Friday, 16 November 2018

Comic Link & Kickstarter updates (Dave's Weekly Update #261)

Hi, Everybody!

Heeeeeere's Dave:

And Comicslink is here!

Here's the Kickstarter for the birthday card.

And if you wanna get in on the Vark Wars, I ain't gonna stop ya. All submissions to

Next Time: My Cerebus/Dave Sim cup runneth over. Seriously, I got so much stuff On Deck for the next few days... First up is a new feature for the New Year: "Please Hold For Dave Sim"! Here's the logo:

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Friend of Cerebus: Fred Patten

As reported by Jonathan Clements at All The Anime Fred Patten recently passed away:
Fred Patten, who died yesterday aged 77, was one of the foundational pillars not only of anime fandom in America, but of American anime fandom’s sense of its own history. Graduating with a Masters in Library Science in 1963, Fred was already active in American science fiction fandom when he entered the job market. For much of his career, he led a double life, writing for professional and amateur fanzines and running a comics shop, while also working as a technical manual archivist in El Segundo for the Hughes Aircraft Company.
Among all of the accomplishments listed by Jonathan, add to that Fred started the Cerebus Fanclub and with it the fanzine, Cerebus the Newsletter. The start of the fanclub and newsletter was reported in Cerebus #17, and the first issue was dated Jan / March 1981:

Cerebus the Newsletter #1
Fred didn't start the newsletter for money, as he had to give it up due to financial issues, and issue #5 was his last. During his tenure he would write back to the other Cerebus fans who sent him material for the newsletter. From his letters that I've seen, they've all been typed on scrap paper that has the letter on one side and some copy of something else, typically items for a fanzine he'd be working on. Like this letter he wrote to Steve about the Cerebus the Newsletter items and questions:

Click to make bigger
When Jeff Tundis and myself decided to start up the newsletter again, I got in contact with Fred and asked him if it were okay if we took it over. At this point in his life, he was in an assisted living, but still wrote back to me and gave us his blessing. He didn't have to do it, answer some random question about a fanzine he did over 20 years previously from some random people, but he did. And for that I'll forever be thankful.

So here is to Cerebus Fanclub member #1, Fred Patten:

Crossing Over Part Two

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 already looked at a couple pages of Dave Sim's 21st notebook which contains pieces of his work on Spawn #10 back in October of 2014 in Crossing Over. The notebook had 260 pages scanned and was used not only for Cerebus #164 through 187, but for Spawn #10.

We've seen pages 25 and 26 which contained some dialogue. The next page also contains dialogue, but for a different part of the issue.

Notebook #21, page 27
The crossed out text on the far left says "It's a great house. . .satellite TV receptions great. . .should be able to get four different hockey games on a good night." For those of us into hockey, there is more hockey talk in the bottom right corner. Talking about the Leafs of course - Toronto's NHL team - how they have a home and home series against the Red Wings on the weekend (play in Toronto one night, Detriot the following night), and how Gilmour, a Toronto player - Doug Gilmour played forward for Toronto from 1991 to 1997, right during the writing of Spawn #10. Fuhr was their goalie (Grant Fuhr) and Clark was another forward (Wendel Clark).

The page also has a funny Cerebus line: "Babies all look like Winston Churchill to Cerebus."

The next page has some dialogue between Spawn and his wife. And what appears to be a sketch of the hands reaching through the jail cell bars.

Notebook #21, page 28

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The Evolution of a CIH? cover PART ONE

Benjamin Hobbs:

Welcome to the first installment of THE EVOLUTION OF A CIH? COVER! In this new intermittent series, I'll chronicle the creation of a CIH? cover from start to finish.

I sent a fax to Dave concerning a new idea for a CIH? cover.  He sent the fax back with his notes:

Then, 19 minutes later, he sent the fax AGAIN, with a couple corrections to his notes:
Next time: The cover mock up!

Aw geez... (The Anniversary.)

Hi, Everybody!

Has it been a year already?

Next Time: Anybody got anything for an upset stomach?

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Patty Cake: "In Good Company" (from Cerebus #200)

Hi, Everybody!

Comiclink is go! (Or will be shortly.)

We're still Vark Wars -ing.

And, Everybody's Friend (and Superman's Frenemy), David Birdsong sent in better copies of the exclusive Patty Cake strip from Cerebus #200:
Click for the biggering
We're still looking for high quality scans of It's A Whole New Look And Sound For The Weasels from Patty Cake #3.

Next Time: Come and listen to the story about a man named Hobbs,
A poor photoshopper, barely kept himself a job, 
And then one day he was shootin in the dark, 
And up from the ground come a angry aardvark.

Cerebus that is, black vest, surly attitude. 

Well the first thing you know ol Ben's a millionaire, 
The kinfolk said "Ben move away from there" 
Said "Hades is the place ya ought to dwell" 
So he loaded up the truck and they moved to Hell 

Cerebus in Hell?, that is. Lakes o' fire, Renaissance poets. 

Cerebus and Hobbs [Banjo solo]

Monday, 12 November 2018

The Face on the Bar-Room Floor

Hi, Everybody!

In regards to Saturday's post, we have the fourth AMOC Special Friend Of The Day (and the SECOND in November!): Paul Slade
Suitable for framing
How did Paul receive this "PRESTIGIOUS AWARD"?

By sending into
Dear AMOC,

Here it is.


The Face On The Bar-Room Floor (Bacchus #1, May 1995)
Art by Dave Sim & Eddie Campbell

As Tim W. noted back in the day,
(from Bacchus #1, May 1995)

First up is the Bacchus & Cerebus crossover, created by myself and the eminent Dave Sim. He was over here for the convention in Sydney and flew up to Brisbane afterwards. We holed up in a hotel suite for five days and improvised a five-pager around an old song from the 1890s (approximately) which was previously done in comics form by Kurtzmanand Davis in MAD with the face in the final panel dropped in by the one and only Basil Wolverton. We booked adjoining rooms. We'd work in one and he'd smoke in the other. I'd sleep in among the debris and he'd sleep in the fog. But while we discussed the piece we were to create we walked in and out and the smoke was everywhere and I was trying helplessly to open a window thirteen storeys up. I have stipulated in my agreements with the accommodating Mr Sim that I get to pick the brand of cigarette next time as I had to process the smoke from each one after he was finished with it. The fire hose reel was situated outside our doors and became in our heads a traditional Scottish dance to be performed after completing each evening with a trip to the pub across the road. As for the work itself, we just passed the pages back and forth until it was done. Diana Schutz correctly recognised who did what but was miffed that we didn't cast her in the role of the barmaid. Steve Bissette was miffed that we did give him the role of the artist. He threatened to get even, and judging from his brilliant new comic, Tyrant, he knows how to go about it. It fairly oozes with primal danger.

But Mr. Slade didn't stop there, he also sent in:

… and here’s some info on the original song. Quite interesting, as it turns out.

 Mad's version:
Paul Slade’s latest book, Unprepared To Die, is out now from Soundcheck Books.

So here you gJohn Pannozzi, The Face on the Bar-room Floor

Next Time: Patty Cake?

Sunday, 11 November 2018

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part twenty-seven

Hi, Everybody!

3 August 14

Dear Troy & Mia; David & Marie:

Last week, I forgot to address THE LEGS as metaphysical expression of the creation of our planet.  The most relevant passage about legs that I ever read was in the MAKING BABIES book that I cited in THE LAST DAY's prologue, having to do with the XY chromosome or the XX chromosome (I forget which) where -- if the balance disproportionately favoured the female, -- you ended up with very long legs, legs which occupied a more than usual proportion of the body's mass.  So it seems to me that, while men and women both have legs, legs are a female-natured metaphysical expression.  Which doesn't contain the "God particle".  I say that because the thumb -- the ultimate expression of the "God particle" -- "ends" the expression that leads from body to arm to hand, whereas there is no comparable expression which completes the leg.  A big toe is not a a thumb, metaphysically speaking. 

Okay, back to the Book of Ezekiel. I'm not going to get very far this week. Chapter 29 is pretty straightforward but difficult to explain, so I'm only going to be able to address a few verses:


Chapter 29, as I read it, continues the motif of God having given YHWH enough rope, the YHWH now finds the need to hang his/her/its self inescapable, continuing on to Egypt and directly Ezekiel to prophecy against Egypt in verses 1 and 2. 

If I'm correct in my theories about YHWH, Egypt is a profoundly YHWHistic expression, both "not God" and "anti-God" and dating back prior to our own epoch. 

That is, at the time that A Dam and Chauah were created, there was already the Egyptian monarchy/nation, ruled by Pharaohs, an expression of the as-yet-then unnamed YHWH.  So, YHWH turning against Egypt -- not knowing that the YHWH in many ways, IS Egypt -- is a remarkable opportunity for God.  Of which God attempts to take full advantage.  Although in a way that's a little complicated to explain.  When God says in verse 3:

Speak and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold I against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river mine own, and I have made for my self

He's addressing the YHWHistic usurpation.  God's medium is water and the YHWH's medium is the earth.  So what God is saying -- as a a prompt in the hopes of getting the YHWH to reiterate the judgement -- is that God (and YHWH? YHWH, what do you say to this?) is opposed to Pharaoh, the great dragon…

(dragons don't exist, except metaphorically.  When God refers to a dragon in our epoch, as I read it, what he is referring to is the "serpent in the garden" which also didn't exist. Serpents don't talk.  Chauah seduced herself into eating the fruit as a proxy of YHWH.  There may have been a snake nearby, but voice she heard was the voice of the earth, YHWH.  Once entrenched in Scripture, however, there are only two choices: admit that serpents can't talk and find another more accurate model of creation -- Genesis 1, as opposed to Genesis 2 and 3 -- or face the peril of the fictitious talking snake, over the course of thousands of years, evolving into a fictitious metaphysical dragon. It's  "O what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive" but on a much higher level of expression and metaphysics)

…that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river my own and I have made for my self.

The Egyptian YHWH -- the portion of the earth which underlies the nation-state of Egypt -- does indeed "lie in the midst" of several rivers.  Using "midst" God allows for two different interpretations: 

The accurate one is that Egypt exists directly adjacent to and in direct proximity to the rivers of Egypt.  God is in the rivers and YHWH is in the land. The inaccurate one -- which the YHWH favours and then chooses -- is that Egypt exists INSIDE the rivers.  "Midst" covers both meanings. The latter is the usurpation construct of the YHWH.  What God is saying is that the YHWH is saying, "I am the river and I made the river".  That is, you don't see accurately. You aren't the river, you aren't IN the river and you didn't make the river.

In answer to the prompt, the YHWH says

But I will put my hooks in thy jaws and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales

The "putting my hooks in thy jaws" recurs in the Book of Job.  It's the point where the "talking snake" not only evolves over time into a dragon, it also evolves into an aquatic dragon, Leviathan.  It's both literally inaccurate (there are no literal aquatic dragons) and metaphysically accurate (by entrenching the talking snake in YHWHistic scripture, the YHWH makes it inevitable that the fundamental lie will enlarge itself into a metaphysical dragon and by attempting to usurp God's place, makes it inevitable that there will need to be an invented aquatic dragon of similarly grandiose proportions to keep the construct going).

This becomes, variously, the red dragon of John's Apocalypse, Moby Dick, the whale that swallows Jonah, Giganto (I think he was called) in Pinocchio, etc. 

The YHWH -- as the would-be usurper "God" -- definitely has a strong -- and reasonably accurate -- mental image of Leviathan as very difficult to extract from the "midst of his rivers".  It's certainly one of the problems faced by God:  how to extract YHWH from God's context and get YHWH to perceive his/her/its nature accurately.  "You aren't IN the rivers, and you didn't MAKE the rivers. You're in the earth and the earth is one of My, God's creations."     

And I will leave thee into the wilderness

The KJV interpolates "thrown" into the text:  "And I will leave thee THROWN into the wilderness" but I'm pretty sure that isn't what the YHWH said in response to God's prompt.  It expresses the YHWH's confusion here at the apex of "Our Biblical Story Thus Far". 

Phonetically it sounds like "And I will LEAD thee into the wilderness" which reads one way:

But how do you "lead" an aquatic dragon into the wilderness?  The YHWH's visualization breaks down at the malapropism.  The "hooks in the jaws" the YHWH can "see" mentally.  It's like a combination bridle and fish hook.  Immense!  Big enough to steer Leviathan!  But how do you steer an immense aquatic beast ONTO land and INTO the wilderness from "his rivers"? 

With only a slight variation it also reads:

And I will leave thee in the wilderness….

(Which, it seems to me, brings it into closer proximity to God's intention for the YHWH.  At a deep, subconscious level, the YHWH understands that he/she/it isn't God and that the whole idea -- talking snake, Leviathan and all -- needs to be abandoned, left in the wilderness and not retained where Egypt's monarchy/nation has actually hatched out, incarnated as a political structure and expression of humanity.)

…thee and all the fish of thy rivers.  Thou shalt fall upon the face of the field, thou shalt not be brought together nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fouls of the heaven.  

 As I read it, the YHWH's confusion persists.  There is an urge simultaneously metaphysical, conscious, unconscious and real towards "casting out".  An urge to be rid of Leviathan.  Of course, to the YHWH, in many ways, God is Leviathan.  An immense presence that can't be dispensed with nor gotten around. God is the usurper as the YHWH sees it.  But, at one level or another, the YHWH must be aware that there is no form or degree of leverage that makes "casting out" God possible.  And, in fact, the actual job facing the YHWH is only slightly less daunting.  The YHWH can visualize SELF-control only to the extent of the means -- his hook in his jaws for steering (leverage) -- and the ultimate end of seeing the YHWH's own base nature "fall upon the face of the field" nevermore to be "brought together nor gathered".  It's the "in between" that's problematic. 

[Or, more accurately, only SEEMS problematic. Parenthetically, I think the Synoptic Jesus addresses this very thing at a mid-point between God and YHWH -- dealing with the perceived impossible immensity -- in Matthew 17:17-20 when the disciples are complaining about their inability to cast out an unclean spirit from a young boy with the same potency which the Synoptic Jesus brings to the task.  The Synoptic Jesus says (and it doesn't explicitly exclude his disciples):

O generation faithless and having been twisted, till when with you will I be? Till when will I put up with you? Be bringing to me him here.  And he gave rebuke to it the Jesus and came out from him the demon; and was cured the boy from the hour that.  Then having come toward the disciples to the Jesus according to private, Through what we not were able to expel it?  The ___ (however ____) is saying to them Through the little faith of you; truly for I am saying to you, if ever you may have faith as grain of mustard, you will say to the mountain this, Transfer from here there, and it will transfer, and nothing will be impossible to you.

It's basically the same narrative: with the Synoptic Jesus taking the role of God, the disciples facing the same problematic "casting out" of self that the YHWH is facing only in this case, the insurmountable weight isn't YHWH-as-Leviathan, it's YHWH-as-mountain.  Leviathan and the mountain are both metaphysical, representational constructs.  Immense, yes, but only in the human imagination.  Nothing physical actually exists in the sense that we think it does.  It isn't an engineering job. You don't have to visualize the MEANS by which you move the entrenched aquatic behemoth from its domain to "the face of the field" in the wilderness and then build the machinery with which you accomplish it.  The MEANS and the END are the same: faith. Whether you're YHWH or a human being, if you Increase your faith in God sufficiently the thing is already accomplished.  Get your mind OFF the imaginary thing that appears real: the mountain or Leviathin…and ONTO the real thing you aren't adequately and realistically imagining: your own faith.]

And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I, the YHWH, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel.

It was worth a try to get the YHWH to go along with the "Leviathan construct" but -- whether consciously or unconsciously (my guess would be both) -- the YHWH switches metaphorical constructs abruptly.

The inhabitants of Egypt -- as opposed to Egypt itself -- are now the "broken reed" and are only being  dealt with relative to those inhabitants' own -- then current -- relationship to Israel as an unreliable Israeli ally.  The "broken reed" refers to Egypt's inadequacy as a staff.  You can't lean on it because it will break and is -- in fact -- already broken. 

It's actually a suitable metaphor for the YHWH, as well.

 The YHWH is an inadequate ally of Israel, Judah, God, human beings -- you name it.  A broken reed.  And plants are a creation of the YHWH so by switching to a reed as the metaphor for Egypt, the YHWH, to a degree, escapes self-indictment.  The reed is in the midst of the waters and, in fact, is endemic to the transition area between earth and water: the shoreline. But the reed doesn't pretend it IS the rivers or that it MADE the rivers.

(The Synoptic Jesus ventures near this as well when he addresses the crowds, asking them what they expected to see when they went out into the wilderness looking for John the Baptist as John's fame spread. Basically, what did you expect to see? A broken reed? It's a good metaphorical point.  John was baptizing in the wilderness of Bethany where the water meets the earth.  He wasn't accepted by Israel.  He certainly wasn't seen -- as Egypt in Ezekiel's time wasn't seen -- as a reliable ally of the Jewish authorities. But did that make him -- a great prophet -- a broken reed?)

I told you this chapter gets complicated.

I'll pick it up from there next week.



Next Time: Cerebus in Matt's Life? ("past" Matt Rocks!)

Saturday, 10 November 2018

A dip into the Ol' AMOC Mailbag

Hi, Everybody!

So, the Ol' AMOC Mailbag.

John Pannozzi sent in a request:
I really love how the Moment of Cerebus blog includes a bunch of (at least relatively) rare Dave Sim and Cerebus-related short comic stories in their entirety.

But there are two Cerebus stories in particular (both crossovers) that I feel are sorely missing.

The first is "The Face on the Bar-Room Floor" from Bacchus #1 (May 1995) by Dave Sim and Eddie Campbell.  You included part of the story years ago on the blog, but I'd like to see the story in its entirety uploaded on your blog, with all pages in high quality (like how the excerpts from years ago look).  I hope Eddie Campbell doesn't mind.

The second is the story "It's A Whole New Look And Sound For The Weasels", featuring not only Cerebus, but also Patty Cake, Gran'Ma Ben (from Bone), Joey (from Hepcats), and Flaming Carrot.  It seems that this story was originally published in Cerebus #200, and has also been published in Patty Cake #3 and Patty Cake Prime Collection.  I'd also love to see a high-quality upload of this entire story.
What a great idea John! Except... I don't have either of those two stories. Not even in poor quality crappy scans I made myself. (But if somebody out there has nice scans, I'll make you AMOC Special Friend Of The Day!)

Also, your Patty Cake info is a tad wrong. As our own Margaret Liss notes:
  • Patty Cake #3: published by Caliber Press under their Tapestry imprint in 1996, featured a short story entitled "It's A Whole New Look And Sound For The Weasels", featuring Cerebus alongside Flaming Carrot, Gran'ma Ben from Bone and Joey from Hepcats.
  • Patty-Cake Prime Collection: reprints the Cerebus #200 comic strip in which Patty Cake captures and adopts Cerebus before Cerebus escapes with Flaming Carrot.
The latter I DO have (in crappy scan for):
Dave's intro

The only website I could find for Scott Roberts is:

In response to yesterday's request, Your friend and mine (and Superman's Frenemy), David Birdsong sent in:

And then, there's this:
Hi there,

What is your favorite comic created by Dave Sim and Gerhard?

I'm reaching out to ask which Ad layout generates the most revenue for you?

I work at Ezoic (a Google Certified Publishing Partner) and I'd love to chat about how our platform allows you to generate incremental Ad revenue and boost User Experience with no risk to your website - there are no contracts.

We're not an Ad network! I'm sure you get loads of emails from them... Ezoic is a layer of machine learning that lives between your Ads and readers. The tech uses AI to curate the exact Ad compositions (size, color, location, etc.) that resonate best with each unique visitor.

Is increasing Ad revenue and making your site more reader friendly something you might be interested in?


Business Development, Ezoic.
I, I have no idea...

Next Time: Boy, you gonna git you some churchin' 

Friday, 9 November 2018

Thought Showering (Dave's Weekly Update #260)

Hi, Everybody!

Heeeeeere's Dave:

Dave wants to know what you think "Cerebus' idea of 'Virtue Signalling' would be."

And if you wanna get in on the Vark Wars, I ain't gonna stop ya. All submissions to
(Maybe you could swipe some ideas from Dave's post-it notes?)

And Comicslink is coming... (November 14th.)

Next Time: I'm apparently taking requests?

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Deep and Meaningfuls

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 last looked at Dave Sim's twenty fourth notebook this past January in Remember . . .jobs? The notebook covers Cerebus #192 through #211 with 138 pages scanned in.

On page 111 there is a ballpoint pen sketch of Bear thinking "I'm really not much wa wun for th' "deep and meaningful's":

Notebook #24, page 111
On page 104 there is a sketch of a woman whom I'm thinking is Ziggy, Bear's girlfriend during Guys. She doesn't appear on page 18 of issue #213, but she does appear on the cover of the issue. In the notebook sketch she appears to be pushing or holding something with her left hand, while on the cover she is standing just in the door.

Notebook #24, page 104
Cover to Cerebus #213 

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

CIH? Cover Comparison: CEREBUS WOMAN

Benjamin Hobbs:

Here's the original cover for CEREBUS WOMAN (coming soon... May 2019!) featuring text I wrote:

Here's the revised cover, updated with Dave's text:

The "Yelling Cerebus" face has also been swapped out, to prevent moire in the comic and anxiety in Sean.

Next week: I'll address the outcry caused by  the lack of Jingles-riding-Cerebus strips! 

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Your Vark Wars

Hi, Everybody!

The Vark Wars

As promised yesterday, VARK WARS SUBMISSIONS!!!

First up is Jeff Seiler, who sent in:
Hi, David!  I know you wanted a script, but right now I just have an idea. Thus:

Panel 3: The line from Han after Luke shot down a Tie fighter, "Great shootin', kid! But don't get cocky."

Panel 4: Close-up of Cerebus, wearing the Batvark codpiece, no text.

I'll work on it. Just wanted to be the first in with it.

 Which Everybody's Friend (and Superman's Frenemy) David Birdsong managed to turn into:
Click for biggerness
Then David Branstetter sent in like Six strips, which makes him... the THIRD AMOC Special Friend Of The Day:
Suitable for Framing.
Unfortunately, most of his strips deal with sequels or prequels, so the Powers-That-Be are gonna sit on them until we do More Vark Wars (if the first one sells!) But he still got these two in:
Click for biggerness

Click for biggerness
And then Oliver Simonsen, posted a couple of strips to the Cerebus Facebook Group, and I scooped them up. And we tweaked one of 'em to give you:

Want bigger SODAR Dave? Click.
Okay, if you think you can do better, or if you think you could make one of these better, send your Submissions/Comments/Chocolate Cake Recipes to: 

Next Time: Do you have a moment (heh.) to talk about Cerebus and Hobbs?