Saturday, 27 February 2016

Cerebus Archive Number Four Update

Dave Sim and John Funk's successful Kickstarter campaign for Cerebus Archive Number Four to fund the ongoing Cerebus restoration work ran during October / November 2015 and raised CAN$31,640 from 250 backers. In recent comments posted on AMOC, Dave Sim addressed the delays experienced in fulfilling  the promised Kickstarter rewards.

(from AMOC Comments, 26 February & 27 February 2016)
...I've asked John Funk to suggest "financial penalties" because he keeps missing his target dates. His target date for CAN4 was February 15th and his revised date is April 18th. I'm pretty patient, but eventually patience runs out...

...On the subject of CAN4, I still haven't heard back from John. It's worth pointing out that it took MORE than six months to get CAN3 into the Pledge Partners' hands. I'm very loyal to -- and patient with -- the people that I work with. TOO loyal and TOO patient and I think that's the situation here. Sandeep and I talked about it in our weekly meeting and I think the answer is to "assign" Sandeep and Fisher to John Funk and just say, Okay, this time next week everything is going to be done. Sandeep and Fisher KNOW how to do that so, John, pick them both up at home, take them to GEPS and the three of you get busy. And then "debrief" Sandeep and Fisher: is this a hopeless situation? Or can you whip things into shape as you are with the warehouse. I can promise you this: we will know SOON (i.e. well before April 18th).

The BIGGEST problem we're facing right now is the amount of scanning that needs to be done, which was ONE kind of problem when we were looking at nine SECONDS per scan -- the original scanner purchased -- and ANOTHER kind of problem with the scanner Sean ended up needing: which is close to three MINUTES per scan.

So, we're looking to launch a fundraising effort designed by Sandeep -- while we're figuring out if the CEREBUS ARCHIVE program is salvageable (I think it is, maybe just not with John) -- in the next few weeks dedicated PRIMARILY to raising money for scanning.

As you can see with the C&S II situation, we're having to GET WAY ahead -- and STAY WAY ahead -- of the actual "revenue producing" application of what is being scanned (to the tune of $15K with C&S II). Sandeep, I think, has come up with a REALLY GOOD "low cost to the consumer" program. But, we'll find that out after we launch.

And remember, in the wise words of Steven Wright, "If at first you don't succeed... skydiving is probably not for you."


Jeff Seiler said...

Funkmeister John, we barely knew ye.

But to John's credit, the mailing packaging was, and, hopefully, will continue to be, superb. Perfect.

Travis Pelkie said...

Yeah, the mailer is great for these.

I honestly don't mind waiting. Truth be told, I hadn't even looked at the expected ship date. I know you're going to send out what you said you'll send out, eventually, and it seems to me that with Dave's wrist, he shouldn't try to sign too many things at a time anyway (although I see that's not the hold up at the moment).

One thing I see looking again is that the Collected Letters 3 (and the macro print, I think) were digital things, and to my knowledge, I haven't gotten CL3 in my email yet. Does that still need to be digitized, or is that just another thing that's backlogged?

(And I don't know exactly what's going on, but given that each kickstarter, something(s) new got added to the list of "stuff to keep track of", it's no surprise that the expected ship dates have been pushed back. Catch-22, of course -- just offering "the same thing" each time probably won't attract new people, but adding on too much creates a bigger hassle in completing pledge packages.)

Suffice to say, I know that eventually everything will ship as promised (because Dave is an upstanding guy like that), so I'm not sweating it if the ship date gets pushed back some. Ask me again in July, if I don't have it, if I feel the same way, though.

Jeff Seiler said...

Travis, thank you for saying something that needed to be said and which has gone unspoken for some time now.

At the risk of ruining my reputation as a Dave Sim bootlicker, I wish to take this opportunity (knowing that I could very well be kicked swiftly to the curb), to say that working for Dave is not ALWAYS peaches and cream.

Don't get me wrong: Whenever we talk together over the telephonic transmissions, I always enjoy our time together and he has told me, repeatedly, that he does, as well. And, you've seen, and will continue to see, the letters.

But. Dave is a deep thinker. As such, he tends to be continually revising his ideas, schemes, and plans for how to get the Cerebus Archive/Dave Sim Legacy to go forward. That's a good thing, and I try to help. God knows I've tried to help.

Therefore, he continuously lets his comrades and employees know that changes need to be made. This is, occasionally, upsetting to his employees and comrades.

Don't get me wrong: The Funkmeister has been woefully slow in fulfilling his (I'm guessing here) uncontractual obligations.

Nevertheless, Dave's exacting standards (which, I think, we ALL appreciate) can be somewhat difficult to meet at times.

You know that really good (I mean, really, REALLY good) Italian sausage lasagna that you like so much from the nice little Mom&Pop restaurant down the street and around the corner that you like so much?

DON'T ask them how it's made.

To finish these ramblings, let me reiterate what Travis said: Dave is a stand-up guy.

The Funkmeister has not delivered in the way that he signed on to do. I'm every bit as patient as Dave says he is. I figure, well, I've paid, so now I gotta wait. But the Funkmeister has dropped the ball.

But, picture this: You're holding the basketball just past the center-court line, in the other team's territory, and you look over at the coach.

It's not the end of the game; you still have minutes to go, but you're down by 10 points.

As you look over at the coach, not wanting to burn timeouts, dribbling while the ref counts off the five seconds you can stand in one place while dribbling, you see, on the sidelines, your coach pointing to his...

THREE huge whiteboards, with THREE different plays. AND you have one second to move and set up the play.

(Shoutout to March Madness fans.)

But, the point is that, while I'm being somewhat hyperbolic, the analogy pertains, to some extent, to what it's like to work with and for Mr. Sim.

Okay, back to bootlicking now.

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

Personally, I am very willing to give Funkmaster John the benefit of the doubt here. The final product and packaging on Cerebus Archive #1-3 were faultless and worth any wait to ensure they were perfect. I sincerely hope that whatever bumps exist in the current workflow can be smoothed out to everyone's satisfaction.

Glen said...

I guess I'm going to play the contrarian here.

If your going to state a February 2016 shipping date on a Cerebus Kickstater campaign the people who have contributed their money should receive their prints by then. That's fair. Your not asking for anything more than what had been promised.

What happens if the the April 2016 is not met? What then?

I think that's what Dave is alluding to here. Your fans gave you money in good faith but they don't have their Cerebus prints. That's a problem.

Anthony Kuchar said...

Just curious, how are the postcards from the last Kickstarter coming? It was estimated for Feb, but knowing the situation I'm pretty flexible about it.

Bill Ritter said...

I've done a few kickstarters in addition to Dave. I'm (relatively) content to wait beyond the announced delivery date if there is steady communication about the delay. 1x a week...and I'm accepting of "I am sorry to report, nothing got accomplished this week...however, next week my plan is to: so on so on so on".

Without knowing the business side of things...if John is getting paid, then it is his primary responsibility to get this done. If it is John's 2nd, 3rd or 10th job...those are his problems and Job #1 should not interfere with Job #10, and vice versa. If John is not getting paid, well...shame (he should be) and we're getting what we deserve...since it's not a job but a volunteer gig.

The void of status is really the (next) problem (the main problem being the void of CAN4 delivery).

Bigger picture: the void of CAN5 is a bigger's cash flow, and that is needed asap, and regularly.

I hope John is doing well, really do...he's been standup and responsive and the quality of the work is beyond reproach. But we need CAN4 wrapped and CAN5 underway.

Jake Capps said...

Dealing with John Funk has always been effortless. I hope it works out.