Friday, 2 January 2015

Weekly Update #64: Young Zack

Really hate to preempt "young Zack" so be sure to skip down to the footage of him with Seiler's Christmas card. [Video now added above ~ Tim]

We ALL have a soft spot for kids:  hard-wired for it.  I get my "fix" with the Kitchen kids every few months for One Day. By the end of 24 hours, I'm ready to go back to my monastic existence. Mike [Kitchen], for his part, enjoys coming and picking me up at the Off-White House and sitting around and just talking about comics and cartooning without interruption for an hour or two.  Which comes to an abrupt ending when we walk in the front door at his and Erika's place.

1.  I've revised all of the Inked Heads that I got wrong on CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER TWO and am now making my way through personalizing (hand-lettering) the signed bookplates.

2.  Joe Rubinstein responds!  He's "in" as far as doing a Bonus Print of the "The Morning After" splash page and the pencilled "production painting" for CEREBUS: THE MOVIE

3.  CEREBUS: THE MOVIE Cerebus & Foy (working name) don't exactly "meet cute" but -- in keeping with Oliver's work so far -- they DO "meet surreal".

1.  So far, in one five-hour stretch yesterday, all of the aforementioned corrected Inked Heads and on the signed bookplates:  Up Up & Away [Cincinnati Ohio comic store]; Vitas P. [MA]; John S. [FL]; Truls A. [NOR]; Michael H. [IL]; Jonathan H. [UK].  I'm of two minds about the bookplates right now.  At $140 for 16 of them (one for each trade), it's QUITE good money (to say the least), but at the same time the volume of orders really jumped after people saw what they looked like from the CANO postings.  Which means I really can't "fudge" them -- people have seen what they look like -- but they are eating up entire days.  I am concerned that anything I try to drop from Kickstarter is going to give people an excuse to jump off the bus (so, I definitely want to avoid that).

Same thing with the Inked Heads.  The CANO Cerebus I can do in my sleep -- coming up with an idiosyncratic HIGH SOCIETY one was a different matter and CHURCH & STATE is going to be the same.  But, the people who wanted a different Cerebus head for EACH CEREBUS ARCHIVE -- well, they REALLY wanted a different Cerebus head for EACH CEREBUS ARCHIVE. In a tone that I can't sensibly ignore.

Even working, as I am, 13 hours a day -- and then 20 hours a day on a non-fasting day like this one -- I have the sense that "something has to give" at some point.  I'm PERSONALLY philosophical about it. Work is just what I do between prayer times and I try to do the best work I can on whatever I'm doing, but I am pushing 60 and, while caffeine certainly has miraculous powers when you only have it once every two weeks, I think there are limits there as well.

Trying to get everything done that I think needs to be done before I die is going to take quite a bit of money and time and the REALLY positive results on CEREBUS ARCHIVE FOLIOS (and thank you all for that) tells me "it's now or never".  It would be nice to have a few years with everything done just KNOWING everything is done and...puttering...around the Off-White House.  But it is a Huge Mountain of Work that I'm looking at and it's getting BIGGER every day.

Some days I think I'm maybe halfway through THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND and other days I think, "You're kidding yourself. You've barely scratched the surface."  And I am getting slower every day.  And SDOAR grinds to a halt when it's time to do the "already paid for" stuff on CEREBUS ARCHIVE.

I'm just sayin'.

2.  Wow!  That actually worked!  I feel as if I finally found a "chink" in the "LARIV" (anti-viral) containment armour housing me and CEREBUS.  Joe left a phone message saying that he had gotten my message on the Bonus Print via Facebook.  I'm paraphrasing his phone message:  "I've never gotten a message that way.  It was like having an owl drop a message into my lap from Hogworts" (sp? Harry Potter reference, I know that much).

Okay, let's see if that works again!

[I know everyone finds it weird that I do things this way, but it's really a matter of addressing the "Internet presence" thing -- which I accept:  here we are and you have to deal with it YOU. NEED. TO. HAVE. AN. INTERNET. PRESENCE. -- okay, granted, but that means having a divided career.  Part of your career producing actual work and part of your career documenting your career.  It would be very easy to slide down that slippery slope and spend so much time documenting my career that I wouldn't have one anymore.  So, I try to short-circuit the process and -- with these Weekly Updates -- documenting the self-publishing, intellectual property proprietor process.  And it seems to me the best way to do that is to basically do as much of the nuts-n-bolts stuff publicly as I can.  The nuts-n-bolts has to be done anyway and as long as I have people willing to participate, that means I'm producing content without actually producing content if I can keep redundancy to a minimum.

What I mean is -- to use the latest example -- Sean at the moment is up to his eyeballs in faxes from me, one for each page of HIGH SOCIETY that I've had to correct from his print-out and I've asked him to post those faxes here as he deals with them as "HIGH SOCIETY BULLETINS".  You see where I'm going with this.  I have to tell Sean what needs to be fixed.  HIGH SOCIETY is all that I'm really known for.  Make each page a different post and I'm producing content for AMOC while I'm T.C.B. "Taking Care of Bidness".  It's genuine Up To The Minute CEREBUS content.  And when Sean wakes up in a few hours, he'll be glad to share it with you -- all of my faxes to him from 1 am to 6 am today.  Okay, "glad" might be a stretch.  But, hey. AMOC content is AMOC content.

So, now, what I'm going to try to do is to drag Joe into this, as well.  Ahem.]

Hi, Joe. Thanks for your phone message.  Since the Bonus Prints for CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER THREE are still pretty far down on my "To Do" list, here's all I can suggest at this point:

Take the "The Morning After" splash page and do PART of it -- a little chunk of it -- the three different ways that you talking about in your phone message.  Further to the above parenthetical aside:  what would benefit both of us is if you wouldn't mind documenting what you're doing with cellphone photos or quick scans of the three "chunks" in progress and posting them here at A Moment of Cerebus [contact 'momentofcerebus [at] gmail [dot] com'].  That way, our customers (OUR customers) can see what it is that you're doing and have an idea of what the finished version(s) will look like.  After you have the three of them done, sign them, mail them to me, I'll sign them and I'll get Dave Fisher to auction them on eBay and we'll split the proceeds 50-50 (minus 10% for Fisher).  That should tell us which one is the most popular and by how much.  If it's a two-way or three-way "tie" then we should be safe in doing a Bonus Print of each version (if you're up for it).  If one of them "walks away with it" then I think we'll be better just doing the one.

The beauty of it -- to me -- is that we all get to find out in Real Time what the answer is. And make a few no-idea-how-many bucks into the bargain.

Feel free to include your contact info for possible "commissions action" with your Updates.  We're all just trying to keep our heads above water, eh?

On the CEREBUS: THE MOVIE production painting(s).  I've got one pencilled but it's a semi-close-up.  Which brings us to Point 3 this week:

3.  Not giving too much away, but -- in answer to the (predictable) criticism of bringing the ending of LATTER DAYS into CEREBUS: THE MOVIE -- Cerebus and Foy don't START as we see them in the closing sequence of LATTER DAYS.  It takes Cerebus a Long While to get to his super-comfortable (for Cerebus) Perry Como motif.  The part that I didn't cover is that when Foy FIRST comes to interview him, Cerebus is trying to intimidate her, which he does by taking the old Spore Wagon (from the end of issue 276) and turning it into a Papal throne so he's LOOMING over her in the little pink armchair he provides for her, the two skeleton/sculptures and the scorpion "hood ornament" right In Her Face.

If someone said the title A GAME OF THRONES to Cerebus, that's what he would come up with.

[And it was definitely a weird Metaphysical Comics moment to be working on that and have a movie actually called "The Interview" suddenly causing such a, uh, stir?]

So, Joe? You still there?  Hello, Facebook, this is Houston. Do you copy. Over?

Roger that, Facebook.  Go ahead, Houston.

So, what I have is, as I say, a semi-close-up of Cerebus delivering his line "Does Cerebus LOOK LIGHT-HEARTED? and HAPPY-GO-LUCKY? to you, young lady?"  That's the pencil drawing you'll be getting (and which will be posted here as soon as I can get a memory card with a scan of it to John Funk).  But I also want to make a reduced photocopy of it as part of a wider shot of The Sanctuary and do a "lighting guide" for it with washes.  Which is my "next thing" to do on the movie.

But, right now, that's well down on my list after all of the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER TWO things that have been paid for and aren't done yet, finishing the HIGH SOCIETY final corrections with Sean and making a start on scanning the original pages from CHURCH & STATE and getting a start on getting the CHURCH & STATE negatives digitized. And you have the "The Morning After" splash page to start on.

EVENTUALLY, we'll be able to scan the production paintings for Oliver's use and as Bonus Prints and THEN auction the originals (including my tracing paper preliminaries and wash "lighting guide") and see what level of interest there is in production paintings for comic-book movies that may never be seen except on a FAREWELL COMIC CONVENTION TOUR.

Okay, time to go pick up the mail and get groceries.

See you all, God willing, next week.


Oliver said...

Making the film "canon" as you are (as it'll now be part of the comic's continuity) I'm pretty sure is a first for a comic book film. History in the making! Along with being it being the first comic book Creator Rights film too.

Damin J. Toell, Esq. said...

I may have been the "owl" that delivered the first message. I delivered this one, as well.