Friday, 21 November 2014

Weekly Update #58: Shake It Off

Executive Summary

BULLETIN! 21 November 14 Sean Robinson on his way to Bang Printing in Valencia, California for a "press test" of a HIGH SOCIETY SIGNATURE!  Yes! We might be printing in USA! USA! at least on HIGH SOCIETY.  In no small part because Bang is a three-hour car ride for Sean and he can micro-manage every step of the process.  Sean has promised to give us as close to "real time" updates (as long as it doesn't interfere with his actual supervisory work) here starting later today.  The press test begins SHARP at 1500 hours Western Daylight Savings Time, 1800 hours Eastern Standard Time.
1.  Lou Copeland announces that JUDENHASS will be available for free download at the website (in PDF and CBZ formats). Hoping that some volunteers will post JUDENHASS to as many Print on Demand and other websites as possible.

2.  Sean Robinson bounces back from the TOTAL LOSS of hundreds of CEREBUS scans.  The NEXT DAY faxing that "All of this crap with ____ got me really fired up to make the newsprint sourced pages as good as they can possibly be".  Attaboy, Sean!  "All Hands On Deck" call for CEREBUS OCD CLUB members!  We're NOT going to let this slow us down!

3.  Unconfirmed report from Eddie Khanna that someone has donated $500 a month to our Patreon site.  Many thanks to the unnamed individual (if true).  Please contact me for suitable STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND rewards or -- if you just want to remain anonymous, We are ALL cool with that!  Many, many, many thanks if true.

1.  Fax from Lou Copeland dated November 19 saying he's "on track" for getting JUDENHASS, now in the public domain, into downloadable form at the website as of November 25th, just in time for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.  It was a good eight to ten hours work for Lou getting everything ready and I offered to pay him for his time but he wrote:
On top of all the work I put into the project over the course of two years plus, I estimate I ended up putting a grand of my own money into JUDENHASS in the form of postage fees, office supplies, fax service (there was no free option back in '07) and more, more, more.  So while I really appreciate your offer to pay me for the hours I worked this weekend, I long ago decided this was a project I wouldn't take any money for.  Thanks for the offer, though.  Way I figure it, surely donating that kinda money to such a good cause will get me fast tracked into heaven when I die, right?
Uh. I'm a bad person to ask, seeing as how I give equal weight to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  If you were to take a straw poll, I'm sure 99% of the members of all three faiths would tell you I am DEFINITELY headed for the Lake of Fire (do not pass Go, do not collect $200) :)

Lou also notes:
The actual full resolution printer's files are way too large to host on the website. We both have a copy of these files burned to a disc.  Anyone that's seriously interested in the files should contact either you or me for a disc copy.  
Lou's e-mail address is transmit [at] phantomprojector [dot] com.  I don't like to sound paranoid, but the odds of getting a useable disc from me are remote.  Most recent example being the CANAR files which I gave to Dave Fisher and he relayed to Tim W. by mail -- and which were missing two or three issues in the middle.  "But -- but -- that's not POSSIBLE!"  I agree! I barely have enough knowledge to click on the CANAR folder and put it INTO the window and push "Burn".  I couldn't NOT download files to save my life.  But that's what happens with anything having "computer" and "Dave Sim" in the same sentence. So, Lou's the guy you should contact.

And, please note the "SERIOUSLY interested".  I -- and I'm sure Lou -- really don't care WHERE you put the full resolution files if you SERIOUSLY think there's a chance that someone might download JUDENHASS or print a bunch of copies and distribute them.  I'm trying to be a diplomatic Luddite here. Yes! The AMAZING INTERNET is capable of getting BILLIONS OF COPIES into people's hands practically in an eyeblink.  You couldn't COUNT the number of places you could place the full resolution files that have LITERALLY BILLIONS of cybernetic walk-in customers just ACHING to

...uh....blah blah blah.

I think Lou and I have done our bit.  Thanks, Lou and good luck at the new job!

2.  Not only did Sean announce his own program of "newsprint restoration" techniques November 18, he also let me know that he already has three CEREBUS OCD CLUB members signed up to assist on newsprint clean-up.  Thank you, all!

No pressure on anyone.  If you want to try it and you find that you just don't have the time and/or it's just not "your thing", just let Sean know.  No harm, no foul.  Sean will just give "your" page to someone else. It can be weirdly therapeutic as I can attest from my limited experience "restoring" BEAVERS strips for the short-lived CEREBUS ARCHIVE.  It really depends on how much of an "inner" Obsessive Compulsive you have.

OR how jazzed you would be to have your name attached to that particular page IN PERPETUITY (or until the next technological advance makes itself known)!!

We're quite serious about this.  Sean's working on back-up pages for the HIGH SOCIETY 30th ANNIVERSARY GOLD LOGO SIGNED AND NUMBERED edition which will include credits for everyone who has donated scans of pages AND all of the participants in the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER ONE Kickstarter AND everyone who has helped with the technical side in any way.  The credits will be included in each printing of the books and will be part of the digital files when the books go into the public domain after I'm dead.  There's not many of us left, but we are going to be the Second Generation of CEREBUS Custodians who stuck around even ten years after the book came to an end.

Anyway, Sean gets my nomination for the TAYLOR SWIFT "SHAKE IT OFF" AWARD for November 2014.  You want to know the primary job skill for being a Dave Sim and/or CEREBUS fan? SHAKE IT OFF!!

3.  I feel really bad that I haven't been posting Updates to the Patreon site, but I find that there is definitely a "Wall" of what I can take doing this online stuff and doing the Weekly Update is pretty much it.

As a way of compensating for that, however, I've authorized Eddie Khanna to post some of the STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND artwork INTERMITTENTLY to the Patreon site -- without the Joe Kubert lettering.  This is an experiment and I'm anticipating a backlash which I'm asking Eddie to watch for.

Thanks to Tim W. for posting the material FOR Eddie and me.  Eddie reported things "going wonky" with all of his computers and ipod(s?) when he posted the material himself.  Yes, I know that sounds paranoid, but that was Eddie's experience. We're both getting used to that.  "You know what happened to me today?"

I'm trying not to talk about THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND too much here at AMOC.  People are REALLY, REALLY sensitive these days and I infer that that manifests itself in people ONLY wanting CEREBUS to be discussed here.  Could be wrong about that and -- as you can see, I did discuss JUDENHASS, but only in a "finality" sense.  We wanted to preserve it, but not get in anyone's face about it. Or to have anyone infer that we were getting in their face about it.

Bottom line right now (and you can skip this paragraph if THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND offends you conceptually): the slower that I get on THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND, the more thorough I get -- which makes me slower which makes me more thorough, a real feedback loop.  Still learning and re-learning lessons, mostly of a technical nature.  Photorealism is incredibly accurate and there are areas where accuracy is just "beyond me".  Composition and anatomy foremost among them.  So, I'm using really meticulous techniques to try to get around that, like "building pictures" by doing each element separately on separate sheets of tracing paper.  Do the face and then try it at different angles and then do the torso on a separate sheet of paper, then each forearm and hand on separate sheets of tracing paper and just keep moving them around and adjusting them until the figure/panel looks right.  I spent most of yesterday COMPOSING one panel.  It boggles my mind that guys like Raymond, Drake, Williamson and Adams were -- or in Neal's case ARE -- able to do that just off the top of their heads.  Doing six dailies a week (and a Sunday for some of them) they didn't have any other choice.  Leonard Starr remarked about John Prentice using tracing paper when he took over RIP KIRBY and Starr saying he wouldn't have time for that. Which he didn't.  So he had to just LEARN how to do it as second nature.

I'm never going to be in that class, but I'm determined to "fake" my way in just by sheer, hard work.

4.  John's had a few delays getting rolling on CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER TWO, but that's going to happen with a printing business.  A big job -- or two big jobs -- take up time.  Again, we hope that no one gets offended at this.  John will be posting his progress -- or lack of progress -- and, I think, over time we're going to find out what is possible.  As you all know, the original plan was to make the CEREBUS ARCHIVE FOLIOS quarterly and right now we're at three times a year.  By NUMBER SIX, I think we'll know what we can do and what we can't do...but not until then (I'm guessing).

I've asked John to give me an invoice for ALL of his work on CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER TWO by mid-December (based on costs on CANO).  This was the result of a meeting with my accountant where I expressed concern about CANT "straddling" 2014-2015: all the money coming in in 2014 but no expenses on record until next year.  As long as I have an invoice, the charge comes off in calendar year 2014 (I'm going to be getting Sean to invoice for a good chunk of CHURCH & STATE I for the same reason, hoping to cut the Aardvark-Vanaheim tax bill by a few thousand dollars (which seems "do-able").  So, glad I asked!  I'm definitely working to make sure that all of your generous contributions go as far as I can make them go.

For the record, my biggest personal splurge so far out of the $38K is four pillowcases ($5.95 marked down from $12.95 at Budd's "up to 80% off sale" downtown) and a $6 toque (eh?).  My experience has been that if I have $38K in the bank, God has $38K worth of problems in my immediate future. Could be wrong, but, at least for right now, I'm not taking any chances.

Okay.  Gotta run. I still have to pick up the mail, do some banking and buy groceries.

See you next week, God willing!

And now -- HEEEERE's Sean!  (God willing)!


Tony Dunlop said...

OK, just speaking for myself, I'm interested in reading about whatever Dave is up to here at AMOC. Since, artistically, that means SDOAR right now, I'm open to reading whatever Dave has to say about that.

Jason Penney said...

I'm also fine with Dave talking about SODAR on here. The site banner says "celebrating the comics art of Dave Sim & Gerhard". Seems to fit right in, to me.

Eric Fennessey said...


Jeff Seiler said...

Thirded. Motion carries. One of the things I've learned from ten years of correspondence with Dave is that even though I never know what to expect in each new envelope from Dave, that doesn't mean it won't be fascinating to read. Or, occasionally, to look at.

Anonymous said...


Yeah, more SDOAR is welcome.

-Wes Smith

Keith said...

I'll chime in. I'd actually love to hear more about Strange Death, even if it's just a quick note like this one.

Travis Pelkie said...

Four pillowcases?!?! You only have ONE head, man! (j/k! If that's splurging...)

It's a shame about not getting to scan those pages, but I think it's more disturbing that Dave not only knows the Taylor Swift song, but is accurately referencing its message. That freaks me out, man! ;)

Yeah, I too would like to know more about Strange Death. Just a sentence or 2 about where you're at in it, and an occasional mention of when you're projecting it might be out.

Any word on the Cerebus IDW stuff (the DAVE High Society version and the Covers book)? The DVD set is...past due, and the covers book is supposedly due in about 6 weeks. (And I think that's as much on IDW as on you. It hasn't sounded like you've held anything up, based on your posts.) (And don't take this as a knock on IDW -- they do great stuff, and I know this will be worth it, but mannnnnnn, I wan' it! I wan' it! (to quote the Mad Howdy Doodit!))

Waiting eagerly and patiently...

Jeff Seiler said...

Travis, I can vouch for using 4 pillowcases. When I was in Panama City back in September, I splurged on ultra-luxurious, 600-thread-count sheets. By the time it came to ordering the pillowcases, I balked at $189 a pair, but ultimately ordered 2 pairs for my 4 pillows. It was the right call.

Four pillows: 2 for your head (one on top of the other), 1 to cover your eyes, 1 (oversized or "body") to have between your legs when you lay on your side--left or right--so that your knees don't knock or rub together.

That's how *I* roll and, presumably, how Dave does, too.

Glad to know he hasn't eschewed *all* creature comforts.