Thursday, 3 March 2016
Christopher Woerner's NEW FUN
Thanks to Christopher for my comp copy of NEW FUN's limited run of 150 copies. I always resolve to only skim his latest blog collection and I always end up reading all or most of it while it's sitting in my "mail to be answered pile".
One of my favourite lines from a 2015 post: Would the woman who left her nine kids at Wrigley Field please come and get them. They're beating the Cubs 13-0 in the top of the seventh inning. Good line for any team going through hard times.
Thanks to Karen Smith (Mrs. Michael Zulli) for the phone message. I don't really have time to talk on the phone with people. I wish I did. But thanks.
Also thanks for the favourable comments on glamourpuss from a couple of people. It was really the only time in memory where I could say I was happy doing a comic book. From very early on, CEREBUS was really just "getting it done." What form would a 6,000-page graphic novel, properly executed, take? From about mid-HIGH SOCIETY on that was always at odds with the audience. "When is he going back to being a barbarian?" i.e. This SUCKS! As far as the audience is concerned my work has sucked ever since. So, roughly, my work was "cool" for five or six years and has sucked for the last 30.
For me, it was a matter of artistic responsibility to the 6,000-page graphic novel. "The book will just have to suck, in that case" because I always had a pretty good "magnetic north" idea of where I was going and what I needed to do, sequentially. And I did it. But the schism between what I saw as needing to be done and what the audience wanted me to do got wider and wider and wider and is now, I think, unbridgeable. You can call that "doom and gloom" if you want, but it's an accurate observation of how the 6,000-page graphic novel and the life and work of the guy who did it unfolded and continues to unfold. "Wow, here I am at the summit! Universally hated!"
It really is more funny than depressing.
The people who have read SDOAR [Strange Death Of Alex Raymond] like it a lot. Karl Stevens will be doing the "bridging pieces" -- comic pages that "bridge" the individual comic books that were never published -- in volumes one and two and was enthusing to me about it on the phone. He's sure it will be very popular.
Yes, if the book got a fair hearing, I think it would be VERY popular. But I think all that's going to happen is the automatic "This SUCKS!" response, dead silence from the people who liked it...and that's really all that's needed to destroy ANYTHING in the Internet age. That SOUNDS depressing, but only if you haven't lived with it for 30 years. If you've lived with it for 30 years, it's really just LOL funny.
Ask Sandeep. What's the news like at the Off-White House on a daily basis? (I show him pretty much every communication that comes in). I think he would say "Unimaginably bad." Then ask him, what's Dave's reaction? I think he would say "Outright hilarity." We both spend most of the day laughing about "whatever-whoever" said in their latest fax or letter. "You could NOT make that up".
It's nice to have someone to show the stuff to. "You remember what so-and-so wrote to me?" Yeah. "Well, here's his follow-up."
The fact that Sandeep spends most of HIS day going, "WHAAAAAT?! That's bull****!!" reassures me that Crazy Dave Sim isn't ACTUALLY crazy. Just universally hated.