Sunday, 31 July 2016

What the...?!

'A Moment Of Cerebus' just tripped 1.5 million page views!

Thanks for the support everyone!

The TCJ Interview: Michael Zulli

I have to admit that before this collection was published, I had never read The Puma Blues, or even heard of it. Though I was too young to have read them when they were originally published.

I don’t blame you, actually. Those days were the wild west of comics, really. There was a lot of very good things that happened and a lot of weird things that happened. I can’t say bad necessarily, but weird. At that point in history there was more than one distributor in the United States. People were self-publishing or there were small press imprints that were producing a whole variety of different things. It was the beginnings of what I saw as potentially a quite interesting period in the medium. The birth pains of growing up. Of course it didn’t work out that way. [laughs] One by one they all toppled and well now there is a comics industry in North America. At the time it seemed like it was possible really to really stretch or even burn the envelope entirely to get to a new place where the medium itself–which is always been creative and vital and largely misunderstood as a junk culture–could grow up and flourish and entertain any segment of society that it wished to. 

It was on that premise that Stephen and I originally got together as completely and utterly void entities, really. On the day we approached Dave [Sim] at a small local comic shop in the area, we had eight pages of Puma drawn and basically done. At the time we were thinking the best place to go would be one of the smaller independent publishers. Back then a lot of them would have a main feature and then an eight page backup story that might change from month to month. We thought our best chances were to get into doing eight pages every two weeks for one of these things. When [Dave Sim] said, can you do twenty pages plus a cover a month I opened my mouth and said, yeah. From there it was a done deal. We both walked away looking at each other like, what are we going to do? The only training I ever had in comics was, believe it or not, I’d gone to the local bookstore and bought How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. [laughs] Which was a complete disaster, but I did learn a few things that I found technically appropriately. To this day I still cannot draw a comics page with blue pencil. I tried but I just hated the damn thing. The learning curve was daunting to say the least...

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Dave Sim!

Self-portrait (1989)
by Dave Sim

"Sexism Isn’t Like Racism. It Isn’t A Prejudice. It’s A Fact."

Sequentially reprinting Dave Sim's letters and faxed correspondence to me, with occasional annotation from me.

10 June, 2008

My point is: If it is extremely unlikely as we both agree that female representation would be much above 1 to 3% on police forces if they had to meet the same standards as men, then how can saying women are inferior be sexist or misogynistic? That’s why I pitched Rick on asking people to name their percentage -- on the Yahoo Group.

I’m calling it my Compassionate Outreach to the Reality Challenged and it is an uphill struggle. Does anyone seriously believe that if men and women competed for police jobs that women would win or would win half of the time? Why not have one Olympics and forget the sexism and misogyny of having men’s and women’s events?

The bottom line is that sexism isn’t like racism. It isn’t a prejudice, it’s a fact.

That’s the topic that I wish people could stick to and clearly people won’t stick to it.

That’s the reason that I got hacked off at you for the half-dozen distractions and digressions in your fax. Fourteen years of being the only person in the room making sense and people are still calling me schizophrenic.

Maybe you could do a survey and then point out that any percentage below 50 -- how many policepersons who are women would there be if they had to pass the same tests as men -- means either a) we’re all sexists and misogynists because we all believe the figure is less than 50%, CONSIDERABLY less than 50% or b) women are inferior to men.


Friday, 29 July 2016


We have our Paypal figures for July -- the first full month of CEREBUS IN HELL? at -- and they AREN'T COMPLETELY TERRIBLE!  Repeat!  They AREN'T COMPLETELY TERRIBLE!

We usually do between $800 and $1,000 a month and after last month's record $4,000, this month was $1,500.

Not really enough to keep going but definitely more than an average month so -- at least temporarily -- we will keep going.

Please stand by for me gluing little Cerebi to Gustave Dore drawings!    

Weekly Update #145: Behind The Scenes Of "Cerebus In Hell?"

As Aardvark-Vanaheim prepares to launch Cerebus Archive Number 5, Dave takes a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of "Cerebus In Hell?"

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Cerebus In Hell? - Week 5

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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Cerebus Feels So Good

A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

It was October 2015, in "Boys! Dinner!", when we last looked at Dave Sim's notebook #6, which covers Cerebus #80 through 86 and only 118 pages were scanned.

Today we'll look at some unused material that look like it would've appeared in Cerebus #85, around page 13 - or Church & State II page 687 if you're following along in the phonebooks. Issue #85 is when Cerebus meets Prince Keef and drinks a special blend of whiskey.

On page 74 of the notebook we see some sketches for the UK Tour '86 poster. We also see, in the top right hand corner, the dialogue from page 13 of Cerebus #13 after Cerebus has thrown up for a second time. And instead of going on about how "Cerebus NEVER feels really good" we see "Why, the last time Cerebus felt this good - you know when that was?"

Notebook 6, page 74
Cerebus then rambles on about playing a game called chestnuts. This continues onto page 75:

Notebook 6, page 75
Down at the bottom of page 75 appears to be the continuation of the last time Cerebus felt that good - as Cerebus had just sidetracked himself for such a rambling narration about a game of chestnuts. I looked through issue 85 and a bit of the next issue. As far as I can see, the chestnut story wasn't included and Cerebus had his line changed from the last time he felt that good to never having felt that good.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Formal Rumblings-- The Silent Cerebus 112/113

Sean Michael Robinson:

Greetings folks!

In honor of the 28th anniversary of one of my favorite comics ever, Cerebus 112/113, I thought I'd offer some of the thoughts I've been mulling over in preparation for writing my Church & State II essay for the recently completed restoration work.

Firstly, like the very best of Cerebus, the story can be analysed and appreciated from a variety of standpoints. Seen solely from a narrative standpoint, it's a devastating comeuppance for a character who has never been particularly interested in the consequences of his own actions. Here are the things you've done, Cerebus, laid out before you. As Dave said in the intro to the story in Cerebus Zero, it's a return to the scene of the crime. This is made all the more powerful for how unexpected it is. When Cerebus throws the baby off the steps and into the crowd, when he terrorizes the whole of the city, when he rapes Astoria, it's not clear that consequences, repercussions, are coming. Cerebus 112/113 is a reminder that those repercussions are real, that consequences are real, even if they're delayed, or diffuse. In a certain way it's the last double-page spread of Church and State amplified and stretched out over forty silent pages. 

And of course, the silent aspect is a stark contrast to the climax of Church and State, even while the tone in turn amplifies the Judge's monologue on human nature and celestial climax. 

On another level, Cerebus 112/113 strikes me as, accidental or not, a striking formal exercise. You see, it's not just Cerebus returning to the scene of the crime. It's Dave Sim and Gerhard. 

112/113 takes place entirely in the hotel in the Upper City of Iest, the setting of the majority of Church & State I. This is an environment that was created on the fly, month by month, to fit the needs of the story as it developed. Cerebus and Boobah need to play cards? There's a garden and atrium. Posey and Cerebus need alone time? Basement with terrifying fog. Storage for gold? Tremendous lobby. Every area of the hotel, then, is charged with the events that took place there, but before 112/113, there's no evidence of any kind of coherence to the environments, other than narrative coherence. But 112/113 provides the unique experience of walking through the places where all of these events took place, and in that walk through, creating a coherence that didn't exist prior to that issue. 

If the first half of Church & State I is, visually, a three-camera sit-com, where the needs of the cast, camera equipment, audience, and budget, take precedence over the overall visual effect, then 112/113 is a Kurosawa movie, where each environment feels real and whole, where people both occupy and are occupied by the surrounding space and environment, where meaning comes from small moments of silence and reflection, and absence is as present as anything else.

It's an effect that is at its height in the next book, Jaka's Story. Not coincidentally, Jaka's Story was also the first book where the environments for the story were worked out in full before any pages were produced. And it's the book with the smallest physical spaces, and the one in which the proximity of the characters to each other creates the majority of the conflict and action.

(The "silent" aspect of the issue was still fairly novel at the time of publication, that particular stretching of the form having been inaugurated by Larry Hama in 1984, in GI Joe #21. I wouldn't be surprised if Hama himself was influenced by Japanese comics, where silent sequences were a lot more common, given the length of manga and the visual literacy of the comics-reading public)

As for the restoration project: if/when we get to the end of the series, the current plan is to restore all of the "Miscellanea" work afterwards. To that end, we've been acquiring scans of all available Cerebus original artwork. In the case of 112/113, it looks like all but one of these pages were sold during the run of the book. It's easy to imagine why—Dave and Gerhard were on tour for several years after the issue was published, and the images are very striking and iconic, no doubt helped by the lack of text on the pages. In other words, each page has a slightly more "frame-able" look. (Which makes me wonder if the almost complete takeover of digital lettering isn't at least partially due to original art sales making up a larger and larger slice of the ever-shrinking illustration pie?)

Anyway, we've had scans of six "in the wild" pages sent to us so far, leaving another 33 (!) or so unaccounted for. Thank you, donors!

Here's a closeup of one of the pages we've received scans of. You can see Dave's instruction to Gerhard above the first panel, which also serves as a nice title to the page.

More next week!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

On Sale 28 Years Ago: Cerebus #112/113

Cerebus #112/113 'Double-Issue' (July/August 1988)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

Monday, 25 July 2016

Cerebus Reread Challenge: Carson Grubaugh

(from Carson Grubaugh's Cerebus Reread Review: Volume 1, July 2016)
...Being near the end of my entire re-read as I type this I can now state for sure what interests me when looking back over the work as a whole. As I said last time Cory Foster does a great job of providing synopses and analyses of the story. I am primarily interested in Dave Sim’s development as a formal master of the comics medium. I intend to track that development over the course of the books, with lots and lots of pictures.

The other thing that interests me to no end is the development of Dave Sim as a thinker. I refuse to treat the book like an autobiography, or to pin any one character as being a manifestation of Dave Sim. Cerebus the Aardvark is not Dave Sim, but Cerebus the book, from what I can tell, is one of the most open, honest, and vulnerable portrayals of the development of an artist/thinker we have on record.

If you read the book with all of the original back-matter in place there are very interesting correlations between the themes of each volume and how Sim portrays himself and his activities in the back-matter. It often appears as if he is trying on different selves and different ways of engaging with the world that he feels will help him gain a better understanding of whatever topic he is writing about at the time. He says things to this effect much later on in the run, which I will point out when we get there.

This approach to life and art is one I hold in the highest regard. It is brave, selfish, and totally fascinating to see on fully display. This aspect of Cerebus is why I consider it the greatest work in comics, even if some of the parts of that whole are damn near impossible to consume.

I am trying to use an image heavy-format, and so am doing most of my commentary from here on out in captions over top of the art (Sim is obviously infecting me at this point). I will try to do a better job of proofreading the captions next time around. Some of those that follow are embarrassing. I will also size the art to fit the height next time around. I thought the images were smaller than they are... [continue reading at Carson Grubaugh's blog...]

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Carson Grubaugh: Photorealist Tryout

...continued from Carson Grubaugh's Photorealist Tryout Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3:

(via email)
...Here are the finished versions of the pages to wrap up my Strange Death Of Alex Raymond tryout. I already sent them to Sandeep to show to Dave in case Dave does use them but doesn't want pages from the book floating around. Dave gave me a call today. He sounded positive about the work and gave a few minor criticisms. Not sure if he is going to use them or not, but I had a lot of fun doing them. Dave said it is fine to post them. Given that this has played out through the AMOC blog it seems like a good idea to show how they came out...

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Grade Eight Advice to Grade Sevens

A page from Dave Sim's 1968 Yearbook titled "Advice to Grade Sevens".

"Put Your Name On The Petition Or Leave Me Alone"

Continuing with the faxed correspondence, but back to posting just Dave’s letters to me, with the occasional annotation. This one picks up where we left off last week. It is dated June 6, 2008:

Hi Jeff:

Please fax me Lenny's number and "when is a good time to call" and I’ll contact him directly. [Ed: This would have been about Lenny’s father’s experiences, which were previously mentioned.]

I've reconsidered answering the questions, since that involves at least potentially entertaining people who consider me to be a misogynist.

I correspond with Rick S. because he understands that this is about feminists making opposition to feminism into misogyny. I correspond with him because he’s the only person I know besides Sandeep who is able to stay on topic, so there is a certain level of intellectual interest in trying to find a way to stay on topic. No offence, but I don’t see that in you: like everyone else, you want to run around all over the map to "how much Jeff T. has done to help you", "who is higher up in the pecking order than Heidi MacDonald and/or Jeff Smith", "let’s rehash the roast book", "let’s slag Lenny for doing late what Jeff T., Heidi MacDonald and Jeff Smith won't do at all", "let's drag in completely irrelevant aside about James Owen". I'm not reaching out to Jeff T. I'm giving him the same offer I'm giving everyone else: Put your name on the petition or leave me alone.

[Ed: Okay, here’s where not holding onto (or misplacing) all of our correspondence leads to embarrassing gaps in my recollection. The quotes (or summations) to which Dave referred above escape me now, save for the ones about Jeff T. As regards the latter, I was just trying to patch up a rift between the two of them that still, to this day, has not been patched up. C’est la vie.]

Getting back to the subject: If police standards were as high and exacting as they used to be, how many policewomen do you think there would be? 3%? 40%? 90%?

In other words, how delusional are you choosing to be just to stay on the One Big Happy Family Side of the Fence? How delusional are you being in trying to make this about all of the pointless irrelevances listed above? Why are you doing that instead of discussing empirical reality?


[Ed: Okay, this is about the time that I began to realize that Dave was not just responding to particular points in my letters to him, but had begun using his letters to me to expand his plan for what he called “reading into the record”. It confused me, at first, but I decided just to go with it, and see what happened. So can you, if you stay tuned.]

Friday, 22 July 2016

Weekly Update #144: The Origins Of Jaka

Cerebus Archive #5 will be launching on Kickstarter soon! Maybe next week! Maybe the week after that! Hopefully not any later than that! Here's a brief teaser of some of the women who provided the basis of the Jaka character. Also, a big block of concrete. In colour!

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Cerebus In Hell? - Week 4

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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Campaign '93 Notes

Dave Sim's Notebook #18, which we last looked at in October 2015's "Alcohol Is Free and  There Is No Last Call", covers Cerebus #164 through 187. Those particular issues had cover dates of November 1992 to October 1994. During that time Dave started Campaign 1993. In Cerebus #167, cover date February 1993, there was no Aardvark Comment letters column. Instead, the issue had eleven pages wherein Dave went over Campaign '93.

In notebook #18 on page 57 is the start of that text. He didn't want to start it off with "It would be very easy after the '92 tour to sit back and rest on our laurels."

Notebook 18, page 57
The page is pretty much the text to first page of the Campaign '93 "Dear Retailer" letter from Dave. Except starting with the paragraph that begins with "Spawn #10". That paragraph and the one afterwards were cut. It skips past them to the next paragraph. On the next page, parts of the  text are the same, and parts are different - a first draft.

Notebook #18, page 58
For example, down the bottom - "Gary thinks you're scum. That's okay. Gary thinks I'm scum, too. But we're not. And we know we're not." That bit got cut.  The next page talks about "The Direct Link In Action":

Notebook #18, page 59
And page 60 has some after thoughts for Campaign '93:

Notebook #18, page 60

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Descreening Color Printing to Avoid The Dreaded Moire: Under Cover Homecoming

Sean Michael Robinson:

Greetings folks!

Another quickie this week. I'm in process working on the layout and cover of Going Home, and, since I'd yet to write about or do any de-screening work on this project, I thought it might be an interesting topic for some of you out there.

As Dave mentioned in a previous update, the original photographic slide that was the basis for the cover of the Going Home trade as well as the first issue—taken by Gerhard "from my driveway at "Camp Woolner"—has gone missing, most likely, for good. What this means in practical terms is that the cover has to be recreated from the materials available. With the Reads cover, I was able to significantly improve the image in the reconstruction, because all of the original materials were available and so could be digitally scanned and placed without losing any generations, using the original cover only as a guide. In this case, I can recreate the logo and text, but the image itself has to come from a print copy of some kind.

Why, exactly, is this a problem? Haven't I been working primarily with print copies for the Cerebus Volume One restoration, with excellent results?

The Going Home cover, like you've Never Seen It BEFORE—WAY TOO CLOSE!!!1!

The problem is the printing method. Almost all commercial color printing is produced via some kind of half-toning, i.e. printing with an array of tiny dots that vary minutely to create the illusion of tone across the image. (The effectiveness of this illusion, by the way, is dependent on the printing surface and pitch of the dot, viewing distance, and the visual acuity of the viewer.) 

So, if you're printing from a second-generation color image, i.e. an image that has previously been half-toned, you have to get rid of any sign of those previous printing dots, or run the risk of generating the dreaded moire when your previous dots get resampled into brand new dots when you print. Worse yet, you want to eliminate the previous dots without eliminating all of the detail that's apparent in the original image. And it's this part that's the real tall order.

The image above is a close-up of the cover of my copy of Cerebus 232, which also features the Going Home cover image, scanned at 1200 ppi on my Epson 10000XL. I've scanned it way higher than you'd normally need a color image because a few descreening methods (and there are several) work best when the printing dots are resolved, i.e. are reasonably round in the scan.

In this case, though, I found that the fancy-pants methods were not necessary. Photoshop's Median Noise filter did the trick.

In Photoshop, go to Filter-> Noise -> Median. The Median filter looks at the luminance of adjacent pixels to create a kind of average at a user-determined pixel radius. In this case, moving the radius to 8 px resulted in this image—

You can see that most of the "noise" of the printing dots is eliminated, leaving a color cast that's much closer to the original image. And although the detail is still soft, I can see on-screen every detail that's visible to my eye in the original image, including the heavy grain from the enlarged slide.

We can take care of the remaining noise in two more steps—first, downsample the image to the resolution we're actually going to be using it at. 

Here's the image downsampled to 450 ppi, using "Bicubic smoother" as our transformation method.

And there's still just a hint of the direction of the original halftoning, so I'm going to finish this off with just a bit of Gaussian blur, at 0.6 px across.

Okay, now that we've successfully eliminated our original printing dots, we're free to treat this image just like we would any other raw color scan, albeit a rather soft one of a fairly noisy surface. We can sharpen, adjust, color-correct, whatever adjustments will bring us closer to the printed original.

In my case I ended up abandoning my print scan and working from a scan Sandeep sent me instead. Dave found the match print of the original cover, superior to all of the other sources available as it includes the bleed area (the area overprinted and trimmed off to create a full-bleed image) and doesn't have folds, spine text etc that would otherwise need to be corrected and touched-up.

Above is the raw scan of the match print. The exposure is a bit dark and the colors seem slightly off to me, but it's otherwise looking good. I notice there's some damage under the logo, caused by (possibly) buckling of the laminate? It looks like little streaks of light.

That, combined with the fine text that I don't want to have to take into consideration when I'm adjusting the photo, persuades me I might be better off eliminating the logo and text entirely and adding them on again after the cover restoration is complete. We'll see.

The Median filter and Gaussian blur combo works perfectly. Then it's on to the cleanup.

I do some of the cleanup to the damaged area of the print, using the Clonestamp tool to sample nearby unaffected areas and varying the brush to hide the work. This is much harder than it normally is, as the visible photo grain makes any blurry edge work visible. After a bit I decide that, yes, the logo should also be eliminated and added back in when the work is complete—the sharpness has been too diminished by the noise reduction. But before I do any more cleanup, I make some levels adjustments and color corrections (as corrections layers that can be changed at any time) to get a little closer to the final appearance of the image.

And here is the color and levels adjusted image, with a rough (rough! so spare me the comments :)  ) approximation of the logo elimination. Next step will be to finalize the work on the logo, drop it into a layout program to add back in text, bar codes etc, and print a few samples to take a look at the adjustment work. Then I'll send a few versions out to Dave for his approval, of the colors particularly.

Any thoughts or questions? Hit me in the comments!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

On Sale 34 Years Ago: Cerebus #40

Cerebus #40 (July 1982)
Art by Dave Sim

Monday, 18 July 2016


by Dave Sim
(Originally published in Cerebus #52, July 1983)

(from Note From The Publisher, Cerebus #52, July 1983)
You will probably notice something quite different about this issue, namely that there are three short stories in it. Dave had been thinking of doing this for a while, but the opportunity was never there before. One of these stories, Elfguest, is a special one to Dave and I. Richard and Wendy have accomplished with Elfquest a very unique kind of success. Even though we keep in touch as much as possible, it's not always easy to find a way to show our applause for both the books and the creators behind it. The only natural thing to do for a writer/artist (with an acute sense of humour) was to do this story. It was to appear in an anthology title we were planning to do with Gene Day, and, after his death, we quietly put it aside until the right moment. The decision to do an issue of short stories made it possible to finally print Elfguest.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Jeff Seiler: Dave Sim & Me (Part 2)

Continuing from May 21 to June 5, 2008:


Hi, Dave---I was going to wait until I heard back from you, but I’m being booted off the computer in about ten minutes, so:

I went to eBay and spent a good half hour figuring out how to list a for sale item. I got it all figured and filled out, registered to pay for it, and hit send. Was told that the Internet connection was down. Did it all again, got the same message--bear in mind, I was *on* the fricking Internet. So, chalk it up to these crazy filters here at the library. I’ve got it saved in some nebulous corner of eBay, so I’ll try it again at school tomorrow, or go to Kinko’s after school. Since there’s time, here’s what I wrote in the description. Let me know if you want me to change any of it. You should let me know sooner rather than later, though.

Here’s the copy: Dave Sim is auctioning off the right to put your advertising [Ed: Dave struck out “advertising” and wrote in “advertisement”.] on the back cover of glamourpuss No. 2, which will be released in July of 2008. The cover [Ed: Dave struck out “cover” and wrote in “ad”.] will be in full color. [Ed: Dave struck out the following sentence in full.] The winning bidder will be responsible for paying for the cost of shipping his or her artwork to Sim. In addition, the winning bidder will be paying Sim directly by credit card [Ed: Dave added “or certified cheque or money order.”]--DO NOT paypal to the listed seller. The artwork [Ed: Dave struck out “artwork” and wrote in “ad in the form of PDF computer file”.] must be received by Sim no later than the third week of June. [Ed: Dave added, “Dave Sim will be contacting the winning bidder by phone.”] Glamourpuss is a photo-realistic comic parody of the fashion industry and fashion magazines, as well as being an in-depth explanation of the photo-realistic techniques of 1940s and 1950s newspaper comic strip artwork by artists such as Alex Raymond. The sales figures for glamourpuss No. 1, which debuted in April, were over 16,500 copies sold. [Ed: Dave struck out “16,500” and wrote in “8,000”. Or, “18,000”. The printout of the fax makes it difficult to tell.] This is a rare opportunity for your advertising to be seen by a large comic-book buying audience. [Ed: Dave added, “Starting bid $500 Canadian.”]

Let me know. I’ll be gone in eight minutes from right now, so I’ll look for your answers tomorrow.


[Dave’s inserted response: Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate the “above and beyond the call” very much. (Those CRAZY filters, eh?)]


The next fax in the stack is dated 5/23/08, at 3:35 p.m., from Dave to me, and reprints the fax I had sent to him earlier, with circled numbers at the end of seven paragraphs, but I don’t have the accompanying document in which the numbers correspond to responses from him. A lost document.


The next fax is also from 5/23/08, at 8:41 p.m. It is presciently pertinent to our current times:

Hi, Dave---I’m going to respond more in depth to your latest fax on Monday, but I was wondering if I could post your quote about Hillary Clinton. I noticed that, too, and thought that it wouldn’t hit your radar screen. Boy, she and Bill really are acting as if they both just expected her to be elected de facto and now that she’s essentially out of it, they’re pulling out all the stops. Enormous sense of entitlement, as if we didn’t already know that from round one of “Billary”, eh?




Mm...Better hold off on posting the quote. I’ve been dealing with the “special needs” class for a while and I know how badly they react to the self-evident when it’s pointed out to them.

Two more weeks of 24/7 Hillary rants and I’ll give them a 5% chance of actually seeing what feminism is.

Sandeep said yesterday, “This is getting embarassing.”

I said, “Oh, no, it hasn’t even started to get embarrassing. God picked Hillary specifically for this, “I’m pretty sure.”

As Bette Davis said in All About Eve, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”




Hi, Dave---Sorry for the delay in getting you the info on the auction. I’ve been tied up with a lot of things, not the least of which is the annual summer job search.

The ad space did not sell on eBay. It did not even get any bids. Lenny C. sent me an email that I’m adding below, in which he explains why he thinks it did not sell:

[From Lenny C.]: Jeff--You didn’t fix any of the problems I mentioned to you in the auction. You have no bids, and no surprise--I personally wouldn’t bid on an auction which has so many inconsistencies.

1. Description says $500 Canadian, auction says $500 US.
2. Description says no PayPal, auction says Paypal OK.
3. Charging $10 shipping for an auction in which nothing is shipped.
PLUS, you are a zero-rated seller. It is possible but unlikely you will get bidders--and if you do, it will be at a lower price than if you did the auction right.

If you’d like, give me a call at work and I will walk you through the fixes. Alternatively, you can stop the auction early and relist it correctly. Also, my own eBay rating is 487, with sterling feedback. If Dave wants, I’d be happy to lend my credentials to him to list the auction for him.

Let me know.


[Ed: Me again.]: I see his points, except that, as far as I could tell when I put it up, there was no way to list a zero shipping charge. The listing site wouldn’t accept it when I tried.

Do you want me to contact Lenny about relisting this? Let me know and I’ll take care of it.




Yes, that would be fine. Live and learn, I guess. I’d say do whatever Lenny suggests. Getting him to post it is probably a very good idea. I’ve got a “fall-back” back cover if it comes to that, so nothing to get worked up about. In a way it’s funny--won’t let you list zero shipping cost and that’s what blows it. When on Planet Rome, let the Romans fix it. Hope you’re feeling better.




Hi, Dave--A couple of questions from Lenny:

1. Does Dave reserve the right to reject the ad based on content? And, if so, I would like to say this in the ad for the sake of honesty. I can email you and/or fax Dave the exact text of the auction before I list it, if he would like. But I would suggest something along the lines of: “Seller reserves right to reject advertisement based on content and refund auction price in full.”

2. He should allow PayPal--it will likely raise the final value of the auction--it’s so common now on eBay that many people will simply not bid on an auction if it doesn’t allow PayPal. I can take the payment and write Dave a check OR he can set up an account and I can link the auction to his account (but he needs a bank account and, I think, a credit card) to do this--he just need to go to PayPal to set it up. Either way, though, he will lose about 3% of the payment to PayPal. I think it’s worth offering this option.

[Ed: Me again:] I told him I would run them by you and get back to him tomorrow with your answer.

Also, he posted something interesting in the April comic book sales numbers that I thought you might not know about but that you might find interesting. Here it is, in a nutshell:

Dave Sim’s glamourpuss #1: 16,515
Terry Moore’s Echo #1: 16,350
Jeff Smith’s RASL #1: 16,346

I know you wrote me that the sales figures were 18,000, but I figured that included the direct orders that you got, right?

As Lenny wrote, “those are STUNNINGLY similar numbers and, to me, suggest this is much more reflection of the subset of the direct market retailers who support books by these successful indie creators than indicative of true, end reader demand. What would be the odds that books by three such diverse creators would be separated by 1% in their first months!?”

It’s fascinating. To me and Lenny, anyway.


[Ed: Dave’s inserted response:

1. Yes. Fine.
2. Lenny can take the payment and write me a cheque.
3. Sales on glamourpuss #1 were 9.321 Comics Ed., 7,100 Fashion Ed. I also offered “buy 5, get 1 free” which meant it shipped 19,705 copies, which I figured needed to be taken into account and arbitrarily set it as “half” orders...therefore, the rounded off 18,000.

If Lenny has his dad’s memoirs of the Holocaust, can he email them to Lou Copeland for inclusion on the Judenhass website? As is. His dad had a great literary voice.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Gerhard's Hero Initiative Auction

I'm just catching up on stuff and noticed that there is an Ebay auction for the Hero Initiative of one the coasters I did. There are only three and half days left on this auction!

Gerhard's 2016 Convention Itinerary:
March 18-20: Comicon Toronto, ON
April 8-10: Wizard World Madison, WI
May 6-8: Wizard World Minneapolis, MN
June 2-6: Wizard World Philadelphia, PA
June 17-19: Wizard World Sacramento, CA
July-August: Gone Sailing Georgian Bay, ON
September 8-10: Wizard World Nashville, TN
November 4-6: Wizard World Pittsburgh, PA