Saturday, 13 May 2017

PLATEAU 13 May 17

Dave Sim with three finished pages from "The Strange Death of Alex Raymond." (2015)

After three-and-a-half months of adhering strictly to a program of getting ready for working close-to- exclusively on THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND, I'm very, very relieved to say that I think I'm finally here.  This "Plateau" posting is going to be the first of my very infrequent AMOC participations which I'll be reserving for these (I'm assuming equally infrequent) "Plateau moments".

Right now, here's what's "in place":

1) Although it's not certain EXACTLY how many monthly CEREBUS IN HELL? one-shots we have "in the can" it is "well into 2018" and possibly 2019.  Just waiting to see how far the reprinted online strips extend.  (see point 3)

2) Marquis Printing has given us a schedule of delivery times to them.  BATVARK #1, as an example, if we have it to them by the end of June, they're guaranteeing delivery to Diamond by the beginning of August.

I've just asked Matt D at Diamond in a phone message if Diamond can guarantee street dates based on that.

Ideally, what I want is to be able to say "There will be a new CEREBUS IN HELL? one-shot in stores the last Wednesday of every month."

As I explained to Matt, a large part of my remaining audience is men in their 40s, 50s and 60s who are very far from the "New Comics Day" habit.

If I tell them the new issue will be in the stores the last Wednesday of every month, a certain percentage of them will, dutifully, go and check.  If the book ISN'T in the store or -- even worse -- if the book came in a week before that and the store owner has sold the only two copies he ordered... well, that guy's not likely to keep going back to check.

I'm hoping Diamond has a mechanism in place or can institute a mechanism which will allow them to hold the books and make sure they get in the "last Wednesday" shipment.  As far as I can see, the problem with this is, I think, that no one else is in this situation.  Everyone else gets their books done when they can and shipped when they can, so the whole marketplace is set up around that.  I am hoping that we can work something out to guarantee "last Wednesday" street dates.

3) One of my few non-SDOAR occupations will remain producing new CEREBUS IN HELL? strips in mock-up form (I'm averaging seven a week in marathon Thursday/Friday caffeine powered all nighters) and faxing them (via Sean) to Benjamin Hobbs once a week.  At the rate of seven a week I'll be able to maintain the monthly schedule and even get a little bit ahead on it.

4) In order to compensate Benjamin (who has been digitizing CIH? on a strictly volunteer basis), Margaret Liss will be auctioning my CIH? mock-ups with Certificates of Authenticity (and CEREBUS ARCHIVE FIRST RELEASE gold seals) on eBay starting soon.  All of the money raised will go to Benjamin.

5)  I have completed my NOTES and the promotional video for the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER SEVEN Kickstarter which is now in DELAY mode [see "Sandeep, We Hardly Knew Ye" above] as is the CEREBUS POSTAGE STAMP No.1 Kickstarter.  The idea, when we get them up and running, is to alternate more affordable Kickstarters (the POSTAGE STAMP PACKAGE with 4 postcards and 10 stamps will be priced at $30 Canadian while an individual stamp/individual postcard combo will be priced at $10 Canadian) with pricier Kickstarters  (CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER SEVEN we're "ballparking" at $90 U.S. or the equivalent in Canadian funds depending on where we "base" it). Based on the last survey results these Kickstarters will be launched somewhere between every three and every four months (it was just about an exact split in the vote between "three months" and "four months").

6)  It looks as if we're an horserace as to whether MINDS or HIGH SOCIETY needs to be reprinted next.  Fortunately, HIGH SOCIETY has been fully restored so the only problem will be paying for the printing.  MINDS is very close to being done and Sean is promising his "back matter" "soon".    

7) Carson Grubaugh has completed all 26 pages of his and my STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND bridging material and is now starting work on YOU DON'T KNOW JACK! TWO-FISTED COMIC-STORE MANAGER our Jack Van Dyke (one-shot? mini-series?) Prequel which will be used to promote SDOAR.  See my Patreon site for further details.  This will either be co-published with IDW or published by Aardvark-Vanaheim exclusively.

8) There will be an SDOAR Kickstarter which will feature CEREBUS ARCHIVE-style ARTISTS' EDITIONS prints of the first 50 pages of SDOAR.  See my Patreon site for further details.

From the beginning of February until now (and for the foreseeable future), I've even more severely curtailed my in-person and social contacts.  I am getting more work done.  I always know what the next thing is that I have to do so as soon as I get something done and I just start in on that.  The fact that Carson notified me that he had the bridging material done just as I was coming to the end of the three-month-long process of getting everything set in motion that needed to be in motion, I'm taking as a good sign that I'm on the right track with this.  I was able to dive right it on YOU DON'T KNOW JACK! TWO-FISTED COMIC-STORE MANAGER as soon as I heard from him and get my whole part pretty much wrapped up in two weeks of non-stop work.

I'm sorry that I can't spend the time here at AMOC that I used to.  I'm really determined to get THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND done while I'm still in my sixties and another one of those digits will be turning over later this week.

Thank you all for your continued support.

Help finance Dave Sim to complete 'The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond' 
by donating at

Originally serialised within the pages of the self-published Glamourpuss #1-26 (2008 to 2012), The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond is an as yet uncompleted work-in-progress in which Dave Sim investigates the history of photorealism in comics and specifically focuses on the work of comic-strip artist Alex Raymond and the circumstances of his death on 6 September 1956 at the wheel of fellow artist Stan Drake's Corvette at the age of 46.


Erick said...

This is great news Dave. Keep going.
I did get a more than medium sized chuckle out of " I've even more severely curtailed my in-person and social contacts."
So, um i guess going to mailbox is now out of the question?

Tony Dunlop said...

Dave: "As I explained to Matt, a large part of my remaining audience is men in their 40s, 50s and 60s who are very far from the 'New Comics Day' habit."

Um, guilty as charged! Add "and hasn't been a regular comic shop visitor in over a decade" and I bet you wouldn't leave out a majority of Cerebus fans. This is why I don't yet have any remastered phone books or CIH? issues yet; I drop in; they're not on the shelf; I leave. I'm not the type to have them special ordered and then come back later. Not sure what, if anything, can be done here.

Jeff Seiler said...

Tony, I have found that if you don't ask for them to be ordered, they won't be ordered. That's the reality of obtaining Dave Sim products today, including the gloriously remastered phonebooks. You're the guy who lives here in Mpls, right? Just call Tim, at The College of Comic Book Knowledge, tell him you're a Simian, tell him Jeff sent you, and ask for what you want. Tim has a soft spot for Simians. If you're not the Mpls guy, well, then, rinse and repeat where you live.

Tony again said...

Yeah, that's me. The problem is, that's more trouble than I'm willing to go to. If it's not in the store, there are lots of other things vying for my entertainment dollar that are - not just comics, but books, records, and videos. I'm going to pop into Dreamhaven - just a little over a mile from my house - this week and see what they have, if anything.