Saturday, 28 December 2013

Wickets Revisited

Cerebus #29, Page 19
Original art by Dave Sim (1981); Recreated art by Dave Sim & Gerhard (2006)
(Click image to enlarge)
(from Cerebus The Artvark, 2006)
Frankly, I'm more than a little embarrassed by the early material (which I try not to let on about since it is our bread and butter). I know what the stuff looked and read like in my mind's eye and ear at the time and the contrast between the mental image and the actual results on paper are sincerely mortifying. "Insanity is the last line of defense for the master bureaucrat" is an interesting observation, but it’s hardly a Lord Julius line, so I tried to fix it so it read like something Groucho Marx would say. The salesman line was indelicate relative to the personality of the Elf. You just wouldn’t say to the Elf (or ro a female of any kind) "sniffing your crotch" since they don’t hear it in the abstract the way men do. If you say "sniffing your crotch" what they is is that someone wants to sniff their crotch. I switched genders, elevated the action anatomically and "cuted" it up with the "mooing" which would pass muster with a female. "Impregnable" is not a word that Cerebus would use. As with the Lord Julius line, this is Dave Sim conveying his best current thinking on an abstract subject and completely losing his characters’ voices and personalities in the process. As I say, it's really cringe-inducing, particularly since it is exponentially more popular than anything else I did. Other things like Cerebus walking towards the reader with his tail about to hit the wickets. If you had a tail you would know to get it out of the way, I think. Trying to figure out how the robe is sitting on his body by the white stripes in the middle panel and finally giving up and drawing it properly. Likewise with him holding the croquet mallet in the second panel. It looks to me was if I got the figure done, realized I hadn't put the mallet in so I just drew it vaguely intersecting the right hand which is resting on his knee (and then had it disappear behind the outer instead of the inner panel frame as a way of showing how clever I was an hoping that would distract from the fact that there is no rational way he would be holding the mallet at that angle even if he was holding his hand at waist level, the mallet would either be horizontal or tipping the other way.


David Birdsong said...

I wonder how much cash it would take to get all of High Society done this way? More than I have or I would have already offered it.

alchemist57 said...

The maths are not as weird as you might think.

Let's run some numbers. I commissioned this page and page 20, and based on what I paid for them (with 512 pages in High Society), it would take 2,500 people putting up $510 each.

That's $1,275,000 for the job. Now, if it was printed on fine, fine paper at magazine size, perhaps in a couple of volumes… how much of the money would it take to print 2500 super-fine copies?

Even if it was $110 to print and mail, there's still a cool million cleared and they end up with the art to sell.

But 2500 people at $510? I'm skeptical.

Let's imagine there were only 2000 people out there who would buy the high-priced book… but 25% of them would pay more for sponsoring a page.

Now, if you offered 510 $1700 spots for those who get a book AND a randomly selected page of art (I got my two pages already), then that raises $867,000, and you could lower the book price to $350 and sell another 1500 for $525,000 and come in at $1,392,000 net.

I think you could get the $350/book from 1500 people.

Are there 510 page buyers? Maybe not. Add a premium for being able to reserve a page or pages? You might be able to change the equation enough.

Done as a true re-imagination along with commentary, you might be able to do it. Screw Kickstarter, but run it the same way: pre-sell the commitment but only run the project if you hit the target.

Would a million dollars bring the creators out for this? That's a lot of pages.

Dave Philpott said...

Count me in for three pages. 507 to go! Your two pages look great BTW.