Sunday, 30 October 2016

Everyone Loves Cats, Right?

Jonathan O'Briant via Twitter: "Bobby loves the comics."

(from the inside-backcover, Church & State Vol 1, 1987)
Dave Sim was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1956 and has lived in Kitchener, Ontario since 1958. He lives in a penthouse apartment so he can see the lights better and is probably the only person to ever send their cat to the Humane Society in a cab.


Jeff Seiler said...

That's a cute little pussy next to Guys and the book about sapphic yearning.

Dave Sim said...

Hi Jeff! My instructions to SeanR this morning, regarding your V1 proofreading corrections and "corrections" (and thank you again for agreeing to do that):

"Jeff 'overdoes' [Jeff: note the quotation marks] it, so always assess on the basis of "Is this NECESSARY? i.e. Does it improve the readability of the book or is it just Jeff wanting to make the book 100% Jeff-Seiler-compatible?"

That's my best answer to your phone message re: my comment re: your proofreading. I think if you look at a lot of your corrections on the CEREBUS IN HELL? strips, they're not necessary. The cover gag on No.1 being a good example. Does this absolutely need a comma to be read properly or will this still be read properly without the comma? If the latter (and I think it is the latter) then it's a better idea to just leave it alone.

Actual typos: it's spelled wrong CHECK! Not a typo: alternate spelling NOT CHECK! Punctuation should be CAN I LET THIS GO? If it is possible to LET IT GO without injuring the readability, then let it go.

And remember that you are proofreading someone else's idea of what's funny and a lot of "FUNNY" is phraseology. Sandeep or I might be wrong both in composition or grammar or punctuation, but right in that we think it's funnier that way. When I'm proofreading Sandeep, I always have that uppermost in my mind. HE thinks it's funny this way and it's HIS. If it was mine, I'd phrase it a little differently, but it isn't mine, it's HIS.

You also don't want to RETHINK funny because you can lose the gag in doing so. Your first instinct is usually the best and that runs contrary to your "You can always says 'No'". It's true, I can always say No, but it's also true that if I rethink the gag from your perspective I can lose it or bruise it without meaning to. Whereas if you stick to the completely NECESSARY side of the dividing line, that isn't going to often.

Hope that clears that up.

Jeff Seiler said...

Yeah, but what about the P's?

Jeff Seiler said...

As embarassed as I am, I stand (well, sit) corrected, sir. I think it might be a good idea for me to invest in a British OED. Abridged.

As to "100% Jeff-Seiler-compatible", that is never my intention. As you may recall, you wrote me that the F. Stop language in Going Home and I would not be compatible, but you still agreed to almost half of my suggestions. I think you said it was eleven. I haven't seen it yet.

I always strive for 100% compatibility with the English language and its usage.


I'm American, you're Canadian, and you have stated that you have utilized British usage. They do differ. And, as you say, there is the original humourous "voice" that also has to be factored into the equation.

If you want me to knock it off, entirely, I will.

But, if you want me to continue moving forward, then I will make every attempt to be more judicious about my choices and less punctilious.

I think it was Rick S., whose ears must be roasting by now, who once called me a School M'arm.

I'm actually, really, really trying to duck that label.

ChrisW said...

With regards to punctuation, I would err on the side of caution. Yes, you have to take into account all the different forms (styles?) of punctuation to ensure readability across maximum audiences, but punctuation itself adds to the flow of words in ways that spelling or, dare I say it, even grammar don't do. A basic typo won't riun the flow, but, a misplaced semicolon, or comma, can distract the reader enough to decide that hilarious joke is just worth a chuckle.

Mistakes in spelling or grammar can be fixed. In my view, there's the point being made, then the words you use to make it, and then the punctuation. This is just anecdotal, but I've found re-writing to be much easier when the punctuation is the structure beneath whatever point is being made. Misspelling? Fix it. Better way of making the point? Fine, build on what I've got.

Jan Hikikomori Karlsson said...

If it were me, I would be inclined to having ALL of the proof-reading notes, rather than have some pass through that should be changed.

Perhaps a method can be discussed between Dave and Jeff of highlighting the notes in accordance with Dave's categorizations? That way, Jeff can satisfy his need to proof-read fully and correctly (I get it, personally, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right) and Dave can identify the notes he believes are the more important ones while still having the "less important" notes available to him.

Just a thought.

Jeff Seiler said...

Chris and Jan--Hi! My thoughts precisely!

Dave Sim said...

Hi Jan and ChrisW - Thanks for joining the discussion! I think we're all trying to arrive at the most sensible way of going about this, but "most sensible" is going to differ from person to person. Right now, CEREBUS VOLUME ONE is in SeanR's hands, as are Jeff's corrections. I don't think there's going to be MUCH disagreement between Jeff and SeanR on what he chooses to fix and what he chooses not to "fix".

But I think the fact that SeanR brings a comics creator's sensibility to the proceedings is important since it recognizes that "comics ain't text" and that "you know it when you see it" (which is difficult to communicate to someone who doesn't do comics, but is a huge comics fan) (and difficult to discuss without sounding -- even unintentionally -- condescending).

Sean will be returning Jeff's corrections to him and -- one way or another -- we'll be getting Jeff a CEREBUS VOLUME ONE when it comes out. At which point, Jeff will have plenty of time to go through the book again and make a case -- here on AMOC -- for anything that he thinks SHOULD have been fixed and wasn't. At which point, we'll welcome everyone's input on whatever hairsplitting discussion should ensue. With Diamond stocked up with 3,000 copies of the new printing, we'll have PLENTY of time to split as many hairs as we want.

And keep it confined to specific posts and comments sections like this where it won't "bug" anyone who finds discussions of correct English usage Really Eye-Rolling Oh Come ON! stuff.

Dave Sim said...

I have divided loyalties: on the one hand, I'd LIKE everything fixed with this edition: on the other hand, while this is stretching out over weeks, I'm on standby waiting to hear from Diamond that they've sold through the previous printing (we're down to 33 from the previously cited 40) and we are GO to print, while I'm having to keep the price of a new car "intact" in the bank account in order to pay MOST of the printing bill when the book's done. ALL of the printing having gone the way of all flesh a few thousand dollars ago which I'll have to be making up personally.

That is, I think the most sensible thing is to take it as a given that we won't "get" everything this time but we will get most of it -- and then we'll have time, in the interim, to "get" everything else. At least in terms of the proofreading.

It is an obsessive interest for those obsessively interested in it. Anyone who is REALLY "over the edge" about proofreading, maybe Jeff could be persuaded to scan ALL of his corrections when he gets them back and make them available to anyone who wants to go through the book themselves WITH his corrections and "Monday-morning quarterback" everything. And then post their opinions here.

Dave Sim said...

In terms of CEREBUS IN HELL?, we're gradually moving out of the "first draft" construct we've been in and into a situation where I'll be able to see my strips after they've been photoshopped by Cory F and Benjamin H but before they've been posted. 1) I give the roughs to Sandeep 2) Sandeep scans them and sends them to Cory and Benjamin 3) Cory and Benjamin "do their thang" and e-mail them back to Sandeep 4) Sandeep critiques them from a pure Photoshop angle 5) Sandeep prints them out and gives them to me and 6) I proofread and tweak them as necessary.

At which point, there won't be (I hope) TOO many corrections to be made since I have a pretty good idea of how I want a four-panel strip to read.

Dominick Grace said...

Proofing an artistic text is always a challenge. What might be inflexible rules or "rules" or even RULES for prose non-fiction won't necessarily apply. It is often very amusing to look over proof pages of a novel by, say, Faulkner, and see his increasing exasperation with the proof-reader's suggestions to restore his distinct and idiosyncratic prose to "correct" English. I can only imagine how a proof-reader might have reacted to, say, Riddley Walker or A Clockwork Orange. I can't even imagine proofing something like Joyce.... Very frequently (in my experience), a proofer's suggestions substitute fidelity to the rules for sensitivity to the voice and objectives of the author. Even with my own (non-creative) work, I have had on occasion to reject a proofer's suggested revision because saying it "that way" might be more correct (or anyway, more stylistically bland) but loses an intended nuance or secondary meaning. My rule of thumb when proofing or editing: if it doesn't impact on the clarity of the text, or isn't manifestly incorrect, let it stand. And yeah, you really have to use whatever spelling standard whoever is in charge wants used, regardless of your own usage.

Jeff Seiler said...

Well, Dave, you have given me a lot to think about, which I will, unlike what usually happens when people say that. I will.


Tomorrow, by 11 a.m., I will be in Key West, eff-ell-a, for the first of five days.

So I will return to my other obsession as soon as I am finished with the Parrothead gathering (Bacchanalia).

Fair enough, I think.

Dave Sim said...

Parrotheads of the World Unite! You have nothing to lose but your sobriety!