Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Intro by Dave: "Dorks of the Tower"

Hi, Everybody!

Hey Look! It's Dork Tower by John Kovalic:

Image result for Dork Covenant

"Hey, Marcia. Come and see the satanist."
  That one still cracks me up.
   I have no great affection for gaming, but then I'm always suspicious when a noun becomes a verb without warning. Like "party". It is interesting to me that, right around the time-that "party" became a verb (I party, you party, he/she/it parties, we party, you party, they party), what it was describing had actually ceased to exist and the sort of characters that Kevin Smith has made a career out of documenting had taken over. In my day, when those fellows too over the keg, you knew that you should have left half an hour ago.
   You might well ask what has this to do with John Kovalic and his excellent comic book, Dork Tower.
   You might well ask what is wrong with the characters that Kevin Smith documents?
   You would ask in vain, however, for I confine my closely reasoned arguments to the back pages of Cerebus.
   Uh. Cerebus? The comic book that I draw?
   Yes. Yes. Twenty-three years now (almost). A little over three years to go. Pardon? Yes it's one long story that I started in ... Science fiction? No, no. It isn't really a... well, Cerebus did do a tour of the solar system in one of.. Fantasy? Uhh. Yeah. I mean, not as much as there was early on when it was mostly a Conan parody. Conan. Well, before the movies, Conan was a ... No, I'm not really interested in Hollywood myself. You mean, like a Cerebus animated cartoon or something? No, I really... Well, the loss of control. See, when you sign a contract with a studio, they... Pardon? Well millions of dollars if everything goes right. But, you see, it only goes right once in a great while. Like with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but then you have to stop writing and drawing and become the CEO full-time of whatever you... Well, I don't know how many millions the Turtles made, exactly. But millions and millions, yes. Definitely... See, to me, when you self-publish your work, as I do with Cerebus and as John Kovalic is now doing with Dork Tower, the idea is to reduce the amount of outside interference and to limit the business side to turning the artwork into printed comic books and getting them to the...
   No, comic books. The ones in the newspaper are comic strips.
   Yes, it was very sad that Charles Schulz died.
   Yes, that's right. The Charles Schulz. Oh, many millions of dollars ... maybe even a quarter of a billion.
   Yes. It is hard to imagine, Well, I think what impressed John was more the quality of the strip and that was why getting a letter fro its creator was such a big deal to him... why he has the letter framed and up on his...
   No. A lot of cartoonists do that, but Schulz didn't have ghosts. He wrote and drew and pencilled and inked and lettered every Peanuts strip that ever...
   Yes, wasn't that great? Yes, I watch it every Christmas myself. And when Linus goes out into the spotlight and starts reciting from Luke's Gospel...
   Well, it was first aired in 1965, so I guess it's made a lot of money since then. I don't really know how those things work. Whether the studio paid every time it's aired and pays Schulz's estate (now), or if someone bought the rights to it, you know, some big corporation like Time-Warner or ABC or something offered a lot of money for it at some point and Schulz (or whoever owned it) just decided...
   A Dork Tower movie?
   Well, I don't know. See, that's one of the funny things with self-publishers. Some of them are interested in Hollywood and some aren't. It seems to me that you don't really know which one you are until you get an actual offer from...
   ... Pardon?
   Well, I did--years and years ago--get a call from Lucasfilm... Yes. Star Wars. Definitely. Star Wars has made millions and millions of dollars... Well, no, just the one phone call. As I said, I'm not interested, so, you know, there wasn't much reason for them to call back. Regret it? No. No, uh, exactly the opposite.  As I said, I don't really have any interest in Hollywood. As I said, the loss of control just...
   Danny DeVito as Igor?
   Well, Danny DeVito has got to be... what? Late forties, early fifties by now. I always got the impression that the characters in Dork Tower are... Well, yes, you're right. There are gamers who are in their late forties and early fifties. Yes, that's true. If you have characters of different ages, they do like that in Hollywood. Hit the different demographic groups. You could cast same hot twenty year-old as Matt and get that older brother-younger brother thing. Make Igor the sloppy one and Matt the neat one. Yeah, like the Odd Couple. No, no--exactly. The first Odd Couple movie or even the Odd Couple television show. Or you could make Matt a girl. Jenna Elfman and Davvy DeVito. Wouldn't that be something? Yeah, they're both really funny.
   Speaking of really funny, have you ever read Dork Tower? The Dork Tower comic book? No?
   You really should.
   Yes, it is.
   It's very, very funny.
Dave SimKitchener, Ontario
3 June 00

Dork Tower #9 (2000)
Art by John Kovalic & Dave Sim

Man, that was a bitch to transcribe...

Next Time: Hobbs! You're up!


baalta said...

The people in charge of the name boards at conventions usually get it wrong.

Anonymous said...

OF COURSE Sim portrays the hypothetical reader as a semi-literate neanderthal only interested in Hollywood and money and fame and money and how many millions Eastman and Laird have made and money. What lowlife they must be. Of course, he does this even as he manages to name-drop Lucasfilm. Sigh.

Jeff said...

Hey, Matt! Only five typos in your transcription! Yay! (And I say that as a transcriptionist {real word?} who feels your pain.

Jeff said...

Hey, Anon? Go and do something to yourself that (usually) is anatomically impossible. Sim was just trying to be funny. And, for once, succeeded in so doing.

Jeff said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention: IIRC, Gerhard once told me that his table sign was once lettered "Ger Herd".

Out of which, perhaps, grew his relatively recent signage, "Ger Hard".

Those sign people, apparently, hate it if you don't have a last name. Or, even, initial(S).

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


Pretty sure the typos are from the original.

Also, be nice.


Tony Dunlop said...

"Be Nice?" And here I was going to tell the craven coward from 5 posts ago that if you're going to come to a Web site dedicated to the work and legacy of Dave Sim, or anyone else for that matter, and trash that person in the comments, AT LEAST have the decency to leave your name. I do; Damian does; Dominick does; even Grady does, sort of.

But, "be nice." So never mind.

whc03grady said...

"I confine my closely reasoned arguments to the back pages of Cerebus."
I laughed and laughed and laughed.

"Sort" of? I've given my full name (well, not my full full name) in the past. And just my first name. Sorry for the inconsistency. No lack of decency intended.

Mitchell John Grady
Mitch Grady

Anthony James Dunlop said...

See, anonymous? How hard can that be?

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


I said Jeff had to be nice.

I didn't mention anybody else...

(The double standard is in your mind...)

Tony again said...

Notice, Mitch and others, that "closely" is not synonymous with "soundly" or "validly."

Jeff said...

Hmm.🤔 Double standard? Indeed. Everytime I call someone out, here at AMOC, I get voted out of the club. You know, like the comics industry did to Dave.

I am always nice to people until they purposely offend me or someone about whom I care. Then, and only then, I pull out the big guns.

But, Matthew, I will holster them and proceed onward to AMOC oblivion.

P,S,: The Kennedy splash page from "glamourpuss" #17, for 350 bucks makes everything else here seem trivial.

Living well is the best, nicest, revenge.

Sending all of my best Christmas wishes to you and the lovely young ladies, I remain

Your friend,


Anonymous said...

I wonder where all these brave, brave defenders of Sim are on Sundays. Must be interesting to live in denial of the fact that your hero has turned into a complete whackjob. Oh well, just keep ignoring those Sunday posts and go back to reminiscing about the earlier, funnier ones. It's easier that way.

Tony one more time said...

Don't feed the trolls, folks.

Anonymous said...

I've wondered more than once why at times David Birdsong will speak up on Sundays and then delete his posts. In a private email he explained to me that there were some personal reasons related to the time frame of the original letters and that he wasn't proud of his reactionary and sometimes insulting comments. Speaking as one who is often reluctant to post publicly I understand how he and others arrive at their decision to remain silent. Good manners need not disappear due to the anonymous nature of the internet and yet they do indeed vanish. Each person is entitled to their individual opinion, but I dare say that it is not always necessary to share it.


whc03grady said...

I understand that "soundly" and "validly" have, unlike "closely", unambiguous technical definitions. However, I think it's safe to say that Sim, and pretty much anyone who uses the vague phrase "closely reasoned", uses it synonymously with one or both of those terms.

That is, there's no way that he'd assent to, "Yeah, my argument is closely reasoned, but it's up in the air whether it's sound or even valid." Sim thinks his arguments are sound (and a fortiori valid); describing them as closely reasoned is how he expresses this.


Dominick Grace said...

Hunh. I don't think of myself as a Sim "trasher," though I'm certainly not a Simcophant. I do occasionally comment on things he says that seem to be dumb or poorly-considered. OTOH, I remain a great admirer of Cerebus and a supporter of Dave Sim the artist (I find Cerebus in Hell pretty much unreadable but buy it anyway). It IS possible not to idolize artists one admires, and defend to the death anything and everything they say.

But thanks for noting that I at least sign my name. If you won't own it, don't say it, I say.

Jeff said...

Dom, "give me liberty or give me death". Apparently, as I have gradually discovered over the past 15 years or so, on the Interwebs, one can achieve not just the two, at the same time, but one can (if one is so inclined) achieve (easily) liberty, and (figuratively) death, AND (if one tries just a wee bit, or a lot) notoriety.

It's a beautiful, virtual world.

And, as you know, I own everything I write. That's why I'm the most popular guy here. 🤔

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Jeff, you've swallowed Dave's ... Kool-Aid, and are repeating the zombie lie. Dave was never voted out of the comics industry. He left of his own accord. He wasn't driven out; he quit. Dave -- a man of reason only, who seeks to describe reality as accurately as possible -- sometimes wants to rewrite history according to how it feels.

-- Damian