Sunday, 1 November 2015

Dave Sim: "The Crunch Time That Never Ends"

On 28 October Dave Sim began posting daily comments on to that day's 'A Moment Of Cerebus' post. Restricted to left-hand typing due to the on-going problems with his right-hand, Dave succinctly explains the immediate cash-enhancing importance of the current Cerebus Archive Kickstarter campaign and the impact on the Cerebus Restoration Project. Note: The images used this blog-post are available as high-quality bonus prints from the CAN4 Kickstarter for just $9 each.

Bonus Print #35: On The Stairs

28 October
Actually, it's been a lifetime career of having to do the unprecedented. Largely because there was no precedent for what I was -- and am -- doing. "Derring-do" is exaggerating it (although I appreciate the compliment). When I think of "derring-do" I think of PHYSICAL jeopardy.

Usually the greatest "danger" was financial which proved to be the case with Gerhard, in a "conventional business sense". My accountant thought I was crazy to give Gerhard 40% of the company and Gerhard leaving seemed to validate that. But ONLY in a "conventional business sense".

It meant that STRUCTURALLY he needed to be compensated for his participation no matter what he and I thought of each other, personally, by 2006. It was "bad business" on my part but "the right thing to do".

Met yesterday with the lawyer who will be putting together my Will setting the foundation for The Cerebus Trust or Cerebus Foundation. Since the intellectual property will be going into the public domain the IP lawyer will be dealing with something unprecedented as well. The lawyer, Tyler H., envisions adopting a "For the benefit of all humanity" as the raison d'etre for the Foundation. Like an "upside down class action suit". You're in whether you want to be or not.

Okay, that took thirty minutes to write left-handed. Which is why I don't post here very often.

PLEASE support Kickstarter, Patreon and We are in the middle of the "crunch time" that never ends, getting things ready for when I'm dead. It's ALL unprecedented and incredibly expensive. 

Bonus Print #34: Selling Insurance

29 October
Hi. Dave Sim here. I'm going to try to post every day through the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER FOUR Kickstarter campaign. We're really in a cash crunch of major proportions. I'm literally on the way to the bank to transfer THE LAST CASH ON HAND to cover the US$ cheque for $13,000 I've just written for the printer in Singapore. I had paid a $7,300 downpayment on 50% of the printing and made sure to keep $7,300 US in the US$ account for the final payment -- only to discover that the 50% didn't include shipping ($5,000) and a $990 bill for "paper wastage" among other things.

Net result: including the payments to Sean and Mara for the remastering and the discount to Diamond for buying the whole print run, it's looking as if there will BARELY be $6,000 profit on $42,000 revenue.

It's a very tough situation because I've had to pay for scanning of negatives and original artwork for CHURCH & STATE II with, so far, ZERO REVENUE from CHURCH & STATE I -- and none in sight for however many weeks it takes the books to get over here after I've paid for them.

Also got the bill for $1,200 for the porch post and SDS (Squirrel Defense System).

We are rapidly approaching the Doomsday Scenario from 2012.

Does anyone read these comments? Please help at Kickstarter if you can!

See you tomorrow!

Bonus Print #33: Swords Of Cerebus #4

30 October
The $7,000 US in hidden charges from the printer has definitely thrown off my mental math and I'm now being forced to calculate based on DEFICIT financing. DEFICIT in my case meaning mentally chopping huge chunks out of my remaining R"R"SPs (the second R in quotation marks since I'm pretty sure I'll be dying "in harness" whenever that happens) and a line of credit based on my life insurance.

I've temporarily shut down the restoration work until we can get a clear idea of a) when C&S I is going to arrive and b) when we can get paid for it.

Diamond money is in US$ as are Sean and Mara's payments and the printer's payments. When I thought the printing bill was $14,000, it was full speed ahead on the US$ front. At $21,000 that leaves me buying US$ with Canadian $ -- 30 cents each. I can't do that too many times.

And I need to get EVERYTHING ready for when I'm dead as soon as possible because -- even with the $14,000 carved out of it -- the two restored CHURCH & STATE volume "paydays" are the biggest foreseeable "paydays" we have. After that revenue is going to plummet because the restored books will be thinner and less popular. MOST of that money goes to Sean and Mara for restoration and Sandeep and Karen Funk for scanning.

Sandeep is coming in every day to scan CGC Dave Sim file copies for the IDW covers book and I'm spending all day prepping the book. I'm at issue 100. Again. But that's being billed to IDW, as is my STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND research. Whether I keep Aardvark-Vanaheim going when this latest round of proofs is corrected is an open question. Really, the only thing that makes sense is just slashing the R"R"SPs and the life insurance line of credit to ribbons to stay current with my "death planning" obligations.

It's a nightmarish life, having to climb the Mt. Everest of Comics OVER and OVER and OVER again, but that's just the way it is.

I'll keep going as long as I'm able to. 

Bonus Print #32: Alan "Jacob" Moore

31 October
Picking up from the conversation yesterday: Yes, Eddie, it would be GREAT if CEREBUS fans who are online could get the word out about Kickstarter. That was part of the idea with the Mt. Everest image: to explain what we're doing in the most concise way possible. Anyone should be able to cut-and-paste the dumbed down version into an e-mail and then e-mail it to ANY environment that you think might be interested in helping.

Unfortunately, I don't think that would include COMICS NEWS SITES. Bleeding Cool, yes, and I hope Rich J uses the Mt. Everest image at some point -- or, rather, MANY points -- over the next couple of decades as we continue the climb. The other sites -- unless it's 'DAVE SIM BURNED ALIVE INSIDE THE OFF-WHITE HOUSE! GRAPHIC PHOTOS OF HIS FINAL SECONDS!' (which would qualify as the "feel good" comics story of 2015, I think :) ) -- I'm not seeing it.

It seems to me that this is something that would ordinarily attract interest on Kickstarter from the general public who like to help RESTORE and PRESERVE creative works and are willing to donate $5 (or whatever) to help. It's the old "lariv" versus "viral" thing. I realize how humiliating it is to be a CEREBUS fan in 2015 and that the urge is just to "crowd in" and STARE INTENTLY at Dave Sim and whatever he's saying today. I'm just pointing out that we're definitely near the brink we came to in 2012 where this just isn't sustainable.

Dean: If I auction artwork through Heritage Auctions, it would be glamourpuss pages. If I get to the point where I'm auctioning glamourpuss pages and -- way down the line -- CEREBUS artwork, then I will have "pulled the plug" and I'll be just Dave Sim Shlub Citizen instead of Dave Sim First Cerebus Custodian. That is, I wouldn't be in contact with anyone. No restorations, no trade paperbacks being printed, no Weekly Updates, no Cerebus Archive, no Kickstarter, no Cerebus Foundation, no Off-White House. All gone.

That will be the ultimate failure. And the only bright side to that, for me (and it's really the ONLY bright future I can envision) is having ZERO responsibility for the first time since I was 20. Just package up artwork for Heritage Auctions and read books in whatever furnished room I'm living until the cheque comes in.

That's ultimately what you're going to see staring at Dave Sim intently, I think.

But, as I say, I completely understand the humiliation involved in admitting "I'm a huge CEREBUS fan and I think CEREBUS is important..." -- I certainly don't admit to being the CREATOR of CEREBUS unless forced to by circumstances (believe me, I understand your humiliation 100%) -- and trying to connect with Real World environments with the Mt. Everest image. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I'm committed to keep going as long as it's viable, which is really all I can do.

Eddie: Thanks for the $1,500 -- and thanks to everyone who has pledged. We've managed to cover the shipping costs and John's labour costs so whatever comes in from now on will be going to Sean and Mara and to pay me the $2.50 an hour I've been making since Gerhard left back in 2006.

Okay, back to the COVERS book for me. No, not much of the material made it into the book. Gerhard and I aren't top-line creators and CEREBUS isn't a top-line book. It would be unreasonable to think that IDW would do much more than the bare-bones 300 pages. They're letting me add roughly 20 pages which is nice of them. I don't think anyone will like what I choose because no one likes anything that I choose.

See you Monday. Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight.


1 comment:

Dave Kopperman said...

This might be something that's been discussed and dismissed at some point, but why not simply set up some dictation software and spare the hand all that typing? It's not a perfect solution, but I'm continually blown away by how accurate it's become (I pretty much do all of my iPhone business via dictation, including emails, messaging, and web browsing).