Monday, 28 November 2016

The Cerebus-Ending Crisis: Can We Keep Going? - Part 12

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?".

Erik B J Honolulu HI:
I really liked the option of additional prints. I would like to know if adding the option to purchase whichever book is being reprinted is possible.

Hi, Erik! I'm afraid not. At least for the foreseeable future, Aardvark-Vanaheim isn't in the business of selling CEREBUS trades directly to fans. 1) It's just too labour-intensive and costly for the $$ return (by the time that we charge you what it costs to package a book and mail it to you, the cost is prohibitive compared with you going to your LCS and asking them to order you a copy); 2) it would require expanding the warehousing side of the business (our storage costs TRIPLED when the warehouse in Leamington closed and we moved the books up here. It's taken a whole year to get the storage costs down to DOUBLE what they were in 2015).

It also runs afoul of the "bare bones" approach. It's taken six Kickstarters to get to the core of How To Do This, but a central element is: whatever we offer has to fit in the shipping box designed to hold One Portfolio. The shipping box is the primary "given". A book won't fit in there with the One Portfolio, therefore it isn't "doable".

Wish I had better news for you!

John O Austin TX:
Writer notes? Include a paragraph or two about the panel/art that only KS backers will get?

I intended to do NOTES about the writing, John, but, the way the NOTES have evolved on the CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios I know what it is I have to talk about as soon as I look at one of the pages. Sometimes it's about the writing. Sometimes it's about what was going on at the time (the CHURCH & STATE II Notes HAD to be about the stay at the Gainesville Hilton), sometimes it's about how I told the story. Sometimes it's about Gerhard's backgrounds. I don't know until I get there and then that's what it consists of. If I committed to "writer notes" and then looked at the page and had nothing to say about the writing of it...

…there's too much "sitting and staring" associated with the NOTES as it is as I get "sucked back" to whatever year it was! Thanks for the suggestion, though.
Eric B Muncie IN:
I really liked the access to the notebooks.

Glad to hear it, Eric! More on the way, this time (as you can see!)
a reprint of THE ANIMATED CEREBUS Portfolio & diamondback cards.

Anthony K Welland ON:
Reprint the Diamondback Card set

Carl H Mendon MA:
Make the unsigned bookplates available

Jay O Boise ID:
The Spawn print
Having lost $16,000 on THE ANIMATED CEREBUS Portfolio back in the early 1980s (when you could still buy most of a house for that much money), I'm really gun-shy about going anywhere near it in terms of printing. There is a restored version of it in digital form that Lou Copeland, my production guy on JUDENHASS, did. 45 plates is just way too many plates to deal with comfortably in pretty much any form.

We do have some Diamondback decks available. We tried incorporating them into Kickstarter, but they were just too small to ship with the CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolio without getting damaged (likewise the unsigned bookplates, Carl, and the SPAWN Print, Jay). I keep trying to think of a way around that: like putting them in a plastic bag and then taping the bag shut and taping the bag to the bag holding the Portfolio. But, there you get into "labour intensive" again as well as the unlikelihood that everyone is going to want a Diamondback deck as part of their Pledge. Also, removing the tape from the plastic bag holding the Portfolio is apt to make the plastic bag "pucker" which you'll then have to live with. I don't think anyone would want that.

I'm definitely open to anyone's brainstorm on how to get around the problem of small items rattling around loose in the mailer.




Steve said...

And while it wouldn't benefit the Archive any, for fans looking to buy Diamondback sets, Animated Cerebus, and the Spawn print, I'd as always recommend eBay. All of these are currently available there, and get listed by various sellers rather regularly.


Barry Deutsch said...

What's never available on Ebay (at least, not when I look) is "The First Fifth." Oh, well.

Barry Deutsch said...

I have a suggestion for something that could perhaps be added to a kickstarter someday, perhaps as a stretch goal: A digital collection of the "inbetween" issues (issue 51, and issue 112/113) that aren't reprinted in the paperbacks.

I used to own both of those, but they were lost in some move or other. It would be nice to be able to read them.

However, I realize including them in a kickstarter may complicate the kickstarter beyond what the effort is worth.

Dave Sim said...

Steve - Yes, definitely you want to check eBay for anything CEREBUS-related. Even the rarest items still turn up there EVENTUALLY. Of course, the more rare the item, the more competition you're going to face "winning" it. But, definitely the SPAWN print and ANIMATED CEREBUS portfolio are at the opposite end of rare for most CEREBUS collectors.

Barry Deutsch I - THE FIRST FIFTH is a possibility. We've got a fairly extensive inventory of the unsigned FIRST FIFTH prints (as well as a few of the #'d out of 30 hand-coloured versions that Gerhard did back in 1983 which I consider part of the permanent Archive). I don't think it would be legitimate to sign and number them -- since that's what the people who bought one of the #'d out of 100 edition were paying for. But maybe signing and personalizing them as a Big Ticket Item.

Barry Deutsch II - Have we got that covered with CEREBUS ZERO? Or, put another way, would that BE covered if we did a POD CEREBUS ZERO? Having them in Kickstarter as a digital reward certainly works well on this end: no overhead. I always find myself caught out in No Man's Land on these things. It SOUNDS to me to be in the same category as the CEREBUS ARCHIVE issues: for some people, they want individual comic books to finish a collection. For other people they just want to own them in any form where they can read them. Other people want a complete collected version.

It's definitely worth considering.

Barry Deutsch said...

Oh, I forgot Cerebus Zero! Yes, for me, that covers things - I just want to be able to read them. (Also, fwiw, I see that Cerebus Zero is available on Ebay).

I don't know that I'd pay "Big Ticket" for a signed personalized FIRST FIFTH - the portfolios themselves already stretch to the limits of what I can afford. But I'd pay "small ticket" (i.e., similar to the cost of the bonus prints) for unsigned prints as an add-on. But obviously, if there are people who'd pay more money for the "Big Ticket" version, then I think that's the version you should do.

Michael A Battaglia said...

I am shocked to hear there are Diamondback decks just sitting in storage at AV. Failing kickstarter, is there a way that one can purchase a deck?

Dave Sim said...

Michael - I'm afraid that working 12 hours a day 6 days a week is pretty much my upper limit. And, as I've explained at length in any number of posts, it really doesn't make sense for us to do individual mail order. I'm afraid that I've had to trade my "mail-answering" time -- wherein I would probably have sent you a free Diamondback deck -- for putting in an hour or so a day here at AMOC trying it is that can be considered beneficial for an intellectual property by being online.

Which isn't working out.

However, for the time being, I will persevere.

Glen said...

One of my memories of reading Cerebus was the smell of the ink and paper as I flipped through the pages. It was such a unique and wonderful smell.
Marvel and DC had their own scent too but this was different.

If it's possible offer THAT as a reward for the next Kickstarter campaign.

Michael A Battaglia said...

@ Glen: Ha! Most whimsical kickstarter request yet. Totally impractical/impossible but that's whimsy for you.
I know exactly the smell you're talking about.

You just brought me back to 1982, being thirteen years old and reading an issue of Cerebus for the first time.

mike r said...

I was those kids smelling the latest issue of Cerebus in the comic book store. The smell was better than pot. Lol. My wife thinks old comic books smell like basements, but she definitely thinks Cerebus comics smell totally different.

Dave should really consider a "scratch and sniff" bonus print for a future Kickstarter Campaign.

Jeff Seiler said...

How 'bout a "scratch 'n' sniff" print of Cerebus scratching his crotch and sniffing his fingers since, you know, Cerebus was all the time doing that in the comic.

You know, just to mix things up a bit...

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Cerebus also belched a lot -- maybe a scratch 'n' sniff issue with roast yak and apricot brandy? And I'm not even gonna touch Jaka ('cause, y'know, she'd slap my face).

-- Damian

Dave Sim said...

I'm pretty sure that the smell of CEREBUS could be defined as "Canadian web offset printer". That is, because Canadian printers source their ink and paper from different sources than do American printers, Canadian printers smell different. A good way to test it would be to go anywhere in Canada where they still print Canadian newspapers (i.e. web offset newsprint with black ink) and have a good hard sniff.

Good luck talking your way in. Anyone have a good cover story?

mike r - Your wife is right. That "old comics smell" is actually spores growing in the wood pulp: dry rot. I didn't realize that until I smelled my "cousin's" Monopoly money a few months after it had gotten drenched in a summer downpour. Hey! It's that old comics smell!

We're a seriously depraved bunch.

Jim Sheridan said...

My favorite local comic book store (the aptly named Cave Comics) just moved from its original old dilapidated cabin to a newly constructed building.

The old one had creaky aged New England wooden floors, box upon box of back issues, a number of bargain bins, and a few elderly hound dogs who lived under the cash register. The new building's interior gleams with polish and plastic and bright lights and endless display racks showing the vibrant covers of shiny new issues.

My complaint was that it has no smell. Good comic book stores do have that slightly musty funk that we are all discussing. I mentioned that to one of the employees, who was nonplussed.

He snapped, "Do you want me to take a dump in the corner?!" I told him that that would be a good first step, but that they should also bring back the back issue bargain bin.

Jim Sheridan said...

While I'm at it, I will add that I finally received the Cerebus Cover Treasury and am treasuring it indeed. I added my review to the Amazon page for that book and would encourage anyone else who has the book to add their review to that page. I can't say how much traffic that specific gets, or how the number of reviews affects the Amazon algorithms, but I say take the five minutes to post a review there. It can't hurt.

("I'll gamble a stamp!" - the old Charles Atlas ad)

Dave Sim said...

Thanks, Jim! Hey, it couldn't hurt, right?