Sunday, 2 September 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (29)

Why isn't that going to work (ie Aardvark-Vanaheim Inc inheriting Dave's insurance policy and using that money to sustain the Off-White House and maintain the Cerebus Archive)?

It isn't going to work because you need an executor and the executor can't be the same person as the beneficiary.  I can leave my insurance policy to Aardvark-Vanaheim, but then I have to leave Aardvark-Vanaheim to someone and there isn't anyone who is suited to taking it over.  It would be willing an enormous-nightmare-for-the-rest-of-your-life to someone and, not being a hateful person, I don't hate anyone enough to stick them with that.  EVERYONE who is devotedly interested in CEREBUS has a very sharp mental image of CEREBUS and of me and who I am and what I would want done with the property.  Whoever I left it to could literally never do anything right -- and not only never do anything right, for 99% of CEREBUS fans on whatever question they would be actively stabbing me in the back posthumously.

There's also the fact that Ontario is making up Family Law as it goes along.  My lawyer has told me that any will I came up with that didn't leave Aardvark-Vanaheim to a member of my family -- from which I'm estranged -- would be legally unenforceable in the present climate.  He has my current intentions in his safe and he sent me a letter telling me that he's accepting it as a person but not as a lawyer.  Given the nightmare legal world Ontario has turned into, I've had to limit myself to a few ideas and hope for the best.
A World Without Cerebus: His First Fifth or Still Life With Dropped Mop (2012)
Art by Gerhard
The most important thing is that Gerhard has control over the property of his that is still on-site and held in trust by the Cerebus Archive.  The understanding is that we both have jurisdiction over our own work.  The "jurisdiction" question is key because if Gerhard had assumed ownership of the material when we split the company then he would have to declare it as personal assets and pay tax on it -- which would have eaten up a sizeable chunk of what I paid him, which was no good.  So in both of our cases (including the artwork stored off-site) if we need to sell any of it just to pay bills, we have jurisdiction to do so.  Otherwise it's just considered this big pile of worthless drawings and sketches and things -- basically, if it's tracing paper, it's Aardvark-Vanaheim's tracing paper that it paid $7.95 a pad for and which is now just used tracing paper.  If it's on S-172 Illustration board, then it's considered x amount of ink Aardvark-Vanaheim paid for, y amount of tone Aardvark-Vanaheim paid for and z amount of S-172 illustration board Aardvark-Vanaheim paid for.  It's just that we mixed it all up together so instead of being worth the ink dollars, tone dollars and board dollars it's worthless.  It's like  traffic accident with these materials.

So, I basically sent a letter to Gerhard giving him the access codes to the alarm system at the house and telling him that Wilf, my lawyer, has a set of the keys.  As soon as Gerhard hears I'm dead he has to get over to Wilf's place and get those keys and get into the house and -- if he's smart -- stay there.  Because at that point, everything is going to go looney tunes in a big way, unless I miss my guess.  Someone would have to get a court order to get him out of the house and I'd be very interested to know who might do that and what an Ontario court would say about it.  And what public opinion would be about the legitimacy of having Gerhard thrown out of the Off-White House or having him arrested if he wouldn't leave.

I'm actually kind of sorry, I'll miss that.  Maybe I can watch it from the Other Side.

Dave is taking a short break from the HARDtalk interview to catch up on the sketches and drawings for the Kickstarter Pledge Partners, but HARDtalk will return very soon. In the meantime...

Already signed up for the HARDtalk Virtual Tour are Bleeding Cool, Millar World, Terminal Drift, Canadian Comics Archive and Comic Book Resources (CBR link to follow). Add your question for Dave Sim at one of these fine websites before 10 October and if your question is chosen (they'll need to be tough, interesting questions!) you'll receive a personalised, autographed copy of Not The 1995 World Tour Book defaced with a Cerebus head-sketch by Dave Sim!

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