Friday, 1 May 2015

Weekly Update #80: Dave Sim vs Social Media

Dave Sim talks to Sandeep Atwal about new plans to use online social media to introduce Cerebus to potential new readers. "Cerebus Online" can be found at: YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. All 16 volumes of Cerebus are available from the official Cerebus Downloads site.


Anonymous said...

Maybe repost letters and answers from the letter's pages of Cerebus one letter and response a day perhaps as a sister site to the Tumblr page a day. There were so many great letters and answers. Lots of funny stuff and lots of interesting stuff. Might make a nice companion piece.

Because Dave has already produced such a massive amount of content already completed, it seems like one could find endless ways to present it. That is probably the right approach. Just figure out different ways to put out all the content from Cerebus.

It seems like you could also link from the Cerebus page-a-day Tumblr to an Instagram page with photographs used on the back pages of Cerebus. You could also reuse short video clips from Cerebus TV, just edit down 30 second sound bites on Instagram.

If you can interconnect all the content that Dave has produced, that might work to build up a new fan base.

Just some thoughts for whatever they're worth. It's nice to see the care and effort that has been put in so far.

- Reginald P.

Michael Grabowski said...

I wonder if one strategy might be to release free downloads of key issues from each of the books. I guess this was attempted with #26 already, probably to limited benefit, but if it were part of a program, a monthly deal on Comixology, etc., for a full year or so. I also wonder if an actual physical free floppy each year for FCBD might have any positive effect.

Paul Slade said...

I think that quick run-through of bookmarked pages over your morning coffee mentioned in the video is better suited to a daily comic strip - where each unit is self-contained - than it is to single pages from a continuing narrative like Cerebus.

In fact, one-page-per-day strikes me as being the LEAST satisfying way to read Cerebus one could possibly contrive. That's only going to get worse as the book's denser, more complex material gets its turn.

All credit to Sandeep for giving this idea a try, and I hope he proves me wrong by making it a huge success, but I can't say I'm optimistic.

That idea of one-letter-plus-reply per day may be better suited to the morning coffee slot. Each entry would then be a single unit, satisfying on its own as a self-contained, bite-sized chunk.

The letters would not be a replacement for online pages from the book of course (wherever and however those pages may appear), Reg's idea does sound like a worthwhile supplement to them.

Anonymous said...

Just had another idea that I admit would be a lot of work for somebody.

How about set up a site where you can read the entire 6000-page graphic novel so that only one panel at a time is viewable onscreen and the user can simply arrow through the story one panel at a time? It should also be set up so that you could jump to any point in the story.

Most applications for reading older comic books show you one page at a time, or worse, a two-page spread, which is natural in the sense that it looks like the original format the books were in. In practice though, that format does not communicate on a computer screen because there is too much information on a screen that is too small, and so it becomes unpleasant to look at either because you have to keep zooming in or sitting too close to the screen.

It seems like the Internet is actually better suited for looking at one image at a time, which in comics translates to one panel at a time.

Oddly, this would actually bring back some of the original comic book reading experience, because you would more easily be able to flip back and forth over each panel just by arrowing back and forth and could pore over details at the larger size.

Having so much raw material to work with is something pretty special. It might be good to just keep putting Cerebus out in different formats.

- Reginald P.

Paul Slade said...

The trick is to find a format which intrigues new readers enough to want to investigate Cerebus further, but doesn't give away the whole farm in the process. That's easier said than done, as anyone who used to have a job on a newspaper can tell you.

Measuring success solely by the number of followers you attract on Twitter, or by something as abstract as awareness is meaningless. What counts is converting that awareness into cash sales.

Ultimately, the point must be to get more people spending actual money on the books and the official downloads - or else, how is Dave going to get the money he needs to get the restoration project completed and TSDOAR done?

Sandeep Atwal said...

Awesome! Thanks for the's all a work in progress....Thanks again!

Galvy said...

Sandeep, your blinking is really distracting. Good update though!

Tony Dunlop said...

Speaking of letters, how about "Daily Dose of Mike Bannon" on Tweeter (or whatever the hell)?

Anonymous said...

Okay, another idea: regrouping material from Cerebus by theme. I got this idea from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Single Shots.

So, you could for instance take a sampling of pages all involving Astoria throughout the series and organize those together. Call it an "Astoria sampler". This idea might work really well for Lord Julius, because he is always firing off one-liners. A "Jaka sampler" would work. These could highlight the changes in the characters over the series.

- Reginald P.

Eddie said...

I think Reginald's idea might work really well on Pinterest ("Seduction of the Pinterest?"), especially with Jaka. Also maybe with Astoria and Cirin's dual writings on subjects as seen through Kevillism and Cirinism, but I'm not 100% sure it would be the correct place for that kind of stuff.

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

I love the new Cerebus Tumblr. Great idea! But how about offering a free pdf of Cerebus Number Zero to new readers(containing Exodus #51, Square One #112/113, Like-A-Looks #137/138)? As recently endorsed by Page 45's Stephen Holland on Twitter, that issue was a great way to hook new readers.

iestyn said...

I like the idea of having the whole work available to view one panel at a time.

No longer the 6,000 page comic book, now the 20,000 panel web comic.

What about sending out free digital copies to reviewers for their opinions - there are definitely people who would do this. I'd think someone like Jog and maybe Zainab Akhtar (comic & cola) would be interesting to give their opinion. Particularly Zainab Akhtar - a woman who is a Muslim.

You could have a Cerebus jokes tumblr and and a cerebus battles?

Maybe even Cerebus theology and philosophy quotes? Like those self-help quotes that spread around everywhere?


iestyn said...

Another thought - have you seen the tumblr sites where they have blown up images from photos etc.

Maybe a Cerebus cross-hatch site?

Jeff Seiler seilerjeff said...

Oh, for Cerebus-cross-hatch-sites, see Gerz Blog!

I do think that a free Cerebus reprint book on FCMD would be a good idea...It's been done before, to limited success, but limited success is still success.

Runton, with "Owly", uses it to a great extent every year, and he is, by all accounts, doing quite well...

(Heckuva a nice guy, by the way. He and I once had a conversation at SPACE, next to a booth selling Gothic Vampire Comics, and he and I still had a *nice* conversation. Hi, Andy!")

Sandeep Atwal said...

Great ideas! Free PDF is a very good idea. Also, I just talked to Dave about changing the Tumblr site so it's one issue a week instead of a page a day...including letters and the other back-of-the-issue stuff!