Friday, 6 March 2015

Weekly Update #73: My Right Hand

Cerebus Archive Number Three
Signed Limited Edition Prints From 'Church & State I'
Kickstarter Ends Saturday 21st March 2015


Hello, everyone!

1.  Welcome to the LIVE TEST of Dave Sim's right hand, which took a dramatic turn-for-the-worse last Friday around 8 pm and which I have been resting since.  I've written about five cheques and typed VERY SHORT faxes to John and Sean as necessary. I've also done some paste-up with my left hand.

2.  This is, I'm pretty sure, the end of my CORRESPONDENCE days, the-every-other-Friday 1 am to 7 am mail answering, followed by two hours of typing the Update, followed by answering whatever more mail I picked up that afternoon. For the foreseeable future, typing will have to be restricted to "end of life" issues which need to be "on paper" but I'm actually pretty far along with that.  All letters will be answered with a form letter explaining what's happened.

3.  This shouldn't affect the Kickstarter autographing.  Signing my name isn't "targeted" or "specific". It's a general shape that lands where it lands.  I'm not bearing down when signing my name.  That will be tested next week when I sign the 850 HIGH SOCIETY bookplates, but I'm not anticipating any surprises.

Okay. That's the EMERGENCY INFORMATION in case that's all the hand would take and it's further than I thought I was going to get today. :)

4.  The question right now is: to what extent does Aardvark-Vanaheim "consolidate" around my autograph.  i.e. that's all that I CAN do and since that's what generates the money, that's all it makes sense for me TO do.  I'm preparing a structure, mentally, around that which will involve a big boost in hourly rates to Dave F. and Rolly S.  Basically: "Okay, your right hand no longer exists. NOW what do you do?"  It's a big job, mentally, but not an unsolvable one, I don't think.

5.  I'm not sure how this affects THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND but "negatively" seems obvious.  I just don't know HOW negatively.  The biggest problem with my hand is tracing and transferring traced drawings.  Which is most of what SDOAR consists of. I might have to get someone to do that for me, under my direction.  Which I'm hesitant to do because I've done everything on SDOAR until now solo.  Today is just about testing my capacity for typing.  About half an hour so far (forty minutes now that I'm doing final corrections).  Tomorrow I'm going to try inking for the first time in a week and then see how long it takes to do the next full page when I get there. That will tell me How This Is Going To Go, I think.

6.  This might be the last TYPED Update.  I'm going to talk to Fisher about posting either AUDIO or AUDIO VISUAL Updates which won't require my right hand except for turning the camcorder on and off.  We'll see how the next week goes.

7.  I'm not a medical science guy.  My mother went through this with her hands and went for the "steroid junkie" option.  Pregnazone (sp?). Basically steroids just mask symptoms -- which they do really well:  check out Stephen King's NEEDFUL THINGS the movie or the book if you want to see what the effect looks like --  so when they wear off you need to get another dose and a larger dose. And then you find out why steroids are such a bad idea.  But, by then you're a junkie and you've been using your hands carelessly and worsening them.  So you need MORE steroids. And then you find out what those things REALLY do.

Okay, that's about all I'm going to type this week.

God willing, we'll see you all next week in one form or another.

John's been updating me daily on the Kickstarter campaign. It's interesting watching the CANO vs CANT vs CAN3 patterns.  I wouldn't rule out the Hardcore Cerebus Readership actually breaking the $42K record!  They're an amazing bunch!

Okay, back to planning What Happens Next.  Wish me luck.


Anonymous said...

My every sympathy to Dave, as his right hand is a most important tool, right up there with his eyes. And, of course, every sympathy for the personal impact on Dave's everyday life.

Dave is obviously "not a medical science guy", as his characterization of steroids is based on a sample of one and his knowledge of steroids doesn't entirely square with even the vaguest Google search. It is unfortunately typical of Dave's mindset that when facts don't square with his judgements, the facts must be wrong.

The biggest pity for comics fans is that Strange Death will not be finished. It likely wouldn't have been anyway, given Dave's increasingly slow pace, but now it's more certain.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, mff

jonbly said...


So, what is the hand problem?

Glen said...

Dave, have an assistant sign the 2000 thousand prints about to be dropped on your doorstep from CAN3. Many famous artists had assistants who collaborated together.

Your health is far more important to your fans than a signed deck of Diamondback cards.

You've earned a rest.

Anonymous said...

My wife is taking Prednisone and she tried to go off it just now recently and says Dave's description of it is fully accurate. Funny thing, I just found out yesterday that there's no "g" in the spelling- it always sounds like there is when she says it, sounds just like how Dave spelled it.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry to hear that this has happened.

The post is a bit vague on details, but I wonder if Dave has seen a doctor about this.

I could just be that a few weeks of rest might help. A friend of mine had issues with typing and the doctor recommended simple rest and that seemed to work. No typing! Listen to what the pain is telling you!

Continuing to work seems likely to aggravate the problem. Please rest. Recover. I would be prepared to wait a few months longer for CAN3.

- Reginald P.

Kendall Swafford said...

Along with resting that hand, I'd suggest reducing the number of signatures per Archive. I was personally STUNNED when every plate in the Archive was signed, as I expected only one signature in total. I think we would collectively be satisfied with ONE signature per Kickstarter item; Archive, bookplate, what have you. Dave has been AMAZING in his tireless efforts so far, simply scaling back the sheer number of signatures per KS pledge would not diminish the $$ collected, in my estimation. Best wished Dave!

Anonymous said...

Besides a few months of rest, wearing a wrist brace might also be a good idea. Many drug stores would have that.

- Reginald P.

Travis Pelkie said...

Y'know, you don't HAVE to follow what a doctor tells you -- if you go and their only solution is steroids, hey, don't fill the prescription. Get a second opinion.

(Of course, in the People's Republic of Canada, perhaps you DO have to follow doctor's orders...)

Besides the rest and wrist brace others mentioned, perhaps some Eastern-type medicine would help. Acupuncture might possibly alleviate some pain. Or a visit to a personal trainer might help, since you screwed up your shoulder as well.

(And if you'd been masturbating all along, your wrist might have been more flexible ;) )

But seriously, you should get it checked out. Those of us who have pledged or will pledge for the Archive Portfolios are donating in part so that you'll not only continue with keeping the old stuff in print, but so that you'll have time/money to create new stuff. If you won't at least get checked out, you're kind of letting us down.

Larry Wooten said...

Deeply saddened to hear this but hopeful that with rest and proper care your condition may improve. Will add this new concern to my prayers.
I would be fine with just the cover being signed since that would greatly reduce the work load. Perhaps there would be another way to signify these as coming from you through the Kickstarter campaigns. Frank Frazetta started using a signature stamp after his stroke. Not a signature, by any means, but it was his solution for his situation.

Anonymous said...

I would also second the acupuncture and physiotherapy suggestions as well. I've had acupuncture for back tightness and pain and swear by it.

Take care of that pain!

- Reginald P.

Anonymous said...

"People's Republic of Canada", Travis? Oh dear. As ruled by Comrade Chairman Stevie Harper, I suppose?

-- Damian T. Lloyd, paf

Travis Pelkie said...

Just a joke, Damian, based off something on a CD by the Magnetic Fields (it might be a Merge Records specific joke -- it says on the CD that it was manufactured in the People's Republic of Canada). Also a joke about Canadian health care -- which, now that I'm looking it up on Wikipedia, sounds even better than what I thought it was. Interesting that they don't cover prescriptions, though.

I mean, Dave pays taxes that go to fund the health care system, so he ought to use it. Even if he decides not to fill a prescription for steroids, if that's what's offered. Which, if the health care system doesn't cover that, shouldn't be a problem for him to refuse.

I think, based on other comments you've made here, Damian, you'd agree with me that Dave's being less than rational in not at least having the hand (and his left shoulder) looked at.

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

Hi Dave,
I'm really sorry to hear about your hand issues. Could I offer a couple of suggestions:

1. Voice Recognition Software: Margaret (my better half) broke her shoulder a few years ago and effectively lost the use of her right arm for months. However, she was able to continue working using this software:

2. Physiothearapy: Like you, I try to avoid prescription drugs, but I am a huge fan of physio. Modern life puts our bodies into situations they are not design for, and simple exercises you can do at home can often relive aches and pains.

Sincere best wishes for whatever route you pursue.

Kind regards,
Tim W.

iestyn said...

The Canadian health service is recognised as one of the top 3 in the world.

Go see them - don't like what they say, don't follow their advice. What would you lose?

This is just like my father and dentists - spend years refusing to go until the pain is so bad he can't sleep at night then it costs him £1,000's to get work done because a little bit of decay has turned into a rotten tooth with root canal work needed.

Dave - care for yourself - there's being independent and there's being self-destructive and you're coming done hard on the latter with these injuries - in my opinion anyway.

Good luck and hope it all heals well whatever happens.

Tony Dunlop said...

I second Tim's suggestion about physical therapy, if it is affordable and/or covered under HarperCare (that's a joke, son). After a severe injury two years ago I essentially lost all mobility in my right wrist, but three months if intense physical therapy and it was good as new. Obviously Dave's situation may not be amenable to such an approach, but it's got to be shorthand a

Tony said...

Huh? WORTH a try. I'm typing on an IPad, no idea how that came out as "shorthand."

Unknown said...

I've been dealing with wrist/hand/arm pain issues as long as I've been playing music, and when it strikes, I'm out of commission until it subsides. Through years of doctors and self-diagnosis based on paying close attention to symptoms and posture/behavior, it's been traced to a nerve in my back or neck. If this is the case for Dave, it could be that a change in posture or behavior could be enough to relieve the pain. I'd be interested to hear what the exact symptoms and location of the pain is.

Unknown said...

Also, I agree with the above comments about the amount of signatures or personalization necessary. I'm committed to supporting this endeavor regardless of the authenticity of Dave's sig. Take a break, don't work through the pain! If it's a tendinitis issue or a problem with the carpal or corpal tunnel, you'll only make it worse. Tendinitis can be treated but the nerve tunnels often will only respond to surgery if worked to hard, and the success rate of those surgeries is wildly inconsistent.

I'd much prefer Dave be able to continue his actual work rather than trying to reward a pledge from me that he'd get regardless.