Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Weird Crime Theatre

Weird Crime Theatre (2005)
By Kumar Sivasubramanian, Mulele Jarvis & Dave Sim

(by email, December 2011)
Back around fall 2005 Dave Sim kindly and graciously jammed on 3 pages of my (web)comic Weird Crime Theater; pencilling, inking, lettering, and ad-libbing Cerebus. The pages begin here, the full story begins here, and I discuss the collaboration here. We are still intending (as we have been from the start) to do a print version -- next year. (For real this time? Really?! Really?!??)

(from The Blog & Mail, 10 October 2006)
I don't know if it's coincidental but starting this Blog & Mail has finally caused the mail to taper off dramatically. Maybe I've scared everyone back into the woods now that they can't be certain if parts of their letters are going to end up on the Internet. And I certainly apologize to everyone - including our next "contestant" - if that makes them uncomfortable. I really don't mean any offence by it. Most of the time it just seems like a good chance to publicize some things that might otherwise not get publicized.

Like Weird Crime Theater's first two issues which I just got in from Kumar Sivasubramanian (who I'll just be referring to as "Kumar" from now on for obvious reasons) in photocopied form. He called me a while back (a year ago? Year and a half ago?) from Australia where he lives to see if I was willing to let him use Cerebus in his second issue which, at the time, was going to be published by Dan Vado's Slave Labor Graphics (which was one of the reasons that I not only agreed but suggested that I draw Cerebus myself - I've never been published by Dan Vado before!). Kumar writes the book and does the digital lettering and Mulele Jarvis does the art and the digital sound effects.

...Anyway, it's always a fun experience to work on a cross-over cameo (Cerebus is in 14 panels over three pages) and then actually read it for the first time in context months later. As it says on the title page for issue 2: Cerebus pencilled, inked, lettered, adlibbed copyright, appears courtesy of and a very special thanks to Dave Sim. I basically wrote it as if it was a career move on Cerebus' part, alternating the dialogue with Cerebus' internal thoughts about the gig ("It's a minor role. But it's one that the critics and the other publishers are going to notice - you know, like Howard the Duck in Giant Size Man-Thing or John Travolta in Pulp Fiction").

Anyway, I guess Dan's decided to stand pat with what he's publishing right now at least for the time being and told Kumar to resubmit in another six months and feel free to show the project around to other publishers in the meantime. As Kumar writes "So, unfortunately, we're back to the submission - rejection - depression cycle for the time being" - which really seems to add a whole other layer of resonance to the gag. Not only can Cerebus only get a walk-on cameo these days the producers can't even get a distribution deal from a major studio! Makes Cerebus grateful for all his trade paperback royalties. Looks like Melissa will be back to waitressing for the time being.

Kumar's so desperate he's actually talking about self-publishing!

Anyway there's two issues "in the can" if any publishers out there are interested in taking a look over the next six months. THE Dan Vado at one time was VERY interested in the project. VERY interested.

Check it out at Weird Crime Theater or e-mail the guys at

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