Friday, 20 February 2015

A Post About Posters

FunkMasterJohn here, attempting his first blog post and trying to navigate his way without messing up anybody else's work! Most of the content below is from Dave with my commentary added in [brackets].

With the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER THREE Kickstarter, theoretically, starting today, I've definitely gotten inquiries about posters. CEREBUS posters are a very difficult subject, so instead of posting these to the Kickstarter site, I'm getting John Funk to post them here with his own comments and soliciting comments from Pledge Partners and potential Pledge Partners. 

That is, none of these is available YET on Kickstarter.  Depending on how the discussion goes, we could see one or more of them up and available before CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER THREE ships a couple of months from now.

Basically, John and I are in agreement that this whole operation runs a lot more smoothly if we stick to 11x17 prints and Bonus Prints, so anything having to do with actual posters is definitely adding to John's workload and would have to be compensated separately, as a kind of mini-Kickstarter fulfillment -- involving not only additional packaging and additional postage but additional labour as well.
[FMJ - it's a bit more work in planning, organising and matching, but I think we've overcome the hardest part of the learning curve on the first two Archives]
The alternative, of course, is just to do the posters as Bonus Prints, reducing them to roughly 11x17 size (with room for signing and FIRST RELEASE gold seals).  That we would be able to do, keeping the price point to $9 + $1 same as any other Bonus Print.

Here's the status with the posters that are currently in the Cerebus Archive:

Read 'Minds' poster:
Promoting the exhibition of all of the artwork to the MINDS trade paperback at Kevin Eastman's WORDS & PICTURES MUSEUM in Northampton, MA.

Only a handful of these are in the Cerebus Archive, so the questions on this one are: 1)  should Sean attempt to do an accurate reconstruction of it 2) should it be printed this size? (I've put it next to one of the CEREBUS ROOFTOP posters to show the relative size) options: 2a) reduce it to the size of a Bonus Print and make it a bonus print; 2b) figure out how much it would cost to produce them this size with modern printing technology without going fuzzy as oversized prints for civilians who don't know the difference in printing tend to do  3) how much of a premium price would you be willing to pay so that Sean gets paid for his reconstruction, the printer gets paid to do accurate sharp oversized printing on an extremely limited run and John gets compensated for packaging these individually -- either flat or in mailing tubes?  I'm guessing a ballpark figure of $150 with a head sketch and another $50 or so for printing a really short run 100% accurately and mailing them individually.

Original printing. Roughly 18" by 24".  There is enough of a supply of these in the Cerebus Archive that we would be able to offer them as part of CAN3.  I haven't counted them exactly but I think the Cerebus Archive could spare 20 and offer them with a Cerebus head sketch, personalized, for $100 each.  There will be a premium price on the shipping and handling because they can't be packed with the folios themselves, so it's pure additional labour for Funkmaster and Rolly.

Original printing,  Roughly 18" by 24".  Same deal as THE FIRST HALF poster. I'm not entirely certain how many of them there are. I don't really want to UNpack them to count them and then have to REpack them, but I'm guessing that the Cerebus Archive can spare 20 of them and offer them with a Cerebus head sketch for $80 (since there's less room for a head sketch than on the FIRST HALF poster)

Definitely down to the last few of the original posters so this one won't be offered in its original form, but same basic question: do you want this reconstructed at the 17" by 22" size by Sean and are you willing to pay a premium $150+ for it or would you be okay with a reduced version of it as a Bonus Print for $9 + $1 postage?
[FMJ - if Sean is already reconstructing the size, then you might as well make it as large as you like and not limit it to 17x22. Once you cross the size gap into 'large format' you're at a new cost plateau for printing and shipping, and, for example, 24x36 is not that much more costly than 17x22 or 18x24]

My idea was to do a poster of the CREATORS of CEREBUS rather than the comic's fantasy subject matter for comic stores -- basically a reverse of Meatloaf's BAT OUT OF HELL poster (by Richard Corben) which stood out in record stores for the opposite reason: fantasy subject matter instead of the creator of the music.  
There are a lot of these in the Cerebus Archive but they are all folded down to 81/2x11.  So I have no problem with offering them as Pledge Items for the standard $9 each (autographed and personalized to a first name: no room for a head sketch).  The question that remains is: how much does John Funk want to charge for packaging these with the folios, given that we've abandoned the idea of doing mini-prints because of the labour- intensive nature of packaging smaller items with the 11x17 folios?  Make John an offer and he'll tell you if he can live with it!

I've signed this one in red marker as my recommendation of what works best, comparing that to...

...where I've signed it in black with the same thickness of marker. It tends to blend in and not really look as if it's signed: more as if the signature was printed on the poster.  Likewise with signing inside the photograph area on...

I've actually had to enlarge it so that you can see that the signature is actually there. 

In terms of Gerhard signing these:  I've basically instructed Sean with anything that he reconstructs and/or restores that he supplies Gerhard with digital files so that Gerhard can print (or reconstruct in a different way if he doesn't like what Sean's done) his own versions of anything that has his work on it.  

If he wants to make his signature a pledge item as part of any of the CEREBUS ARCHIVE Kickstarters, he's more than welcome to do that.  He and John Funk both went to the same high school, so I'm sure John would be happy to drop off and pick up any material Gerhard is interested in signing for whatever fee they agree upon between themselves and then I would pay Gerhard whatever the agreed-upon amount was after he's signed everything. 
[FMJ - Yes, I'm in on that! Funny story.....neither Gerhard nor I knew each other in high school, other than the fact that I remembered a 'guy by the name of Gerhard' who could draw really well, but I didn't make the connection. Yet, every time I saw his photo in some CEREBUS ARCHIVE material, or on the web, I would tell Dave that he looked so familiar, but I couldn't place it. Anyway, to make a long story short, the clue was when I read Sean's interview of Gerhard that he gave a few years ago, where Gerhard mentions a name of someone that he was friends with in high school. CLICK. I remembered that name and mentioned it as an 'oh, by the way...' to Dave in one of our faxes and then Dave confirmed that it was the same high school name and after digging up an old copy of my yearbook, I made the connection! Small world, eh?]
As far as I know Gerhard only signs CEREBUS material that he worked on, so it would be limited, for the moment, to these posters.


Anonymous said...

I'd be happy if you guys stuck to making the First Half, Third Quarter, or any other other posters available as 17.5 X 11.5 prints.

I like the half sized (8 x 11.5) prints too.

The main reason? I hang these on the wall, in frames; as having them stored in an envelop, unseen, makes no sense at all.

They deserve better.

Jake Capps said...

I personally am only interested in the original posters. I like the prints but as a collector I prefer not to have a reprint.

Anonymous said...

The Phonebook covers as prints would be a dream come true and a long time coming.

They would be the most Popular Bonus prints for sure.

Added bonus? Sigs from both Dave and Ger on 'em!

Anonymous said...

One quick note: I applaud Gerhard for signing only Cerebus material he worked on. Given his contribution to Cerebus the work, he could probably get away with signing anything Cerebus-related, but this is an example of the highest ethics.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, ppm

Jake Capps said...

"The Phonebook covers as prints would be a dream come true and a long time coming. "

Brilliant idea!

JLH said...

Another Print I'd love to see? Cerebus #301's "cover" from the Christmas greeting card. Unless the original art is no longer available to be made into a print. In which case, nevermind!

Anonymous said...

I expect that I will be purchasing CAN3, but I will not order any of the images presented in this post as bonus prints.

Okay, here is a bold suggestion: How about a poster/print of issue 62, Mind Games, with all 20 pages assembled together to form the giant poster as it was originally laid out?

It could be sold at 11 x 17; but I think a poster at the standard wall size (24 x 36 I believe) would better capture the detail in the poster and it could be rolled up for delivery. The bigger the better because issue 62 assembled would make a great wall image.

Some pros of this suggestion: As far as I know, that Mind Games has never been offered to the public in assembled form. It would make good sense to offer this, as it is part of Church & State I, and Sean will already be working with these pages. The bonus prints suggested in this post aren't connected to Church & State.

As I've said, I believe that if you present a new take on the old material, it will sell, as the purchases are driven by nostalgia but also a desire to get something unique or new.

I would definitely buy an assembled poster or print of Cerebus 62, and would be willing to pay a higher price as it would be a very special item.

A further suggestion: Gerhard coloured in one of the Church & State pages (I think it's with Henrot Gutch and Harmon Blakely) at a convention. That would be a great bonus print.

- Reginald P.

Sean R said...

Anonymous, J, and Reginald,

Fine ideas, all! I'm especially fond of the ones that don't involve any more work for me :) I.e. Mind Games, covers. I've passed them all on to Dave, and hopefully we'll have some answers soon.

Keep the suggestions coming!


Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

I've got The Third Half poster signed and framed in my kitchen...

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel

Sean R said...


Just got word from Dave- your Mind Games suggestion is going to happen, assuming we work out the details!

You heard it here first :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean:

I'd expect that putting together issue 62 would involve some work for you, no? Unless it has already been put together somewhere else, you would have to assemble the 20 pages of issue 62 in one document in Photoshop and then match them all up. I'd expect the digital file would also be massive.

Apparently it has been done here, but as you can see, it is not perfect:

I would suggest having one version as above, and one version with all the individual panels intersecting through the pages.

I'd also second the suggestion of the Cerebus phonebook covers, which I also mentioned in an earlier post. I'd just assumed that the idea was rejected.

I believe that the first Mind Games issue also creates a poster when assembled, so you might want to consider doing that one too.

- Reginald P.

Anonymous said...


I posted the last post before I saw your comment that Mind Games will happen!

Excellent! Well, I am definitely in for that one! Exciting!

- Reginald P.

Anonymous said...

Check this out:

- Reginald P.

Anonymous said...

Okay, last suggestion (for tonight): Do bonus prints of the two pages from Church & State that are probably the most popular pages from the entire series: throwing the baby. Sure, they're just pages from the book, but a lot of people would want those ones.

- Reginald P.

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

While I would love to own an original version of the posters, does it make sense for Sean to restore them and to reissue them as bonus prints. That way they will always be available in the future.

Margaret said...

Big YES! to having the Mind Games issues made up as posters for bonus prints. I'll definately get one of those.

As long as you're taking suggestions for bonus prints - perhaps the First Fifth portfolio could interest some people?

I'd also be curious what prints from various tours that Dave has which could be offered, perhaps as 1/2 bonus prints.

And I agree with Tim - having Sean restore the original posters so they'll be available in the future sounds like a good idea to me.

Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

I knew the original "Mind Game" was one big image cut into pages, but I never knew there was a hidden image in CEREBUS #62. Damn. Learn something new every day.

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel

Will Collier said...

I love the football drawings, but my favorite Cerebus poster of all time is the repro of the wrap-around cover from #53, with the caption "LIKE NO OTHER COMIC.". I still have a copy of that, stuffed inside my Church & State v.1 trade, I think...

Travis Pelkie said...

I'd certainly like to see these posters as bonus prints somehow, as I'd like to get a decent size version of them to have, for the art (I think most were printed in the comic at some point), but getting into 150 buck range is a bit more than I'd be able to spend on the posters, even with head sketches. Maybe when I win the lottery. ;)

As for other bonus prints, all the suggestions here sound good. I swear I suggested at some point a poster/print of the Mind Games issues, but maybe I never typed it :)

And JLH's suggestion of the 301 Christmas card is a good one. I saw a copy of that (or maybe a different one) at a comic shop in Arlington, MA a number of years back (I don't think that particular shop is at the same location, but it may have moved or consolidated with another location -- can't remember the store name, now, though!), when I was getting a batch of Cerebus back issues there, and I offered to buy it, but I believe it was the owner's and the person I was talking to didn't have the authority to sell it off. But yeah, any art for Christmas cards and such, and other rarities, would be good for the bonus prints.

The only other thing I'd say is that there's a danger in offering TOO much at once. I wan' it all, and I can't afford it all at once! As long as you're willing to offer stuff for multiple more Archives, though, I'm for seeing everything that we possibly could get our hands on.