Wednesday 3 October 2012

The Fantagraphics Offer: Update #12 (Updated!)

In the final issue of his self-published Glamourpuss, Dave Sim included an essay reflecting on the end of the series, and the possible end of his professional involvement with comics. The reaction online was widespread, and soon turned to a discussion of the future of Sim's earlier work, Cerebus. On a comments thread at, Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson expressed his potential interest in republishing some of Sim's Cerebus material. Sim, arguably the most iconic self-publisher in comics history, responded to that 'open offer' in a lengthy article at, and indicated his willingness to negotiate with Kim on a possible publishing deal for Cerebus, albeit in the public forum of the comments section at the website. Got all that? Now read on...

Having trouble keeing track of the 'negotiations' between Dave Sim and Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson over at the site? Maybe these links to the essential posts will help:

7 Sept   - The Fantagraphics Offer
17 Sept - Dave's Article - Responding to the Fantagraphcs offer
19 Sept - Kim's Update #1 - Considers format and scheduling of reprints
19 Sept - Kim's Update #2 - Proposes +20-book series of 240-300 pages per volume
20 Sept - Kim's Update #3 - Outlines history between Dave and Fantagraphics
20 Sept - Dave's Update #1 - Considers wording of press release
20 Sept - Kim's Update #4 - Identifies "wide abyss" between him and Dave
21 Sept - Kim's Update #5 - Thoughts on 'Form & Void'
22 Sept - Kim's Update #6 - Top 10 Reasons To Publish Cerebus
23 Sept - Dave's Update #2 - Offers 'Going Home' arc 4-book deal
24 Sept - Kim's Update #7 - Rejects Dave's request to see "deep" into Fantagraphics finances
25 Sept - Dave's Update #3 - Consider's Ed Brubaker to write "contextualizing" introduction
25 Sept - Kim's Update #8 - Rejects 'Going Home' 4-book deal
26 Sept - Jeet Heer's Update #1 - Suggests candidates to write "contextualizing" introduction
28 Sept - Dave's Update #4 - Response to Jeet's suggestions re Neil Gaiman (Part 1)
28 Sept - Kim's Update #9 - Implies that Dave is a racist
29 Sept - Dave's Update #5 - Response to Jeet's suggestions re Alan Moore (Part 2)
29 Sept - Dave's Update #6 - Explains reasons for the ipetition
29 Sept - Jeet Heer's Update #2 - Tries to get negotiations back on track and suggests 'first principles'
30 Sept - Kim's Update #10 - Apologises for implying Dave is a racist
30 Sept - Kim's Update #11 - Explains difference between mass-market and hardback editions
30 Sept - Kim's Update #12 - Highlights benefits of 'public' negotiations
1 Oct    - Dave's Update #7 - Discusses the 'elephant in the room'
1 Oct    - Kim's Update #13 - Rejects responsibility for the 'elephant in the room'
2 Oct    - Kim's Update #14 - Kim leaves the stage
2 Oct    - Gary Groth's Update #1 - "I am Gary Groth and I approved that political cartoon."
3 Oct    - Dave's Update #8 -  Response to Jeet's suggestions re Chester Brown (Part 3)
3 Oct    - Kim's Update #15 - Dealbreakers, labradors and squirrels.
4 Oct    - Dave's Update #9 - A 'First Amendment Purist' comments environment?
4 Oct    - Kim's Update #16 -  "I say close this sucker down!"
5 Oct    - Dave's Update #10 - Finally responds to Kim's offer... in detail and at length!

Also relevant to the above discussions is this post (2 Oct) at The Comics Reporter by Tom Spurgeon, and Heidi MacDonald provides an overview of the 'negotiations' at The Beat.


Alek Trencz said...

"Kim's Update #9 - Implies that Dave is a racist"
This is actually just Kim making an analogy between racism and a certain kind of sexism.

"Kim's Update #10 - Apologises for implying Dave is a racist"
This apology refers to a completely different thread of the conversation, the one about birth-rates etc.

Eric Hoffman said...

The comments board has been shut down and Kim Thompson has essentially folded on the basis that Dave's demands simply cannot be met. I, for one, seriously questioned Dave's intentions when his opening volley was, for all intents and purposes, a flat out "No." I pointed this out to Thompson and he defended Sim's integrity and sincerity, however, it appears he has since changed his mind, as he has removed himself from negotiations. It was a great idea, sorry that nothing will come of it except these alternately fascinating and infuriating 700-post comments. (I say this in the hopes that I might someday be proven wrong.)

Anthony Thorne said...

If Dave had bothered to answer Kim's basic questions about the proposal rather than dragging things on (his discussion of the merits of alt. comics folks doing the introduction could have been covered in a paragraph, not still unfinished after a week with Kim's primary questions STILL hanging - the thread has been closed as Kim never received a direct answer to his deal-breakers) things might have gone somewhere. Michael did his level best to disrupt things and test everyone's patience as well - with friends like these... Either way, it's a good thing Dave's proposal to quit comics isn't as serious an issue as we all originally believed, otherwise his refusal to accept Fanta's help might be a concern. If he's not bothered - and he clearly doesn't give a shit - why should we be?