Friday, 10 June 2016

Weekly Update #138: Are You Suffering From Reboot Fatigue?


Should Dave give away the first two volumes of Cerebus for free?
Comment below!


Official Cerebus Downloads Available From:
CerebusDownloads.com
Cerebus Sellfy Store

26 comments:

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

FYI: Dave seems to be forgetting that High Society is already available as a free download on Sellfy and has been for a while now.

Anonymous said...

I think... no codes nessessary...

I'll pack v1 and v2 as a single file... maybe remove the extras at the end??? I don't know.... thoughts?

and make it available on CerebusDownloads.com, with a unique URL... thoughts?

George

Jeff Seiler said...

How in the world did my favorite Monkey Boy produce two (!TWO!) such lovely daughters?!?

I guess, as I'm told, with a "little help" from a friend...

Anonymous said...

another thought...

what about packaging up v1 and v2... PLUS... the first 4 episodes of High Society Audio Digital???

With links to IDW for purchasing HSAD and Links to CerebusDownloads.com and Shellfy to purchase the volumes?

Thoughts?

George

Paul Slade said...

Maybe use High Society and Church & State I instead?

The problem with Cerebus itself (by which I mean the first phone book) is that it can lead casual readers to dismiss the whole series too easily. It's a fairly straightforward parody comic, not too different from many of those produced by the post-Turtles B&W boom, and one in which Dave's skills are still at a relatively primitive stage. The fact that it's the beginning of the whole saga naturally leads people to begin there, but I've seen cases where a newbie's reaction is (understandably) a shrug of "What's all the fuss about?"

Starting with High Society is a much more satisfying option. Dave's art has really found its stride by that point, and the story's infinitely deeper and more intriguing than volume 1's single-issue sword and sorcery parodies too. You don't really need any of Volume 1's background to make sense of High Society, so plunging people straight into the story at that point presents no problem. You've then got them on the unbroken string of a long, continuing story, which isn't true of volume 1 either.

The second half of the free package would then be Church & State I, which introduces people to Gerhard and hints at the wondrous art still to come. Ending the package with C&S I has the additional advantage of stopping on a cliff hanger, and so maximising people's incentive to buy the next volume for themselves. There's no confusion which volume that would be, either, as it's clearly labelled C&S II.

I know it instinctively seems tidier to start a free digital package like this with volume 1, but I honestly doubt that would produce the best result. Fantagraphics s published its Uncle Scrooge books out of chronological order so they could begin it with the strongest material, and hence the give the series a chance of surviving commercially. The parallel's not an exact one, but the logic's sound enough and I'm thinking of a somewhat similar approach here.

Anonymous said...

I vote "No." High Society is already in the Free Downloads section at the right of this site. Likewise, there is the Cerebus Tumblr, and the "Hey Kids! Free Comics!" menu of freebies.

As the actress Sean Young once said, "It's show ... BUSINESS." There are enough free things on tap already to serve as an engine for generating sales and money to preserve the archive.

I can't help but think that the market would be well-served by items that cost less than the phonebooks but prompt new readers to buy the entire series once they're hooked. I've already floated the idea of a remastered Swords Vol. 1. This is the 20th anniversary of the TMNT/Cerebus crossover, which was my entry point into the storyline, and a fine one-off story that gave a flavor of the comic. It was also a milestone in the "small-press explosion" of that time, and thus of historical importance, which is sure to generate press. Any thought of selling a reprint?

--Claude Flowers

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

How about a free download of CEREBUS #0 which included all those uncollected issues from thoughtout the run and makes for a good 'sampler'?

Dave Sim said...

Well, as I said, I won't be doing this. I think a core problem is the "If you build it they will come" theory: that the quality of CEREBUS will speak for itself. That works to a degree, but only to a degree.And only to a very small degree.

I think the big plus with Matt Dow's suggestion was that he was talking about GOING TO people online as an individual and saying "Have you tried CEREBUS?" and then giving them Free Cerebus.

I think there's a direct analogy with the Great CEREBUS Giveaway at Kitchener Con. As Sandeep put it, if he and Fisher had just had the stubby boxes of comics out on the table with a FREE CEREBUS sign, they wouldn't have had any "takers". It was LITERALLY necessary to take one of the plastic shopping bags (purchased for the occasion) and put a set of bagged and boarded comics into it and then when people came to the table, getting it "in their face" and saying "Would you like some free comics?" Otherwise the response is "What's the catch?" And I think that's even truer online.

My suggestion would be that each person interested in helping with this makes up their own Free Cerebus package -- whatever you think will work -- and doing what Matt is talking about doing: going one-on-one with people who are complaining Generally About The State Of Comics Today and doing the on-line equivalent of "HERE! Here's a sample of a 6,000-page 'Guaranteed Reboot Free' comic."

I have the rights to all of the material that you're talking about, including the reciprocal right to publish or "publish" the TMNT crossover. If anyone wants to report you it's me they're going to report you to.

But I don't think even saying "here's a URL for free CEREBUS comics" is going to work. You have to Go To Them And You Have To Say "HERE!" And what you are giving them has to be "HERE!"

Dave Sim said...

It seems to me that where we are right now is "Unless this is done with the material that I want it done with and done the way I want it done, I don't want to do it."

So, I think the answer is making available to Matt -- if he's the only person who wants to do this and anyone else who wants to do this if there are others -- the material that he has confidence in.

My impression from what Matt was saying was that this is not an uncommon situation: people suffering Reboot Fatigue. Of course, it can still just be people who want Marvel and DC comics that they LIKE instead of what they're getting. And that's probably what it is. In which case Matt and anyone else who participates will have no "takers" either.

But I do think one-on-one contact in the situation that Matt was describing is worth a try.

Anonymous said...

almost done preparing all the assets for this en-devour...

tonight it will be launched...


George


Anonymous said...

One-on-one contact does work. When a local book/comic store went out of business I purchased duplicates of Cerebus comics I'd already owned (A run of C&S from about No. 81 - 100). I lend it out if I run into someone who likes comics.

I also picked up copies of the first two phonebooks from a comic
shop that was unloading overstock (They had many copies of both in stock), again to lend.

Whenever "This Aardvark, This Shepherd" shows up cheap, I buy that too, and give it out -- great one-off, hilarious installment. Having a letter published in it is a bonus.

The reaction has always been good.

--Claude Flowers

Travis Pelkie said...

Claude, not to make you feel old, but I think it must be the 30th anniversary of TMNT #8, not 20th.

But yeah, that's a good one.

al roney said...

Why is at that in every one of these updates I only hear Dave coming out of one speaker (right channel)?

Also, I think Cerebus volumne one is unfairly slagged as not being a good starting point. I actually think it works better than High Society in that it gets better and better each issue and the story isn't as long/complex. Plus, you NEED to read that first volume as Dave refers back to events and characters down the road in the Series (Woman-beasty thing, Thrunk, the Pigts etc and etc...).

If someone is going to "get" Cerebus, High Society isn't going to magically draw them in any more than Cerebus Volume 1.

Anonymous said...

update...

the webpage is done...
the PDF single file of v1 and v2 done...
the 2 hour film of the first 5 High Society Audio Video Episodes is done...

now all the files are uploading... and I am going home to eat ( you have to do this as often as necessary )

Saturday will be the live day...

I will post the link here... and lets see where this goes.

George Peter Gatsis

Anonymous said...

update...

webpage done...
single PDF of volume 1 and 2 done...
2 hour movie of the first 5 episodes of High Society Audio Video done...

uploading files...

will post the link on Saturday...

George

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

I ain't gonna lie, I'm kinda flabbergasted about this.

And not just that my kids keep showing up in the Weekly Update.

I figured Dave would think about it for awhile.

Jeez...strike while the iron is hot, I guess.

Okay, so my initial idea was individual issues from all 16 phonebooks. The idea there, was that if you go into an online forum and say, "Cerebus," you eventually (usually quickly,) get the "Oh it's good up until issue XXX, then it's trash." Usually #186, but I've heard people who think Jaka's Story, or anything after Gerhard started is crap. I mean obviously I disagree with all that, but spending time I (a father to two kids under six,) don't have, arguing with faceless masses on the internet just ain't my cup of tea. So one issue from each phonebook so that when the "It's all crap after #XXX" crew arrive I could just say, "here's the link to an issue after #XXX, if you think it's crap, sorry to have wasted your time, if you liked it, all 300 issues are available from your local retailer, or at Cerebus Downloads.com."

Now, that being said, who am I to argue with Dave Sim? One of the most generous comic creators I've ever heard of. If Dave wants to give away a sixth of his series for free (I believe both Cerebus and High Society are 500 page books, and the series is 6000 pages. So 500 times 2 equals 1000, or 1/6th of the total run. (I know you all know that, but I just had to say it.) (Which really is the "selling" point here. Dave Sim is giving away ONE SIXTH of the Cerebus series. For FREE! And all you gotta do is go to Cerebus Downloads.com and click a link, and download it. And if you like the first 1000 pages, he's got 5000 more (With even better art in most of the backgrounds,) available at the same site, or through you're local retailer. 1000 pages of story. For FREE.).).

Um...sorry thought process got away there. Anyway, I was thinking 20 page chunks, but really 1/6th of the series is probably gonna yield at least one or two people who are gonna say, "That's great, got any more?"

So, okay let's do this thing!

Slowly, one person at a time, over the course of months and months...

This is gonna be an article on Bleeding Cool by the time I get up later today...

Matt Dow

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Oh, two things I forgot.

1: Al Roney, you are ABSOLUTELY correct about Cerebus (Vol. 1) the book gets better and better as you go along. My initial list of individual issues I thought Dave should use had the first appearance of Captain Cockroach on it, partly because of the Civil War movie Tie-in potential, and mostly because it's a funny issue with a good cliffhanger.

2: my friend already owns Cerebus and High Society. So if Church & State Vol. 1 were to be used (doesn't sound like it,) he'd be very happy. (Of course, he just got a new job and is moving, so I don't think he'd buy the rest of the series just yet, so maybe this goes in the "Con" column?)

Matt Dow

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Okay, comment didn't show up, so attempt two:
I ain't gonna lie, I'm kinda flabbergasted about this.

And not just that my kids keep showing up in the Weekly Update.

I figured Dave would think about it for awhile.

Jeez...strike while the iron is hot, I guess.

Okay, so my initial idea was individual issues from all 16 phonebooks. The idea there, was that if you go into an online forum and say, "Cerebus," you eventually (usually quickly,) get the "Oh it's good up until issue XXX, then it's trash." Usually #186, but I've heard people who think Jaka's Story, or anything after Gerhard started is crap. I mean obviously I disagree with all that, but spending time I (a father to two kids under six,) don't have, arguing with faceless masses on the internet just ain't my cup of tea. So one issue from each phonebook so that when the "It's all crap after #XXX" crew arrive I could just say, "here's the link to an issue after #XXX, if you think it's crap, sorry to have wasted your time, if you liked it, all 300 issues are available from your local retailer, or at Cerebus Downloads.com."

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

part two: Now, that being said, who am I to argue with Dave Sim? One of the most generous comic creators I've ever heard of. If Dave wants to give away a sixth of his series for free (I believe both Cerebus and High Society are 500 page books, and the series is 6000 pages. So 500 times 2 equals 1000, or 1/6th of the total run. (I know you all know that, but I just had to say it.) (Which really is the "selling" point here. Dave Sim is giving away ONE SIXTH of the Cerebus series. For FREE! And all you gotta do is go to Cerebus Downloads.com and click a link, and download it. And if you like the first 1000 pages, he's got 5000 more (With even better art in most of the backgrounds,) available at the same site, or through you're local retailer. 1000 pages of story. For FREE.).).

Um...sorry thought process got away there. Anyway, I was thinking 20 page chunks, but really 1/6th of the series is probably gonna yield at least one or two people who are gonna say, "That's great, got any more?"

So, okay let's do this thing!

Slowly, one person at a time, over the course of months and months...

This is gonna be an article on Bleeding Cool by the time I get up later today...

Matt Dow

Dave Sim said...

I've definitely been mulling all of this over and something I came up with was: it doesn't have to be GOOD copies of the work. All you're saying is "HERE read this" not "HERE wonder at the technological miracle Sean Robinson hath wrought!" That comes later.

1) Claude, I think you're limiting your own ability to do what you're trying to do. There just aren't that many copies of "This Aardvark, This Shepherd" that are going to come onto the market in any given year. You seem to be keeping a foot in both worlds: "Don't want to infringe on the copyright", "Do want to turn people onto the book". The former is not an issue. ZERO. When compared to the latter.

2) If you or anyone has even a rudimentary scanner -- and you're not obsessive about keeping your books in mint -- you can make your own digital Free Cerebus Hype Package. Just scan the printed pages and dupe them and circulate as needed.

3) Menachem Luchins was completely honest with me that he started reading CEREBUS on a Torrents site: completely illegal. No problem. If you become a CEREBUS fan you are going to spend a LOT of money getting all the material. A LOT of money. And a good chunk of it -- if you buy it at cerebusdownloads.com or from a comic store supplied by Diamond -- is going to come to me. On stuff that I wrote and drew thirty years ago.

4) If Menachem hadn't have liked the book I don't see that I would have been any further behind. Someone reading your work is a GOOD thing if you're a writer. If they don't like it, why should they have to have paid for it? I'd feel more squeamish about a poor student or a young father who is counting his pennies blowing $25 on the CEREBUS trade and then going "Well, this sucks" after reading 20 pages. Life has enough disappointments without that.

Anonymous said...

first draft...

http://www.cerebusdownloads.com/freecerebus/

I will wait for your thoughts and update tonight...

George Peter Gatsis


Dave Sim said...

Hi George Peter Gatsis! I'm afraid I'm not participating in this, but I hope everyone who thinks Matt has a good idea either uses what you're offering here, makes their own or creates a hybrid of some kind.

And that everyone keeps talking about it here! I'm also hoping that my carte blanche offer to use any of my work to pitch CEREBUS to non-CEREBUS fans gets all significant objections and quibbles out of the way.

Anonymous said...

Ok then...

Free Cerebus offering then stands asis on Cerebusdownloads.com


http://www.cerebusdownloads.com/freecerebus/


Tell the world!!!


George Peter Gatsis

Jeff Seiler said...

What I want to know, Mr. Dow, is: Which issue was it that was rated Triple-X?

Now, *that* might be a *very* enticing giveaway...

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Seiler,

Issue XXX is the one from "Going Home" where Jaka learns why Cerebus asked for all those silk handkerchiefs at the last clothing hut...

Matt Dow

Anonymous said...

Two suggestions:
1. Little more explanation on the links; the "watch" link going to Dave's update is good, but I thought it was going to be the "audio/video" bits of Dave reading the actual comics. Or is it and I didn't get that far?
2. In your little more explanation, indicate the file sizes of stuff. The download is 1.6 GB, which is chunky for PCs and may be unmanageable for tablets, phones, or devices.
Good luck!
Lee Bentley