Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Aardvark Comment Adam Beechen June 1st, Dave Sim June 5th

Hi, Everybody!

"Bill R." sent Dave $30 for the Cerebus Miscellany volume Brendan made (Brendan calls it Cerebus Apocrypha, but apocrypha means:
writings or reports not considered genuine.
as Dave is involved in pretty much every story except Cerebus Dreams, I believe my preferred term of Miscellany which means:
a group or collection of different items; a mixture.
is more accurate).  (Hey look, you learned something today...)

 Anyway, you could be a friend of "Bill R."* and download the "Mis·cel·la·ny" and then send Dave whatever you think it's worth. (I'd say "and send Brendan what you think it's worth" but I don't know how you'd do that...)

*It's like being a Friend of Bill W, but with more drinking...(watch, it'll turn out "Bill R." is a recovering alcoholic and I'll look like a real asshole...)

What the fuck was I talking about?

Oh yeah, Cerebus in Hell? And you have three(?) days to get your order in for The Amicable Spider-Vark. And Green Dante/Green Virgil is in stores right now. And Vark Wars: Walt's Empire Strikes Back should be in stores the last Wednesday of the month. And that's enough of that. And.

If you're the kinda Cerebus fan who has money (must be nice...) there's all kinds of neat things for auction.

Any other shenanigans? No? Groovy.

Mail there, or just Fax: 519 576 0955. Or email me at momentofcerebus@gmail.com and I'll take care of it. 
Picking up from last time, I believe it was Adam Beechen's serve:

June 1, 2020

Hi Dave:

Thanks, as always, for your most recent response. I really do look forward to them and find myself treating each one like an “event.” “I have to finish this, this and this before I can read Dave’s letter. I need my pen over here, and my notepad over here, and a beverage here, and I can’t be listening to music…” Then I read your letter, usually twice. After that, I’ll walk the dogs, giving myself a quiet-but-active half hour to “go over” what you’ve written, break some things down, and free-associate responses and new questions if I have them. I’ll wait a week or so to let everything “marinate,” and then I’ll put the pen in its place, and the beverage in its place and I’ll try to put my thoughts on paper, as I am doing now. It’s a fun process for me, and something I look forward to, so thanks for that.

Okay, so a few responses:

I’ve been a bit daunted by the price point on the IDW Noel Sickles book, so I confess I haven’t ordered it yet, but I will. Gil Kane seems to be one of those comics professionals about whom everyone has a story and an opinion – sometimes multiples of both. I’d like to do more reading about him as well, and to solicit stories about him from the few comics pros I’m in contact with who had direct experience with him.

Howard Chaykin’s HEY KIDS, COMICS! is actually a graphic narrative… It came out in the last two years, and I believe he has more stories planned in the same world. Basically, I think it’s the fictionalized product of a lot of stories he’s heard, experiences he’s had and research he’s done on the post-WWII comics industry. It takes place across separate timelines, following its major characters at different and significant periods of their lives. Those characters themselves are thinly-disguised representations of artists, writers, editors and publishers about whom longtime fans or devoted historians surely know – It’s “inside baseball” stuff with the names changed to protect the innocent and the guilty, and it’s all told with the familiar mixture of anger, cynicism, comedy and affection for which Howard is so well-known. It’s smart, funny and challenging. I’ll always check out Howard’s work.

I hoped my compliment about what I consider to be your curious nature and research habits would be explicit rather than implicit, but I’m glad you took it as a compliment, regardless. For me, the key part of my statement was “everything you can.” For sure, no human knows everything, not least about another human. But as a researcher, you do the best you can with the resources you get your hands on, you consider that information, and then you filter it through whatever sensibilities you have, and then you present it in your own fashion. It just seems to me that your interest level, love of detail and determination come across in the subjects you tackle, be it F. Stop Kennedy, politics or Five-Bar Gate (where did that come from, incidentally?).

Regarding limited versus unlimited distraction in the COVID age, it’s interesting to me how quickly people I know went from, “There’s too much TV to watch,” to, “Aw, I’ve watched everything – I’m bored.” I’ve been guilty of it myself a time or two.

As to your contention that “the unimaginable profusion of non-Scriptural written and creative works seems to me the best argument against them as a free will leisure-time choice,” my questions to you would be, Did you enjoy the IDW Noel Sickles book, and do you consider your reading of it a leisure activity, and do you think of it time well-spent (or, at the least, something that wasn’t a waste of your time) even though it’s not Scripture-related? Or, do you consider it relevant to your study of Scripture and therefore not a “free-will leisure time choice?”

Your “Debris Field” explanation makes a lot of sense to me, as does your disposing of potential storylines that ultimately wouldn’t serve your larger narrative. Doubtless, Cerebus-as-Columbus would have been a lot of fun, but as a reader, I appreciate you not trying to shoehorn it into someplace you didn’t feel it belonged. My experience with that is that someone in the audience can always tell when you’re “shoehorning,” and that takes them out of the reading experience. I kick myself when I realize I’m including something in a piece I’m writing just to be “cute,” rather than to serve the larger story. But I still do it anyway, from time to time, because I fall in love with the bit in the moment and I hit “send” before my better angels can chime in.

On to this letter’s new questions. Just a couple this time, since Editor Matt has already answered a CEREBUS-related continuity question I had (thanks, Matt!), which was based on a faulty reading of mine .

When you put your last issue of CEREBUS to bed – when you inked the last panel, or lettered the last line, or hung up the phone with your printer, whatever moment you considered to be that last piece of business related to creating and producing your narrative (I know there were still letters to answer and business to conduct) - did you have an emotional response in the moment? Or were you able to just close the book on the creative experience and move on to the next thing? Did you celebrate? Did you feel empty? Did you just want to sleep for the next twenty-six years? What were those first few moments after the end of such a massive undertaking like?

In the weeks and months following the end of the series, as reader response came in (and I know there was some – because I, at least, sent some - regardless of what may or may not have been indifference on the part of the larger reading public to the end of the series), or as critical takes were published (should you have been curious to check any out), were there any that surprised you? Were there interpretations of the work as a whole that made you say, “Huh. That’s a take I hadn’t considered.”

Now, these years past the completion of CEREBUS, do you feel any different about it as a creative experience or as a narrative work than you did when you first finished it?

Last up: Your questions about HENCH. Some of the nuts and bolts of this you may already know, thanks to your own experiences, or your conversations with others who’ve been through the same stuff, but there might be some AMoC readers to whom it’ll be new information.

When HENCH was first published in 2004, the property was represented for non-comics media (film, TV, etc.) by a production company partnered with the book’s initial publisher, AiT/PlanetLar. The contract I signed with AiT gave their partner exclusive right to shop the property for five years after publication, meaning my own representatives (I was already active as an animation writer) could not officially be part of the shopping process.

The folks from the production company were and are lovely people, and they were very generous to me. When they set up pitch meetings at studios for the property, I always went along – In fact, I was “loosely” attached to write the screenplay, should any studio choose to buy the option to produce it. That’s fairly common and largely a courtesy to the writer of the original material if they haven’t worked extensively in film writing. If the option were to be picked up, I would have most likely written only the first draft of the screenplay, whereupon the studio would have paid me for it, then handed it off to a writer with more experience in features to see it through. That writer would have taken what she or he felt worked from my screenplay (or the graphic novel) and used that in their own. Or they might have started completely from scratch. Hence, my “loosely” being attached. The point is, it would have been out of my control from then on, and I knew that and I was okay with it.

This was pre-IRON MAN. Superheroes were not in vogue as film material to the degree they are now. But you knew it was coming. Books were being optioned left and right – It had already happened to a couple other AiT books, in fact. I’d go down to the San Diego Con and hang out in the AiT booth over the weekend, and by the end, there’d be a stack of business cards from agents, studios and production company executives both senior and junior, all hoping to get a crack at the next thing added to AiT’s publication roster.

AiT’s producing partner set up a score of meetings, some with execs pretty high up their particular food chain, and we drove all over town... meeting. The production company execs would introduce the property to whoever we were pitching to (and who had usually read the material in advance of the meeting), and then I’d do a song-and-dance pitch describing how I thought the story could be played out if it was transferred from the graphic novel format to the film format. I was lousy at pitching then, and I’m not much better now, so I’d watch the listener’s eyes glaze over pretty quickly. My pitch clearly wasn’t going to sell the property – The strength of the material itself was going to have to do the job. If any of the people we met with had said, “We love the property, but Adam’s not the guy to write it for us,” both the production company and I would have replied, “Great, no problem,” and I would have happily stepped away as writer of even the initial draft of a screenplay. After all, I was only “loosely” attached.

DIGRESSION THAT’S PROBABLY THE REAL ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION: My feeling regarding HENCH in Hollywood was and is that a film project sourced on my material is a completely different animal than my graphic novel, with different narrative, business and maybe even structural needs. I was going to be pretty much okay with almost anything anybody wanted to do with the material after optioning it. At that point, it’s theirs. I can tell the producers who are shopping HENCH for me where I think the project might find a good home, and they can take or leave my suggestions. But the only decision I really get to make in the whole process is whether or not I want to let a particular company option the property. After that, because the studio doesn’t care that I’ve written a bunch of animated TV shows – To them, I’m just a guy who wrote an intriguing comic book who has no credits in film - I have no control and no clout. And I was okay with the fact that some studio or production company might make something out of HENCH that was miles away from the source material, or a lousy version of that material. I’d already told the story the way I wanted to tell it, and I could show anyone that version, which was always going to be mine emotionally, anytime I was asked. The film was going to be different than the graphic novel – there would be many other people who would have a say in what it was going to be as a movie; that was always a given. If I got to be part of it as a writer, great. If not, that was fine, too. END OF DIGRESSION.

In the course of shopping the book around that first time, HENCH would make its way into the hands of production companies run by actors or directors. If they like something, they can take it to a studio that might want to do business with them and say, “I want to do this,” and then the studio is more likely, based on that person’s interest, to take on the project.

And that’s eventually what happened. HENCH wound up being read and liked by someone who worked for a prominent director with a major studio deal. The director read it based on that person’s recommendation, and thought they might like to do it. So we went in and met the director. He told me he liked the book a lot, and then listened to my pitch (as a courtesy, mostly). He made some suggestions, I went away and re-tooled the pitch, and then, through his recommendation, we got a meeting at the studio with an pretty high-level executive. The director did not attend. He knew what was going to happen, and so did the studio. The director didn’t want to be there, because it would have been an endorsement of me, a sign he’d chosen me to stay with the project.  I pitched, the studio executive’s eyes glazed over, we left, and the director said, “I still want to give it a shot, and I have a prominent actor-writer friend, and we’ve been looking for something to do together. He likes the material, and wants to take a crack at the screenplay.” The studio said, “Great, option it, and let the actor write the script.”

The director’s office came back to us and said, “The studio loves it, the director loves it, but the studio has reservations about Adam since he has no film track record,” which was true, but which was also a nice way of saying, “The pitch sucked.” “If Adam’s okay with not being attached to write,” they went on, “we’d like to option the material.” At which point, by mutual agreement, I detached myself and abdicated any kind of decision-making privilege in exchange for the option fee. The extent of my participation after that would have been another fee if the film were to be made, a credit along the lines of “Based on the AiT/PlanetLar Graphic Novel by Adam Beechen and Manny Bello,” (Manny didn’t participate in the pitches because he doesn’t live in LA and was happy to let us handle it), and then some residual income from the film being sold to cable or broadcast television, or spun off into a television series, and stuff like that.

The director’s actor-writer friend was Danny McBride (this is all public record; I’m not name-dropping or telling tales out of school), who was, at that time, just getting started in Hollywood and was being offered lots of stuff to act in, write, or act in and write. He and a writer named Shawn Harwell went off and wrote a draft of the screenplay. I never spoke to or met either Danny or Shawn one-on-one… I did send Danny a note over a social media platform, introducing and offering myself as a resource should he and Shawn need anything, but not asking him to include me in any way. He politely responded and told me how much he liked the book. It turned out we share the same birthday, which I shamelessly used as an excuse to write him again later. Again, he politely responded. Later, I attended a panel he was on to promote his television series, “Eastbound and Down.” After the panel, I made my way to the front of the stage, where he was signing autographs. I shouted a hello and introduced myself as, “the guy who wrote HENCH.” He kind of looked up (I don’t think he actually saw me) and said, “Hey, how’s it goin’, man?” I said fine and asked him how he was, and he said fine, and that was it. Haven’t spoken to him since.

Danny and Shawn completed their draft in October of 2010. That’s beyond the five years granted to the production company to shop the project, but because the property was in mid-deal, the option was extended. In the meantime, I had acquired new representatives who had just sold a big comic book property to television and it had become a huge hit. They’d also had several other projects produced for film and TV and were becoming relatively big players. But they couldn’t represent the project yet.

I’ve got a courtesy copy of Danny’s and Shawn’s script. I wasn’t expected or asked to give notes, and I never did. It’s an interesting script – not as comedic and darker than you might expect from Danny McBride based on the broad characters he’s largely played. Some characters kept the same names as in the book, and the general premise of a regular guy getting into the business of being a supervillain henchman, and then getting in way over his head, remained the same, but it was pretty different from the source material otherwise. Which, again, I was fine with.

My understanding as to what happened next is that Danny and Shawn submitted their draft to the studio. The studio responded with notes, and at that point, the director, Danny and Shawn decided they’d rather work on other projects they had going, the book fell out of option with the studio, and reverted to our control.

I say “our” control because almost immediately, someone who’d seen HENCH when we were shopping it before optioning it to the studio, wanted to re-option it for themselves. Because the property had been introduced to the option-er by AiT/PlanetLar’s partners, my representatives still couldn’t get involved.

It turned out that the assistant to a writer on “Desperate Housewives” was a comic book reader, and a big fan of HENCH. He showed it to his boss, a woman named Alex Cunningham. She had liked the book, too, but at the time, it had been under option to the film studio. When it became available, she optioned it, and set about writing a pilot for a one-hour drama series based on the graphic novel. I had a cup of coffee with Alex, who was very nice, and offered to help in any way I could, and then, sometime later, Alex finished her script, the network passed, and HENCH fell out of option again. I have a copy of Alex’s script and I like it. It’s closer in tone to the original work than Danny’s and Shawn’s, but still very different.

In the meantime, Alex’s assistant had started his own writing career, and since he was the original fan of the book, he asked to option it. Now I had the rights again, so I amicably parted ways with AiT/PlanetLar and their producing partners, and my reps stepped in. We agreed to a free option with the writer, since he was relatively new in the biz and since there weren’t a lot of suitors at that point. Between my managers and the writer’s reps, more meetings were set up. I attended most of the writer’s pitches as part of his “support team,” along with a television producer who’d been the writer’s mentor – He lent us “credibility” in the television world. After a ton of pitches, the project found a home at a cable network – coincidentally, the same network that bought my managers’ big television project some years before. Their development process was very drawn out, and the writer was made to produce multiple treatments, outlines and scripts. He was paired with a more experienced television writer, who shepherded him through the process. I never met her or anyone from the network. I thought the writer turned in a really good script, closest in tone yet to the original book… He tried hard to stay true to the spirit of the material, which was all I could hope for. But by the time the network was ready to decide on it, the superhero boom was in full, full swing, and Garth Innisce- excuse me, Garth Ennis’ “The Boys” had been optioned and was in development as a TV series elsewhere. Because it also took the POV of people on the periphery of, but hugely impacted by, superheroes, the network had the excuse of “too many similar projects in the market,” even though HENCH is very different, and they passed on the project. Studios love lots of projects that are submitted to them, but most only say yes when there’s no possible reason to say no, no matter how valid or small that reason may be.

So now my managers had their first real chance to shop HENCH on their own. But many years had passed since the book had made its first trip around Hollywood. It was a known commodity that hadn’t succeeded anywhere… and if anything, there were now even more projects in the market that were superficially similar. But somehow, they found a taker – the director of television development for the production company of a fairly big actor had liked the book for a long time, so he asked for a free option. We said sure. The actor wasn’t interested in playing a part – He’d branched out into directing and producing, so HENCH would be a piece for him to produce. With his name attached, it’d likely have a decent shot. The development director managed to entice a prominent British television comedy writer to attach himself, and the writer brought in a director friend of his who’d directed some prominent episodes of “Black Mirror.” I got to meet the writer and the development executive for drinks at a hip restaurant. That was nice. After that, the writer, director and executive started pitching it around town.

And I didn’t hear anything after that for a year.

Obviously, I would have received a call if they’d sold it, so I knew what was going on. A couple times, I had checked in with my managers to find out the latest, and I don’t remember what exactly happened… They probably called to check on the project, were told nothing had happened yet, and relayed that back to me. At the one-year mark, I asked my managers to inquire again, and we learned that the writer and director had pitched it months before, with no success, and moved on to other projects. The development executive had moved on, also, to another company. The company apologized; they thought we’d been told. C’est la Hollywood. That was earlier this year.

I think my managers were done trying to sell HENCH themselves, and they may have been close to being done with me, period. But I contacted a television writer I know, who has always wanted to do something with the book. In the years since he first expressed interest, he’s become a show-runner in his own right. I told him the rights were available if he still wanted it… and he did. Two days before we were all ordered to shelter in place, I met him at a comic shop and we talked it over. He has all kinds of good ideas about the approach to take and how to position the material against any “similar projects in the market” blowback. I’m sure his efforts to get out and pitch have been hampered by the virus situation, but who knows? Maybe this fifth time will be the charm. Stranger things have happened.

HENCH has been really good to me. Through it, I’ve made a lot of acquaintances, personal and professional and seen a bit of Hollywood live-action film and television development from the inside. And it was at least in part responsible for my getting mainstream comics work. It continues to be a great calling card. Hopefully, at some point, it’ll see the light of day as a film or television series, but if it doesn’t, I got tell the story I wanted to tell and I’m happy with it.

I need to have Adam get me a new picture...
(By the way, a couple weeks ago a friend sent me a publicity blurb about a new novel coming out about a young woman with limited professional options who goes to work as a supervillain’s henchperson, gets in way over her head, and then turns the tables. The novel is called HENCH. I’m sure some enterprising agent or executive will pick it up. It could make for a great movie.)



Adam Beechen's Hench is available from Amazon. (Which is were his website sends you.) Most recently, Adam wrote an eight-page story featured in the 'ROBIN 80th Anniversary Special' for DC.


And the return by Dave Sim:

Admit it, you "heard" the Weekly Update theme
as soon as you saw this picture...
5 June 20

Hi Adam!

I certainly enjoyed the section of the Sickles book about his illustration career. I wouldn't have bought the book -- my "sticker shock" was the same as yours -- but I was glad that Ted Adams sent it to me. I'm glad it's in the Cerebus Archive.  And I am glad that the book exists, that IDW published it for Howard Chaykin's sake and for Gil Kane's sake and for Alex Toth's sake and for all the people for whom Sickles was A Big All-Consuming Deal. A little Scorchy Smith and Terry and the Pirates go a long way with me so that part was, for me, a waste of space but no one would buy a Noel Sickles Illustration book just on its own. Sickles still had a lot of life to live when he ran out of career.  Illustration died in a hurry -- the ascension of TV was the crashing and burning of Illustration -- as comics mutated from the strips to newsstand comics to the Direct Market. 

When you're in your fifties and sixties you begin to realize FAR MORE exactly how little time you have left, so the idea that I would pull out the book and flip through the illustration section to  remind myself of what it was that I saw the first time…um, no, there are better uses for my time. You really need that level of self-discipline if you're going to get even a fraction done of what you want to get done.  Tick, tick, tick. But, the idea of doing that is definitely in the "That would be fun" category.  Not as much fun as, say, looking at primo Al Williamson SECRET AGENT X-9 in black and white or the Stan Drake/Leonard Starr KELLY JONES hardcover, but definitely Dave Sim Fun. 

"What were those first few moments after the end of such a massive undertaking like?"

Now, remember, Adam -- you DID ask.  :) 

No different from the previous ten years or so.

You have to remember that I was made into a non-human/sub-human being through online feminist mobbing when issue 186 came out in 1994. 1994 to 1998 the question was "Does this wear off or eventually get better?"  Answer: No. Given that the answer was No, then you need to create a working model of Reality based on your (as the progressives put it) "lived experience".  Which I did.

Which came down to: "There are two kinds of people in the world: people who will cut my throat literally or metaphorically and people who will stand by and do and say nothing while I get my throat cut."  That was true in 1994,1998, 2000, 2003, 2004. My being made to not exist wasn't going to suddenly change because CEREBUS No.300 was coming out. And it didn't. 

And that Reality is as true in 2020 as it was every step of the way of the last 26 years. It's very gratifying that 600 or so people backed CEREBUS #1 on Kickstarter and Indiegogo to the tune of $45,000. The most recent  CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolio (#8) raised $16,000 from 133 backers. That's down from CEREBUS' sales ca. 1987 of 30,000.  Hopefully those become "hard" numbers at some point, but the CAN sales have dropped continuously since the first one.  And 600 people and 133 people are a fanatical cult, not an audience.  

In 2004, the universal consensus was "Move along, nothing to see here."  A handful of people (a dozen or so?) said "congratulations" in different ways.  No one wrote about it.  It isn't possible to write about something that is being made to not exist for reasons of totalitarian ideology. So, no one did. James Waley, my old boss at ORB, pretty much created the SHUSTER AWARDS so that CEREBUS #300 wouldn't pass completely unnoticed.  We weren't going to be even a footnote in the HARVEYs or the EISNERs. And everyone knew that.  

There was a major smear piece in SATURDAY NIGHT magazine in the lead-up to issue #300 by a (later) self-confessed crack junkie that everyone chimed in on, the thrust of which was "Dave Sim is going to kill himself."  Which I characterized at the time (it appeared in the article, so it obviously impressed him that I was so unconcerned about what "people were saying" when he sprung it on me. The quote is attributed to my ex-girlfriend Susan Alston) and still characterize as wishful thinking.  It would be an unimaginably helpful assist to the universal feminist totalitarian consensus if I would kill myself.  Then I could be framed as a human tragedy, the sad result of going insane by choosing not to be feminist.

Not going to happen. It was worth a  try on the part of the feminists in 2004 -- generate an all-consuming universal level of  despair in Dave Sim so severe that suicide is the only means of escaping it -- but sixteen years later, I think I'm safe in saying that the bloom is off that particular feminist rose that they were, clearly, counting on so heavily.

Which links to your "how did it feel?" question.  

I don't feel. 

Feeling doesn't enter into it -- can't enter into it -- when your personal Reality is "There are two kinds of people in the world: people who will cut my throat literally or metaphorically and people who will stand by and do and say nothing while I get my throat cut." 1994 to 2020 I'm just waiting for the next feminist steamroller. The problem the feminists are facing is that the wheels are coming off of feminism -- the "intersectional intersection" proved to be less Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition "Common Ground" and more of a slow-motion multi-car identity politics smash up (still hurtling slowly and majestically in 128 frames per second slo-mo in every possible direction and crushing friend and foe alike)  -- and have been for some time for exactly the reasons I explained in 186 and "Tangent".  Their first steamroller worked pretty good.  My livelihood and my life were pretty much destroyed.  But I'm still alive. I'm still working. I'm still making full use of my guaranteed human right to free expression to keep hammering away at their delusional ideations.  Even though I know I don't really have that right any more in Canada de facto, I still do de jure.   Never commit suicide. Always make them kill you. "The coward dies a thousand deaths, the hero dies but once" blah blah blah. 

How big a steamroller can they put together now?  It's "The Girl Who Cried Wolf."  When your explanation for what's wrong with everything is exclusively Misogyny Racism Homophobia and Colonialism and your only tactic and your only strategy is destroying anyone who disagrees with you, eventually, as LBJ used to say, "THAT dog won't HUNT."  

Everything I said was going to happen as a result of the benighted misapprehension that feminism can be appeased is happening. In spades. And a lot of guys who thought I was the one being a wild-eyed alarmist in 1994 and 2002 are now singing from a different songbook. As was the case with Hitler, you can't appease feminists. You give them Poland and the Sudetenland to bribe them into leaving YOU alone (and it is completely cowardly, ass-covering, ass-saving self-interest that forms the underpinning of that) and that just makes them go "Hmm. Belgium.  Hmm. France. Hmm. The World."  

My life consists of one foot in front of the other, straight line to the grave.  Do good work, knowing that everything you do will be ignored because you've been made to not exist. What are you going to do? BAD work? I went from doing CEREBUS to prepping THE LAST DAY trade paperback to curating the Cerebus Archive. Putting every scrap of paper 8.5 x 11 and smaller in magazine bags and backing boards and then putting it all in order.  Took about two years.  Then I did JUDENHASS.  Then I did glamourpuss. Both ignored to death by the totalitarian feminist "consensus".  "What about the suffering of women?"  was Heidi Macdonald's response to JUDENHASS.  There is nothing to say someone who is so dead to intellectual thought and accurate perception. 

If I have occasion to re-read parts of CEREBUS -- particularly what I consider the really superlative stuff: RICK'S STORY forward -- there's an odd mix of being self-stricken with awe at what I accomplished along with a rueful "laughing ogre" deep inside.  "What fools these mortals be."  You REALLY think you can make this NOT exist, permanently, JUST because it isn't Marxist-feminist propaganda?  You REALLY think that Being A Good Obedient Lickspittle Feminist Toady is going to be the only criteria for excellence in perpetuity forever and ever amen from now until Judgement Day just because you've taken over the media and entertainment and what-passes-these-days for Academia?  You really think your leaky little ridiculous feminist boat is going to "ride this out" by battening down the hatches and continuing to threaten everyone's life and livelihood who ISN'T a feminist? 

The worm, I'm pretty sure, will turn.  IS turning.  Slowly.  Decades-long slowly. COVID 19 is, I suspect, a small taste of that. Feminist nursery school.

Here's the kind of medical world you create when your only academic program is "Floggings will increase until morale improves" and "Dissenters will be targeted." So, just imagine what Feminist Grade Six and Feminist High School are going to be like when you get there.


IF you get there. 

I mean, no offence, but this is three MONTHS.  You make it through 26 YEARS of this, as Dave Sim has and continues to do, and we'll see what's left of your leaky little feminist "boat" at the end of that.

God's will be done.  

Two quotes come to mind. 

Quote #1 in CITIZEN KANE when Boss Ghetties (sp?) has blown Charles Kane's cover with his mistress ahead of the election and Kane is just completely defiant.  "If it was anyone else, I'd say it would be a lesson to you.  But I can see you're going to need more than one lesson."  Boy, that's the feminists.   

Quote #2 Howard Chaykin to Bill Sienkiewicz when Bill's marriage to Frankie came to an end:  "You f--ked up. I don't envy you. Waiter, check, please."  That's me.  I got thrown out of your society 26 years ago. You can hardly blame ME for what a mess YOU'VE made of civilization. I'm right over here where you put me.   

In December 2003 when I finished the last lines on the last page, on Wednesday March 13, 2004 when the final issue arrived in stores and as I'm writing this today, Monday June 8, 2020 I was and am and always will be 100% confident that CEREBUS will one day come into its own but not until feminism is consigned to the ash-heap of history where it has always belonged. 


"The director's actor-writer friend was Danny McBride (this is all public record; I'm not name-dropping or telling tales out of school)"

I really appreciated this part of your answer in particular, although it's all GOLD.  It's easier for people who have intellectual properties to understand how the whole process works if you attach an actual name and situation to it, which I was hoping you would do where possible. So sincere thanks for that. You did an amazing job.

The Hot Young Talent who can get a project green-lit doesn't stay that way.  Entropy works.  You have x number of chips and you cash them in where you want to cash them with a casino bank who will let you cash them and then you have Hit, Miss or Wash.  Which increases the pressure exponentially.  You need to cash in your chips while they're still worth something. A Hit gives you more chips, a Miss gets rid of the chips you cashed in and a bunch more besides.  A Wash might (MIGHT!)  let you hang onto the chips you have, but, again, only temporarily.

I think you've done a wonderful service here, letting present creative people know and (more particularly) future creative people know exactly what the process is like.  People who would think of you as a Hollywood insider.  There's inside and there's "inside" and there's Inside.  The closer you are to Inside, the less inclined you are to associate with or even acknowledge anyone's existence who isn't Inside.  You can't be a Winner or winner or "winner" associating with Losers and losers and "losers".  So, I assume Inside is a very lonely existence.  Unlike mine.  I'm alone. That's a factual state of existence. I'm not lonely. Loneliness, to me, is a failure of will: a species of cowardice and lack of imagination that leads you to believe that if you're at a party inhabited primarily or exclusively by A-listers that that means you are somehow insulated from personal or career harm.  Exactly the opposite. Ask any former A-lister (whatever the reason for their demotion). No one gets out of here alive. A minuscule number of Hollywood mansions ever get their mortgages even close to paid off.  A Previous Hot Thing is forced to sell -- at a substantial loss -- to the Next Hot Thing.  The Next Hot Thing never believes that he or she will ever be a Previous Hot Thing.  Beverly Hills' real estate records would be a hoot as a four-dimensional computer model. "How long a mortgage did they sign up for and how soon were they forced to 'ditch'?" 

You really had the best of all possible worlds: a creative animation career where you had not only a solid foundation, you were Frank Sinatra's "Top of the Heap": Producer credentials in addition to writing credentials -- you didn't have all or even most of your eggs in the HENCH basket -- you had a good idea of how the process works, various contacts and avenues "in play" and "in the on-deck circle" at any given moment.  Geographically (no small part of it) you were -- and are -- THERE.

That's a lot of things in the "plus" column that 99.9% people who go through that mill don't have.

But the process is still like living in a slot machine.  Am I a CHERRY?  Is this writer another CHERRY?   Is this producer another CHERRY? Is this Studio another CHERRY?  Is this script another CHERRY?  It DOES happen.  All the CHERRIES line up and the resultant film sweeps the Oscars and makes a bajillion dollars. But it's a giant hall of mirrors with everyone looking at themselves and reflections of themselves and having to decide which is truth and which is illusion. Fish or cut bait?  And you don't even find out that your bait has been cut because of that panicky tick tick tick quality of casino chips losing their value by the day or by the hour.  "I'm not at THAT blackjack table anymore.  That was THREE tables ago.  A lifetime ago. Three weeks ago. What's the difference?  I'm looking for CHERRIES not Losers."  A nightmare existence that would give Kafka the willies.  

(For me, as a monotheist, it's ALL an illusion. X number of wave/particles flying in loose formation having the illusory appearance of something that exists.  I work because I think God expects me to work.  I'm not a feminist so I don't really have anything to say to anyone.  Everyone besides me is a feminist or is pretending to be a feminist. Doesn't really matter what I'm doing in the way of work I decided. It's a bottomless pile of stuff.  I get up in the morning and, with interruptions for prayer and reading Scripture aloud, fasting most days, I work for twelve hours and go to bed.  Anyone that I see or talk to is either a person who would cut my throat or a person who will stand by and do nothing while I get my throat cut.  Today my neighbour Nick and his toddler Nola.  I don't hold it against him. I don't hold it against anyone. It's just how it worked/works/always will work.  Six months from now or two weeks from now he could be staring right into my eyes watching me get my throat cut.  And all he'll be thinking is "I have to save my daughter. I have to save my wife. I can't say or do anything or THEY'LL GET US, TOO!!"  He was dumbfounded at how good I looked. "Oh, that's fasting in Ramadan.  It ended about two weeks ago and I've been eating some fattening food since then so it fills out my face and makes me look younger."  Weird conversation.  I mean, THAT's an illusion.  I'm 64 years old. But that's what matters to people.  The illusion.  If only I could look ten years younger or twenty years younger.  Why?  That would just make you a younger-looking old person.  What is it about being a younger-looking old person that appeals to you? You're still going to die when you're going to die. I could try saying that, but it wouldn't register. "Whatever it is, just keep doing it, you look great.  Seriously, I thought you had 'work' done."  Well, yeah, no problem doing that.  I've been doing that for twenty years now. But not so I LOOK GOOD. I live the way I think God wants me to live.)       

Okay, now, Being Dave Sim, I have to pitch YOU on something, because we're both rabbiting on at excruciating TL:DR length...

(mostly because it's something I haven't tried before, Matt Dow is willing, and I'm still trying to figure out if there's a "way forward" on STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND. Nothing so far. So, kind of, why not?  At least I'm talking to someone who has a level of information to impart about something besides Feminist and Gay Propaganda. So, as long as we're All The Way In Here, anyway)

…I think it would be interesting for you to get in contact with Danny and Shawn and Alex Cunningham and Alex's assistant and find out if they would be okay with you doing a series of HENCH KICKSTARTERs that featured all of their scripts, along with a remastered version of the graphic novel.  Would they be willing to sign the cover pages of their scripts for a major cut of the action?  I mean, it's comedic in a way.  How big a bookshelf would you need to house ALL of the HENCH scripts ever produced?  You could put them all on a thumb drive, gussy up the package and…

I doubt it's ever come up in Hollywood before.  Which is a LOL thing for me. These are all DEAD scripts.  They're really only of interest to HENCH fans and people who are interested in Hollywood's processes.  How many versions of Alex's assistant's scripts ARE there?  It sounds like a BUNCH. How do they differ from one another? Read the graphic novel and then go through as much of the hall of mirrors as interests you. Do one script a month.  HENCH SCRIPT OF THE MONTH CLUB! 

I mean, the mental image of the Hollywood Script Graveyard, again is a LOL thing for me. Clearly, I'm the only one who thinks it's funny, but nothing new there, eh?  Has anyone ever gone back to a script and said, "Wait! This Is IT!  Five scripts and eight years ago! It just needed the eight years to turn into a MAJOR CHERRY!" That's not a rhetorical question.  Has that ever happened in recent memory?   

And, conversely, if the script IS DEAD --  It's not just "pinin' for the fjords" -- and we're ALL OF US 100% sure of that.  Why not let Adam do a Kickstarter with it?  Well, no, it's MY SCRIPT!  MINE!  That weird glittery CIH? Id quality that Hollywood has that nowhere in the rest of the world could possibly match. They could give junkyard dogs a lesson in territoriality.

It's okay, you don't need to clutch it to your bosom.  No need to call 911.  I'm not going to take your DEAD SCRIPT from you.  You're quite right.  It's YOUR DEAD SCRIPT and no one else's.  I'm just sitting here quietly. I'm not going to make any sudden movements.  I'm speaking in a low, controlled voice.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Breathe in.  Breathe out. 

Instead of YOUR script, let's talk about A script.  Someone else's entirely.  Adam could scan it and then condense it so, instead of 90 pages or so, it was 30 pages or so.  I'm pretty sure we have that technology now and you don't need to be Bill Gates level to "get 'er done" .  90 pages down to 30 pages is eminently do-able.  No one gets hurt. The script just gets scanned -- it's like a tanning bed for stories! -- and Mr. Techno Person -- who is ALWAYS your friend -- makes it happen.  Presto-change-o.  And you can make money from it.  Money from a DEAD SCRIPT.  Doesn't that sound…not clinically insane?

Okay, over to you! 

Dave Sim is the creator of Cerebus the Aardvark, which ran for three hundred issues from December 1977 to March 2004 (and is available digitally here.) His latest project is The Strange Death of Alex Raymond (well THIS schpiel aged real fucking well...) His OTHER latest project is the ongoing Cerebus in Hell? (Daily strips are posted here, and the next #1 is Vark Wars: Walt's Empire Strikes Back (which should be in stores by the end of the month)). And every Friday he posts a video "update".

Okay, there's your Moment, join me on Friday when I post a video Dave recorded before this week (I bet...)

Next Time: Hobbs. But how he follows anything from the last five days is beyond me...


john g. said...

Hey! Dave just said we’re a “fanatical cult.” Oh, well. Pass me some of that Kool Aid!

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Just one comment on that mess: Once again Dave attempts to rewrite history to coincide with his own feelings, and once again objective reality refutes him. Dave was not run out of comics; he left of his own free will. He was not ostracized; he chose to become a recluse.

-- Damian

kcallbeck said...

That's the common use of the word, but in a religious usage, Apocrypha is the section of additional stories to the Bible that some faiths consider enlightened and others consider merely of interest (and still others, hogwash).

Since Cerebus goes a biblical direction in the last books, it seems a perfectly eloquent term.

(Also this is by far my favorite comic related argument in years)

Jeff said...

Miscellany is, technically, correct.

But, apochrypha is waaaaay cooler.

Jeff Seiler said...


Somebody stuck a quarter in the yuk-monkey.

I don't even know where to start.

Dave Kopperman said...

Quoting Dave, here:

"In 2004, the universal consensus was "Move along, nothing to see here." A handful of people (a dozen or so?) said "congratulations" in different ways. No one wrote about it. It isn't possible to write about something that is being made to not exist for reasons of totalitarian ideology. So, no one did."

I have to believe Dave was aware of the Comics Journal roundtable in issue 263, which came out a few months after Cerebus 300 - which very explicitly took it upon itself to feature a discussion on the book and its themes from the perspective of its end. And I can think of a number of other articles that came in its wake. I think also of the interview with Tasha Robinson at the AV Club (which I'm certain you all have read, at this point), which was also explicitly on the end of the series. And if Dave doesn't consider an interview 'writing,' I'd also point out that Robinson wrote an accompanying essay. So I'm not certain if he's forgotten these things or exaggerating for effect, here.

And of course, Tim Kreider's excellent (and lengthy) essay from TCJ #301, back in 2011, but that's admittedly past the end of the book - so maybe all the more remarkable that they'd dedicate so much space in their sporadic print issues to a comic that had been over and done with for seven years, by that point.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Of course Jeffie doesn't know where to start; Dave hasn't told him yet. (Thpthdthpdth!)

Dave sometimes behaves like a young adolescent, who will self-harm with, "If I can't be the best ever, I'll be the worst possible!" So he's got to be the Pariah King, run out of the comics field by a pitchfork-and-torch wielding mob because they can't handle The Truth. This is, of course, a lie. Dave wasn't excommunicated; he left. He's not an exile; he's a recluse. Nobody put up any impediments to him writing, drawing, and publishing his comic book. He still received invitations to conventions (which he now won't do without a star treatment his star-power doesn't justify); he still received offers of work (which he scuppered with absolute-purist demands that he knew would not be accepted). He hurts himself to affirm his self-invented status as an outcast. (See also Carson G.'s recent BTS revelations.)

Dave always whines, "Nobody defended me." But look at the contemporary press! Everyone defended him; everyone said he has the right to say and publish anything he wants. What they didn't do is agree with him -- and that is the worst sin of all: disagreeing with Dave Sim, when he's so self-evidently right. Dave's ego is so huge and so fragile that this cannot be the case; there must be a conspiracy behind it.

And The Comics Journal is the leader of the conspiracy! But this ludicrous claim monumentally overstates the influence of The Comics Journal. What did TCJ do? Did they try to get his books banned? No. Did they try to organize a boycott of his comics? No. Did they file a human-rights complaint with some third party? No. They said some negative things about him in front of the comics audience. Gosh, Dave, how can an adult human being withstand such treatment? Dave doesn't have thin skin; he has no skin. Dave has whined for over two decades about that caricature of him as a concentration-camp commandant. But he created a literal concentration camp for women in his book, so how unfair is that depiction?

What does the historical record show? Dave Sim said some things in a comic book that some people disagreed with. Some people stated their disagreement. Some people stopped buying his book. Verily, his suffering exceeds that of Job and Jesus put together!

Jeffie will now weigh in with an insult that addresses nothing I've said, but that's what you get when you abrogate your own humanity in favour of importing Dave Sim's mind rather than using your own. And perhaps David Birdsong will once again threaten to beat me up (his only means of dealing with someone disagreeing with him) and then chicken out. Truly the hard-core Simcophants are paragons of reason and good character!

-- Damian

Tony Dunlop said...

To get back (slightly) on topic - Man, Adam makes Hollywood sound like one of the danker corners of Purgatory.

Dave Kopperman said...

Tony - to be fair, pretty much exactly half of Dave's reply is on his own standing in the comics industry. So any comments on that front (mine included) would still be on topic.

Tony again said...

True enough, Dave, but that's basically just background noise around here. Our Hero is - yes, *feeling* - sorry for himself. Ho hum.

Anonymous said...


I think you're too hard on Dave. I could be wrong but I picture him throwing down a gauntlet so to speak, expecting artistic responses to his theories in #186, not to be depicted as a nazi.

Perhaps he thought the comics community, at least the indies were filled with open-minded people who didn't just say they believed in free speech but were willing to engage with thoughts they found repugnant. I don't know, this is just my speculation, so it must have been a huge disappointment to him. I don't know.

As for people chasing him out of comics or being exiled, I think your take is too simplistic, it must be rough having people treat you one way to your face while saying things behind your back.

I could've sworn I read some anecdote somewhere of Dave talking to Neil at a party and the latter just moving away from him, leaving him on his own. Maybe it was an Eisner anecdote. I'm no expert on Cerebus minutiae.

It may be easy to shrug off online from your perspective Damian but think about how badly twitter/memes and such fuck with peoples' heads now, I'm sure no one here would take it lightly to be portrayed as a nazi in front of a death camp or whatever the hell that drawing was.

If nothing else, Dave has the courage of his convictions and belief system, even if one doesn't share the same, it's respectable; how many people would go ahead and do their version of Genesis in their own book, their own reinterpretation...it's not big box office!

As for your "Jeffie" comment, c'mon...shouldn't you be done with that kinda thing by now? Why do you try to bait him into some kind of debate; if you think so little of him (if you do think so little of him) why even engage with him?

Moving on...

Way after #300 was done, I followed some of Dave's real time promotion on websites for glamourpuss and if I recall correctly, Gail Simone was quite flattering to Dave to his "face" online but ripped into him as soon as he was onto the next forum.

That was like, 13 years ago or something so I admit I could be wrong on that part, perhaps someone there at the time could either verify this or discount it.

As for the Av club article, or interview, I didn't think it was bad at all really and at the time I had an acquaintance kindly purchase and mail me the Saturday Night mag, I had to carefully explain to her who Dave Sim is and what Cerebus was as comics, let alone a self-published one were waaaaay outside her experience.

That article didn't make much of an impression on me.

As for TSDOAR, if true, I'm disappointed Dave never paid Carson.

It seemed like Dave had a great track record for treating fellow creators fairly; I thought he would get more into that part of what Carson said and was disappointed he hadn't.

To be fair, he still might. But it is a pretty big shock because from what I can tell, even people who think he's "crazy" or a misogynist would praise his ethics. Or it seemed that way, that was another part of him besides raw comics talent and discipline that others respected.

Unless they had some other deal arranged, some deferred payment or royalty plan which again, to be fair I might have missed while taking in all that info, I hope Carson is paid what he is owed for his work.

As for the work itself, ideally TSDOAR would be all Sim exactly as he'd want it done. I'm not quite sure what is going on. Carson may or may not print a version of it or have a publisher print a take on it; though it seems incomplete and Dave may not ever finish it...? I'm just not sure what's happening with it but I'd prefer Dave to finish it and to have drawn as much as possible considering his wrist pain.

But I guess that's true for everyone here.

He's a comic book genius and so while I don't have an interest in the fine points (pun intended) of Raymond's art, Dave's presentation and passion for the material make it appealing, that's some talent.


A Fake Name

Dave Kopperman said...

I think Dave had the best intentions regarding both SDOAR and Carson's work, but, again, the loose network of fans/assistants/collaborators is proving to actually be detrimental to the production and release of the work, all good intentions aside.

I make my living as a graphic designer, and over the years I've donated my skills to various not-for-profit organizations, a couple of which were loose affiliations whose shape was not dissimilar to what the... let's call it "AV Extended" group is. Both those groups flamed out for the same reason - many people joined together for a good cause but had conflicting ideas how to achieve their goals. There was also a great deal of asymmetrical power, where some people would put in a lot more work but ended up unhappy with how their efforts were being wasted - partly because everyone involved had their own visions as to how things should be run (which of course leads to judgement being clouded by ego), and partly because the organizations were underfunded, but mostly because there was a vacuum of leadership, with the supposed head of the organization being more of a general vision person who took a very loose hand in the proceedings. Eventually, things broke apart, but not before some bad blood was generated.

That's definitely what's going on here. Dave means well, but his leadership approach here is quite lousy. I very, very rarely criticize Dave, and certainly never in print. I disagree with his social views, but I (as someone said above) have always had the greatest admiration for him as an ethical businessman and a seriously generous mentor/sponsor/what have you. This is the first time I've been disappointed by that.

You see the problem, don't you? Dave makes requests of the individual members of AV Extended, and they look to further Dave's goals, but because there's no real plan and no real communication, they end up at odds and those odds will never be resolved. George wanting to release digital copies of SDOAR with complete disregard of whether Carson sees a dime from his EXTREMELY TIME-CONSUMING work really, really rubbed me the wrong way. Dick move, George. But George was in his own way trying to honor what he saw as the debt owed to the people who donated to the fundraiser and is above all loyal to Dave's wishes and legacy, so he thought (and no doubt still thinks) it was the ethical move. It's not. (the answer is: the ethical move is to refund the money, at least to those who paid their money and were expecting physical product). But, again: the fault here lies not with George. Nor with Carson - although he made some errors in judgement (and a certain admitted calculation regarding his career versus his reputation), if one of the living masters of an artform selects you to collaborate with, and particularly if he'd had a proven track record, it's easy to see why he went all in.


Dave Kopperman said...

Part II:

Dave's laissez-faire approach to leadership and sporadic, word-of-mouth/need-to-know game of telephone approach to business communications is what both started this snowball rolling and what is now that massive avalanche that took down a project ten years in the making, leaving a few people badly hurt and confusion in its wake. By design or by pure accident, the result is the same. That's unethical, but at least forgivable in the sense that I think Dave was out of his depth in that kind of executive leadership role, particularly at such a remove. I think it was more deeply questionable to structure SDOAR so that Carson did the work on spec with the understanding that a publication deal was in hand (and had even been announced and money had been paid to Dave). That this comes from a man who many of us view as a paragon of ethical business practice in an industry littered with the husks of people robbed by corporations - which predatory behavior he spent decades decrying - is just a terrible, terrible disappointment, only slightly mitigated by the fact that he's pretty clearly disappointed in himself.

I think what Dave should to to make it right(er) is to grant publication and distribution rights ONLY to those who participated in the actual work of its execution. And those rights should be fairly divided by labor, with full agreement by all parties as to how investment and profits should be split. Copyright should be sorted out, as well. It's fine for Cerebus to become public domain upon Dave's death - I assume that's still the case? - but I'd assume that Carson (and Sean, and whoever else did physical work on SDOAR) will outlive Dave by several decades, so SDOAR CANNOT be under the same arrangement, as it would deny them those same decades of potential royalties.

I also think - and here's the tough one, but here we go - that Dave should honor the work of his collaborators and make a good faith effort to reenter the wider world for a brief period to promote the work upon its publication. I fully support Dave in his desire to not deal with people who he believes think him evil. But I think that protection for Dave is morally outweighed by the obligations to his collaborators, which I view to be a pretty sacred bond.

Anyway, that's me. Matt, Jeff, et al - whoever has the primary role of forwarding communications to Dave, please do so if you feel it's worthwhile.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave K. thinks that Dave Sim is the real victim here, because although Dave Sim thinks that more than half of human beings are intrinsically stupid, can't differentiate themselves from pets, and should be beaten when they disagree with you -- but Dave Sim was allegedly (and Dave K. admits he can't confirm this) snubbed at a party by a fellow who continues to promote Cerebus to this day.

-- Damian

Glen said...

@Dave Kopperman

I wish the people at a Moment of Cerebus was as clear & concise as you were in your posts about the problems with the publication of SDOAR & Dave's handling of it.

I was completely lost. Thank you.

Dave Kopperman said...

Damian: Huh? I think you're confusing me with the post from "A Fake Name" just before my lengthy tomes.

Dave Kopperman said...

Glen: No doubt there's nuance to what's already been posted by the involved parties that I misread, and it's certain there's information I'm wholly ignorant of. But, clearly, something isn't working right if this is where the project has ended up.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


Glen: I posted the information I got last Saturday within minutes of getting it. Then the comments turned into the ending of Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life". While I was writing a fax to Dave, like ten comments showed up. All supportive. I sent my fax to Dave (including those ten comments,) and planned to wait until I heard back from him.

BUT, everybody had forgot about Carson (same thing had happened with the Fundraising Edition. Carson popped up in the comments and said, "I'm signing what now?") I had assumed that Dave had communicated with Carson. My assumption was, of course, wrong.

Sunday morning Carson sent me an email saying he had written a post about the situation and I could post it when I wanted (A similar thing happened during David Johnson's freak out about "Take On Me". Back then, Carson wrote a post, and then upon refection, decided he didn't wanted it posted and deleted it and rewrote it as a comment. I figured I'd give Carson the same chance to reflect before it went up. I DIDN'T EVEN LOOK AT IT because of that. (Plus I was busy.)

Then Carson edited his post and accidentally posted instead of saving it. (Which I didn't and don't have a problem with. He has access, he can post. Same with anybody else who has access, all I ask is that they let me know it's up so I don't spend an afternoon writing a post I don't need.)

That's when everything "blowed up real goooood..." and the comments turned into the ending of Franz Kafka's "It's A Wonderful Life".

At that point I gave up any hope of trying to convince Dave that he was overreacting and come back to the project (I DID have that hope).

I faxed Dave again, and Monday morning I got a fax back. BUT I was a work (because I'm back to work after two months off, so I'm not a nimble AMOC Ninja able to react to things at the drop of a hat.) In the meantime, Carson posted his second post explaining where HE was at.

See: "Blowed up real goooood..."

At THAT point, I completely gave up on the idea of keeping Dave informed of EVERYTHING, and decided to just seriously lose my shit for Monday's post (Which was supposed to transition from the first version to the second version as one post, but I kinda lost the thread as I wrote and posted it, which is one of the reasons it's two separate posts...) Selah.

The BIGGEST problem in this whole thing is that we live in "Ted Turner/Rupert Murdoch 24 minutes of news stretched to 24 hours of reporting" world. So before the principle players can even check with each other, there's a hundred comments on a series of posts, and Rich @#$%ING Johnston has already thrown the story into the dumpster fire at Bleeding Cool.

I mean it's hard to be "clear & concise" when nobody knows what's going on, nobody's communicating, and the mob is shouting at you...

If things HADN'T had "blowed up real gooood..." I probably would have had an emergency Please Hold call with Dave to start "The Bizarre Autopsy of The Strange Death of Alex Raymond". Which may still happen, or at least it'll be what July's Please Hold is.

Dave Kopperman: Regarding you last comment, I suspect there is a whole lot about this situation that we are all "wholly ignorant of". As the above response to Glen hopefully illustrates, I was trying to surf this wave of crap, but now I'm just trying to not drown...

I'm still debating what to fax Dave VS what I can fax Dave. EVERYTHING since Saturday is a longer fax then I'm comfortable sending. But then I change from a chronicler of the situation to an editor of it.

There is no move where I make everybody happy. Now my moves are "how do I piss off the least amount of people?"

So, holding pattern until I can land this sucker...

Manly Matt Dow
A Moment of Cerebus

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

And Dave Kopperman: I know the above illustrates EXACTLY why "the loose network of fans/assistants/collaborators is proving to actually be detrimental to the production and release of the work, all good intentions aside."

There's more I could say, but I'm trying to remember that I'm the only guy who has a Non-confidentiality policy. I've already pissed off pretty much everyone of the "inside people" by repeating things I wasn't meant to.

The most common phrase I get in emails is "***NOT FOR PUBLICATION: JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME***".

So, if you're a Patreon supporter, Eddie will update you when he has something to update.

If you're a Fundraising Edition buyer, when I have news you can use, I'll let you know.

If you were waiting on "the Official Release of SDOAR", Carson or I will let you know as soon as we know, and are legally able to. (There IS LITERALLY no news, I'm not being "coy" or "evasive". NOTHING HAS HAPPENED in the twenty minutes since I posted the Weekly Update with Carson's latest comment attached to it...)

In the meantime, while you wait, here's a whole lot of posts about NOT "the Official Release of SDOAR"...

Manly Matt Dow
Dancing Monkey
A Moment of Cerebus

Adam Beechen said...

Just a quick response to Tony Dunlop...

Hi Tony -

I know how it might read, but I consider my Hollywood experience with HENCH to be a pretty positive one. Most projects, whether they're graphic novels, traditional scripts, remakes or adaptations of hugely successful novels don't get as far as HENCH has, drawn the interest HENCH has or been shopped as a viable commodity across several different mediums as HENCH has. As a result, I've met a lot of people in the industry and been present for and participated in high-level pitches (which has been an invaluable education). Thanks to the various options, I've even made a little money (although not close to what I've spent over the years on legal fees and, most prominently, what I spent to hire an artist to draw HENCH's second chapter - It's pretty unlikely I'll ever recoup that). I don't feel like anyone's treated me poorly or stolen from me. It's been a runaround, sure, and there have been frustrating moments, but as Dave said, I've been fortunate in that I never put all my eggs in the Hollywood HENCH basket. And like William Goldman famously said, "No one knows anything." Something may happen with it yet. If it doesn't, I have no real complaints


Dave Kopperman said...

Matt: Thanks. It is appreciated.

Anonymous said...


Your response was for me, not Dave K. I never said Dave was a victim, I offered an explanation for why he may have felt exiled or what not from comics and why he may have felt/thought the way he did and why I thought you were being too hard on him. Caricaturing someone as a Nazi isn't a small minor joke/insult thing to do.


A Fake Name

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave K.: You're right; I did mistake you. I apologize unreservedly, and will be more careful in the future.

AFN: Caricaturing someone as a Nazi who thinks half the population is subhuman is letting that person off gently. Dave can dish it out, but he can't take it.

-- Damian

Anonymous said...


I get your point, fair enough though I still think it was too far for TCJ.


A Fake Name

Dave Kopperman said...

Would you believe after all this time that I've never seen that illustration of Dave as a concentration camp commander? By Jeff Wong, I believe? It's odd, because I was a regular reader of the Comics Journal and obviously a big Cerebus fan, but that issue sold out and I'm not really a collector type so I didn't track it down.

Tony again said...

Hi Adam,
You definitely made it clear in the main post that you have no regrets or bitterness about what has happened with "HENCH." All that tells me is you're far more "Zen" than I could've been, during the years of effort you've described!