Saturday 31 August 2019

TL:DW: The Please Hold For Dave Sim 2/7/2019 transcript (FINALLY!)

Hi, Everybody!

This Week's Auction is at $10 (US).

You should order the Vark Wars.

It won't look like this, but I found this in the AMOChive today and had to share...
Last Call for Free Stuff...
As I prepare to do the September 2019 Please Hold for Dave Sim (send your questions to I thought I'd catch up on the Please Hold transcripts make by
Jesse Lee Herndon! Thanks Jesse!

Recorded by Dave Sim and Matt Dow, transcribed by Jesse Lee Herndon (Thanks Jesse!!!)

Matt: Alright. Button! [beep] Can you hear me okay?
Dave: I can hear you fine, how can you hear me?
Matt: Good!
Dave: Good! Alright. Uhh, I thought we’d start with T. Casey Brennan.
Matt: Okay!
Dave: Uhh… Dandy is Dandy, Cerebus is Cerebus, and Spider-Ham is Spider-Ham.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: Three completely different things, but I do think that a Dandy action figure is a very good funny idea. If somebody could find out if there’s an aardvark figure commercially available, like through some nature outfit or whatever, and ya know, something that’s in the $2, $3 range, something like that. And order a bunch of them for Casey, and just get him to write “Dandy, Copyright T. Casey Brennan” on the bottom of it, “2019”. I’m sure he could sell at least a few to Cerebus fans.
Matt: As you’re saying that I’m looking on my phone on the internet, and I found one for $5, US.
Dave: Well, there you go! [laughs] Whoever it is that makes it, as soon as T. Casey Brennan signs the bottom of it and writes “Dandy, T. Casey Brennan, Copyright 2019”, sorry it’s not your aardvark figure anymore, that’s Dandy.
Matt: [laughs] I mean it… the figure in the picture looks like Dandy from the page one of the “Boy and his Aardvark” story, too.
Dave: Well, there you go. There you go. Related to that, it was interesting you talking about Spider-Ham that he looks more like Porky Pig in Spider-Man costume than Cerebus in a Spider-Man costume, I think the key thing is the Spider-Man costume. If you have the rights to do the Spider-Man costume and only Disney/Marvel has the rights to do that, I think you can do just about any shape that you want under there and that’s defensible in court. I was interested in what you said about the fact that when they did the tribute video, it didn’t have any of the comic book appearances of Spider-Ham, just the video games and all of that stuff. I think that’s a definite… there is no entertainment corporation on the scale of Disney, so consequently that’s just one of those… that’s the only way that it shows up on the radar screen. They own so much stuff from acquiring Marvel that I think, ya know, you have to have an above the salt, below the salt approach to it, and say, “Okay, what has some sort of pop culture cache to it? Okay, that’s what we’ve got sitting on our chessboard.” Everything else is just… [laughs] on the same level as the janitorial service that they employ to clean their offices, sort of thing.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: It’s like, no you’re either a video game or something like that that we understand that we can potentially see hundreds of millions of dollars or billions of dollars in, or it’s just not worth talking about, because there’s just too much at stake here. Every time that they’re sitting down at the roulette table and trying to decide what red or black number they want to put their chips on, they’re putting a half billion dollars worth of chips and I couldn’t picture them doing anything else. It’s gotta have some sort of juice to it in that category before they’re even gonna start having a conversation about that.
Matt: What--
Dave: One of the illustrations that I’ve been using lately a lot, I read this in the Financial Post, and the National Post, of the difference between a million and a billion. Which is that a million seconds is 11 days, a billion seconds is 33 years.
Matt: [laughs] Yeah.
Dave: So, translate that into dollars, and it’s like, okay, I’m not betting 11 days worth of money here, I’m betting 33 years worth of money here, and… oops! Han Solo tanked. And it’s like, that’s not a small concern. Ya know, they have an enormous book value, Disney does, but it doesn’t matter how big your book value is, you can’t be taking too many billion dollar hits. And the track record is phenomenal. I mean, just look at how many times that they haven’t tanked, they haven’t flopped, versus the number of times that they have.
Matt: Paula and I were talking, cause there’s the new Star Wars movie comes out at the end of the year, the next Avengers movie is this year, and she’s looking at the calendar, and Disney has one movie that we’re gonna want to see every month for the rest of the year.
Dave: Right. Are these [audio is buried under Matt’s audio]
Matt: And it’s not even like these are… Well, ya know, it’s a Disney movie that you’re sort of… these are big tentpole movies, and there’s one every month.
Dave: Right.
Matt: Yeah, they lost on Solo but they’re gonna make it back on Mary Poppins 2 and all these other movies.
Dave: Theoretically, that’s the gambler’s logic.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: That’s when a guy goes bankrupt in Las Vegas is going, “Well, I’ll just put more money down on more markers at the roulette table, and the wins will take care of the losses.”
Matt: I think they got a good hand, but then again, I’m a guy who’s gonna give them money, so I really can’t vote.
Dave: Right, right. No, I think it’s one of those… on that plateau, I don’t know how you could possibly even sleep at night [laughs] going, is this actually going to work? Like, it looks really, really good on paper.
Matt: Well, that… Uhh, Bruce Campbell is in a movie called “Congo”, and it’s a really bad movie. It didn’t do well. It was a box office bomb the summer it came out, and I saw him at a convention, and somebody said, “Why’d you do this movie?” And he’s like, “Well, let me start off with, I got a script based on a story by Michael Crichton. Would you make a movie by Michael Crichton?”. “Oh yeah yeah, we would do that.” “The screenwriter is a guy who works with Steven Spielberg. Would you use this guy?” “Oh yeah.” “The producer is somebody who works with Spielberg, Spielberg is the executive producer, the cinematographer has got five Academy Awards…” He goes on and on, and he goes, “Would you make this movie?” and the crowd goes, “Yeah” and he goes, “Great, you just made Congo.”
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: I mean, on paper, this movie can’t lose. In reality, that movie lost.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah, yeah… Yeah, I think that looking at what happened with the “Black Panther”. It’s like, man oh man. Is the association with the Black Panthers per se still there, and do you want to be possibly lighting that fuse? And, as it turns out, no that’s just a… the Black Panthers from the 1960s, which is where Kirby got the idea, are really just a footnote for the thing now.
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: It’s a large metaphor for the Martin Luther King black sensibility, versus the Malcolm X black sensibility. They are very adept at that, the movies that I have seen. [clears throat] Excuse me. With the Kitchen families, I always compare it to “The Andromeda Strain”, because it’s this, “We’re going to make you believe in this incredible real world societal disaster that’s going on, and then we bring in the people with the leotards on.”
Matt: [laughs] Yeah. Uhh, I actually saw the Spider-Man movie with Spider-Ham in it, and to hammer home the Porky Pig point, at one point at the end of the movie, Spider-Ham says “that’s all folks” and Spider-Man off camera says, “Can we legally say that?”
Dave: That’s good.
Matt: And I’m laughing, going, to me, any Cerebus / Spider-Man connection is probably severed by that point because he looks like Porky Pig, he’s saying Porky Pig’s line, and you’re acknowledging it’s Porky Pig’s line.
Dave: Yeah, and it’s not something that I would be terribly concerned about, like I do take issue with Casey asserting that Marvel is doing something untoward or unethical here. I think that’s another one of those things that you have to realize. Anything that you’re going to see on the screen in a movie they hope is going to make a billion dollars and costs them $200 million to make, it has been vetted every possible legal way that it can be vetted, and I’m sure that everything they bought from Marvel is in that category. The legal teams went through every line of every contract for every property that Marvel possesses, and they just do the due diligence all over again if they’re gonna make a movie. They have to make sure all the T’s are crossed and all the I’s are dotted. Just so that they’re not vulnerable to lawsuits and they're still gonna end up getting nuisance lawsuits.
Matt: Well, and I think the Marv Wolfman thing was probably a big milestone for doing the due diligence, because, ya know, with the Blade lawsuit where he’s like, “Hey, I created Blade, I own Blade.  Ya know, yes I worked for Marvel but it wasn’t necessarily work for hire.” And that’s ya know, the fact the former Editor-in-chief of Marvel lost his lawsuit, ya know, it should’ve been a sign to everybody.
Dave: [coughs] I think you always have to look at if they pull that card out of the house of cards, the whole house of cards comes down. And that’s across the whole of intellectual property jurisprudence, that they just can’t do that. It would set a precedence and the whole house of cards goes after that.
Matt: Ahh. I mean, that’s… that’s the good thing about owning your own intellectual property and knowing 100% everything that has my character is something I said, “yep, I want that.”
Dave: Yeah! Yeah. Even if you go the lunatic extreme that I did where I go, “if you think you need to use Cerebus in something, you know that better than I do. So, go ahead, no you don’t have to ask permission.”


Dave: Uhh… the next thing on the agenda was the Gail Simone thing, That was interesting. I think I don’t want to go into that too deeply. I think Eddie had the most succinct take on it, which was, let’s keep talking about people in the comic book field who think Cerebus is really good, recommending Cerebus. All we want to do is say, the most helpful would be to say, the $99 deal for all 6000 pages at, that is a really good deal if you like really good comics. I just get the sense that what they’re trying to say is, “well, Gail Simone had these nice things to say about the first half of Cerebus and particularly “High Society”, we’re not gonna call that damning with faint praise, and we’re also going to say Gail Simon represents the entire comic book field.” It’s like, no, that’s not the point of what we’re saying. What we’re saying is cartoonists generally do not… and cartoonists and comic professional influencers, let’s use the completely modern term for it, don’t go out of their way to influence the people that they influence to buy Cerebus. So, all we’re saying is it’ll probably be more helpful to just say that, you think the $99 deal is a really really good deal for the 6000 pages, and post a link so that it takes them right to the circa-1995 website that we’ve got for It’s like, I’m not selling websites, [laughs] I’m selling a 6000 page graphic novel. There’s a button here, you push the button, you [laughs] the $99. You’re all done.
Matt: That’s… doing the re-read of the entire series, with the 17th printing of the first phonebook, everybody pretty much agrees that that printing is the best advertisement for Cerebus right now, cause it’s like reading a whole new book. I mean…
Dave: Yeah.
Matt: … there’s detail there that… the latest one was issue 13, when the Tarmite Priest takes Cerebus to Necross’ castle, and there’s the establishing shot of the castle, there’s detail on the right side of the castle that’s there, that you can see, that I flipped through a copy of the “Swords” vol 3, I think, or 4, and it’s not there. It’s just all black. And in my reread, I posted that image of, “this is why you need to buy the book if you haven’t already, because you’re gonna to see things that you’ve never seen before.” And…
Dave: Yeah, and that’s... I would have to go downstairs and check my copy of #13, but I don’t think it was there from the very beginning. It was me using spatter, ya know, duepress spatter to do a gray effect, which looks really good on the original artwork, but at that time, with the circulation on Cerebus, it’s like, they’re not gonna anguish about this, they’re just gonna throw it on the press and do it. It needs a Sean Robinson this many decades later to say, “I can get all of it, but you’ve gotta be patient.”
Matt: I’m assuming when I get to the remastered “High Society” it’s gonna be the same experience of “this feels like a whole new book.” And part of me’s really hoping we get all of the rest of the phonebooks done before I get to them so I can read all of them remastered. I know it’s not gonna happen, though.
Dave: No, probably not. I mean, anything can happen. We are one positive viral internet meme away from going, “oh, now I don’t have to be running back and forth between these 8 different projects trying to figure out how to bring in enough money so that I can pay Sean to do all the stuff that he’s doing.” Like, he’s not just remastering the Cerebus trades, he’s doing a lot of the heavy lifting on Cerebus in Hell? and on the Strange Death of Alex Raymond. So, aside from that, babysitting the Kickstarters, which the next Kickstarter is gonna be starting sometime this week. It’s like when you’re down to a Cerebus Siberian gulag of aficionados as your marketplace, you always got to be trying to figure out, first of all how to get more money out of them, and second of all, how not to bankrupt them.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And really having to balance that, but if we just had suddenly one of those great internet memes where people went, “Oh, I had no idea, $99 for 6000 pages, hey I’m in.” and, ya know, at the end of the week you got $85,000. Yeah, okay, then we can definitely start looking at accelerating the remastering, but right now it’s, no we’re trying to figure out how to make the bread crust here in the gulag last so that all of the prisoners don’t starve to death.
Matt: [laughs] Yeah. I know that feeling.
Dave: Okay, let’s get off of that cheerful topic! [laughs]
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: Of the gulag, and what’s next on our agenda…


Dave: …agenda, Mr Matt?
Matt: Uhh… how is the Strange Death of Alex Raymond coming along?
Dave: How is the Strange Death of Alex Raymond coming along? We are at, I think, the next prototype stage, almost. Sean’s been working on the cover. I just couldn’t… Carson did a great painted cover, but it wasn’t the cover that I needed it to be for the Strange Death of Alex Raymond. Just because of the mental image of what I think this book needs to look like, so as far as we know all of the interiors on Volume One are done, but I haven’t seen a prototype of the interiors on Volume One, because Sean’s been having to go off and do other things for Aardvark-Vanaheim. So the last… the Prototype #1, which is actually being auctioned, this will be the first time that the complete Volume One will be available, it’ll be on Comic Link, I don’t know if they’re going it their next auction or the one after that. But that’ll be the first time that somebody will be able to buy Volume One. I got it, and went through and tweaked a bunch of it and sent the tweaks to Sean and Sean did the tweaks. And then I went, “Can we make the page a little bigger? Because it is an oversized book. Can we actually expand the size of the page and take down the margins around the outside, without having people say, “wow those are really tiny margins that’s distracting me from actually reading the book.”” So Sean actually took everything up by about another quarter of an inch, and that’s what I’m primarily going to be looking at on the second prototype when we get there, and what the new cover looks like. Sean did 18 different versions of the cover, which have just been auctioned through Comic Link, the 18 of them, and I said, “it’s partway between, I think it was #4 and #10, is what we’re looking for.” And so he did that, and then I did a couple of more suggestions as to where the Goldilocks spot is in there. And then I needed to put some extra white on the cover, that.. some raindrops, some white highlights, some dry brushstrokes that the only way that it would look exactly the way I picture it, is if I did it on a blueline where you couldn’t print out the blueline. The same way that I did the Cerebus Birthday Card, the Neal Adams birthday card. Everything on the blueline that’s in black is gonna be printed in white. So Sean has just faxed me today that he’s got that part of it done. He has emailed the new cover, which he says looks like a cover for the first time, and along with all of the interior digital files. So, God-willing, and all things being equal, when I go into StudioComix Press on Monday, I should have the first finished copy of Volume #1, this is what it’s going to look like.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: And then I have to sit down and read it as a book, and go, “Okay, is there anything here that I’m missing or that I want to do differently, or revisit.” As soon as I saw the page size, I went, “Hmm, I think we could probably go another quarter inch all the way around.” That was really all I could see from then on. [laughs] It’s like, there was no point of reading the book until I’m reading the actual book, exactly the way I pictured the book.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: The next stage after that will be Volume Two. Volume Two is done, except it doesn’t have a cover. And then, Carson sent me a cover idea for Volume Two, and I went, “this is a great half of an idea for a cover, but it’s half an idea of the cover of Volume Three.” So I mocked up a cover for Volume Three, so we now have a cover for Volume Three, but no Volume Three, and no cover for Volume Two and all of Volume Two.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: You did ask! [laughs]
Matt: I did ask.
Dave: You specifically said, how’s Strange Death of Alex Raymond coming along? This is the… we’re definitely at the minutia stage of having to micromanage everything so that… we went through this with You Don’t Know Jack and the Hermitage Auctions Catalogue, which have now both done for eight months? Ten months? But I don’t have to go back and visit them. They’re as close to perfect as I can get them, so now it’s time to move on to Strange Death of Alex Raymond Volume One, and then there’s the Artist’s Edition of Strange Death of Alex Raymond #1… Volume One, which is the first 20 pages, and I’ve got the Artist’s Edition for Strange Death of Alex Raymond #2, which is pages 21-40, but I don’t the right cover for that. The Studiocomix Press guys didn’t get… they thought they were just doing another Artist’s Edition #1. And it’s like, no this is Artist’s Edition #2. But it’s like, okay we’re not there yet, we’re still working on the actual Volume One. When I get the prototype of the Volume One, then we can move on to the Artist’s Edition Volume Two. Because my theory is, I want IDW to launch all of these simultaneously. I want a carpet bombing of the Hermitage Auctions Catalogue, You Don’t Know Jack 1 & 2, Strange Death of Alex Raymond Volume One, and the Strange Death of Alex Raymond Artist’s Edition Volume One and Volume Two.
Matt: [sighs] I’m gonna be broke. [laughs]
Dave: Possibly the same month, because nobody has ever done that.
Matt: [laughs] I’m gonna be broke. I gotta start workin’ more overtime.
Dave: [laughs] Yes, yes. Very very possibly. You will have a lot of warning, because I still haven’t pitched this to IDW. Like, this is why I want to have all of the prototypes, is so that I can go out to IDW and go, “this, this, this, this, this, and this. Now you can spin the roulette wheel.”
Matt: [laughs] That’s, uhhh… Oliver Simonson just posted to the Facebook Group an article where they’re interviewing Ted Adams on the 20th anniversary of IDW’s founding. And the way he made it sound was that they were talking about Strange Death, oh okay, so I read it and I’m like, “they’re not talking about Strange Death at all.” He’s just talking about, he took a sabbatical and I guess he’s comin’ back and when he comes back, he’s going to be the publisher again.
Dave: Oh, he’s going to be the publisher?
Matt: The way I read the article, yeah, that’s the way it sounded.
Dave: Okay, cause the last I heard he was still saying in the position he was in, but… what’s his name, oh I feel bad, I’m forgetting his name-- Chris Ryall, was coming back, and he was going to be the publisher.
Matt: Well, I… I will look the article up tonight and I’ll fax it up to you, and you can take a look at it.
Dave: Okay. No, it’s really kinda beside the point, whoever’s behind the desk.
Matt: Oh yeah, yeah, it’s gonna be, you’re gonna walk in…
Dave: I’m gonna be telling them the same thing, and it’s like, I’m flying all the way to San Diego in the hopes that whoever is behind the desk is very philosophical about me just following them around for a week.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: It’s like, whatever meetings you’re going to, you go into the meeting, but when you come out of the meeting, [laughs] I’m gonna talk to you about this again. And I’ll just sit out, ya know, playing with a paperclip or something like that while you’re in the meeting. [hums] Not working is really big on my list of things to do. Particularly, San Diego in winter, if it ends up being in winter.
Matt: Yeah. [laughs] Ya gotta get somebody to show up with a camera and film you waiting, that’ll be funny.
Dave: [laughs] Well, I can bring my own camera with me, and do the autobiographical Dave Sim goes to IDW, to try to explain Hermitage Auctions, You Don’t Know Jack, Strange Death of Alex Raymond Volume One and Volume Two, and the two Artist’s Editions. And then, if we get to the end of it, and whoever it is that’s behind the desk, the worst case scenario is it’s not Ted, they had another change before I could get out to San Diego, and the guy goes, “Uhh, this is crazy, can we just get out of this?” And it’ll be, “No problem! No problem. I will auction all of the artwork through Heritage Auctions, and when I get a big enough pile of money to pay IDW back, then I’ve got the rights back to it, I’m just gonna put it on a shelf and forget about it.”
Matt: [laughs] Uhh, that’s how you get more people to pay to come visit you for the Kickstarters.
Dave: [laughs] Yeah, really, I could just have the pages in a stack in the rectangle office, and it’s like, “Here’s your comfy chair, just turn them upside down on the carpet as you read them. There’s the Strange Death of Alex Raymond Volume One and Volume Two.”
Matt: [laughs] The whole thing sounds like a plot to a Marx Brothers movie, but I’m interested!
Dave: [laughs] It is! I mean, it’s the stateroom scene on a galactic level.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And it’s getting more that way, instead of less that way. Right now, like, the… I’m working ideally 12 hours a day on the research and the commentary. I have to explain everything to myself first in a way that I understand it. And then I have to take what’s essentially, oh, ballpark figure, let’s say 3000 pages of research materials and commentaries on Ward Greene, and then I’ve got to distill down to… ohh, ballpark, 20-22 pages, in Volume Three.
Matt: [laughs] I can just… I’m mentally picturing an Alan Moore comic script.
Dave: Oh, it’s beyond that. That’s why I’m saying it’s on a galactic level. Picture a galactic level stateroom scene, but then you have to actually do in a stateroom
Matt: [laughs] Yeah, that’s gonna be… it’s good work if you can get, as long as you get paid.
Dave: And I’m not getting paid a nickle, that’s the other thing. I pay myself substantially below the poverty rate, because there’s really not much point in paying me money. It’s like, I buy $67 of groceries a week, and I subscribe to the National Post, the laundry service is, I think, $150 a month, so… as long as that’s covered, then everything else is paying bills, just cause all of this stuff needs to get done. So it’s like, well, okay, if I don’t pay me, that buys me another three or four months. Because the biggest thing that we’re all on the same page with is that the we don’t want to be pressured into doing this when it’s not ready.
Matt: Right.
Dave: And that way that you would do that is by taking more money, or Carson taking money in advance for Volume Three. At that point, yeah, they want Volume Three, they paid for it. This way, if we don’t get paid, uhh we’ll let you know when it’s done.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: It’s done, when it’s absolutely perfect, and until it’s absolutely perfect, it’s not done.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: Cause I never got to do that with Cerebus. Cerebus was, “this is as good as we can get it in a month. Cause we’ve only got a month, otherwise we’re not gonna be done in March 2004. And already I don’t want to be working past March 2004. It’s bad enough that I’m gonna be working until then, way way off in the distant future when we’re all walking around on the moon in rocket shoes.”
Matt: Right. That’s, uhh… next month is the 15th anniversary of when you finished the series.
Dave: Yes! Well, for me the 15th anniversary was in December.
Matt: Well, yeah, I know, but I figure next month I’m gonna do a series of posts about, ya know, “Hey! It’s 15 years and we’re still talkin’ about it.”
Dave: This is true! This is true. I have to say that I am gratified about that, that the people who are really really keen on Cerebus are really really keen on Cerebus, and I deeply appreciate that because, that was a a lot of work, that was 26 years. But it was one of those things that I never really got to do was, no I want to do this perfectly, I want to do this as close to absolutely perfect as I can get it so that any time that I do pick it up after it’s done, I don’t have that thing of opening up to a page and going, “Arrgh, a typo.” The first thing you see when you open it up and it’s a typo. And that’s a brutal process, because I just found a typo I think 2 months ago in Strange Death of Alex Raymond Volume One. Pages that I’ve read literally hundreds and hundreds of times, looking for typos, and it’s like, “how could I miss that?
Matt: Every now and then I’ll… I’d reread Glamourpuss #1 and there’s a typo on one of the pages, and it’ll jump out at me and I’m like, “I should let Dave know about this, if ever he’s gonna collect it, this needs to be corrected.” So I set it down, go get a pen and paper to write down what the typo is, go back and I can’t find it.
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: And I’ve done this, 5, 6 times. It got to the point where I know I have extra copies, next time I read Glamourpuss #1 and I find it, I’m gonna grab a red pen, circle it, and be like, “there, this is what’s wrong.”
Dave: Right.
Matt: But it’s one of those, ya know, when am I gonna read Glamourpuss again? I’m in the middle of rereading Cerebus.
Dave: Yeah. It’s almost a full time job just rereading Dave Sim.
Matt: Well, I mean, I did the first six issues, and then I did a post about it. Then I went back and the next post was more about from the first six issues of other things I noticed. Then the third post was I think the next seven issues… or no, the next six issues. And then I went back and talked about them again. And then the fifth post was just issue 13. And I’m like, at this rate, at the end of the year, I’m barely gonna be through issue 27. But I’m being thorough.
Dave: Funny how that works, cause that’s the same thing I’m going through with Rip Kirby, “The Caged Songbird” storyline. Ward Greene has this tricky little thing that he does where if he’s writing something autobiographical in the strip, he uses a two-dot ellipses instead of a three-dot ellipses. It was Eddie who caught that one, that the two-dot is Morse code for “I”.
Matt: Oh wow.
Dave: Isn’t that clever? So, there’s a sudden profusion of them in “The Caged Songbird”, so I had to just type them all out in a row, and then go, “okay, why are these autobiographical?” And I’ve been working on that, that’s the last thing that I have to do on “The Caged Songbird”, I’ve been at that for probably three or four weeks now, and after that I’m just gonna have to put “The Caged Songbird” away cause every time that I pick it up, it’s like, “Oh oh, wait a minute, this in here too? How can this be in here, as well?” And then I have to figure out the actual Caged Songbird in Strange Death of Alex Raymond is probably gonna be half a page.
Matt: [laugh]
Dave: Or maybe a page. But only because it links…


Dave: Which makes an interesting segue, now that you’re talking about Glamourpuss, who was it that it was… John Carter that was asking about the photo reference…
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: “The Heart of Juliet Jones”. I’ve got the strip here. I don’t know if you want to send a quick email to Carson or Eddie, it’s the February 9th, 1961 strip, is where Drake’s drawn it, and the Polaroid references are in an issue of Glamourpuss. I did two Polaroids of I think it’s Stan Drake with Sarah Jane, but it could be another guy who just looks sort of like Stan Drake, and those were the only two Polaroids of Stan Drake that were in the Stan Drake Papers at Syracuse University.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: Unlike John Cullen Murphy, whose son Cullen Murphy, who wrote Prince Valiant for when John Cullen Murphy was drawing it, Cullen Murphy still has all of his dad’s Polaroids from Big Ben Bolt.
Matt: Okay…
Dave: And as far as I know, these are the only two Polaroids that exist of Stan Drake’s photo reference. They’re the only ones in the official record, anyway. I’m pretty sure that Sarah Jane, Bunny, his second wife was the one who put the package together and deciced, “Oh these are really nice pictures of me with Stan, so I’ll make those part of Stan Drake Papers.” And in the February 9th strip, one of the shots of the two of them together is lightboxed size as, or slightly larger, and the other one he’s done a smaller version of himself and a larger version of Bunny in the reference, so both Eddie and Carson would have the February 9th strip. [laughs] I’m afraid I was up to my eyeballs in Ward Greene city and it’s like, “I don’t have time to go back to Camp David and go through all of my Glamourpusses looking for those two Polaroids”, but trust me, they’re in there.
Matt: Well, I have all of that, so I can look for it, too.
Dave: Okay, good. But that’ll take you away from Cerebus!
Matt: Yeah yeah, but I know where the Glamourpuss stuff is, I’m just grabbin’ it and flippin’ through real quick.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: Actually, Carson gave… not Carson… Maybe Carson? Somebody gave me a digital copy of all of Glamourpuss, so I have digitally all of it, too. So I can just open those and scroll through on the computer real quick.
Dave: There you go. Somebody in the near future, you’ll just be able to say, “Computer, there’s only two photos.”
Matt: No, I highly doubt that.
Dave: Here they are.
Matt: Before, I was setting up my tablet, and I’m like, okay, where’s the microphone, and I’m lookin’ in the instruction thing and it doesn’t say at all, and I’m like, there’s this little hole, and I did a test, and hey, I found the microphone! So the audio on this video is going to be better than all the other videos.
Dave: Nifty!
Matt: Yeah! As I said on the last…
Dave: How ‘bout that?! Just by finding the microphone.
Matt: I just assumed it was on the bottom, cause it’s on the bottom of everything else that I have that has a microphone, but no, it’s on the top! And it doesn’t make any sense.
Dave: [laughs] Where is it on this?
Matt: It’s on the top of… if you’re holding the tablet like a book, it’s on the top instead of the bottom.
Dave: How ‘bout that.
Matt: And it’s actually where I have the tablet on a book right now, so the microphone is right by the speaker of the phone that I’m recording. I’m like, “I finally figured it out.” As I said…
Dave: That’s one of my Jimmy Stewart moments, “Well, well, what do ya know about that?”
Matt: [laughs] I said on the one of the transcripts that I posted, somebody commented on, I think it was the first one, where Jesse Lee Herndon had put in all the “uhhs” and “ohhs” and ya know, pauses, and like, cause he was doing direct transcripts, like it was a court transcript, then he realized, “No I can lay off on this”, and he does admit it gets better as he goes through the different transcripts. And somebody commented, “Hey, you shouldn’t have put those in”, my response was, “By ‘Please Hold’ #88 we’re gonna have this down pat.”
Dave: [laughs] I gotta tell you, major major kudos to Jesse Lee Herndon on that one. There’s a guy who earned his Cerebus Superfan Award all over again, just for doing that. Like you said in the fax to me, “here’s my new best friend.”
Matt: Well, that’s… Sean Robinson had sent a bunch of stuff in at one point, and I’m like, “Hey, I got a week’s worth of posts. I don’t have to do any work.” So I made him the “A Moment of Cerebus Special Friend of the Day” and I made up a little certificate and I put the image of the certificate on the blog with the caption, “suitable for framing.”
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: And other people have done neat stuff for me, so I make a new certificate that looks like the other one... Or, no, I take it back, Jimmy [Gownley], from Amelia Rules! He was the first one. Because I had asked a trivia question about “there’s an image we’re lookin’ for from one of the phonebooks, I can’t remember where it is. Can somebody tell me where it is?” And he responded with what it was, so he was the first. And then Sean was the second, and we have two or three more, but when Jesse Lee sent in the transcripts I made up his, and every single time a transcript goes up, it goes up. And he’s gonna get a special reward as soon as I can figure out what it’s gonna be.
Dave: [laughs] Well, I gotta figure out something for him, as well. Cause, man, I wouldn’t want to do that. In a word, I wouldn’t want to do that.
Matt: [laughs] It was one of those, “I’m gonna do this! I’m gonna do this! Uhh, could somebody else do this?”
Dave: Uhh, I’ve got a prayer time coming up at 7:03 and the clock’s telling me it’s about 6:47. Do we have another item… I think there’s another item on there.
Matt: Uhh… I can’t remember. I’m sure it was really important, too.
Dave: [laughs] I had the transcript here… or the agenda here. Why do I not have the agenda now? Okay, we’re gonna have really unprofessional dead air while I go and find it.
Matt: Okay.
[time passes]
Dave: We’re back from our commercial message!
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: Uhh… Oh! Al Roney talking about how disappointed he was with me entering the story, and it’s like, it was in Animal Man. I was trying to figure out who did do that first. Like, “Duck Amuck” I think qualifies as that, it’s just got another layer in between.
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: So, is there a prior version of “Duck Amuck”, or was that new?
Matt: Now I’m gonna have to look up meta-textual on the internet and find out.
Dave: Well, there you go. See, you can do that from home, fortunately, I can’t.
Matt: Well, you could but you don’t want to.
Dave: [laughs] I don’t want to.
Matt: But you don’t want to! I’m telling you from experience.
Dave: You want to, because my mind is all over the place thinking about all these different things, and I would distract myself very very easily with stuff like that. It’s always weird when I’m visiting the Kitchen Family and something will come up. What was it? Oh, “In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree”, and then I went, [laughs] oh wait you’ve got one of those things in your pocket! Pull it out, can you start typing that in?
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And find out what the rest of that is? And it’s like, there it is! It’s instantaneous, but it was also 10 minutes out of my life while we found it and while I read it, and that’s fine on my every six months human being day, but on a day when I’m trying to get the Strange Death of Alex Raymond done, we don’t have time for Kublai Khan. We’ve got work to do here.
Matt: I used to read “Time” on my breaks at work. I had a subscription, and it’d take me about a week to read one week’s issue. And then I started doing the blog and then I’m checking my phone on my breaks, and now it’s like, I got, I dunno, three months worth of “Time”s sitting in a box that I’m gonna get to these! No, really, I’m gonna get to them! I’m not just saving them because I’m a hoarder, I’m gonna read these one day… no I’m not. Not even a little bit.
Dave: [laughs] There you go. I think everybody’s going through that. I’m working very hard not to go through that. Which is I think one of the reasons why God makes me sick over Christmas every year, cause it’s like, “Oh no, you’ve got to read something for entertainment every once in a while, and I know you won’t unless you’re sick. So here’s your new four books from Chris Woerner, lie down with a box of Kleenex and blow your nose a lot and read them! For cryin’ out loud.” The last one… Oh! Ryan Handly with his mistaken copy of “Form & Void”, where he thought I was just getting really esoteric with in my storytelling and pages 538 to 571 just repeated in his copy of the book. And that did happen before, I don’t remember who it was that it happened to, but somebody mailed it to me and I read it, and I went, “Uhh, I sure hope this isn’t in all of them.” But… you posed the question, and that’s the problem. We’re really down to the Cerebus gulag, last few people. So, unless you’re asking a question about, when was it, 2001? Edition? Yeah, third printing November 2001, was what Ryan said, and [laughs] it’s definitely worth trying to find out, okay, how many third printings are out there in Cerebus land, and would you mind going and checking and just making sure that all of the third printings don’t do that? I don’t think they did, I think it’s one of those binding situations where the signature were stacked up and one of the signatures sort of jumped off the top of the other and instead of somebody noticing, “Okay, this came off another pile”, they just printed it right side up. And sure enough, every time that happened, somebody’s gonna get a copy of the book like that.
Matt: That’s… the way I phrase it when stuff like that happens is, “Uhh, that was right before lunch.”
Dave: [laughs] And everybody’s got to eat lunch, well, except me. Lunch definitely takes precedence the closer that you get to lunch.
Matt: I-I…
Dave: Or prayer time! Or prayer time. There’s my segue out of here.
Matt: One last thing before you go, I looked it up, the earliest I can find… well, really cursorily, the earliest I can find of a writer writing themselves into the text, is William Somerset Maugham wrote himself into 1944’s “The Razor’s Edge”.
Dave: How about that?! Ya see, in that case, if Maugham did it, and Vaughn[?] did it, and Chuck Jones did it, then I think it’s just a matter of, well if you haven’t seen it before, here it is again, somebody trying to do a riff on it. I’m still very proud of it. I’m very proud of how that worked, and what it was like talking to Cerebus and him having no idea who I am.
Matt: [laughs] Ah…
Dave: Okay, have a good night! Tell Natasha that her birthday card is on the way, I put it in the mail yesterday so hopefully it’ll get to her on her birthday. And say hi to Janis, and say hi to Paula for me.
Matt: Will do! Talk to you next month.
Dave: Okay, take care, Matt.
Matt: Yep! You too, Dave. Bye.
Dave: Buh-bye.
Matt: Alright, there…
Next Time: The Please Hold transcript for March...

Friday 30 August 2019

Vark Wars, The Musical (Dave's Weekly Update #302)

Hi, Everybody!




Vark Wars, SEP191310 Order thirty, maybe your local retailer will give you a bigger discount!

Last week's Auction is over. Congratulations to L. Jamal Walton who has won with a bid of $175 (US Dollars.) Please contact Dave at (519) 576-0610, and arrange payment with him. 

This week's Auction has a bid of "a milion kagillion dollars" from "ricky todd Botelho" over on the YouTubes... but I suspect that it's not a valid bid. So, we're gonna start the bidding at $10 (US). Please bid by emailing with your real name, and bid. Please.

"Manly" Matt Dow is still giving away free @#$%! until tomorrow. Then I'm moving on to the next insanity...

The Cerebus in Hell? merch is changing before or on September 13th. Just an FYI...

And on Thursday of next week, Dave is gonna call for the next Please Hold For Dave Sim, so get your questions in.

Next Time: I'ma try and get the old Please Hold transcripts up to date.

Thursday 29 August 2019

She's Your Elf. . .

A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

Albatross #2, aka Dave Sim's second Cerebus notebook, covered Cerebus #27 though 37 and out of 200 pages, 198 were scanned. Looking though it I found some early sketches of Elf:

Notebook #2, page 37

Notebook #2, page 38

Notebook #2, page 39

Even that early she had the sparkles and glitter.

Wednesday 28 August 2019


Benjamin Hobbs:

On sale today: TALES OF SOPHISTICATION #1!  Run to your LCS and pick up your copy NOW! (We KNOW, it's in your hold file, but the running adds a sense of drama that will spice up your life.)

Available now for order from Diamond: VARK WARS #1!
Promo strip courtesy of David Birdsong.


Tuesday 27 August 2019

"My Lips...Ah Say...My Lips're SEALED, Son..."

Hi, Everybody!

Everybody Loves Rigmarole:

This week's Auction is at $50 (USD) to Dion Turner. 
Colin Upton!: COLIN UPTON!!!: For the love of Pete: COLIN UPTON!!!!!: 
"Manly" Matt Dow is still giving away free @#$%!

SEP191310 Order twenty, get 'em "slabbed", CGC needs money too!

Next Time: Hobbs and a tale of sophistication...

Monday 26 August 2019

"Let's just say, I get around!"

Hi, Everybody!

This week's Auction is at $50 (USD) to Dion Turner. 
Colin Upton!: COLIN UPTON!!!: For the love of Pete: COLIN UPTON!!!!!: 
"Manly" Matt Dow is still giving away free @#$%!

SEP191310 Order ten, makes a GREAT Stocking Stuffer!



Man, I can't wait to see this remastered...Oh right, "sotto voce", sorry...
Next Time: Stuff?

Sunday 25 August 2019

Church & State II Bookplate...REVEALED!!!

Hi, Everybody!

These things:

This week's Auction is at $50 (USD) to Dion Turner. 
"Manly" Matt Dow is still giving away free @#$%!

And Then:

SEP191310 Order six, your Grandma wants one!

And now, the Winning selection for the Church & State Bookplate contest:
Hey look #783, you' bookplate is FAMOUS!!!

Meh, #783 did it first fellas...
It's pretty close to one of my suggestions:

I mean they're both 2010 commissions...

Next Time: I use the Jedi Mind Trick to get you to order Vark Wars...

Saturday 24 August 2019

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Hi, Everybody!

Roll 'em:

This week's Auction is at $50 (USD) to Dion Turner.

"Manly" Matt Dow is still giving away free @#$%!

And Then:

SEP191310 Order three, tell your friends!

So over on the Facebooks, I'm friends with Kickliy Yilkcik, and he collects old toys. He was looking for some Masters of The Universe. Well I have a bunch of Masters of The Universe, so I traded him a box of 'em for some original art.

Of Cerebus.

He asked me what issue or arc I wanted, and I decided on Melmoth.

I'm getting this:
Click to see it bigger and get all jelly...
I sent a copy of the image to Dave, and Dave faxed me back:

Next Time: I don't care, I'm getting Neat Stuff!

Friday 23 August 2019

Bard o' Steeltown, and mo' auction-action (Dave's Weekly Update #301)

Coming Attractions:

Order It

Do not try to click for bigness, only do!
GAH! Dang it Birdsong!!! Stop DOING that!!!!!
Hi, Everybody!


Whatcha getting:
Click for Big. Panel 4's Spider-Iguana copyright 2019 by me. And NOT part of the original. Dave said he wasn't gonna spoil it, so no freeze framing the video...

Click for big. This is All Sim.

More Sim.
And all this can be YOURS, if you outbid MY bid of Twenty-Five bucks (USD), you prick...
As usual:
Colin Upton!: Colin Upton!: COLIN UPTON!!!:
"Manly" Matt Dow is still giving away free @#$%!
Next Time: The Church & State Volume II Bookplate?