Friday 29 July 2016

Weekly Update #145: Behind The Scenes Of "Cerebus In Hell?"

As Aardvark-Vanaheim prepares to launch Cerebus Archive Number 5, Dave takes a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of "Cerebus In Hell?"

CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 ships 28th September 2016
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at


Paul Slade said...

How's the clean-up round the outline of each Cerebus figure done? I'm thinking of the difference between the crude outline of the cut-out Dave uses and the smoothly integrated figure which appears in the final strips. Just curious. Thanks.

Sandeep Atwal said...

Paul: Once Dave is done, he gives me a photocopy of his strip and I construct a completely digital version in InDesign. Dave's strips are basically like a blueprint I use to make the final product. I have the Doré images, word balloons, Cerebus figures as photoshop files, and I build the cartoon anew. My own strips are just done digitally from the start. And that's...How It's Made!

Paul Slade said...

Thanks, Sandeep.

Anthony Kuchar said...

Looks good! I ordered my copy from my LCS on Wednesday.

Do you ever encounter problems printing off the Doré images, what with all the small little lines? Do all the finely detailed lines get too garbled up by the reduction?

Unknown said...

Hi Anthony! No, as Sandeep says, it's really just a blueprint and he has all of the Dore images saved digitally (and, in fact, has upgraded them to the best available online as we've gone along and has pretty much memorized which ones are which). As long as he can tell from my photocopy which image I'm working with he starts with a perfectly clean digital file.

One of the first people to contact us after the launch was The Biggest Gustave Dore Expert in the world (gallery owners travel to see him in the US midwest from all over the world because of his expertise and near complete collection) who also happens to be a huge comics fan. His search engine is obviously "set" for Dore so he was jazzed when CEREBUS IN HELL? started turning up in his "feed". I talked with him on the phone for about an hour MAINLY about the reproduction. As I suspected, the earliest versions aren't the best. They're too dark. But he does have The Best Version of the Inferno (done by Dore's Sean Robinson in a manner of speaking) so we have access to that if CEREBUS IN HELL? proves to be viable. i.e. We could do full sized 11x17 artists editions further tweaked by Sean if there's a demand.

Unknown said...

I'm definitely going to commission him to do an introduction for a CEREBUS IN HELL? collection about all the various parodies of the INFERNO that have been done over the years. It may not see print while I'm alive if we don't get enough orders, but it will be in the Cerebus Archive if someone is interested in doing a collection after I'm dead.

We're in the weird No Man's Land right now, since Final Order Cut-Off was yesterday. Sandeep got an e-mail from MILL GEEK COMICS in Bothel, WA -- from Russ Bright, the Head Geek HELLO GEEKS!! -- saying they'd love to have a specialty strip done for the store. Uh. But...but...uh... the Final Order Cut-Off was...was..uh...uh.

Oh, heck. So I did one this morning. And four more non-specialty strips after that.

Sandeep's out back at Camp David cackling away to himself and InDesigning up a storm.

I'm going to head back and try to do two more.

Oliver said...

Have you considered selling the original mock-ups? What household wouldn't want a framed one on their wall?:) Even if you sell them really cheap the sheer volume of them should add up....maybe even print them and post them online as is (you know how how hard it would be to duplicate that "cut out" effect in photoshop?:)). Think it might possibly give the strips a cool "edgy", not to mention charming, look...unless it would take food off Sandeep's plate in which case nevermind, but I seem to remember an earlier post stating his was too full atm.
Also, great new animated intro - excellent CGI model and rig by Dan Grant, who did several amazing models on the Cerebus film. I actually introduced him to George Gatsis as both are in Toronto and the above model, for those who don't know, is the one used for their action figure in development.

Steve said...

Dave -

My maternal grandfather had a small Dore collection (about 15 books) which included all the 'major' titles in the original elephant folios.

The books came to me when he moved in to a progressive care facility a few years before he died - but there was also a piece of original art which he believed was done by Dore, possibly for an unfinished adaptation of Wagner's Ring cycle.

(And a sister has what we believe is an original steel engraving used in one of the books, but I haven't seen it in years and don't remember much about it.)

If you're in touch with the expert again, and you think of it, please find out how I can contact him. It would be nice to know if he can authenticate the art; I also have a book (Captain Castagnette) which was limited to 200 copies which I'd like to know more about.

Thanks -


Steve said...

Dave -

There is a way for you to view the image files in the folder as preview images rather than by the file names. (That way you don't have to open each file to see what it looks like, you can see a small view of them all at the same time.)

There should be a pull down arrow towards the top right of the screen when you open the folder. Click the arrow and then click on Extra Large Icons.

Give it a try, should work -


Unknown said...

Oliver - I'm CONSIDERING selling the original mock-ups. I just don't think they would go for enough money to "front burner" them. I mean, we're really in the situation of waiting to see if #0 sells enough to get a purchase order from Diamond. 1,000 to 2,000 copies. Selling the mock-ups would require #0 being an actual hit or "hit" or Hit. 10,000 to 12,000 copies? It seems to me we're probably in a situation where it will sell considerably less than that. In which case, the whole thing collapses around CerebusDownloads -- "Trying to find NEW ways to entertain the Kickstarter supporters in between Kickstarters." -- and seeing if Diamond is interested in paying for a print run of CER TP 17. Say, a 250-page book.

But, right now, it's: can we get enough orders to print #0? If we can, are they enough to actually publish the 4-issue mini-series. We should know in a couple of weeks.

Unknown said...

Steve #1 - Leave your phone number and e-mail address on my answering machine -- 519-576-0610 -- and I'll definitely put him in touch with you.

Steve #2 - I'm REALLY careful about not learning how to do things on the computer. You can't UNlearn them and everything you learn cuts into your actual working time. I appreciate the thought, though.

Oliver said...

Dave - Finger's crossed! I for one would would love to have an original on the wall. They are awesome masterpieces of art!

Oliver said...

(...and the same goes for updated final ones too! Sandeep is doing a spectacular job on those - has a real eye along with impeccable skill.
Apples and oranges:))

ChrisW said...

Dave, I had a similar thought to Steve. There is a quick-and-easy way to set the screen to show "Extra Large Icons" so that you could see each image much better. It's not large enough so that you could focus on an individual segment, but it is large enough that you could easily recognize the image and your 'writer-self' can ask if there's anything funny to be done with this one - since you've seen the images so many times anyway - and if not, you just keep looking.

'Writer-self' knows that there's a possible idea in this particular image, but when you see it just by moving the cursor, you think 'not this one again' and then 'writer-self' responds "Well what did you think you would be seeing after you died, idiot?" Angry Cerebus asks "Did you just call Cerebus an idiot?" in the second panel, and 'writer-self' can think about the dialogue and pacing and punchline without having to open up each file individually.

"Cerebus thought there would be torture and flames and something involving bowels!"
"Then would it really be Hell?"
"It would be better than this!"
"(chuckle) Wait until he gets it."
[Silent panel]
"Could Cerebus at least have a glimpse of that worst thing he did that got him sentenced? For old times sake?"
"Sorry. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical."

Not great, ok, but the point is there are ways to save your time without learning too much about computers.

I am impressed that Dave is figuring out how to make original art out of an internet strip. Even if it's not remotely at the top of the list for things to get to, there is that much work ethic and dedication.

Travis Pelkie said...

Would it help to have those Cerebi printed out on those sticky things like what Funk did a test of (were they window decals?)? You could get a sheet of various sized Cerebi done by him, right? Hey, you might get them by Christmas!

Of 2018. Ahem. Never mind.

Steve: "here's an idea for a quick computer shortcut to save time and increase productivity, since you're already using the computer."

Dave: "I don't want to learn anything that would save time and increase productivity on the computer, because it might cut into my productivity."

I suspect this is what Damian is talking about re: Dave's logic.

By you not knowing the digital stuff, you're cutting into Sandeep's productivity, and that's cutting into your bottom line, no?

But I know I'm not going to convince you.

On a less snarky note, I am very much looking forward to Cerebus in Hell? #0, and put my order in at my shop already. I hope it sells enough for you to get the mini out, and then eventually a collection that would also put the internet only strips in print. They've all been quite amusing so far, and I'm really enjoying them. Keep up the funny work, even if you just do it as physical cut and paste!

iestyn said...

Dave's like Matisse - his final period is marked by experimenting with cut outs!!

That was some of Matisse's best and most influential work!!