Saturday, 3 September 2016

"That's Comics For You"

glamourpuss #1 (April 2008)
Art by Dave Sim
Sequentially reprinting Dave Sim's letters and faxed correspondence to me, with occasional annotations from me.

This next letter comes in response, in a roundabout way, to a fax that Craig Johnson had sent to Dave about promoting glamourpuss in the early going.

14 July, 2008

Hi Jeff:

Please tell Craig I appreciate his forbearance, since baby steps are the order of the day right now. I’m a little too alert at the moment, since the interim between orders on the second issue and the third issue is getting to the "make or break" point and there's very little that I can do about it -- once a book has been launched all you can do is keep writing and drawing it and trying to keep on schedule. The idea of volunteers posting artwork at comics websites is really just a "Hail Mary" pass at this point and, unfortunately, nothing that I can monitor myself. If there were a fallback position, I could afford to be philosophical, but there isn't one.

For all I know, glamourpuss is already dead because no one likes it but they’re too polite to say so, but "not volunteering" is pointing in that direction. I don't know. 16,000 on the first issue, structurally, isn’t "escape velocity" given that the retailers are going to cut their orders in half on each subsequent issue. 16,000; 8,000; 4,000; 2,000; 1,000. You can put check marks next to one and two already. All I can do is to try to drum up interest at the consumer level and I don't think it’s possible to do that -- on the Internet or elsewhere -- but you have to at least TRY.

Oh, well. I'll know by the end of August (or October at the latest).

Anyway, maybe you could relay that as an explanation of the sense of urgency attached to this. Either things get turned around in the next three months or the outcome is pretty certain.

Imagine working at a job where you know that each month that you work there, your income is going to be cut in half, so that you pretty well know the exact point where you're going to have to quit. That's comics for you.



1 comment:

Craig Johnson said...

Blimey, name-checked in a Seiler Fax Update, my work here is done...