Thursday, 2 May 2013

20-Page Installments

Cerebus #1-300 (December 1977 to March 2004)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(Click image to enlarge)
DAVE SIM:
(from the 'Eisner Goodwin Sim' panel talk, Will Eisner's Quarterly #4, 1985)
...Bill Loebs, who does Journey, mentioned a thing to me a while ago that he doesn't try for a break between his issues. He's doing an ongoing story, so he doesn't feel compelled to have a beginning, middle and end in the 20 pages allotted to him. I realised, the more I thought about it, that I was kind of partial to that too, but I'd been self-imposing a structure, the "this had better finish off with at least the semblance of an ending" type of thing. Now I'm trying to allow myself the luxury to say that this is where the story is going, and it doesn't naturally conclude on page 20. There's no reason that I can't say, "Well, stay tuned til next week." I don't do recaps and whatnot to explain what went before...

... I don't think I would do it as a regular rule. I was just indicating that there are different structures. I don't feel inhibited now in doing a completely slow-paced issue. There doesn't have to be a melodramatic peak at this point or two melodramatic peaks here. There really is no set rule...

...the thing of doing a humour comic and feeling compelled to make at least 15 of the 20 pages funny. Certainly I felt that way after 10 to 11 issues, there wasn't really a track record for it. But after 60 monthly issues there is required a change of pace. There's a need to give the overall story, the 1,300 pages, more of a wave pattern of its own, rather than making sure each issue has its own individual wave pattern - an up and a down, an up and a down, and finish with an up. Then when you pick up the next issue, you start in again...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave in 1985 : "Now I'm trying to allow myself the luxury to say that this is where the story is going, and it doesn't naturally conclude on page 20"

That's when you moved from comic books to art, Dave!

dpbanks said...

I was surprised to see the Countdown to Cerebus 300 poster! Dave was gracious to allow me to create it and sell one copy of it on eBay. The proceeds went to the CBLDF. dpbanks