Sunday, 29 July 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (6)

Kickstarter and digitalisation.  Technologically you've gone from 0 to 60 mph (as we used to say when that was impressive) in less than five seconds and just in time, too.  Can we please get with the e-mail, now?

I'm afraid not.  I'm still -- after having ditched glamourpuss, CEREBUS ARCHIVE and CEREBUS TV -- working 12 hours a day 6 days a week.  Just a week or so ago, I spent five of those 12-hour days answering a five-inch stack of mail.  I'm really not looking for more ways for people to have access to me.  I've had a limited experience with e-mail on the Kickstarter campaign with the "send message" function on the "backer report".  Go down the list of people I have to contact and type a short note and then -- on to the next one.  Except by the time I'm at the bottom of my list, I'm starting to get answers from the earlier people.  I measure all of this by my "coffee shop time".  How long have I been sitting here typing and Google searching and adding comments and reading comments and posting updates?  I think you'd agree that a 12-hour day is a pretty substantial working day.  Once it gets up to an hour of "coffee shop time" I'm aware that I'm using up a good chunk of my working day on what I would consider marginal pursuits.  I mean, I have it factored in as part of trying to keep the Kickstarter thing going.  But, today is a good example -- I came here for a specific purpose related to Kickstarter, logged in and saw Sandeep's update with the Cerebus Archive material and promptly forgot what I was here for.  Post a quick a hello to Richard Bruning?  Well, no -- I need to THINK of what I'm here for.

If I had this at HOME?  Forget about it.  Spent all 12 hours yesterday -- except for delivering the next batch of signed books to Postnet to be shipped to John and authenticating one of the pledge partners' CEREBUS No.1's and FedExing it back to him -- finishing the last three full figure Cerebuses on A-V stationery and starting in on the list of Cerebus head sketches on A-V stationery.  I think I have 111 of them to do.
See, I count myself lucky that I can sit out on the back porch and do them.  Alternating between that and sitting in my office in the air-conditioning and doing them.  It's a very nice office.  It's nice to be able to actually sit in it from time to time.  The last three years of working on glamourpuss, CEREBUS ARCHIVE and CEREBUS TV I don't think I made it out to the back porch more than twice and never for more than 10 minutes at a time. And the office was just a CEREBUS TV "set" for shooting episodes.
This is my fourth day of Pope, Barbarian, Barbarian, Pope, Drunk, Pope, Drunk, Groucho, Pope.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm very grateful for the revenue (VERY grateful) but there does come a point when you think your brain is going to turn to cream cheese.  Okay.  Take a break.  Down to the coffee shop.  But I've got one eye on the clock.  At home, I'd be forever pulling out my cellphone (if I had one) or checking the computer (if mine was hooked up to the Internet) for e-mail and then answering it. I'll just answer this one.  Basically avoiding work.
Also, I consider my work to be "The Strange Death of Alex Raymond".  I have a 3-subject notebook here.  Let me see: Section 1, Kickstarter.  52 pages.  Section 2.  "Strange Death of Alex Raymond".  3 pages.  I haven't drawn a page or worked on a page since June 25.  I'm pretty focussed on getting to the point where I could put in some 12-hour days on what I consider my work.  But I have to be focussed on that in order to get there.  No, I don't see e-mail as helping me to get to "The Strange Death of Alex Raymond" sooner.  Same reason I don't have the ringer turned on on my phone.  If the phone rang and I answered it, I'd have to talk to whoever it was.  Which would be GREAT since I don't really talk to anyone.  GREAT as in pleasurable.  Not so great when it comes to getting back to working on "The Strange Death of Alex Raymond".  No, better that I get a phone message and then I can figure out if I need to answer it or what I need to do about it.  WHILE I'm working.  I can't talk on the phone and do a decent head sketch.  I can, however, mull over a phone message while I'm doing a head sketch.

So, sorry.  No e-mail until I see a good reason for it.
The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond (Glamourpuss #25, May 2012)
Art by Dave Sim
Okay, time for a Tim question!

Why do you seem to care so much about what the comics community thinks of your work?  As an artist, isn't the act of creativity done for its own sake, irrespective of the public's reaction/acceptance of it?

Okay, good question.  I'll get to that one next.  Now I have some Barbarian, Pope, Pope, Pope, Drunk, Barbarian, Groucho, Young, Old, Baby head sketches to do.  See you quasi-tomorrow?


Anonymous said...

I think Dave needs a holiday. Has he ever had one since starting Cerebus back in '77?

M Kitchen said...

I know Dave had two days off a couple weeks ago...

Hey Dave! If you're reading this, here's a HARD TALK question for you: How did your legs hold up after playing soccer with a backyard full of children?

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

Hey Mike,
Got any photos you'd like to share of Dave playing soccer?

Dave Sim said...

I actually had a day off in Toronto before going to Mike and Erika's place. My legs were actually fine after playing soccer with Anika, Erikson, Raina and the wandering goal posts :)

I accidentally kicked Raina at one point in the ankle and she said (not the first but the first in a long time) Your toenails are SHARP! That was my same toe that had me incapacitated for a few weeks and I wondered if I had re-injured it. Yes, but not as badly. I hope Raina came out okay. My toenails really ARE sharp!

M Kitchen said...

Hi A Moment of Cerebus - Unfortunately I was playing enforcer for a one year old, so I didn't have a camera on me to do any sports photography... NEXT time!

Dave - Yes, Raina came out of it okay. She's a little powerhouse.