH came into the house by the way of the gate, whose prospect toward the East.

So the Spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court, and behold the glory of the YHWH filled the house.

And I heard ____ speaking unto me out of the house, & the man stood by me.

And he said unto me, son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places.

Again, as I read it, this is still a COMBINED God/YHWH narrative, and consequently an enunciation of Truth insofar as God is a participant in it.  I don't think God thinks in terms of literal or metaphorical thrones except insofar as it conveys a metaphorical structure:  God as king and God's stature and place mirroring that of an earthly throne.  It's wildly inaccurate if you're discussing an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent being.  A king is one thing, the king's throne is another.  God, being a fully integrated Unity -- the ONLY fully integrated Unity extant -- the idea of attributing a throne to Him is inherently corrupt, and consequently YHWHistic by nature.  If God has a throne then presumably the YHWH can displace Him from it and seize it for his/her/its self.  Which, I would infer, is always what the YHWH is talking about in these narratives. 

At the same time, God definitely wants to represent, Truthfully, His engagement with -- and within -- the context.  Although He exists everywhere, by definition, He also has a special and specific relationship to and within Israel.  As the text says, "for ever".

And here, as I read it, He's confirming that: in the one sense as a literal Truth which the YHWH is allowed to (by misapprehending how God will bring it about) share in  and in the other sense as a strategic and tactical assertion of the fact that the YHWH is ultimately going to fail.  They are both staking their claim but only God will fulfill His.

Along the same lines, the joint enunciation continues: "and my holy name shall the house of Israel no more defile." Which is definitely a shared experience on the part of God and the YHWH.  Both established their covenant with Israel in different ways, both have established sometimes overlapping and sometimes contradictory edicts and laws through the Torah and -- by the time of the Babylonian Conquest -- neither was being "hearkened unto". 

Of course, it seems to me that God is aware that a lot of the problem is (as it always is) the YHWH.  God's Name is, inherently, defiled by the linking of it to the YHWH with the YHWH's dog's breakfast of pagan and idolatrous worship mixed in with monotheism.  I assume that -- on a higher level -- the YHWH is aware of this as well and views the entire multi-millennia enactment of this epoch as great fun at God's expense.  How far can the YHWH push his/her/its blasphemies, aping God, endeavouring to supplant God and leading God's followers away from Him before God is forced to take drastic measures? 

Instead, God patiently endures all this until He has brought the two into ostensible alignment which actually represents a drastic divergence that will disenfranchise the YHWH in perpetuity once it is fully effected.

 "neither THEY nor THEIR kings, by THEIR whoredom, nor by the carcasses of THEIR kings in THEIR high places"

The choice of pronoun is, to me, significant, as the thought continues from "and my holy name shall the house of Israel no more defile."  "House" and "Israel" are both singular nouns.  But, it seems to me, this is God's way of establishing that He isn't fooled.  The problem, at essence, isn't Israel's kings or the carcasses of Israel's kings or the high places of Israel's kings.  The problem is THEY -- "he/she/it" -- the YHWH and the YHWH's tripartite aspects and how those express themselves through those kings, through their carcasses and through their high places.

But the phrasing allows for both compelled inferences:  that the YHWH is indicting the kings and the carcasses and the high places which have defiled the YHWH's holy name.  But also that God is indicting the kings and the carcasses and the high places AND the YHWH for defiling His Holy Name.

[And I think the reference to the kings' "whoredom" is specifically pointed.  Even David, the ne plus ultra of the Jewish Kings from the YHWH's perspective was certainly an incredibly whorish individual with all of his wives and concubines -- not to mention Bathsheba.  This, it seems to me, also prefigures God's ultimate resolution of the Judaic Revelation with the Synoptic Jesus and Johannine Jesus by the seeming admission of whorish behaviour on His own part:  that He entered into an adulterous carnal relationship with Mary (and the unnamed mother of the Johannine Jesus) and propagated two sons.] 

It's incredibly artful phrase-making, binding the YHWH and God into a mutual context:

In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts [and the wall between me and them/for but a wall between me and them] they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in my anger.

Personally, I don't think God is angry about all this.  I don't think an omniscient being would be capable of anger because omniscience would mean that everything that happens can be seen as an inevitable consequence of free will freely expressed. 

From the time of the YHWH's creation, the YHWH was inevitably going to behave the way the YHWH behaved: and in such a single-minded fashion that (as I see it) the YHWH's primary motivation is attempting to irritate God.  But, it seems to me that God -- Knowing That -- simply sees the persuading of the YHWH of the Truth of God's Reality as a long-term project of which this is simply an interim stage. 

God certainly has a RIGHT to BE angry, so (it seems to me) saying that He has "consumed them in my anger" is simply a strategic and tactical means of sharing the YHWH's context and self-perception: maintaining their consensus. 

Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcasses of their kings far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them forever.

In the YHWH's context, this becomes a terrifying prospect. 

Essentially what God is saying -- in God's omniscient Overview -- is that whoredom and "the carcasses of their kings" are mere YHWHistic trappings.  That is, part of what He is doing here is attempting to get the YHWH to divest his/her/its self of exactly those trappings that the YHWH wants Israel and her kings and their carcasses and high places to divest THEMselves of.

The underlying supposition on the YHWH's part being that this will either lead to a pure worship of the YHWH or another demonstration that men are inherently evil.  For the YHWH a "win-win".

The sure awareness on God's part being that simply allowing all of this to hatch out in the context of the house of Israel will lead to the demise of the YHWH's pagan worship and indictment of men. 

You can see God's strategic brilliance:  the exact thing that the YHWH wants to effect and the means by which the YHWH intends to effect it has he appearance of the same thing that God wants to effect and the means by which God intends to effect it.  God isn't saying anything that the YHWH can disagree with.  So, of course, the YHWH has to find a way to disagree -- or, at least, be disagreeable. 

The effect on the YHWH is immediate:  a retreat into the Ezekiel 40-42 attempted contextual imprisonment by means of mathematical and geometric architecture:  

Thou son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities and let them measure the [pattern/sum/number).

And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: & write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof and do them.

It's an attempt on the part of the YHWH to separate the two --  the house of Israel and the YHWH -- by expanding the definition of the house of Israel into lesser and greater contexts, simultaneously…and, most importantly, to keep the YHWH external to that context. The house of Israel can be seen as the entire history of the Hebrew people and the land of Israel and the Torah and the YHWH's laws -- the greater context.  The house of Israel can also be seen as the Temple that will need to be rebuilt after the Babylonian Conquest, the mathematically and geometrically precise physical structure which will contain everything that Israel is and to keep it under the dominion of the YHWH -- the lesser context: 

This is the law of the house, Upon the top of the mountain, the whole limit thereof round about most holy: behold, this the law of the house.

That is, it needs to be kept finite -- as finite as any architectural structure.  It goes from here over to there -- "the whole limit thereof round about":

And these the measures of the Altar after the cubits: the cubit a cubit and a hand breadth even the [bosom/bottom] a cubit, and the breadth a cubit and the border thereof by the [edge/Hebrew: lip] thereof round about a span and this the higher place of the Altar.

And from the bottom the ground, even to the lower settle, two cubits, and the breadth one cubit, and from the lesser settle even to the greater settle [interpolated: shall be] four cubits and the breadth [interpolated: one] cubit

So the [Altar/Hebrew: Mar El, that is the mountain of God] four cubits and from the [altar/Hebrew: Ariel, that is the lion of God] and upward four horns.

The invocation of "Mar El" and "Ariel", as I read it, are an attempt by the YHWH to do what God has done:  just as God has made the YHWH to be part of the context of the house of Israel and as God is, here, at the apex of the Jewish Revelation, reasserting that context…

(which is just factual Reality:  Israel, the house of Israel, the kings of Israel and their carcasses are creations of God just as the YHWH is.  Everything is/has been created by God in the context of Scriptural Reality as a human-scale enactment of the Reality of Who God Is and His Relationship to his creations in this epoch: from the YHWH on down)

…so the YHWH attempts to make God a part of the context of the house of Israel, but in the limited way that the YHWH understands these things: as a pagan entity who believes that God is subject to geometric and mathematically precise architectural contextualization/imprisonment, the same as anyone else. Roughly expressed "This is how gods fight and decide which god wins".

God is aware of that but has Far Greater Overview which comes from inhabiting a much larger context.  God allows "the mountain of God" and "the lion of God" to be ensnared within the YHWH's house, knowing that this can be easily fulfilled with Judah's descendants, the Johannine Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus, being proclaimed and seemingly proclaiming themselves to be God's sons.  Both appear within a few years of the finishing of the construction of Herod's Temple, the latest -- and last -- attempt to fulfill the YHWH's geometric and mathematically precise architectural contextualization/imprisonment and both spend a great deal of time within the physical structure itself preaching and ministering to the house of Israel.

To whatever extent it was possible, I'm sure that Herod's Temple followed the same precise-but-impenetrable description as had Ezekiel's Temple: 

And the altar twelve long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof.

And the settle fourteen long, and fourteen broad in the four squares thereof, and the border about it half a cubit, and the bottom thereof a cubit about, and his stairs shall look toward the East.

And he said unto me, son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD, These the ordinances of the Altar in the day when they shall make it to offer burnt offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood thereon.

And thou shalt give to the priests, the Levites that be of the seed of Zadock, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord GOD, a young bullock for a sin offering.

And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put on the four horns of it and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it.

Remember:  the four horns are in the context of "the mountain of God" and "the lion of God" -- what the YHWH is attempting to do is to make sure that each iteration of the Temple will be structured around "cleansing" it and "purging" it of God through sacrificial animal blood. 

Which, to a degree, is accomplished or appears to be:  both the Johannine Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus will be "purged" as metaphorical sacrificial offerings.  The Johannine Jesus is, I think, specifically referred to as the Lamb of God -- the paschal sacrifice -- for that reason.

The point that the YHWH misses -- lacking God's omniscient Overview -- is that the WAY the purging is accomplished will bring about the destruction of the physical Temple itself, Temple worship and animal sacrifice as core elements of the Judaic faith:

Thou shalt take the bullock also of the sin offering and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house without the Sanctuary.

And on the second day thou shalt offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering and they shall cleanse the altar, as they did cleanse it with the bullock.

When thou hast made an end of cleansing it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish.

And thou shalt offer them before the YHWH, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the YHWH.

Seven days shalt thou prepare every day a goat for a sin offering: they shall also prepare a young bullock and a ram out of the flock, without blemish.

Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it, and they shall [Hebrew: fill their hands/consecrate themselves]

And when these days are expired, it shall be upon the eight day and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings: and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD.

As I read it, throughout Ezekiel, the YHWH must have been wondering: God knows exactly what I'm doing here:  setting up a context and a form of worship whereby He will be "purged" from my Temple.  WHY isn't He objecting to this?  WHY is He aligning Himself with this and maintaining this Scriptural consent/acquiescence/unanimity? 

Well, because He's God and He knows what He's doing. He understands the YHWH's context -- God knows in detail the YHWH's entire history from the time He formed the earth to the time when the YHWH gets incinerated by the sun when it goes nova -- far better than the YHWH ever could.  It is a 100 percent certainty that the YHWH is not going to prevail over God although there are any number of points in human history when it seems inevitable that God is going to lose.  This being one of them.

The YHWH essentially engineers his/her/its own defeat in multiple ways and in multiple contexts by attempting to defeat God.  Attempting to defeat God is lunacy in any context. 

Next week, God willing:  Ezekiel 44


Next Time: If I get it done, the transcript for the second Please Hold For Dave Sim...