Tuesday, 14 August 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (18)

What prompted you to finish working mid-series on glamourpuss and Cerebus Archive, as well as your internet TV series Cerebus TV? Was it an economic decision based on low sales, were you clearing the decks for the Kickstarter Campaign, or something else? Was it difficult for you to call time on these incomplete projects having invested so much of your time and energy in them?

I had a specific threshold of investment in mind all along -- as long as I had money coming in to pay all the bills, whatever was left over I would allow myself to spend wherever I thought it would do the most good.  That turned out to work just fine through to the end of 2011 and then suddenly everything dried up and I could see the wall I was about to hit up ahead.  I hit the wall about the end of April and just decided to walk away.  No complaints.  Things come to an end.  There aren't a lot of guys making a steady living from comics at age 56 in any context and never have been.  The exceptions are the exceptions, not the rule.  I started planning how to dismantle everything -- which I'm still in the process of doing -- with an eye to turning all of my assets into cash and just heading out west to the oil sands in Alberta where I figured I could find employment of some kind.  Having gotten virtually no response to glamourpuss or CEREBUS TV or CEREBUS ARCHIVE, there would be very few people to notify, all of whom I owed a letter anyway in my (since answered) five-inch stack of mail.  Eddie Khanna and Johnny McPhanbot with glamourpuss, Margaret Liss and a handful of others for CEREBUS TV (Max and Meegwun have complete control of the website, so they've been free to do whatever they want with it -- including scuttling it -- since last August), Robin Snyder with CEREBUS ARCHIVE.

It was a good news/bad news thing.  The bad news was my career was over.  The good news was no one gave a s--t so I could just walk away and start over doing something that had nothing to do with comics or drawing or writing.  Frankly, I found the whole idea quite stimulating.  Frankly, I still do.

Cerebus #38 (May 1982)
Art by Dave Sim
I still had a football in my hand, though, which was the Kickstarter campaign that Sandeep had been pushing for and John had agreed to develop and pilot.  Great. Whatever.  So I threw one last "Hail Mary" and walked off the field.  I'm in the locker room down to my skivvies and it's, like, "He caught it? You're KIDDING.  No one's caught anything all afternoon."

So, now here I am back out on the field, temporarily, in a really weird way, finishing off all the loose ends on the "Hail Mary" pass, making the money last as long as I can.  And still reading up on the oil sands area of Alberta -- towns, villages, cities.  Until proven otherwise, I can only view the Kickstarter thing as a weird, one-time fluke.  One-time flukes aren't something you can live on.

As it stands now, it's enabled Sandeep and George and me to put together DIGITAL HIGH SOCIETY as a thorough package.  Here is EVERYTHING having to do with HIGH SOCIETY all in one place and done the best we can do it. If it IS a one-time fluke -- and I'm pretty sure it is -- at least it will be there to show what COULD HAVE been done with the Cerebus Archive back in the early 21st century had the (ahem) political climate in the comic-book field been (ahem) different.
Okay, next cliffhanger goes to Stephen.  Stephen?

Good work on the Kickstarter: you've learned all the lessons of the brand new model intuitively and then injected more of your customary mischief into the rewards which make it an entertainment to boot. Humour - another of your sharpest weapons - is endearing and therefore persuasive. It pervaded the Glamourpuss website. Was all that intentional on Kickstarter or can you simply not help yourself?

Tune in tomorrow Moment of Cerebus devotees and see if I rise to the bait and get blisters patting myself on the back for my sheer intuitive brilliance and "endearing and persuasive" humour!  Is this just another scheme on the part of the Merry Pranksters to lure the Dynamic Duo into a false sense of security?  WILL the batarang hold tight to that flagpole?  Don't miss it!  Same Moment of Cerebus Time! Same Moment of Cerebus Channel!

1 comment:

jlroberson said...

"Comics will break your heart." --Charles Schulz