Tuesday, 21 August 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (20b)

I donated to the Cerebus Kickstarter fundraiser as I instantly understood the importance of creating a permanent digital archive of the Cerebus comics and related materials which will exist long after we are all dead and buried. Was this your motivation behind the Cerebus Digital 6000 project, or are you just looking to make a quick buck off the younger generation of comic readers?

Okay.  Am I just trying to make a quick buck off the younger generation of comic book reader? Well, yes, in a sense. More of a STEADY buck than a QUICK buck.  CEREBUS is not and never will be a HARRY POTTER kind of thing. So I need as many different small streams of revenue as I can come up with.  So that's what I started with with the HIGH SOCIETY DIGITAL.  Basically get enough money at Kickstarter so I could pay Sandeep to scan all the pages and do an audio book side -- a revenue stream.  Maybe when it exists someone will buy it.  Well, okay.  Actually raising money to make it happen was HUGELY successful.  But that's just the first step.  The second step was saying, Okay, there's enough money here to do a VERY thorough job of this.  What I hadn't realized was HOW thorough a job.  I've been AWOL from the HARDtalk interview because I hadn't been doing the annotations on my Notebooks.  Plenty of time for that.  Just "here's what you're looking at".  Boom I'm done.

Well, as I started actually READING the Notebooks -- and I'm unquestionably the only person who CAN read my Notebooks -- I found a lot of interesting stuff that I had forgotten.  Things like alternative dialogue between Cerebus and Jaka in No.36.  I don't remember writing it, but I'm -- you know-- familiar with the material to say the least.  So in reading it, I go, Oh, okay, that's why that didn't work. That's what I saw at the time and that's why I stopped there.  In No.37 when Bran Mak Mufin comes in and talks to Cerebus in the Oak Room...well, originally I had Suenteus Po.  So there's a couple of blocks of dialogue between A Suenteus Po (not THE Suenteus Po) that is very good background on Illusionism.  It wasn't usable for a different reason, but it is authentic writing from CEREBUS from that time period.
Cerebus #37 (April 1982)
Art by Dave Sim
See, people want me to go back and do that stuff again.  Well, I can't. I'm 56, I'm not 26.  But I CAN dig through what I was working on back then and decipher my hand-writing and tell you who I wrote the dialogue for -- and there you go: that's as close as you're going to get to NEW HIGH SOCIETY stories.

But, it's VERY time-consuming.  I have to first read it, then decipher what I can't read and then figure out what I was doing and then type out an explanation of what I was doing.  So, it's taken me all week to annotate the Notebooks from No.26 to No.36.  This with the "9.12.12" ( or "12.9.12" if you're in the UK) deadline for release of the free HIGH SOCIETY NO.1 DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (No.26) bearing down on us all.  Sandeep's a CEREBUS fan and he'd LIKE to read the annotations as he's e-mailing them to George.  But he can't. He's scanning negatives from the time he gets up in the morning until he goes to bed.

So, now I'm recording me performing all the voices in an issue -- No.37 -- and then recording Aardvark Comment and then annotating the Notebook entries for that issue (which is easier when I've just performed it -- I know what Notebook entries are IN the issue and which entries AREN'T) and then annotating all of the Cerebus Archive documents.  Also from the moment I get up until the moment  I go to bed.

So what's my point?  I'll get to that tomorrow. SAME Moment Of Cerebus Time. SAME Moment Of Cerebus Channel.

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