Friday, 30 December 2016

Weekly Update #163: WHAT DID SCRUDDER FIND?!??

John Scrudder phones in a mysterious message for Dave!


Ibis said...

Practically writes itself!

Ray Cornwall said...

Two questions for Dave (I submitted this at first through the webform, then was asked to instead post it in the Weekly Update comics, so while we wait to find out what's in South Dakota...):

1. Has Dave any plans to see the movie La La Land? I saw it the other night,
and for some reason, I felt it was mining the same issues of artists
balancing life and art as Reads did. I'd be interested to read what he
thinks about it. (It's also a fun movie- it's a musical with references to
other famous musicals and LA landmarks, and it's so much fun watching Ryan
Gosling and Emma Stone act.)

2. Has Dave ever seen the webcomic Questionable Content? I only ask,
because he's halfway to Cerebus- 3300 daily updates, telling a grand story
about a group of millenials falling in and out of love with each other.
He's done it on the web, so he's self-publishing. He supports it with a
nice t-shirt business. I just thought Dave might think it interesting.

Side note- I did get my copy of the cover gallery for Christmas, and really like it. It's a great coda to the phone book collection.

Ray Cornwall

Dave Sim said...

My posts are being deleted. Testing. Testing.

Dave Sim said...

Hi Ray!

1. No, I'm only interested in movies as a cultural thing: what movie reviewers (mostly Chris Knight at the NATIONAL POST) have to say as movie obsessives and what the movies are about or "about". My reaction is invariably 1) why would someone want to make a movie like that? and 2) why would someone want to watch a movie like that?

Dave Sim said...

1. cont'd...and not as a rhetorical question: trying to understand what it is that these people are made up of: that this is what most engages them. How can you think this is important in 2016? Probably pretty much what they would think if they saw how much Scripture I read aloud, how much praying and fasting I do, etc. etc. I haven't read a review in the last ten years that made me say, "I've GOT to see this movie!" My reaction is always: how could you think that these components were worth spending tens of millions of dollars on? Even the movies that I really liked growing up -- like the ones that I watched to document where Jaka came from -- I'm always just watching the digital counter. There's GOT to be a better use for 2 hours and 10 minutes than THIS.

Dave Sim said...

2. Always glad to see when someone is choosing to be a Marathon Guy in the comics field! I'm afraid I'm years past the age of finding people falling in and out of love with each other interesting, personally, but definitely, the more people we have doing marathon gigs of What They Really Want To Say, the healthier the medium and the healthier the creators all around, I think. Although I can certainly understand people seeing it as No! Don't Do That! There's Too Great A Danger of It Turning You Into Dave Sim!

Steve said...

... he found the film negatives used to print the bootleg #1

Paul Slade said...

Talking of "halfway to Cerebus", I wonder how many pages Jamie Hernandez has so far produced in chronicling the lives of Maggie, Hopey & co in Love & Rockets? I should think he must be well above the 1,000-page mark by now - maybe further.

[The same point may apply to Gilbert's own continuing characters in his L&R pages, but I'm less familiar with his work so I'm not sure if its as firmly contained within a single story as Jamie's is.]

Dave Sim said...

Hi Steve! Is that an educated guess or do you have inside information? I thought John was just having some metaphysical fun with the fact that I request that people tell me what it is that they're calling about IN the phone message. Please don't just say "Give me a call." Which he's never been happy about.

A perfect example of why I do that was my last call from Carson. I called him back and he asked me a question about my SDOAR mock-ups that I didn't know the answer to. So I said, I'll call you back, I have to go and get them and look. Whereas, if he had just said in his phone message, "This is the specific question that I'm calling about" I would have realized I didn't know the answer, dug out the mock-ups and looked at them, figured out what the answer was and THEN called him back, saving some time all around.

Dave Sim said...

Paul Slade - That's an interesting question. Of course, (technicality?) 1,000 pages would be one SIXTH of the way to CEREBUS, not halfway. 2,000 pages would be one third, 3,000 would be halfway.

On the "300 issues" front SPAWN has just solicited its 225th (which was our 20th anniversary issue) issue. Not sure where SAVAGE DRAGON is but, presumably, a number of issues beyond that.

Rick Norwood did a few victory laps when he published the 301st issue of COMICS REVUE.

I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing, but it's hard to describe what "the thing" is. "Beginning middle and end of a single story"? Something like that.

Tony Dunlop said...

I think y'all owe royalties to the estate of Bernard Hermann (sp?) for using the "Psycho" screeching violins…plus medical expenses for my hearing loss...

Jeff Seiler said...

Oh, and DEFINITELY to Mr. Hitchcock.

Um, and to me, too, 'cause I was so traumatized at such an early age (big, round eyes looking pleadingly up at you) by those violins...

Steve said...

Hi Dave -

No 'inside information', I just thought it would be interesting to throw something like that out here and see where it went.

I've wondered if Tim would do a 'What are you still looking for' or 'What would you like to find' themed AMOC post and my counterfeit idea sprang from that.

(Not that I want to find those negatives, but it'd be a kick to unearth something like that.)


Travis Pelkie said...

Well, not sure where Dave got the idea that Spawn is just at issue 225, because the latest Previews has issue 273 solicited for mid-March. No Savage Dragon solicited this month, but he's in the mid-220s, I believe. Not sure how SD got that much behind Spawn, but Larsen's done all those issues, while Toddy's had others helping out a lot more (including Larsen recently, iirc).

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave articulated exactly one of the two things I find fascinating about Cerebus: "My reaction is invariably 1) why would someone want to make a [comic] like that? and 2) why would someone want to [read] a [comic] like that?" I mean, Dave put in literally decades of his life on this comic. This is what they thought was worth that? And 400 people (by Dave's current estimation, down from maybe 40,000 at its height) continue to be interested in this? Fascinating.

-- Damian

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Crud! "This is what he thought ..." Sorry.

-- D.

Jeff Seiler said...

D? I got into comics in the mid-70's (with a coupla 60s or 50s Charlestons comics bought at garage sales--wish I had *them* back). The X-Men were taking off, being rebooted, and Byrne was all over the place.

And, then, my friend Paul Shaffer (not the Canadian bandleader but still a swell guy) turned me on to Cerebus.

It turned out to be a monumental achievement.

And Dave Sim turned out to be (eventually) one of the most stand-up, principled, nice (yeah, I said it!) guys you could ever want to know.

Oh,, too.

As you say,


Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Thanks, Jeff S. I think I knew all that about you from your posts here. I place you in the same group as Sandeep A., Michael B., "Talon TM", and a few others. Fascinating indeed.

On another matter: Dave's big on what he calls "reading into the record". In that same spirit, I place this here at this time. When Dave says, "I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing", he is preparing to move the goalposts. This point will become relevant.

-- Damian

Dave Sim said...

Damian - I don't think I'm moving the goalposts. I think I'm just pointing out that different people are looking at different situations whenever they look at a serialized comic-book story. Is Jaime's LOVE & ROCKETS work a single graphic novel? Is SPAWN a single graphic novel? Is SAVAGE DRAGON a single graphic novel?

Are CEREBUS, Jaime's LOVE & ROCKETS work, SPAWN and SAVAGE DRAGON the same things? And if they're different things, how would you describe the category each is in and what characteristic eliminates the others from that category? It's not a rhetorical question. My experience has been that it's impossible to describe what category CEREBUS is in. You'll get as many answers to what the categories are as there are readers interested in identifying the category that material fits into, I think.

So, "I guess I didn't do ANYTHING (i.e. nothing you can identify by category) for 26 years," seems to be the bottom line.

Tony Dunlop said...

Or to go back in time a bit, are the first fifteen to twenty years of The Spirit (the Sunday strips) the same sort of thing? (And yes, I know Mr. Eisner farmed some of it out as work-for-hire, although I'm embarrassed to admit I'm not sure how much, or exactly when.)

Ray Cornwall said...

Spawn can't really count- what Todd's done is certainly an achievement of some sort, but he's really just been in the Stan Lee role for about 150 of those issues. Savage Dragon is much closer, as Erik's written and drawn everything, and even handles colors and letters on his own at times.

Jaime's much closer in one sense- his work may not be a cohesive graphic novel like Cerebus, but there is something to the fact that it's all the same universe of characters- and it's fantastic just on artistic merit alone. In that sense, Jaime's achievement is unique, just like Dave.

I threw out Questionable Content because it's 3000+ pages, done by one guy (his girlfriend/wife did a lot of business lifting before the relationship ended), self-published. It's not the same as Dave's accomplishment because it's not all paper-published, but in reality, if the Internet had been around as a content distribution channel in 1977, well, who knows what would have happened?

Jeff Seiler said...

Look, guys (including, you, Dave), the truth is, the guys who did (have done) the long stretches have all accomplished some major (mostly good) things, which deserve recognition and acclaim.

IMHO, however, what Dave'n'Ger accomplished was the best continuous, contiguous storyline, with the best blend of (REALLY blended) comic art, over 236 issues that has ever been done.

Feel free, scholar squirrels, to disparage and scourge me.

Travis Pelkie said...

I think it is hard to quantify what Dave did with Cerebus, and until there are more examples of people doing what he did, I'm not sure we can necessarily label it just yet. Maybe. Hmm, column idea for the Atomic Junk Shop....

Add in Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo and Sergio Aragones with Mark Evanier on Groo as two more examples of long-running comic book achievements.

I'd say Los Bros Hernandez both generally are making their comics "within a universe", so to speak, as Xaime's stuff is Maggie and Hopey and their relationships, and Beto seems to be telling the story of Luba and her family, of which the Palomar stuff was a beginning. I'm not sure of page counts with them, but issue number-wise, there were 50 issues of v1, 20 of v2, 6 or 8 volumes of New Stories, and now the second issue of the new L&R should be out next month some time. So about 80 issues just of L&R, with Beto doing some other titles that tie into his own universe, maybe 20 pages an issue, so I would guess somewhere 1500-2000 pages, which is an accomplishment, but short of Dave.

I like Groo, but I don't think they're trying to tell the story of a life per se there. There were 120 (or more) Epic issues, a few before, a few Image ones after, several Dark Horse minis now, so let's say 150 issues, so about halfway there.

Usagi Yojimbo will probably be the next contender. Sakai has done over 200 issues, and is telling the life story of the rabbit samurai, so he may match or even surpass Dave. It's also high quality, as well.

Savage Dragon is telling a life. Larsen joked once to Wizard that he wanted to do 301 issues "just to piss Dave Sim off". As I said, he's somewhere around 225, so he's got a ways to go. He's telling a life story there too.

And that's all I'll ramble about right now!

Travis Pelkie said...

Finally watched the video, and I gotta say, we BETTER find out what Scrudder's talking about! So mysterious!

And hey, Jeff, the Psycho music may have traumatized you, but at least Dave wasn't in the shower like in the movie!