Saturday, 10 December 2016

Kickstarted!: Cerebus Archive Number 6

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 


Bill Ritter said...

Presumption: the "185" (vice 233, 272, etc) are individual backers.

Data that might be interesting to explore...
1) How many of the 185 previously "Seilered" and ordered multiple portfolios, but did not do so on this round?
2) How many of the 185 were unique supporters?
3) How many of the previous "CAN5" supporters opted out of CAN6?
4) Can they be contacted with a simple question: "Why?"?

- Where I'm driving with that series is as the CANs progress, we're seeing less "variety" in the pages - they reflect the first 10ish pages of the first book of the storyline. Melmoth struck home the point of slight repetition (and this may also intrude on Dave's notes/background info).

I know I was more vocal about retaining the philosophy of CAN, but based on dropoff I fear it might be detrimental...

OR...(awaits Dave's head exploding on this...) MAYBEEEEEE offer a secondary award of CAN#.5 (within the kickstarter) where after reaching $10k (or whatever), supporters can buy a bonus portfolio of "10 additional pages from throughout the CAN-based storyline with Dave's annotations" (for $79 or something like that). More work...but potentially a doubling of the campaign total...

OR OR...(far more challenging), maybe those additional 10 pages comes with AMOC commentary. (1 page could be a Jeff VS everyone (sorry, Jeff, low hanging fruit but irresistible)).

Bill Ritter said...

For what it is worth, I'm not a data scientist or a programmer, but I do a lot of business data analysis in my worklife. I'd be happy to volunteer to model the data, visualize it, extract patterns or indicators...Dave, Sandeep...let me know if I could ever be pf help.

I really am interested in the trending curve on this and the all-important "why" of it all.

D.H. Sayer said...

I've yet to pull the trigger on any portfolio reward (as I am far more interested in letters collections and notebooks) but the two things that would convince me to drop essentially $100 US on it (man, 15+ years of free internet shipping has spoiled the stuffing out of me) would be:

1) More prints than 10. At least 20 or 25. I realize this probably isn't economically feasible.

2) Ten pages from each trade that I selected myself. I realize this is not practically feasible, but maybe if the community voted on which ten pages to include, that would probably be pretty close to aligning with my choices anyway. I suppose I agree with those who say there's no reason to stick to the first ten pages. (Funny story: when i first heard of this campaign and read that everyone would be getting the first "available" ten pages, I thought everyone would be getting DIFFERENT prints depending on when they ordered, ie. The first supporter would get pgs. 1-10, the second would get 11-20, etc. All with specially written commentary. Now THAT would be something! :) )

Travis Pelkie said...

Well, I would suspect that between the holiday time of this campaign, as well as the lack of bonus prints, both factored into the lower campaign. I can't see that prompt and well done shipping (like 5 was) would have been a detriment, although perhaps this one coming so close after 5 might have played a role.

I'm not sure about KS policy on older/fulfilled campaigns, but perhaps a survey sent to those who didn't go for this one but did go to 5 would be worth looking at?

Also, Rich at BC did end up posting before the end of the campaign, over at

a bit of damning with faint praise, I suppose, and the comments section is iffy, but a couple of people read Tangent from a web link, so there's that!

Anyway, looking forward to this one too. Don't forget to send a message on KS to us backers when the shipment goes out, Sandeep!

Glen said...

I didn't buy the latest archive because I was more interested in the Cerebus Cover Treasury this past fall than another portfolio. Purchasing both would have set me back around $175 which was too steep for me. I've also reached a saturation point with these portfolios as a Cerebus fan. I have 5 already and adding another one didn't excite me as much.
Having bonus prints had no bearing on my decision.

I mentioned this in a previous post but maybe in the years ahead Dave and Gerhard could collaborate on an artists edition of the Cerebus Cover Treasury. High quality paper, limited edition, signed, numbered, maybe personalized ($$$) by Gerhard with a Cerebus drawing or scene. It's just a thought.

Michael Grabowski said...

I agree with Glen that Fall 2016 turned out to be quite expensive for Cerebus fans. I had hoped to be able to purchase a CAN5, but decided to put that money towards READS, GOING HOME, and the Covers Treasury instead, in addition to ongoing SDOAR support. Keep those Collected Letters coming, and those postcards/stamps sound interesting. If the CAN pace remains accelerated, I couldn't imagine being able to buy two portfolios in a row if I can even get to the point of getting one, finally.

Jason Penney said...

I don't know if it had any bearing, but there was no update posted to CAN5 about CAN6. I doubt there were too many people who pledged for CAN5 (and none of the earlier ones) who were unaware, but it's possible. Have any of the others ended in December?

Travis Pelkie said...

I don't think that's entirely true, Jason. I have CAN5 updates 7 and 8, and they both mention that CAN6 is upcoming. True, it doesn't specify that it is/was live or have a link, so that is something to keep in mind for next time.

CAN2, 3, and 4 all had updates with CAN6 links. But it certainly makes more sense to update the most recent one with a link as well.

Remember, cut him a break, it's just Sandeep doing the computer stuff, and no doubt he has to deal with Dave asking, "did you click the thingy?"

;) j/k guys!

Eddie said...

I've always found Kickstarter really sketchy when it comes to being notified with updates through email. It seems that even if there are notifications sent out from the campaign, they don't necessarily come through. It might just be a setting on your Kickstarter profile, but I think I tried to fix it once and wasn't successful. As a result I've found I've had to go in manually to check. I got the sense from some other kickstarters that I wasn't the only one with this issue, but I haven't checked into it for a while, so it might be an easy fix

Barry Deutsch said...

We can't really know why this kickstarter didn't do as well as past kickstarters - but, since this is an ongoing series, it's possible to test out different possibilities, and see what (if anything) works better.

Theory 1: Competition from Covers Treasury.

Anecdotally, Glen's experience is similar to my own; I haven't yet bought the cover treasury because I bought the Melmoth portfolio, and there's a limited amount of Cerebus purchasing in my budget. (Due to the portfolios, I already spend more on Cerebus than on any other comic, or any other creative work, by far.) Presumably there were a group of people who, like Glen, skipped this portfolio because they preferred to spend their available Cerebus funds on the cover collection.

Test: Just publish the next kickstarter and see if it does better, changing nothing else.

Theory 2: Cerebus Archive portfolio fatigue.

As Dave suggested, maybe this kickstarter just came too soon after the last one for Cerebus fans' budgets and/or interests.

Test: Try less frequent kickstarters and see what happens.

Theory 3: A repetitive portfolio is less appealing to buy.

More than any previous kickstarter, this one features a lot of extremely similar pages - 9 out of ten pages were dominated by head-and-shoulders closeups of Normalroach. Maybe readers want more variety in scenes, layouts, or characters featured.

Test: Do just one "selected favorites" portfolio kickstarter and see if it does better than the regular format.

Theory 4: Lack of bonus prints.

If people want the experience of choosing from among a pile of options, then maybe there's no solution here - doing the bonus prints seemed to create a ton of extra work on the production end.

Test: Maybe do a different format for bonus prints - for example, a kickstarter portfolio featuring seven interior pages from the Cerebus archives, plus three selected prints (covers, pin-ups, whatever). No choices to be made by kickstarter patrons - everyone gets the same ten prints. Plus, stretch goals of an 11th print, a 12th print, etc - but again, no one gets choices, everyone gets the same prints.

Theory five: Dave's thoughts about feminism are not enough of interest for people to spend $90 (CA) on.

The sample quotes from Dave's commentaries on the CAN6 webpage concluded with Dave's opinions about feminism, such as: "As in our society, the presupposition is 'He's a man. Because he's a man, he's automatically guilty of any number of crimes. But what SPECIFIC crime can this SPECIFIC man be charged with in this SPECIFIC context/moment?'" and " the extremity of the imposition of the fascistic impulse -- as inevitable as 'trigger warnings', 'safe spaces' and 'micro-aggression' in our Feminist Theocratic world -- there is no such thing as 'small enough' or 'unobtrusive enough'."

Dave of course has a free speech right to say whatever he wants; but that doesn't mean people will be eager to spend a lot of money to purchase those thoughts. Possibly, it may be that Dave's thoughts about layouts, comic book storytelling, how to draw expressions, etc, would be a greater draw for kickstarter supporters than Dave's thoughts on feminism.

Test: Do a portfolio in which Dave talks more about drawing and cartooning technique and less about feminism. Or at least, one in which all the quotes selected for the kickstarter page avoid Dave's political opinions. (I realize, of course, that Dave may find such self-censorship unacceptable.)

Dave Kopperman said...

I can say why I specifically didn't buy this portfolio (and why I bought previous ones), although as a sample of one, I'm not certain that any real insight can be gained.

1) Money: we've been fairly broke of late, and in general don't spend a lot of cash on items for my library. I built it up like crazy back in my twenties and early thirties, and then tapered off (roughly around the start of the recession in 2008) and lost interest.

2) Obligation: I'm a huge fan of Dave and Gerhard. The fact that Dave needs a regular cash influx to keep going is an ongoing bummer, particularly when a) he can no longer ply his craft, and b) he's given so much to comics charities over the years. It's the reason I contribute to his Patreon (the dinky sum of $3.00 US a month, or roughly what I was spending on Cerebus when it was a monthly book). I confess to being frustrated when and somewhat mystified why Dave turns down paying convention appearances and the like when the money situation is so dire, but considering that his strong sense of personal ethics is one of the things I most admire about him, I accept it as part and parcel of the whole. Obligation is a big part of the reason I spent - splurged, really - for CAN2 and CAN4, the two portfolios I did buy, but obligation to a man I've never really met can only go so far.

3) Content: I'm on record as saying that while I think the pages from Melmoth represent an expertly crafted bit of (much-needed) comedy to the narrative, out of context, it's really just ten pages of the talking head of a guy saying 'cunt' while making faces. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, it's harsh stuff. I think it's an odd choice for a portfolio, especially when there are so, so, SO many other pages from Melmoth that would make for a world-beater of a portfolio. Gerhard's contribution - or lack thereof - to these pages in particular was the major deal-breaker. The backgrounds are mostly just a window and occasionally some feathered tone. This is not a critique of the sequence, mind you, which is masterfully handled by both artists, but just an observation of a phenomenon that occurs when you take something out of a novel and make it a stand-alone objet d'art.

4) Timing: December in general is not the time I splurge on myself, and instead spend money on others. The frequency of the portfolios also makes it more unlikely for me to buy. This is a once-yearly kind of spend, for me, at best. The timing of the cover gallery didn't hurt, since I bought that a couple of years ago.

There may be more going on, but that's what comes to mind now.

Unknown said...

Bill Ritter I - Hi, Bill! It's definitely something that we're attempting to move towards with "crunching" the information but that's a slow process as well. What information do we want and What do we make of the information when we get it? It seems to me that the microscopic size of the audience plays in our favour, in a way. When we have the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER ONE through CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER SIX "stats" in hand, I think, at the very least, it will tell us how long the ALPHA list is. Because one of the inescapable questions is: can we keep going JUST with the ALPHA list?

I don't think you can actually ask "Why?" without violating people's privacy. It's up to them when they want to pledge and when they don't want to -- or are unable -- to pledge and I really don't want to intrude on that.

Looking on the bright side, if we overprint by a certain number of Portfolios each time out, then we can offer the previous two or three portfolios on future Kickstarters. The downside on that is "Oh, I don't have to order it this time: I can get it next time."

Unknown said...

Bill Ritter II - Speaking personally, I find that I can write exhaustively about ten pages in the space of six pages with illustrations. And that's a big element of what I'm doing here. Reading into the record everything that I have to say about a ten-page stretch of the book. If I expand the number of pages, then I'm going to have to cut the commentary. And then it's just another "loose end" among the many "loose ends" attached to my life and to CEREBUS. I have enough of those.

This is End of Life stuff, for me.

I'm not casually sitting down and going "Oh, this will be fun, I'll just knock out a few thousands words about this." No, it's me trying to do the best job I can of my last look (let me emphasize that: LAST! LOOK!) at CEREBUS in this world. It's not really about "What will make people in 2016 happy?" My experience is that Dave Sim can't make people in 2016 happy. It's just not that kind of time period and what I have to say it isn't usually happy -- or "happy" -- stuff relative to what 2016 people consider happy. All I can do is say what I have to say and hope that there will be an audience for it somewhere way up ahead long after I'm dead.

Unknown said...

Bill Ritter III - I think the "why?" is as I outlined it above. It's my unhappy fate to live 1956 to 20??. It's a particular kind of world diametrically opposed to me in virtually every particular you could identify. It isn't going to improve in that sense. It's only going to get worse. I don't think you can analyze the data or sales curves on that. My life, career and work are pretty much either "straight down" or "gradually down" but it's inevitably "down".

I'll do what I can to try and preserve CEREBUS (and my other work) to the limits of my ability and to the limits of the political context I inhabit.

I think we can all agree that there's very little cause for optimism, looking realistically at the situation.

Unknown said...

D.H. Sayer - Hi, D.H.! Thanks for posting!

We're basically doing what you're talking about, but I've "triangulated" what was possible and what wasn't possible at the outset and CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios of 10 plates is what I came up with.

How small is the audience remnant? Ballpark figure: 200. Well, I have to design the years remaining of my life around that: it's either "200 on the way to complete eradication" or it's "200 bottoming out at ??? or ??" or it's "200 bottoming out at ??? or ?? and then starting to climb again".

That's the reason that I pitched Tim F., our retailer patron on the complete MINDS and GUYS pages in the Cerebus Archive. And was very pleased when he offered $20,000 U.S.

But, with a Ballpark audience of 200, that's what you're looking at: we can keep going (however temporarily) with the CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios at the one end of the spectrum and High-End Patron offers like Tim F. But there isn't a lot of territory in between.

CEREBUS IN HELL? is an experiment that isn't working -- it was designed to drive traffic to and it really hasn't budged the needle there -- so we're having to reconfigure it on the fly. It depends on how bad the downward trajectory is on the mini-series because the retailers base their orders on how your last comic book did. If the orders dip too low then that closes off Diamond as a vehicle for distributing individual CEREBUS comic books. It costs too much "per comic book" to print relative to the orders we have. What we're trying to do is to avoid getting to that point because there's no coming back from that.

Unknown said...

Travis - Yes, I appreciate what Rich tries to do with BLEEDING COOL, but I don't think, again, there's any cause for optimism. Rich is a huge CEREBUS fan but he lives in the same political context that we all do.

I appreciate the extent to which you all WANT Dave Sim to be liked and admired and for CEREBUS to be successful, but I just don't think it's a) happening b) likely to happen in any conventional sense. I think I'm VERY successful and I think CEREBUS is VERY successful. I'm very much at peace with what I accomplished between 1977 and 2004 and what I've accomplished since then. I think it will -- EVENTUALLY: i.e. long after I'm dead -- be acknowledged. But it isn't going to happen while I'm alive, I'm pretty sure.

You're still the only person who reviewed CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 online. If that doesn't tell us something, I don't know what does.

Unknown said...

Glen - I'm sure you're not alone in having a limited budget and the CEREBUS COVERS TREASURY cover price stretching that to the breaking point. I appreciate your spending that much money on CEREBUS!

I hope you change your mind about the CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios but it sure doesn't sound like that's going to be the case.

Unfortunately, I'm a very methodical guy about End of Life issues, like these Last Visits with the CEREBUS pages (as I've indicated above). All I can do is hope that there are enough people willing to spend the money to keep it happening.

If not, it's not the end of the world.

With the CEREBUS ARCHIVE comic book I got to the point of the creation of CEREBUS the fanzine and then had to pull the plug. I wish I could have gotten further but it wasn't in the cards. We'll do as many CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios as the audience is able to sustain and then we'll stop.

Unknown said...

Michael Grabowski - Well, that's what we have to determine: what sort of publishing schedule the CEREBUS audience is able to sustain. That's definitely going to be the survey question this time around -- how often can you afford to support a CAN Portfolio? We'll be reporting on those figures when we have them.

I hope you can appreciate that we're in a "no-win" situation with the restorations. We have to pay for the restorations somehow and the way to do that is with the CAN portfolios and with Diamond buying full print runs of the restored books. And we also want all 16 volumes of CEREBUS to be available at all times. We also want to include Art Dragnet pages with each new printing and that that puts pressure on CEREBUS fans as to whether they can afford to buy the new restoration or not. But, I don't think the alternative is sensible: tell Sean not to do any more restorations or not to improve in his restorations because people have already bought the CEREBUS Volume One trade.

The CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios are available in their Diamond editions through Diamond and we're also working to make sure that that's an "in perpetuity" thing. If you couldn't afford to buy CAN6 this time, the CAN6 Diamond edition will be available in a few months.

As I say, it's an End of Life thing for me: I want to comment on as much of CEREBUS as I can before I die. And I hope there are enough people to support that.

Unknown said...

Jason P - Hi, Jason! No, that was one of the things we wanted to address this time out: just for the sake of argument, let's treat this as if it's a bi-monthly publication. On the one hand, we needed to find out what we were capable of doing in a logistical sense. And we are learning a lot of about the logistics of doing this between CAN5 and CAN6. If we aren't able to do the Portfolios EXACTLY on a bi-monthly basis, we're pretty close to being able to.

But, you can literally talk yourself out of publishing, period, with seasonal rationalizations: Oh, we shouldn't do one around Christmas. People don't have money around Christmas. Oh, we don't want to do it in January, no one has money after Christmas, etc. Which then bumps up against Oh, we didn't put them out often enough and people forgot about them.

As I say, we'll wait to see what the reaction on the surveys is. If there's pretty much an even split then a possible question is: Do we "punish" the people who can afford a bi-monthly schedule and want to see them bi-monthly because of the people who can't?

If it was a "you snooze you lose" situation, I could maybe see that. But, if we're talking about the pure content of the CAN Portfolios, that will be available through the Diamond editions.

If we can figure out why it is that LCS's are being told that the CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios aren't available and why the Diamond 100-copy inventory is flatlining.

Unknown said...

Barry Deutsch - Hi, Barry! First, I appreciate very much the amount of your disposable income you spend on my work. And I'm not unmindful of that being a fixed amount. If it wasn't for the End of Life aspect -- my need to get as much said as possible in the very limited amount of time left to me (even assuming that that's two or three decades) I would err on the side of caution.

Second, there are also a limited number of Theories that you can test out and usually you end up with "Now that we know THAT, what do we know?"

There are just too many balls in the air right now to make an informed decision of where we go from here.

A good example: with the drop in orders, is there a significantly comparable drop in expenses so that we end up having roughly the same profit on 200 Portfolios that we had on 250 Portfolios. We won't know that until we've paid for everything. But it would be a persuasive argument for going bi-monthly with them: roughly three times as frequent with more money for restorations with substantially fewer pledge partners.

I know you aren't going to want to hear this, but I think your Feminist-phile personality focuses on anything I say about feminism to an unnatural degree. It's part of the commentaries in pretty much all of the Portfolios. I'm not a feminist so it would be unnatural, I think, if it were otherwise. But, I think if you read the commentaries on CAN6 you'll have to agree that it isn't a major point and that what I am doing is a tutorial on cartooning to the best of my ability.

Gotta run!

Anonymous said...

Well, Dave, it's the eponymous Mr. J. here, again. Sorry I've been so absent.

I HAVE watched your dicsussions from afar; sometimes wishing to chime in, but usually averring. (Look at *that* big word. Ha. Ha.)

I was impressed by The Cerebus Cover Art Treasury; ver impressed; if only because it's BIG. My copy got dinged on one corner, but otherwise was quite nice.

I mean, it was a revelation.

And, I didn't even have to pay for it!

'Cause, you know, it got dinged, other thing.


Moving on: Mr. Ritter has a valid question: Can we get such a breakdown as he suggests? I mean; I know what I do, but what do the Philistines do?


Mr. Sayer does, indeed, sound very spoiled. Why, if I could raise my...erm... ... very large... ... rear end off of this cushion, I might be inclined to take umbrage with him.

Jeff Seiler said...

Mr. Pelkie, as usual, brings a welcome voice of reason.

Thank you, Travis!

Anonymous said...

Mr. J agrees with Glen and Michael, that this Fall and its River (of money) were a bit over the top.



Mr. J does think that you have to keep innovating, finding new ways to raise money to support old (albeit, great) ideas.


How about Mr. J (ME) finds a way to subtract from the bequeathal and sends that subtracted money to you, periodically, before Mr. J, um...


You know; like an advance on your allowance?

Mr. J is just trying to do good business here.

Jeff Seiler said...

To Barry: I think you know that you and I don't often agree.

To say the least.

But, your comment above struck a common nerve with me.

As you may have surmised, over the years, I am (and have been) one of the most vocal (and, um, printed [?]) apologists, supporters, of Dave Sim.

When it comes to anti-feminism, I'm (and have been, on the record) right there with him.

But. (Sorry, Dave.)

I agree with you, Barry.

(Surprise, surprise, Sergeant Deutsch!)

More process.

Less anti-feminism.

I mean, c'mon, Dave.

We've all heard, read, your anti-feminist views. Some of us agree with them.


We want to know (much) more about the minutiae!

Hi, Dave!

Sorry, Dave.

Anonymous said...

Jeez! I'm just trying to answer all those earlier posts and that uppity a**h*le gots to cut in!


euphemism for a male appendage!


He's got an opinion?


Tell ya whut, Jeff, go take yer opinions an d go stick 'em up the POTIS'...mailbox.

Thank YOU, very MUCH, for your INPUT!


Mr. J

Travis Pelkie said...

Wait, what? When did I become the voice of reason here? How did this happen? Why didn't anyone tell me!?


Thanks, Jeff. I like to tease you, but I think we're both big fans of Dave's stuff and want the best for Dave and for the material, even if we disagree on the particulars (he says euphemistically....)

As to CIH? supposed to drive traffic to the downloads page, well, I pay attention to this stuff fairly carefully, and while I saw Dave mention that before, I had missed where that was the original intent (granted, I got backed up at one point this year) (um...reading AMOC, that is) (and there is a stretch of updates that I never watched, so....). Let me say this about the downloads site...the design seems awfully busy to me (he says again euphemistically). It seems something that might help would be to have a CIH? strip as the clicky button for the rest of the strips, rather than the very text heavy front page of that site. IMHO

I also agree with Barry and Jeff (to an extent) -- I certainly wouldn't say "don't talk about anti/non feminism", but I would say "don't lead with that". I thought that was probably to the detriment in the TMI series -- after several parts that seemed to concentrate on the Feminist Theocracy, we finally got to the survey results. And as Barry pointed out, (although I don't remember exactly, but Rich did quote from them as well), the excerpts selected for the pages seemed to have More Of The Same.

Again, not saying don't talk about it when necessary (and for these pages, I think it was necessary), but focus the marketing on the process discussion. We pretty well know the rest of it will be there too ;)

And if Mr. J is willing to "advance your allowance", take it, if only so you aren't having to swim upstream and have EVERY venture be a make or break deal. And if Dave does take you up on it, Mr. J, thank you very much, sir!

Travis Pelkie said...

Great, I replied earlier, but now I'm not seeing it.

Tim, is my comment still around in the ether? If it is, you can delete this. If not, I'll try to reconstruct it this evening.

D.H. Sayer said...

Is this Mr. J a joke I'm not getting? Well, assuming he's at least semi-serious, I'm not sure what you meant by saying I'm spoiled, but I will pretty much totally cop to being A) generally spoiled, since I'm a white male American, and, B) spoiled as a Cerebus fan, as we all are. Dave's giving us great "inside baseball" stuff that I would've killed to get from Salinger or DFW (my other favorite authors), for example.

And sorry to be petty, but your use of "aver" is completely 100% wrong.

Best wishes and happy holidays.

Unknown said...

Well, yes. I understand that non-feminism -- my term, most would (and do) call it anti-feminism -- wears out its welcome for feminists in pretty short order, but there are times when it's kind of central to whatever it is that I'm talking about.

On those occasions I can't, in good intellectual conscience, avoid saying something. CAN6 is a good example. It would have been very easy to skip the MELMOTH Prologue in favour of the first 10 pages of the story proper, but that would have been "elephant in the room" stuff.

To me, "elephant in the room" is one of the biggest -- if not THE biggest -- problems we have as a society and not playing "elephant in the room" is a core element of the way I live -- and for which I've paid and continue to pay a very high price.

I'm very pleased with how the NOTES on CAN6 came out. I could have avoided excerpting the parts where I discuss feminism but, to me, that would ALSO have been "elephant in the room".

It's part of the price, unfortunately, you pay for someone who gives you more "inside baseball" stuff than most creators: TMI baseball. :)

Barry Deutsch said...


"A good example: with the drop in orders, is there a significantly comparable drop in expenses so that we end up having roughly the same profit on 200 Portfolios that we had on 250 Portfolios. We won't know that until we've paid for everything. But it would be a persuasive argument for going bi-monthly with them: roughly three times as frequent with more money for restorations with substantially fewer pledge partners."

And if that turns out to be the case, then I'd be really glad for you to do that - even though it means I probably couldn't get every portfolio. What I want to happen, is whatever turns out to best support the Cerebus restoration project. Whether or not that happens to overlap with "whatever portfolios Barry would most enjoy seeing" is not an important concern.

I've really been enjoying the "tutorial on cartooning" aspect of the portfolios, by the way.

As for the bits about feminism - you're probably right that I'm MORE interested in those parts than most of your readers. Which goes to prove my point about how commercially viable they aren't.

But whatever. Your comic, therefore you should do it your way. I wouldn't want to shut you up even if I could, obviously.

Travis Pelkie said...

OK, roughly what my comment was:

Wait, what? When did I become the voice of reason? Why didn't anyone tell me?!

Heh. Thanks, Jeff. We might not always agree, but I know we both dig Cerebus and Dave's work and want people to read it.

As to CIH? and the Cerebus Downloads site, I did miss a number of AMOC updates earlier in the year (I got backed up) (um, reading stuff online, that is), so maybe I missed that, but other than another time you mentioned that more recently, I didn't realize that was what the strips were being done for. Might I suggest that on the downloads site, a strip is used as the clicky link for the rest of the strips, as that front page is awfully text heavy.

As to the commentaries and non-feminism, while I certainly wouldn't say don't discuss it, I'd agree to an extent with Jeff and Barry in that perhaps "don't lead with it". At least when marketing the Kickstarter. I think Damian mentioned, and I thought he was (mostly) right, that by leading with that stuff in the first several of the TMI posts, you may have caused enthusiasm to dwindle. I think you might have been better off leading with the comments on the Kickstarter survey questions, and then go from there. And certainly these Melmoth pages need the non-feminism discussion. But perhaps leading with the cartooning aspect may have helped. (Like with Sean's piece on the pages -- the comment about normalroach's glasses and how the bridge over the nose was absorbed into his skin, he was so mad, that's good stuff!)

Finally, I think if Mr. J is offering "an advance on your allowance", you should probably take him up on it, if only to avoid having to swim upstream and try to make everything a moneymaker. At least it'd give breathing space to get some of the scanning and stuff done without the distraction of having to make this or that moneymaking attempt a grand slam.

And regardless if Dave takes you up on the offer, thanks for making the offer, Mr. J!