Monday, 9 March 2015

Update From Dave On The Pain In His Right Hand


Hi Everyone,

Last Friday, March 6th, Dave posted his Weekly Update: My Right Hand on A Moment of Cerebus in which he focused on the turn of events with regard to a sudden onset of pain in his right hand which is keeping him from drawing and limited other activities like signing prints to a much, much slower level. 

In my status update fax this morning, I made reference to the many comments and concerns that have been coming through both AMOC and the KS CAN3 project page, and Dave being Dave, knew it was time to give a detailed update on his situation. He spent 2.5 hours typing this 3 page fax with his left hand, so you know that he really wants everyone to know what his situation is. Here are the three fax pages:

So, there you have it. Let's keep Dave and his hand in our thoughts and prayers and remember to be a bit patient as it will take a bit longer for him to do all the sketches and signing at the end of CAN3, but he is saying he will complete them in a timeframe that his situation allows.




Max West said...

I hope the best for Dave.

daryl said...

Can Dave access a computer? A speech-to-text app would really help with any correspondence he feels he needs immediate addressing (though I think he should just ignore everything until his health improves).

Damin J. Toell, Esq. said...

I wish a lot of (good) things for Dave. At the moment, in addition to him getting better quickly, I wish he had more trust in medical science and would at least be willing to get himself checked out.

Anonymous said...

A quick search of Dave's symptoms shows that they are consistent with rheumatoid arthritis, especially with Dave's story of his mother having the same condition treated with prednisone.

Symptoms of RA include lethargy and pain. RA can go into remission for years and then return suddenly. Sounds like what Dave has described. Of course, best to check with a doctor.

If Dave has RA, it can be effectively treated with various drugs that are classed as DMARDs.

These drugs are not steroids. They appear to have fairly mild side effects.

In addition, online resources note that physiotherapy and occupational therapy could also be of assistance.

If it's RA, a lack of prompt treatment is likely to exacerbate the problem and prolong its effects. This could last many months apparently.

Dave should seek treatment. I figure it's worth saying again.

- Reginald P.

Anonymous said...

As always, one wishes Dave as speedy and full a recovery as possible. It is unfortunate that, as is often the case, he is the author of his own misfortune -- his cobbled-together religion now borrowing from Christian Scientists to reject efficacious therapy in favour of prayer. I think that's dumb; he doesn't; ain't differences wonderful?

Two points:

1) The only people in 1975 would prescribe a copper bracelet are the same people who do so now: New Age "alternative medicine" boneheads.

2) The beauty of science is that it works whether you believe in it or not. That's part of the definition of science.

Is Dave saying that he has nothing to live for beyond the hope that large numbers of people will agree that he's not a misogynist? I hope I'm misreading that part. When you place responsibility for your happiness on other people's actions, you're playing a mug's game.

If Dave is in pain, and if writing and drawing don't interest him, then perhaps it's time he considered retiring. Much as I would like to see Strange Death, I have no right to force him to complete it despite his own indifference and discomfort.

I don't know how financially possible that is. It wasn't too long ago that Dave was talking about packing it in and heading for the Alberta tar-sands (pals of mine work there, and I'm not sure how welcome Dave would find himself: a deaf old man with no skills and a gimp hand entering a contracting industry?). Can he live on phone-book sales, Kickstarter campaigns, and Patreon donations?

-- Damian T. Lloyd, ppk

Jeff Seiler said...

To Damian T. Lloyd (as tempted as I am to add to the list of your fake 3 initials with a real 3-letter word, I won't):

I don't think anyone here is attempting to force Dave to continue or, God willing, complete SDOAR. I think everyone just wants to see it completed, God willing. If anything, it is a contractual obligation with IDW (somewhat likely) or a personal sense of obligation and creator's pride on Dave's part (very likely) that is willing him onward.

Your dismissal of his religious beliefs earns you only contempt, no matter how high-faluting you attempt to make it sound. I, too, urged him to consider physical therapy and seeing a doctor, in the message I left on his answering machine Sunday evening. I think it would be wise. BUT, I deeply respect his right to exercise his religious and personal beliefs as he wishes.

As for retiring, or "retiring", he tried that once and got blind-sided (to a certain extent). He has a project in mind and he believes he is guided to complete it. So be it.

As for money, or income, the Archive portfolios will support his austere lifestyle and, I suspect, he will not go wanting, should that somehow dry up.

But, hey, Damian just keep on damning him with faint praise.

It's what you do best.

Unknown said...

Here's my best wishes for Dave to feel better soon and get back to drawing.

I think the signatures are a lot less important than getting the next comic page done.

Just a thought- a left handed signature is still a signature, even if it looks crappy.

Michael Cohen

Glen said...

As far as Dave income goes I'm assuming he's still sitting on a large chunk of original artwork of his 6,000 page graphic novel + covers.

I've seen an original Cerebus page being sold on eBay for $2,500 USD.

Let's say Dave has sold half of the pages over the years to collectors and fans. That means the remainder could be worth over $7.5 million USD.
I wonder if he's ever had it appraised.
By the way I like the stamp autograph idea. He could use his left hand for stamping the CAN3 prints.

Get better, Dave.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I think you have misunderstood my points, and I am sure I will survive your contempt; your devotion to your hero permits no criticisms.

But my most urgent question goes to your statement that "he tried that [retirement] once and got blind-sided (to a certain extent)." Would you please explain what you are referring to here?

-- Damian T. Lloyd, sda

Sandeep Atwal said...

Best wishes to Dave for a speedy recovery.

Whatever the ailment, it's certainly possible that an extended period of rest will allow him to resume a less strenuous schedule. Let's hope that's the case if that's the best-case scenario. If not, well, retirement isn't the worst thing that ever happened to somebody. Certainly nobody can reasonably expect more from Dave. He's done enough. But let's hope for the best.

Lee Thacker said...

My sincere hopes that Dave's hand heals, whether by medicinal or spiritual means. I like the stamped autograph idea too! Does Dave have his right hand insured? My advice: take a break. The lethargy, the aching hand - could all be just to do with over work...

Stephen said...

Good luck with the hand and the rest, Dave. Most of getting older sucks, but you know that.

Caught myself unprepared in a mirror at 5AM this morning and thought of Latter Days.

Michael Grabowski said...

The value of Dave's art on ebay has something to do with its scarcity. If a big chunk of its 6000 pages were released into the wild the individual per page value would probably drop into the high hundreds, and maybe lower. Also, there's Gerhard's work to account for, either what his share would be or whether he owns half of their pages or how his contribution (or Dave's minimal contribution in many cases) affects their value. No doubt Dave is planning to use those pages he can sell as eventual income when it's needed, though obviously their current value as raw materials for new printings is pretty high. But I highly doubt they could ever really be worth any million dollar amount.

Scott Yoshinaga said...

Best wishes to Dave! I really hope you feel better! Thoughts and prayers to you.

Jeff Seiler said...

As to the original art pages, take away how ever many pages were sold between 1978 and 2004 (I know at least one whole early issue was sold in full), then divide the remainder by half and that's how many pages of original art Dave still owns. Plus, all of the glamourpuss and Cerebus Archive pages, plus however many SDOAR pages there will eventually be. Plus half of however many covers he didn't sell. That's it.

Part of the deal on Gerhard's buyout was that he would get his pick of half the unsold pages. Presumably that included the cover art.

And that's the answer to your question, Damian. Dave was happily enjoying his retirement, answering the mail, going to SPACE once a year, doing some exhibitions, and organizing his archive when Gerhard (somewhat out of the blue) said he wanted to be bought out of his 40% of Aardvark-Vanaheim. For whatever reason. I know what Dave told me was the reason Ger gave him, but I have heard other stories.

Regardless, Dave was unprepared for it. He didn't want to dip into his retirement fund, so paying off Gerhard was the primary, if not full reason why Dave started doing glamourpuss and Cerebus Archive. SDOAR was a direct offshoot of glamourpuss.

So, that is what I meant about Dave having tried retirement before, Damian.

And, yes, Dave finished his 5-year payment plan, paying off Ger in full, a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

Ah! Thanks, Jeff. If Dave is finished the five-year payment plan, does this mean that he can now sustain himself economically and can make a successful attempt at retiring? He doesn't have any other partners to buy out.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, llc

Jeff Seiler said...

Well, Damian, I think that, now, Dave is concerned with making as much money as he can in how many ever productive years he has left so that the upkeep of the house and the archive, after he is gone, will be as fully funded as possible. I would imagine that that figure is difficult to project, even just ballparking it.

Plus, I think the man is congenitally incapable of not working, this current illness notwithstanding. I remember when I spoke with him on the phone back in '06 or '07, when he had something like this but much worse, he was very upset by the severity of it then and how he just couldn't get up and out of bed except for the most basic of functions.

It's not that bad now, apparently, and he returned to full health back then. I hope and believe he will now. I've thought for years that he should slow down AND stop fasting so much, but there's no telling him anything when his mind is set. At least he respects me enough to hear me out.

So, it's prayers and positive thoughts sent his way and wait and see.

Anonymous said...

I'm a comic artist as well. This sort of thing happens to me from time to time (if I'm reading him correctly). It's called "crosshatchetus photorealitus".
Anyway, seriously, it hurts like hell. This is what I have done to alleviate and correct this. Again, this is what works for me, results may vary. By massaging the area right between the Brachioradialis and the Flexor Carpi Radialis on the arm. Maybe a quarter of the way down the arm from the inside of the elbow, dig in and massage it in a circular motion. Start there, and follow that crease in the muscles down to the wrist. Massage gently, 'cause your old. Or start gentle and then go hard. In there is the Neal Adam's drawing tendon. This works it loose from abusing it for years and it will forgive you for awhile. I also eat an extra couple of bananas for the potassium. The turn around for me is about 2-3 days before the hand is pretty much back to normal. The hand breaks down every couple of years and this always works for me. It might sound odd to work a tendon in the arm to fix the hand but I swear it works, for me at least.
George Perez also had an issue with his drawing hand (late 70's?). He got some manner of electro-massage therapy and it worked like a charm for him. Never came back. If the massage and bananas don't work maybe someone here has a direct line to George and can get some details?
Get well soon Dave. Hope this helps.

Tony Dunlop said...

Kurt, what you've described sounds, to my untrained eye, a lot like the kind of thing a physical therapist might do...

Kip W said...

And he'll never complain about writer's block again…