Tuesday, 13 January 2015

How High Society? Odds and Ends and Audience Participation

Sean Michael Robinson:

Greetings everyone!

I'm afraid it's an "odds and ends" style roundup this week, as that's where we are with the work. Mara's spending this week finishing up the Dragnet certificates for all of our Cerebus original art scan donors, and I'm spending most of my time working on layout for my new graphic novel, A Summer Horse. 

But High Society continues on without us! 

The results from last week's "Redesign the GOAT Sequence of High Society Contest" (RTGSOHSC) are in. Here's what Dave has to say--

Scott Yoshinaga's GOAT redesign, pg 1, with Dave's tweaks

Congratulations Scott! And thank you, Scott and Tom, and everyone else for your great comments. Scott and Tom, please send your addresses and contact information to cerebusarthunt at gmail so Dave can send you your prizes!

Meanwhile, we still need your help with the final design decisions. First off, as Dave said on Friday, the "continued..."s are still up for grabs. Feel free to weigh in here, or in the comments on Dave's post, with your opinions-- what gets the axe? What doesn't? Why? (You'll notice from the fax above that last week I completely misinterpreted Dave's Astoria thought. So, no, no word balloons are going anywhere! Relax!) As you might be able to tell from the GOAT redesign, we're finding it tremendously helpful to put off some of these decisions onto the shoulders of the crowd, as it were. And you all seem to be doing a great job so far.

Lastly, we're still looking for ideas for potential High Society bookplates. These will be placed in the signed and numbered edition of the book that, hey, you can pre-order from your local comic store right now...

Although he hasn't explicitly said so, I think it's very unlikely that Dave will want to draw anything new for this, for a variety of reasons. So for those of you interested in participating-- take a tour through your older High Society editions, or the original Cerebus 26-50. What images best represent the book? In what sequence? Feel free to pick and choose from anything available in that time period-- interior art, covers, letter page doodles. If you'd rather not make a mock-up yourself, then leave a text description here as a comment, along with a description of where I can find the art you're referring to. If we get any comments here along those lines, I'll make some mockups of the suggested ideas, and use next week's blog post to share the current contenders.

There's still time to be a part of this book. (Including, you know, submitting original artwork. It's not too late, Cerebus original art owners...)

Thanks again to everyone who's contributed so far!


Anonymous said...

I think Dave made the wrong decision here, and even he admits that "Tom's version is the better in a pure story-telling sense". I think Dave is letting his sense of himself as history get the better of himself as a storyteller. But hey -- it's his comic book!

If Dave is concerned primarily with the book as artefact, then the "Continued"s should stay in. The "Cerebus the Aardvark" banners on the splash pages are staying, correct? At this point, the comic was still a larger continued story told in individual issues, not one story told in 500 pages.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, pbj

Sean R said...

Hey Damian,

It's all a compromise though, anything short of going back in time and not making it a double page spread. Print out and take a look at the minimal first page that's added-- it would mean the new additional page is the starkest page in the whole book, very different from the surrounding material. I'd be worried about replacing one visual abnormality with a newer one.

And yes, the banners are staying. Though once again, it's a little different when you actually encounter it in print. The continueds are like big STOP signs, which immediately pick up with START signs (banners, chapter headings etc). Fine when separated by covers, jarring when taken together, in the same spread. My take, anyway...

Anonymous said...

My choice would be page 207 (or part thereof), in which Cerebus changes from his robe into his suit ending with Cerebus looking impressed with himself. I would remove the word balloon at the top left corner.

Another idea would be to use page 248 with the artist walking away in frustration from Cerebus. It would be a cute touch if Dave signed these bookplates with a picture of a bunny or a tree.

- Reginald P.

Damin J. Toell, Esq. said...

I vote to keep the "Continueds" in place. Hell, my ideal version would have the covers inserted in the appropriate spots, so I'm not averse to maintaining the original split-up nature of the story.

iestyn said...

I would say remove the continueds.

In a book you normally have chapter headings - which is how I see the banners, but you don't get next chapter summaries.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there will ever be an attempt to market High Society to a new audience? If there is even a thought of trying that approach at some future date, I think it really makes sense to get rid of the "continueds" and anything else that served only for the monthly issues.

2016 will be the 30th anniversary of the first printing of the High Society Phonebook, a milestone worth noting for marketing purposes.

If SDOAR is completed in 2016, some sort of simultaneous marketing of a deluxe reissue of High Society to a new audience and SDOAR would make sense. I think from the perspective of getting media attention, High Society would be a nice reminder of both Dave's glory days and his longevity in the industry, and reviewers could contrast the two books.

- Reginald P.