|Cerebus Vol 1|
Back In Stores Soon!
Hi Sean (and everybody!)
Tim faxed me your Thursday post on Wednesday so I've had a couple of days to see what "sticks to my ribs".
This is much, much better news than I was even HOPING for. How much better news? I called my Diamond rep, Matt Demory to say "We aren't there yet, but we're much closer than I would ever have suspected we would be even a week ago."
Thanks, Sean, for the terminology recap. I know the Luddite-inclined among us (not pointing fingers in any mirrors) are getting that "trigonometry feeling" a little too often for leisure-time reading.
Good news that you have kudos for Lebonfon's RIP and pre-press operator. That takes "dump Lebonfon is Job One" off the table as far as I'm concerned.
I agree, in principle, that leaving in details that would otherwise be "contrast adjusted" constitutes an oddity (which I don't KNOW is a bad thing) and possibly a distraction (which could be a bad thing if we had a focus group to test it and most agreed it was, indeed, a distraction).
And I thought of the Woman Thing spatter pages right off when you said that. I was really happy with those even though technically they're jarring next to the "non-original-art sourced" spatter pages. But, that's part of what I took care of (in my own mind) with CEREBUS ARCHIVE THE ARTISTS EDITIONS. God willing, those pages will be in CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER SEVENTEEN, so I don't have to concern myself. You want that level of detail? CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER SEVENTEEN is what you want to get.
The "flatness of the black" as you describe it, is what I was referring to when I said the overall impression of the book is "GREY"--not greyscale, half-tones, but bad ink coverage. This is something we would definitely like to see fixed. That might be a "royal we" or a "minority we" or "majority we" absent a focus group. But, definitely a "heads up" to Lebonfon. Josee? Dean? This is something we -- all of us -- will be watching for.
Which brings us to "where now?"
I appreciate David Birdsong's observation in the comments...
(thank you David for Mended Fences' "hillbilly Jesus music" direct from Nashville which I got today. Big laugh of the day: "It's hillbilly Jesus music, but it's really GOOD hillbilly Jesus music". It is indeed. Toe-tappin' gospel Elvis and Jerry Lee and Johnny could have nailed at Sun Records. If the Off-White House has been bugged for my suspect Muslim sympathies somebiddy is done scratchin' his haid 'long about now at my Cranked Up To 11 iTunes hillbilly Jesus music whilst I was fixin' t'answer the mail) (y'all) (Quite a change from m'usual daid silence)
...and I certainly WANTED everything done on this book this time around, but I think that has to be balanced against the WASTE of just pulping the whole thing and starting from scratch -- as tempting as it is to spend all of your Kickstarter money as if I was a government bureau trying to drain my budget for fiscal year end. And that I think there's going to be a natural split in the audience with a lot of people taking David's view: "I just can't see buying this if it's got residual flaws" and a lot of people eager to see what it is that we've been talking about. The answer seems to me: "hang fire. The legacy edition will probably be the NEXT printing." Which might be, relatively speaking, just around the corner. And if you're really curious, you pays yer money and you get to decide fer your own self: oddity or distraction? And is that a BAD thing (whichever one it is).
And MOST people, I daresay, not really caring one way or the other. We have, at best, a FEW retailers reading these Updates. I think I'm safe in saying Unless we print half the pages upside down or pages 250-276 are from a porno comic (I wish I hadn't just said that), they're not REALLY interested:
CEREBUS is back in print? Fat city. What took so [effing] long?
That was one of the things that I presented to Matt at Diamond: does Diamond want me to SOLICIT for the CEREBUS trade? i.e. do a full page ad in PREVIEWS "FINALLY IT'S HERE!" kind of thing? I mean, if anything is worth springing for an ad -- or a two-page spread (I was picturing the cover with inset images along the bottom half of high points of the restoration), that I could picture saying "Kids? Here's where Daddy's going to use up some Kickstarter bucks. 'Kay?" that would be it.
But, the first thing I asked him was "When's the next ad deadline for PREVIEWS?" And he checks and goes "Today." I laughed. Well, okay, when's the NEXT one? And it's July 10 for items in the stores in November (I think). Well, okay. Obvious question: do you want to wait until November?
So, right now he's talking to people and I'm going to give him a call next Wednesday. With pretty close to Zero Retailer Participation here, we're going to do it Diamond's way and ask "how high?" on the way up (as my Dad used to say).
But "where now?" as far as WE'RE concerned HERE:
Is...Sean? I think it makes sense to do the four signatures you suggest -- 1-32; 97-128; 129-160; 289-320 -- the best way YOU know how, billing Aardvark-Vanaheim for Your Best Shot. And then -- fair's fair -- give them to George first to critique, as you got the chance to critique George's work. And then when George has critiqued and tweaked -- or just left them alone -- those four signatures, we swap those files out with Lebonfon and be ready to print when I have a roadmap from Diamond -- "Here's what we want. Here's how many we'll take" -- and if it's A!S!A!P! then we have to be ready for that. Or something in between -- not all the way to November, but with enough time to let the retailers know and get orders in an authorized back channel way that gives Diamond a ballpark figure and then they decide how many they want besides that. And that's how many we print.
As someone pointed out, HIGH SOCIETY AUDIO DIGITAL is (theoretically) in stores in August and I couldn't fault Diamond for wanting A!S!A!P! to be as close to that as possible.
And, of course, then I complicated things by mentioning the "signed bookplates with Diamond logo as a Diamond exclusive on all CEREBUS trades ordered between -- Black Friday? Yes? and mid-December? Yes?"
Long silence on Matt's end. "EVERY book?"
Uh, well, yeah. Without CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY, Diamond is sitting on A. Lot. Of. Dead. CEREBUS. Inventory. Anything that moves some Christmas books that only requires me signing my name A. Bunch. Of. Times. Uhh. You know: Signatures R Us!
And then I had to complicate things even more by asking "or do you want the unsigned CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER ONE in PREVIEWS in November for Christmas sales instead? Or 'as well'?"
And if Dean or Josee is reading this: can you send Sean an unbound copy of HIGH SOCIETY?
I think we're on a roll here.
Help finance Dave Sim to complete 'The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond'
by donating at Patreon.com or via Paypal.
by donating at Patreon.com or via Paypal.
Originally serialised within the pages of the self-published Glamourpuss #1-26 (2008 to 2012), The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond is an as yet uncompleted work-in-progress in which Dave Sim investigates the history of photorealism in comics and specifically focuses on the work of comic-strip artist Alex Raymond and the circumstances of his death on 6 September 1956 at the wheel of fellow artist Stan Drake's Corvette at the age of 46.