Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Cerebus-Ending Crisis: Can We Keep Going? - Part 9

A Portfolio of 10 Signed & Numbered Prints with Exclusive Commentary by Dave Sim
Raising Funds For The Restoration & Preservation Of The World's Longest Graphic Novel 



More responses to the survey question "Do you have any suggestions for future Kickstarter campaigns?":
Robert R Van Nuys C:
Digital or print collection of all the CEREBUS ARCHIVE comic books. Thank you!

Nolan R Los Angeles CA:
A digital collection of CEREBUS ARCHIVE comicbook (all the Dave pre-Cerebus stuff)

I'm still wrestling with how to treat the CEREBUS ARCHIVE comic books. It seems to me that there are three problems: 1) the people who weren't able to order the last few issues before ComiXpress went out of business and, consequently, want to get copies of those individual comic books 2) the people who are interested, but came late and want a trade paperback collecting all of the material and 3) people who are interested in the material but aren't going to be willing to pay a premium price for individual comic books or a trade paperback but would be happy with a digital version so they can at least SEE the pre-history of CEREBUS.

I suspect that the three solutions are 1) individual comic books through the KA-BLAM print-on-demand comics site and 2) a trade paperback collection through the KA BLAM print-on-demand comics site and 3) a digital version at

The problem is preparation time. If we were guaranteed that there would be a substantial revenue stream then we could justify investing in the prep time getting all of the material ready as a TOP priority. The track record wasn't good (as in, miserable) with ComiXpress so that puts this one on the "back burner". Only so many hours in the day, only so many days in the week.

TOP priority goes to things that will generate immediate, large cash returns to feed the insatiable maw of the CEREBUS scanning, restoration and preservation work.

Mikael S Stockholm:
Posters with some of the covers would be nice.

Hi, Mikael! Posters in terms of "bigger than 11x17" and "we print them and ship them to you" are out of the question because of the EXTREMELY SMALL VOLUMES we're dealing with. We attempted to deal with the problem with THE CEREBUS OVERSIZED PROJECT which allows CEREBUS fans to download high-rez oversized images and get their own posters done -- as big as you want!

Some people liked it, but it pretty much flatlined after the first week or so. Which, again, moves it out of the TOP priority category and (in this case) to "no incentive to revisit it": it's just more trouble than it's worth.

There are SOME covers available there so I hope you can find at least one that you want and get a poster of it printed, Mikael!

Had the project been successful we could have added to it, but, as I say, it flatlined.

As long as everything is kept to the 11x17 size and every Kickstarter package is the same, we can turn enough of a profit to keep the doors open and the lights on. Even keeping the structure "bare bones" simple, as we did this time, the $30,000 pledged drops to $27,000 after Amazon takes their cut and out of that we have roughly $10,000 in shipping and printing costs and $2,000 in labour costs. So, if we can do one of them every three months that means revenue of $5,000 a month. That's GOOD MONEY for an individual person but not-so-good for a business. A business "gross" always looks good. It's when you compare it to the "net" that you realize almost all business revenues come in and go right back out in expenses.

We're going to stay at "bare bones" until we make sure that we can hit the "three months" mark and that as many of our Pledge Partners can afford to keep up. Both open questions right now. But, as you'll see, a cover Bonus Print is a tentative option somewhere out in the future.




Anonymous said...


Off topic (when am I not) But...Is the Windsor Newton Series seven sable brush the brush being used on SDOAR? If so, is it made of actual Sable hair, or Kolinsky sable? I'm thinking about buying one, to see how I do with it, but I'm not sure I'm looking at the correct brush.

Also, any thoughts on caring for the sable brush?

Thanks for any feedback!
-Benjamin Hobbs

Tim P said...

I'd love to get the Archive comics and GN collection

JLH said...

I own all of the issues of Cerebus Archive (the comic book), and I'd be interested in getting a collection of it. If it sold well enough, I'd love to see it continued; the back matter in the High Society digital files showed just how fascinating the Cerebus years we didn't get to see were going to be (not that the pre-Cerebus years weren't). Of course, it probably wouldn't sell well enough to ever justify being revived (if there is even a threshold for such a thing to occur), but just get the material back in availability somehow, I'd support it.

Shame about the Oversized Project. I checked it the other day to see if there were any more phonebook covers available I could make a wallpaper for my desktop with, and was disappointed to discover there'd been no update since it began. If you don't resume the Bonus Prints, it'd be nice to get them uploaded on there someday. I totally missed out on all of them (and I really, really wanted a print of the Mr C-Minus one!)

Here's a question I've had for some time: Dave, what was the last thing you drew before your wrist grew too unbearable to use artistically? I presume it was a SDoAR page.

Travis Pelkie said...

I thought Dave's wrist went around the time he was drawing those pictures for the Hollywood people. Which seems to me a sign....

I would love the Cerebus Archives comic collected somehow, either individual issues or a book, but I understand that's something that's on your back burner. Just note, I am interested.

I wonder if part of the reason the Oversized Project flattened out was because it seemed like (from my perspective) that you guys put it together, made a big deal out of building up to it, and then after it got released, you rarely if ever mentioned it again, having moved on to other things. Unfortunately in this day and age you've got to keep beating that drum and can't let people forget "hey, we've got this thing too". However, I can certainly understand that you've got so many balls in the air you can't spend too much time on any one in particular, especially if it doesn't immediately pay off.

That said, I think that's probably your biggest problem (or "problem"): you and Ger were so prolific, you have so much stuff to keep in print and sell. And then there's all the other stuff that we mega fans want, like the abovementioned stuff.

You're kind of being punished for being too good at your job, methinks ;)

And then there's the new stuff!

Anyway, click on my name here, and you'll see my review (finally!) of Cerebus in Hell? 0. Hope all y'all (see, I learned something!) check it out!

Anonymous said...

I'd buy a download collection or Collect Cerebus Archive book. I'm less interested in having individual issues.
-Benjamin Hobbs

Jeff Seiler said...

A *bit* Bosch, Travis? That's like saying that Dave is a *bit* religious or that I'm a *bit* pedantic when it comes to long, drawn-out arguments with certain other pedants here at AMOC.

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

(Now, just you watch...someone's gonna accuse me of being a prevert, because they don't know the difference between pedantry and pedophilia...)

Craig Johnson said...

Having just switched to pretty much doing all my comics reading via Comixology, is there any way to buy the phone books from cerebusdownloads and converting the files across that anyone is aware of? Ideally they could all be available there - actually each individual issue with all the back material could be sold via comixology too, just a matter of scanning each issue and uploading to's that easy right? Five issues of Cerebus per month, sixty per year, a five year project to have the whole lot available digitally....oh man. I'd pay to see that.


Dave Sim said...

Benjamin - the Winsor-Newton is actual sable. They were banned in North America which is when I asked people to see if they could find them for me. I got about two dozen in, having no idea that I'd never need them. I'll send you a couple as thanks for being in the CIH? PAINT DEPT.

Jesse Lee H. - it was an SDOAR page. At the time, page 186, oddly enough. One of the reasons it doesn't bother me to not be able to draw is that the last eight or ten pages I did were the best work I've ever done (in my opinion and in this area, that's kind of central).

Travis - Lots of metaphysical possibilities as to what was "behind" the wrist going out of commission. I've come to think that it had a lot to do with how much still needed to be done in preserving CEREBUS and everything related to it. It's more that I punished myself by doing 6,000 pages not realizing that there would be an "End of Life" starting bell: "You have barely enough time to get everything done so you can't take the time you need to do photorealism pages past HERE." Obviously, it didn't come as a surprise to God. It makes for some very full days.

Dave Sim said...

Tim P and Benjamin - I think we will get to a point where we do a COLLECTED CEREBUS ARCHIVE and individual issues in association with KA-BLAM or another POD outfit. If only so we can say that they are available and then not have to revisit the question.

But, yes, the watchword right now is "What will generate the most revenue?" That's what we do FIRST. Then we can look at other possibilities.

Craig Johnson - I signed with Comixology three or four years ago and didn't hear a word from them -- or the other three digital comics outfits I signed with -- until sometime last year when I found an old Fed Ex shipping blank they had sent me with a name and a phone number on it. So I left a message saying "Hi my name's Dave Sim. I signed with you guys a few years ago. Do you owe me any money?" I got a phone message back I think three months later that they owed me $85 or something.

Not hearing from them, them taking three months to answer a phone message and the $85 told me that CEREBUS and Comixology were not a good "fit".

Dave Sim said...

Travis! Thanks for the review! Sandeep and I both appreciate it!

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Benjamin H.: Dave is not entirely correct when he says that the sable brushes are banned. What happened is that a specific "crop" of sable didn't have the proper paperwork for North American distribution, and was not allowed to be sold. You can buy them again now.

-- Damian

Carson Grubaugh said...

Yeah, I order and have students order those brushes all the time.

Dave Sim said...

Damian and Carson! Right you are. One of those Internet misinformation things that sable brushes had been banned because they were animal fur.

Carson - What's the track record these days on the Series 7 #2 brushes? I used to have to have a good four or five "on the go" before I'd find that One Magic Brush that could do ANY Brush Line. It was always worth looking for and finding and then would be good for months if not years.

Carson Grubaugh said...


I have two brushes. I lost a third, really good one, somewhere in all of my moving around.

Of the two I really only use one of them, but as far as i can tell they are equivalent in terms of doing the Nightingale lines. Honestly, either I don't understand how teeny-tiny you are getting with yours, or I have a magic brush, because the tiny lines have never been an issue for me. I think it is easier to get a tiny line with the bush than with a 102 nib. The only problem with the brush is the steadiness of my hand when I have to drag a long line with the brush. The pens make it easier to steady my hand over the course of a long line pull.

I have a ton of trouble with the rectangular shapes that you and Raymond get with those same brushes. Mine either have rounded end points that I have to go back and square off or the bristles flay out and make stray marks. That flay-out also kills my brush for the fine lines. That is why I kept asking about using a flat brush when I was doing the tryout and tracing the Raymond images. Those rectangular stokes were driving me nuts and he uses them all over the place. I was convinced he went back in with a flat brush at the end of his inking session and added all of those in. When I read SDOAR I got a good laugh out of how integral those marks were for you as well and figured, "Well, at least Dave will know I am obsessing about the same kinds of things in this art that he is."

Long answer short. I may not actually understand what a really good Series 7 #2 can do since I have never had an easy time getting both the Nightingale lines and the rectangular marks out of the same brush.

Anonymous said...

Dave: If you don't mind parting with a couple of the Sable brushes, I would gladly accept a couple. Much appreciated.

Carson and Damian: Would either of you happen to have a link to where the brushes are currently available? Thanks!

-Benjamin Hobbs

Carson Grubaugh said...


You can get them pretty much anywhere online, including Amazon. Some art-store sources would be Dick Blick, Jerry's Artarama and Utrecht.

Anonymous said...

When I look on Blick, this is what I'm finding:

It's made from kolinsky sable, not actual sable. Is this what you're referring to? Or am I searching poorly? ( A definite possibility.)

Benjamin Hobbs

Carson Grubaugh said...


Those are what I am using. Maybe Dave is right and you can't get sable sable brushes any more? I am pretty sure it is the same thing. it is all real hair from the tail of an animal. That is for sure.

Anonymous said...

From what I can see it's the hair of a Kolinsky, not a sable. Both are small animals, and I'm assuming have similar hair. Thanks for the confirmation. That's what I want then.
-Benjamin Hobbs