Thursday, 12 January 2017

Auction: Cerebus In Hell? "Black Angel" Edition

Lot of THREE Copies of "Cerebus In Hell?" #1 by series creators Sandeep Atwal and Dave Sim
Includes TWO known misprinted "variant" copies AND a regular edition!

You are bidding on THREE Copies of "Cerebus In Hell #1" by Dave Sim and Sandeep Atwal. All three copies have been signed by both Sim and Atwal. The three copies are identified as the "Black Angel Edition", the "Partial Black Angel Edition" and the "Regular Edition":

Named for the patch of black ink covering all of the angel figures in panels 2 and 4 of page 5. Additionally, black patches of ink are scattered through panels 2 and 4 on pages 8 and 17 (the Cerebus figure is reversed -- white on black -- in panel 4 on page 17) and the lines making up the background are weirdly enlarged in panels 2 and 4 on page 20 (and an inverted devil's head appears on "Frank Sinatra's" right shoulder in panel 4). Signed by series creators Sandeep Atwal and Dave Sim in black ink on the cover: designated "BA" and numbered #1/1 by Sim. There are only 21 copies known to exist besides this one.

Named for the patch of black ink covering most of the angel figures in panels 2 and 4 of page 5. Additionally, black patches of ink are scattered through panels 2 and 4 on pages 8 and 17 (the Cerebus figure is reversed -- white on black -- in panel 4 on page 17) and the lines making up the background are weirdly enlarged in panels 2 and 4 on page 20 (and an inverted devil's head appears on "Frank Sinatra's" right shoulder in panel 4). Signed by series creators Sandeep Atwal and Dave Sim in black ink on the cover: designated "PBA" and numbered #1/1 by Sim. There are only 30 copies known to exist besides this one.

A regular version of CEREBUS IN HELL? #1 with no misprinted panels.

All three copies are in "Near Mint" condition, having been sent directly from the printer to the publisher and inspected and immediately bagged by Dave Sim. Please contact seller with any questions. Good luck!


Jeff Seiler said...

I would bid aggressively on this package, but ebay has blocked my "account", saying that I owe them $4.24. This despite the fact that I have NEVER bought anything on ebay, never even bid on anything. And, that is a fact clearly stated on the same page where they tell me I'm blocked because I owe them the princely sum of $4.24--at the bottom of the page, it shows my account activity between July 2010 and January 2017--"You have no account activity for this period."


FUCK ebay!!!

Dave? Sandeep? I bid $200 on this package if you take it off of ebay and sell to me directly.

I will NOT be shaken down by ebay.

Otherwise, congratulations to the winning ebay bidder.

Barry Deutsch said...

Jeff, couldn't someone else bid on it for you? Then - IF your proxy wins the auction - you could just repay your proxy for the amount of the winning bid, and (with your proxy's permission) Dave or Sandeep or whoever it is that actually packages and mails the comic, can send the package to you.

If that's agreeable to everyone, I'd be happy to act as your proxy.

Jeff Seiler said...

Well, Barry, that's a very reasonable idea for a win-win solution.


I'd rather kvetch, for now.

There're still a good four days and change to go.

Besides, they, Dave & company, might just take me up on my offer...

And, I get to vent my spleen about (evil, devil-spawned, damnable) ebay.

As I say, win-win.

Sean R said...

This is such an unusual looking printing error.

This is a mistake at the print stage, something that the pressman should have seen and stopped the presses for. Instead it continued for about twenty minutes worth of print and gradually burned off. It looks like the printing plates for these pages were imperfectly cleaned after being exposed/burned, and the dust that should have been cleaned off instead accumulated a very thin layer of ink. It looks so unusual because of the nature of the drawing — the ink was literally trapped by the parallel lines of the original engraving! Such a crazy look.

Marquis is recalling their shipment and printing more to make up the difference, so unless they miss some, it's likely that Dave's copies are the only ones that will end up in circulation. So best bid soon! :)

Dave Sim said...

Sean - "Dave's and Sandeep's copies": we split them evenly: 11 BLACK ANGELS each, 15 PARTIAL BLACK ANGELS each and 23 CLEAN COPIES each. Someone noticed that the numbers added up to 99 instead of 100 copies. Sandeep had pulled a copy out of the box already to put in the Comics Showcase I gave him to hang over his desk and to put the "Aardvark Vanaheim latest release" in (as I do with the one I have in my studio). Turned out that was a CLEAN COPY.

Jeff - Hey! I'm fine with selling them to you for $200 if we aren't "there" when the auction ends. If the auction (on Sandeep's account) is in Canadian $$ (I don't know if it is) do you want to make that $200 U.S.?Because that would be, like, $800 Canadian.

I kid, I kid. It would be about $250 Canadian, though. We'll get Dave Fisher to bid on your behalf.

Feel free to kvetch, BTW. That could end up being the most expensive $4.24 eBay ever made an issue about!

Dave Sim said...

Sean II - I'm still trying to figure out how the ink spread over the whole right side of the panel but stopped right at the word balloons. You would think if the Dore lines were holding enough ink to cover the whole area, it would at least ENCROACH on the word balloon.

I know we have a veteran pressman who visits pretty regularly. I was hoping he might throw his two cents in at some point.

Steve said...

Did someone say Captain Pressman?!

That would be me, I suppose.

Two things, from my fading and aging pressman memory, come to mind with this:

1) That the metal plates wasn't thoroughly / properly cleaned and / or prepped after the plates was burned. In my work experience, I'd clean the plate immediately after burning it and then preserve the plate by rubbing gum Arabic over it.

So there may have been some residue left on from the pre-press stage that then wore off as the print run was in production.

2) Offset printing is a combination of ink and a water-based solution which help prevent the ink from adhering to the non-image parts of the printing plate.

If the press 'runs dry' of the 'water', ink can build up on the plate - which then gets transferred to the paper. This build-up has a very characteristic shape or 'growth pattern' to it: the paper is held in place by a set of grippers as it travels through the press (the 'grip end') and at this side the filling in has a well-defined edge. As the image moves towards the tail end of the sheet the ink build-up dissipates - pretty much exactly how it looks over Cerebus' head in the two panels.

And even if the printing plate is cleaned (or clearing up as more sheets are printed), there is still some residual ink left on the printing blanket which will transfer to the next sheet through the press. (Unless the pressman also takes the time to clean the blanket.)


Steve said...

Part II

The offset printing works like this:

The image to be printed is on a plate (metal or a disposable polymer/plastic of some sort.

Ink from the press rollers transfers to that plate image (the 'water', remember, helps prevent the ink from being where it shouldn't be) and the plate rolls across the press blanket: a durable rubber sheet. If the blanket is too close to the plate, the image can fill in (similar to dot gain) and wear off the plate; if the blanket is too far away the image will appear light-toned or fuzzy.

OK, so the image on the plate is a 'positive' - you can read it, that sort of thing. But the image on the blanket is a negative: reversed in the plate to blanket transfer.

As the paper is pulled through the press it is pressed (Imagine that!) onto the blanket roller - and voila, a positive image again.

For you comic collectors out there, are you familiar with the 'variant' versions of the Kirby Sandman #1 and Silver Surfer #2, where the cover colors can vary widely?
That's caused by the ink well running dry - not the 'water', but the ink supply itself.

Purples are notoriously difficult to print, being an exacting combination of cyan and magenta that can be devilishly difficult to maintain.

Dave, I'd be willing to bet that you and Sandeep could lay all the BA issues out and with some help show a start-to-finish progress on the blank ink creeping in and then receding back.


Steve said...

And Jeff, if you'd pay $200 for this CIH? set what would you pay for the #1 of 1750 Six Sins portfolio?

(Not that I'm selling...)

And this isn't the first Cerebus press error issue. There are some copies of #7 out there where the cyan didn't print on the cover (still looking for one of those...); I have a copy of #23 that's badly out of registration (Tim showed here on AMOC back in ... no idea when); and Margaret has a mis-registered copy of #154.

Oh yeah: my vote on the BA origin is that the 'water' ran dry; it doesn't take much dryness to cause problems - but it also cleans up quickly, so it's completely reasonable to think that all the issues with this are in the set sent to Dave.


Steve said...

One more thing:

Anyone still wanting more information on the custom bound hardcover set and/or $crooge commission should read my entry in the January 10th posting.


Jeff Seiler said...

Dave, if I'm not outbid, I will send you a money order for $200. That would be in US dollars, unless Canadian Customs swaps it out at the border. So, Barry, thanks much for your kind offer, but I think Dave Fisher will cover it.

Steve, I have a Six Deadly Sins portfolio that the crazy Canadian lady bought for me for (IIRC) around $350 Canadian dollars. So, I guess I would pay that, hypothetically.

Travis Pelkie said...

If I get a chance, I'll ask my press guy friend what might have happened. Is it possible for a glob of black ink to be there and have just gradually worked its way off? I'd suspect it was either start of the run or end of the run when this happened (they probably would ship Dave start of the run copies, no?).

And I suspect, Sean, for the amount that's paid to print the run, they only build in a certain amount of startup/press waste, and were gambling on it working itself out quickly. It's got to be easier/cheaper to run some extra good copies than stop a run and start back up, especially if they're a printer who needs to get a job on the press, done, and on to the next one. That's assuming they even noticed the issue. If they had, you'd think they would have dumped the bad copies, but who knows?

And you can even see in the lettering and the word balloon, the lines are darker than in the clean copies, so it appears to be a case where things got too black. Faulty spray bar, maybe? It just sprayed a bit willy-nilly?

It's an interesting error, but not one that I'd be willing to bid on.

Also, kudos to Dave and Sandeep for making the cover joke work better by bolding the words "scary" and "pants". I think that's a solution that eluded Jeff and I when we were discussing it...back when we were discussing it.

Sean R said...

Thanks for the great info Steven and Travis!

Steve — I think it's most likely #1. Marquis indicated it was at the beginning of the run, so that seems most likely to me.

Dave Sim said...

Steve - Yeah, I thought our Resident Press Veteran was named Steve, but I wasn't sure. Thanks for responding!

I, too, was inclined to think that the gradation would be noticeable but that was another odd thing: the BA copies all look the same and the PBA copies all look the same. You'd think there would be "mid-range" copies between the two. I'll take a closer look but, on the initial sorting, there was definitely a "0" and "1" quality as to which was which.

One of the questions that I had for Marquis, via Sean, was "how many copies get printed in 20 minutes?". i.e. how many BLACK ANGEL copies and PARTIAL BLACK ANGEL copies would that translate into out of the 6,600 print run? I'm assuming they arrived at the 20 minutes figure when they saw how many misprints there were.

And, yes, we are getting into the danger area where the print run is too short for real quality control. That used to happen at Preney where they had a "minimum 1,000 copies" for comic books. You get the 1,000 comic books you get for that price. They probably threw out as many as they gave the customer.

Dave Sim said...

Jeff - I left a phone message for Dave Fisher asking him to "do your bidding" up to and including $240 Canadian.

They're also the first copies of CIH#1 that Sandeep and I have signed. It's not an occasion that comes up.

There's only one CIH?#0 that we both signed -- for the electricity guy who came by on short notice when we had an unexpected blackout in Camp David.

Dave Sim said...

Oh, and Sandeep and I will be splitting the money from the auction PERSONALLY, to supplement our 4% royalty income from CIH?

Steve said...

I ran both a 19 X 25 two-color and an (almost) 11 X 17 one-color, and in 20 minutes on either press I could run ...dang old-timers disease is kicking in again, hang on a sec...

My best recollection would be ... well crap! I simply can't get those ol' neurons to fire on that number know. But I can say that for sure it would be MUCH more than 100 in 20 minutes, I'm thinking once it was cranked up I'd have several thousand passes done if it was a simple one-color, not heavy coverage job.


I can't even remember the manufacturer's name on the presses...


(You gotta remember, this is a place I worked at for 27 years, and ran presses for 18 years. It's just gone!)

Tony Dunlop said...

My Dad would call that "halfs-heimer's," Steve. Moving towards "alls-heimers" but not there yet.

Travis Pelkie said...

That 20 minutes thing threw me. My knowledge is from the newspaper biz, and we're usually cranking (when all goes well...) around 20K an hour. Presumably the printing of comics et al goes slower, then.

Unless they meant that the ENTIRE run was 20 minutes, and that was their reasoning -- "well, we're DONE with the whole thing in 20 minutes, we didn't see these in the first minute or so". 20 minutes for a 6600 press run is running just about 20K copies an hour. And that'd be about 300 or so copies in a minute. Again, I'm guessing (and Steve's knowledge is undoubtedly more accurate than mine on actual press matters) that printing a comic like CIH? would go slower than that, but perhaps that's wrong.

I think it should be stated, though, that good on Marquis for being willing to go back to press to fix this issue.

Sandeep Atwal said...

Okay Jeff, there's a $200 bid from you via Dave Fisher on eBay now. Thanks!!

Jeff Seiler said...

Thanks, Sandeep!