Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Gerhard's Prints: The Right To Reprint

Following Cerebus #10 (June 2007)
Art by Gerhard (with Dave Sim)
(by fax, 12 June 2013)
"No one would be happier if you two (Dave 'n' Ger) could come to some sort of understanding on his attempt to blow you off like an old girlfriend, but I have not been too happy with how he ended things with you. I'm not buying prints from him." ~ from a fan letter to Dave Sim
I think Ger and I have come to an understanding, most recently when I offered him his old 40% percentage if he was willing to participate in the CEREBUS COVERS project for IDW and he agreed: it will be on a project-by-project basis.

All the way back to the Northampton Summit, I've maintained that if you have worked on something you have the right to reprint it without asking the permission of anyone else who worked on it.

I'd hope that anyone looking at the prints Gerhard has for sale would be concerned only that a) it's a piece of work they want to own a copy of b) Gerhard's signature is "value added" and c) they think they're worth the price. The same as if Kevin Eastman did a poster of one of the TMNT/CEREBUS pages and offered it for sale with just his signature on it.

I appreciate anyone feeling bad on my behalf but, in this case, it's entirely misplaced.

(by email, 18 June 2013)
If someone is going to base their decision on whether or not to buy something from me on hearsay, innuendo and only one side of the story, then I say that they don't know what they're talking about. Other than one weak moment years ago on the Cerebus Yahoo Group I have refrained from commenting on the situation -- financial, personal or otherwise -- between Dave and myself and I plan on continuing that policy. I agree 100% with Dave that anyone's decision to purchase anything should be based on whether they want to own it and if it's worth the price.

(by fax, 20 June 2013)
I did make the offer to Gerhard by mail to sign any prints that he wants me to sign and send them back to him. That would be up to him, as would compensation/not compensation. He could send 10, say, and ask me to sign them or sign and number them out of 10. Or just sign them. He could make it the entire run or if he isn't numbering them then it's an open-ended offer. Any time you need more just send them and I'll turn them around within 24 hours (God willing).

In that way it's similar to the deal I have with Todd on SPAWN 10. He sent me scans of the black and white artwork which I can print if I want without notifying him or compensating him just as he is free to reprint SPAWN 10 without notifying me or compensating me. I THINK that extends to me redrawing Cerebus so he looks more like, you know, Cerebus. It's a joint work. Maybe he wants to hire Gerhard to redo the backgrounds and water colour instead of computer colour it? That's up to him. I'd love to see it. I don't have time to do my own version right now. I have to leave post-it notes for myself to cut my fingernails :)

But I think Todd would be the first to admit that Gerhard runs circles around him when it comes to doing backgrounds. Maybe an over-sized Artist's Edition?

But I assume that would extend to Gerhard as well. If he did the backgrounds he would jointly own the version of SPAWN 10 with his backgrounds on them and he could do prints without asking Todd or compensating Todd. It just seems like common sense to me, but to everyone else it seems to be this BIG SCARY THING. Oy.


Anonymous said...

I like his drawings but there's one thing missing (imo) : YOU and your imput!

What made Cerebus so stunning visually was the Dave+Ger teaming.

Jeff Seiler said...

As far as the "split" of Aardvark-Vanaheim, Inc., goes, it was an event whose moment had come--at that time. To my knowledge (and I have discussed it with Dave on more than one occasion), the reason/s which led to Ger asking to be bought out of his share of the company came down to one of three stories--Dave's, Ger's, and what really happened. I've heard enough of both sides to believe that it really was just time for it to happen--back then. I am gratified that Ger and Dave will be working together again in the (near?) future, but I wish that anyone out there who was not privy to either side of the story (or "what really happened") would keep their uninformed opinions to themselves.

adampasz said...

If these 2 men can continue to work together, we all benefit. Beyond that, we should their personal and business relationship to them.

That said, part of the charm of the Cerebus comic back in the day was the "Cult of Personality" that was on display. So one can't blame us fans for being a bit curious. ;)

M Southall said...

"I have not been too happy with how he [Gerhard] ended things with you [Dave]."

How this person arrived at this misperception of Gerhard being unfair is not made explicit; however, as Dave Sim agrees here, the conclusion is entirely misplaced.

Gerhard the professional self-publishing artist deserves and needs your financial support for his outstanding and unique work in at least equal proportion to what Dave Sim deserves.

As a past friend of Dave's dating back to 1968 and also a friend of Gerhard's, I want you to please be assured you couldn't find a person more decent and fair than Gerhard has been, in matters past and present.