Monday, 3 October 2016

On Sale 7 Years Ago: Cerebus Archive #4

Cerebus Archive #4 (October 2009)
Art by Dave Sim


Bill Ritter said...

Now this is just mean for those of us who didn't get the POD and now cannot get these issues.

Reprint! Reprint! Collected edition!

Jeff Seiler said...

What he said!

Anonymous said...

Are there no plans to find another Print on Demand company to again make these available? Anything I can do to help the cause (gather information about the best-rated POD companies, etc.)?

--Claude Flowers

Travis Pelkie said...

Also, over at CBR:

Dave Sim said...

Hi Bill - I don't have any control over the content of AMOC so the "cruelty" is all Tim's I'm afraid. :)

Jeff & Claude - The experience with ComiXpress was that revenues fluctuated between $65 and $90 a month on glamourpuss and CEREBUS ARCHIVE together: ALL of the issues and I have no reason to believe that the situation would be any better with ANY POD outfit. The material would have to be remastered and that means paying Sean-sized rates for remastering, as well as having to dig around and find the original artwork and get Sandeep to scan it, answering faxes from Sean, etc. etc.. If I gave Sean and Sandeep ALL of the money that comes in, that would pay for, probably, half of issue #1. So what happens? "When is #2 coming out?".

Let's say we don't remaster them, just dump them on a POD site, all 16 issues of CEREBUS ARCHIVE. What happens? "So when are you going to finish CEREBUS ARCHIVE?". I mean, it stops right when I've just met Deni. If there had been sufficient demand, I could -- and would -- have kept going. That's why I reconfigured CEREBUS ARCHIVE as the series of portfolios with commentaries. "Okay, there aren't enough CEREBUS fans interested in the PRE-history of CEREBUS" -- and many of them were EXTREMELY vocal about not buying it until I got to CEREBUS No.1.

"So, I thought, we'll skip that and go straight to the first 10 pages of CEREBUS in the Cerebus Archive." I couldn't CREATE an audience for CEREBUS ARCHIVE. POD was ALREADY the extreme fallback position when there weren't enough Diamond orders to keep soliciting for it.

I like to keep CEREBUS fans happy, but this is a lot like George and Dan's Cerebus figure. There just isn't enough money in it to make devoting time to it sensible when A-V is burning through tens of thousands of dollars a month on scanning, remastering and keeping the trade paperbacks in print.

Dave Sim said...

Claude - Yes, if you want to research it, by all means. Thank you! Post your research here at AMOC. But this would be strictly "hands off" on my part. MY obligation (as I see it) is to work on SDOAR and supervise a sufficient number of projects that can generate enough revenue to keep this whole Gargantuan Restoration & Publishing Juggernaut lurching forward fitfully. We are maxed out in that department.

There would be no, "I know I said I wouldn't bother you with this, but a few quick questions about CEREBUS ARCHIVE..."

Nor would it be "Okay, here's a price list from a POD company. Now, Dave, DO A COLLECTED VERSION."

Review the 7/6/16 posting about hardcovers. A lot the same questions would apply. Answer all of them and I'll take a look at someone else's CEREBUS ARCHIVE REPRINT COLLECTION and say "yes" or "no".

Dave Sim said...

Travis - That was an experiment. Since we've cracked the 1,200 mark in signatures on the petition, I thought, I'll do an interview with this guy from CBR. Even though it constitutes "going out in public". It went very well from the first draft that I saw (and corrected with him on the phone). Maybe not ALL comics journalism is...COMICS JOURNALism...if you catch my drift. :)

The Studio Comix folks -- who have been doing yeomen -- and yeowomen (Hi Tiara!) service on the petition at every convention they go to (30+ a year) tell me that they're behind on getting the signatures and e-mail addresses typed into the online petition and that we're actually very close to the 2,000 signatures.

Keep watching the "count" over to your right there!

Barry Deutsch said...

A question - could they be made available as pdf files for download? Might be a good bonus for a future Cerebus Archive kickstarter. But I don't know how much work that would require; if the files already exist then making a pdf could be fairly easy, but if they'd need to be recreated then it's probably not worth the effort.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


The files SHOULD exist, since Cerebus Archive was POD, unless Dave didn't save a copy, or threw his copy out.

That's why I'm a little confused about Dave's comment about remastering CA.

Wait, the files were in Sandeep's apartment, weren't they?

Matt Dow

Michael Grabowski said...

For my money, the problem with ComiXpress was that they took my money right away, charged a lot for shipping, but would take as much as two months to send me the comic while being completely unable to provide me with an estimate of when I could expect to get it. While I wasn't expecting overnight service, I was expecting reasonable service-at the very least a tentative print/mail date--and they didn't provide that, in my view.

Travis Pelkie said...

To second what Barry said, if the files are available to create as PDFs, I would definitely pay extra for them during a Kickstarter/Archive. The reason I didn't get past the 3(?) issues that Diamond offered was that it was an extra hassle to order special through ComiXpress. But if it's an add-on to a portfolio, that's simple on my end. I suspect I'm not alone in being a bit of a stubborn luddite and not wanting to order POD through ComiXpress at the time -- plus, iirc, shipping would have been quite high -- I would have had to get several issues together to make it worth my money to order that stuff special, even though I WANTED that stuff.

So yeah, if it's something on your end that wouldn't be too hard to transfer to PDF from what you had before, I'd love that stuff.

Anonymous said...


I think this may have been covered above, but would a re-release of the Cerebus Archive comic HAVE to be re-mastered? Assuming that the original digital files that were sent to ComiXpress don't exist any more (I'm unclear as to if they do or not from the above comments), couldn't the printed issues just be scanned in, without re-mastering so those who want a copy could have a reading/reference copy? (Assuming that someone has all the issues. I know I only have the ones that were distributed to comic stores.) It could exist and be distributed in the same manner as the note books from CAN5.

Benjamin Hobbs

Anonymous said...

Actually, rather then leaving it at "someone should do that," I'd be happy to scan the existing material and compile it into a PDF that could be used as a reward for a future kickstarter, if the issues I'm missing could be provided to scan. (Assuming that offering a scan from the printed materials is something you'd be interested in.)

-Benjamin Hobbs

Dave Sim said...

I guess the central question for me -- where this started from -- is: Is there a market for this that would warrant getting all of the files together and offering them as a collected book?

Answer: No.

Ancillary question: is there a market for this that would warrant offering them through a POD company? My EXPERIENCE with POD is that it brings in $60 a month and, yes, it takes them months to actually print and ship the material which means, it's not worth the time and energy.

Answer: No.

Now the question is: is it worth collecting all of the files and offering them as a digital incentive on one of the Kickstarters. Let's say that I say, "Okay".

Even if it was "Oh, HERE'S all the digital files!!"...

[And that never happens. Issue 3 is missing. Or page 5 of issue 3 is missing. Or pages 8 and 12 have some kind of glitch on them. Now, I have to stop work and start ploughing through all of the artwork looking for the missing pages or recreating the missing pages. Inside of an hour, I'm already losing money (i.e. work time) on the offhand possibility that enough people are going to want this to warrant putting ANY time in on it.]

...there is no point in any given day when Sandeep and I are sitting around here going -- say, I'm bored. Nothing to do. Why don't I just go rooting through all the CEREBUS ARCHIVE material on my laptop, reading all 400 pages to make sure ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is missing and figuring out what needs to be remastered that was scanned from printed copies. You know, just for something to do. 400 pages of comics is 400 pages of problems.

The COLLECTED LETTERS [BY YEAR] are a different category. It's a word document. Are there missing letters? Could be. But how would you know? It still takes Sandeep a good half-day or full day to prep a year's worth of letters. And it's just typewritten letters. It isn't comic art mixed with commentaries like the CEREBUS ARCHIVE comic book.

Dave Sim said...

Whoever would put it together, it's still going to require giving Sandeep my laptop and him downloading everything that's on there. And then coming to me and saying -- after he's invested a few hours in going through everything -- "Pages 8 to 12 of issue 3 are missing." At which point I'm expected to do something about it. Okay, where are the CA issues in the Archive? Okay, here they are. Where's #3? Okay, pull it out, debag and deboard it. What pages did you say? "8 to 12". 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8...Okay it's "name of story". Where's the original artwork for "name of story". Go to the art storage place. Not this envelope, not this envelope, not this envelope. Okay, this one. "Okay, here's the artwork. Scan it and send it to Sean and ask him to remaster it."

Dave Sim said...

I'm not saying, No, we won't do it.

What I am saying is that ANY project like this is going to come back to me and someone saying "This is missing." And you can't charge people for missing material or substandard material.

And "THE COMPLETE Anything" if it involves hundreds of pages -- which this does -- is going to involve LOTS of hours.

Tens of thousands of dollars are evaporating -- and will continue to evaporate for years to come -- even as they arrive as we continue the Impossible Climb Up The Comic-Book Mount Everest of restoring CEREBUS, so I have to think of things that I have confidence are going to bring in tens of thousands of dollars and that's where I -- and Sandeep -- have to put our time in. THE COMPLETE CEREBUS ARCHIVE COMIC BOOK does not, it seems to me, have that potential.

So, it's very, very, very low on my list of priorities.