Sunday 1 September 2019

TL:DW: The Please Hold For Dave Sim 3/2019 Transcript

Hi, Everybody!

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

You should order the Vark Wars.
Image result for Star Wars #18 Marvel cover
It won't look like this, but I found this in the AMOChive yesterday...(It's Gene Day's first issue!)

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 made by
Jesse Lee Herndon! Thanks Jesse!
Please Hold for DaveSim 3/9/2019

Dave: Okay. Uhh, I guess we will start with Barry Deutsch.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: I pulled out the Hereville book, cause I hadn’t seen one of those in a while, and checked the dates on them. The first one came out 2010, the second one 2012, the third one 2015, and definitely not my kind of theology, but very very accomplished work, so I’m hoping Barry’s been able to keep going with Hereville.
Matt: Uhh, yeah, I dunno.
Dave: Anyway, it gives you an excuse to put some Hereville book covers up on the site when you’re looking for visuals for “Please Hold for Dave Sim.”
Matt: Yeah…
Dave: So, his question about, “anyone know if Dave and company plan to do more Cerebus Archive Portfolios? There weren’t many in 2018.” One of the problems that I’m having, pretty much across the board right now, is pretty much the price of paper. So it’s very difficult to figure out what’s the best way to be trying to make money in 2019 with the paper prices doing what they’re doing. In terms of the Cerebus Archive Portfolios, I had settled into 10 pages of artwork and 3 pages of commentary, 3 sheets of commentary, 6 pages of commentary, in each of the portfolios and I don’t know if that’s viable, and I haven’t been able to figure out what is it that I’m going to have to cut if I have to cut something. Do I cut the 10 pages back to 8 pages? And do I cut the commentary back from 3 sheets, 6 pages, to 2 sheets, 4 pages, or 1 sheet, 2 pages? It’s a very time consuming process to write the commentaries and it tends to take up pretty much an entire 12 hours a day, 6 days a week work week, when I do it. I do have the pages for Cerebus Archive #8 pulled out, the 10 earliest pages from the Cerebus Archive, and it’s also a situation where it’s stuff that interests me, but it’s not stuff that I think would interest the general Cerebus audience, if there even is such a thing anymore.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: The first page that I’ve got, issue 164, page3 is I think the earliest?… No, it’s not. That’s the other thing I was doing, was starting to shuffle them around, going, maybe if I deal with these not in the order that they were… I got two Elrod pages where he’s the sidekick for the Punisheroach, and those are interesting. I was looking forward to doing that. Then we get into a bit of a problem area because there’s 3 pages… let me count here, 1, 2… 3… no, 4 pages of the Oprah Winfrey parody, and I don’t know if 25 years later on, we’re any more ready for an Oprah Winfrey parody than we were in 1992.
Matt: [laughs] I always thought they were funny.
Dave: [laughs] Well, okay, that’s you and me so far.
Matt: I remember at SPACE one year, the year that when Seiler was still dating the crazy Canadian, cause she was there. We had enough women that we could do that sequence and not have Margaret do all the voices, and we did it… everybody in the room was laughin’. I dunno if anybody watched the video, I think it’s on Youtube.
Dave: Okay. Um, it’s just a very weird situation, just when you asked me about it, and it’s like, I went, “Okay, the pages are sitting right here.” I’ve got them sitting in the doorway of the office. So, they’re right there every time I come in and go out, and, you had relayed Barry’s question about whether there’s gonna be another Cerebus Archive, and it just seemed really coincidental, but at the same time, that I went, “Okay, let’s look at the pages again”. And I got to the Oprah Winfrey pages and there was like 4 of them. And I went, “Mmm, I don’t think anybody’s gonna buy 4 pages of Oprah Winfrey parody”, and then I went, “Uhh, okay, maybe don’t take Oprah Winfrey as seriously as they used to.” And then that very day, like, I’m reading the “Leaving Neverland” review in the National Post and they’ve got Oprah Winfrey, as our… what was it the New York Times called it? Processor in Chief, who did this one hour old style Oprah Winfrey kind of [gate??] with these survivors of Michael Jackson. And I’m sitting there going, “Oprah Winfrey was like one of the world’s biggest Michael Jackson boosters. What is she doing being our Processor in Chief? The person who is going to help us all get a handle on this triggering Michael Jackson moment? “ It’s like, I think… this is where I’m starting to get into dangerous territory just talking about talking about talking about Oprah Winfrey, where it’s like, I think most guys back in the 1990s had a pretty good idea of who Michael Jackson was? I don’t think the women did, and I think probably black people had a very kind of blind spot for Michael Jackson, but when the stories first started surfacing of him molesting prepubescent boys. It’s like, well whatever he’s doing to make his voice go like that, his voice doesn’t naturally go like that, that seems to dovetail with it and the whole Peter Pan thing. It’s like, wasn’t there a consensus that Michael Jackson was crazy?
Matt: [laughs] Yeah, yeah. I remember a couple of years back, talking to somebody when he was still alive, when he was going to trial… or they were investigating him, and somebody was like “Oh yeah, I was a big Michael Jackson fan” and I’m like, “Really? Cause he hasn’t had a hit since like 1990”. I mean, I remember he had one album come out after Thriller that was huge, and then there was one more, and then it was like he fell off the radar screen and all you ever heard about was the scandal. And I’m like, “Where’s the fanbase for this?”
Dave: Yeah.
Matt: Ya know, it’s not like he’s producing album after album, we’re not hearing from Michael other than Michael’s weird and crazy.
Dave: Yeah… yeah. It seemed to be a drug thing, as well, whatever painkillers he got into when he set his hair on fire during the Pepsi commercial. It’s like, he seemed right to go to the Elvis Presley drug plan thing of “I’m Michael Jackson and I can afford to buy and sell doctors 8 times over. So why don’t you just give me prescriptions that I want?” And it’s like self-medicating on this absolutely mind-boggling level.
Matt: Well, that’s…I remember after he died Lisa Marie came out with, when they were married that was his biggest fear was that he was gonna end up like Elvis, and I’m like, “Really? Cause sounds like you went, “Yeah I can do that!””.
Dave: Yeah! It looked more like a lifestyle choice than a cautionary tale from his point of view. The other thing, looking at the… I’m just paging through the Oprah Winfrey parody, and I did Cat Yronwode as Doctor Ironcat. Do you remember Cat Yronwode? Or do you know the reference to Cat Yronwode?
Matt: I have the original issues of Miracleman, so I get some of the reference. I mean, I know who she is.
Dave: Right. Yeah, cause she was an odd sort of character where she got romantically involved with Dean Mullany at Eclipse and just basically became the Eclipse publisher. The only time I heard from Dean Mullany in the last 25 years he referred to her as “she who must not be named”.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And that was another thing where I’m going, “Okay, first of all, am I taking my life in my hands describing what I see when I look at Oprah Winfrey? Then am I taking my life in my hands explaining how exactly strange I thought Cat Yronwode was?” Who, when Eclipse went out of business, she just sort of seemed to vanish. I knew mostly of her because I subscribed to the Comics Buyer’s Guide and she had a column in there called “Fit to Print”. She was the one that came up with “Bunny and Tree” as Will Eisner had told her anybody can do a comic strip. So she took him at his word and did a comic strip called “Bunny and Tree” and that’s where the Elrod bunnies and the Cerebus trees came from in “High Society”. And I gotta say, between trying to explain what I see when I look at Oprah Winfrey and what I see when I look at Cat Yronwode, and trying to do it in less pages than I’ve had in the commentaries up until now, I really can’t see myself making any friends this way.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: Particularly, the really hardened feminists like Barry Deutsch. I’m perfectly happy to be honest. I mean, I try to be as honest as possible about everything that I do, and if I’m doing commentaries, well, I’ll be honest about whatever it is that I’m supposed to be talking about. But feminists are not real big on any kind of honesty besides feminist honesty, in my experience. They expect you to tow the line, and if you don’t, you have to be fully prepared to being destroyed for not being a feminist.
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: [laughs] There’s a couple of women I work with that, ya know, years ago when I first started working at a factory, and okay, I’m working with a woman… there’s was like two or three women I work with, but not at the same time. And then it was, okay, there’s two women working together, and they’re the best of friends. And then a third woman started so then it’s… if you’re workin’ with three women, it’s two of them are the best of friends, and one of them is always gonna be “that bitch”. And I’ve told people this, and they just look at me like I’m insane, and I’m like, “watch”, and invariably, okay, I’m working with these two girls and they’re the best of friends. Yes, they’re a little catty to each other, but, ya know, they laugh and they giggle. And then a new girl starts and immediately one of them becomes “that bitch”, that, ya know, the other two just can’t stand. And I’ve had guys I’ve explained this to go, “No, you’re completely wrong, Matt.” And a week later they come back with, “Wow, you’re right, she is ‘that bitch’!” And I shake my head cause it’s like, I’ve seen it happen over and over again.
Dave: This was a guy that told you this?
Matt: I told this to a guy, and he didn’t believe me, and then a week later he came back and went, “yeah, no, you’re right.” If you don’t toe the company line, when it comes to women and how they, ya know, they have their hierarchy and if you buck the trends, all of a sudden, you’re out.
Dave: Yeah, that’s sort of related to what I call the Queen Bee Syndrome. Where somebody is going to be the arbiter of who is who and what’s what, and as soon as she makes herself apparent as the Queen Bee you have two choices -- get on her good side by letting her do whatever she wants to whoever she wants whenever she wants, or probably lose your job or whatever context it is that you’re in, because nobody crosses the Queen Bee.
Matt: Yeah, the way I always look at it is, tow the company line or hide.
Dave: [laughs] Right, right. So that’s really what I’ve been going through on the Cerebus Archive portfolio #8. Issue 163 page 6 is in there, and that’s the Asian prostitute with Punisheroach, and it’s like, that became a whole can of worms, cause I’m looking at it and I’m going, “Okay, I know where that came from in my personal life at the time, and again, I’m perfectly amenable to explaining where any of the jokes or situations come from.” What was interesting was looking at it, going, “This is pre-Chester Brown prostitution.” Which then led to, do I want to talk about that as well? Like, when I was hanging around with Chester Brown and listening to him, his advocacy of prostitution, which… we just kept going around the same circle all the time. Believe me, Chester, ya know, I’m not an impoverish individual, if I thought there was nothing wrong with paying young girls for sex, [laughs] I would be right there with you. It’s like, man oh man, just as mental pictured experiences go, yeah, physical pleasure, prosthetic feedback, whatever you want to call it. But, the morality of it is just, you can’t do that. There’s no way to make that a moral choice, it just seemed completely self-evident to me. Although, I live in a country where, as I’m saying to somebody the other day, prostitution is, at least for a time, has been seen as a civic virtue. This is a very good thing for a young girl to get into, because it gives her independence and autonomy, and she’s able to make lots of money. I don’t know if that’s still the point of view, that stuff tends to change behind the scenes, depending on what the Queen Bees are deciding between each other what’s okay and what’s not okay. That’s one of those, “do I really want to get into this?” and “Do I really want to get into this just after explaining what I see when I look at Oprah Winfrey and Cat Yronwode?”
Matt: [laughs] That’s your minefield, not mine. [laughs]
Dave: Well, exactly, it’s like, I was the one who decided to do a whole book called “Women” and being as honest as I possibly could in it with the women characters that I was doing. Here is my experience with women, what women are like in my experience. I’ve had good experience and I’ve had bad experiences, but mostly I look at it as I don’t think this is exportable into the political world and the business world without really doing serious damage to both, but I’m one of the few people who’s actually willing to say that out loud. I don’t know, it seems very weird, people seem to be backing towards my position? But everyone seems to be more willing to say, “Oh this whole political correctness thing is just getting out of control. We need a lot fewer people forcing people to be politically correct.” But they won’t say the same thing about feminists. It’s like, you need the firewall euphemism of political correctness. We can’t say, “No, this is what women have done to society over the last, well, next year will be the 50th anniversary.”
Matt: Right. That’s… again, that’s your minefield! [laughs]
Dave: Well, there ya go. So, I guess the short answer for Barry is, this is what keeps happening when it comes time to do Cerebus Archive #8, is well, okay, if I sit down to talk about this, as I always do, I will actually talk about this and I don’t know if you’re allowed to talk about this in our society. How many more Cerebus Archive customers I will lose by actually talking about Oprah Winfrey and actually talking about Cat Yronwode and actually talking about the whole Asian prostitute situation?
Matt: I mean, you could write everything up and we could put it online and put it in the notes, “Here’s the website if you want way more information than the average Cerebus fan”, but then again, then you’re getting to, well, here’s the commentary, and the commentary is go over there and look and we’re gonna wait here, and you can come back, if you want.”
Dave: Yeah, uhh… I’m not sure [laughs] over elaboration is going to help the situation, either. It’s like… no, this was already irritating me, I don’t want to go online and get more irritated.
Matt: Right.
Dave: … by reading. Although, that’s definitely what we’re planning on doing with the Strange Death of Alex Raymond, is to have online annotations, so that I’m not limited to, “well, it has to fit in the back of…”



Dave: That’s a work in progress, and that sort of dovetails with another thing here of your “Dave Sim effed up” thing. And actually, I just had that happened, two weeks ago? Three weeks ago? I faxed Eddie Khanna my commentaries on Strange Death of Alex Raymond. I can usually get about 4 or 5 pages done a day, and I did do a commentary on “The Caged Songbird” storyline and made a major mistake of, I had transcribed something from the storyline that… I think I was talking to you about last time, that Ward Greene, when he was putting in autobiographical things would use two-dot ellipses beause that’s Morse code for “I”.
Matt: Right.
Dave: And I was going through the list of those, and I had one where I thought he had written “Mr Dorff” instead of “Mr Van Dorff” and was making a point of why I thought this was autobiographical that he left out the Van, and then it turned out that, no, I transcribed it incorrectly, I went back and checked in the collected book and there it was. It said “Van Dorff”, which was really strange because the Heritage Auctions catalogue came in that day, and it had the original artwork for that strip in the back, which is one of those weird comic art metaphysics moments. So, what I told Eddie is anytime there is a mistake like that, we want to lead with that. Whatever section those commentaries go in, that goes up at the top, saying, “this was a mistake that Dave Sim made.” And not correcting the mistake, because it hasn’t actually gone out there. So if I’ve actually typed it into the commentary, then I think there’s a level of dishonesty to fixing the mistake as if it were never there, or just letting it be buried somewhere in the text and let’s see if anybody notices. No, if I make a mistake, I definitely want the mistake highlighted and headlined, because I think one of the things is there are going to be mistakes. I don’t think any human being can do a mistake free creative work. It’s made-up stuff.
Matt: Right.
Dave: If you’re making stuff up, then the odds are that you’re going to be able to flawlessly make stuff up seems really, really so unlikely as to be completely over into the impossible, and I don’t think I’ve ever claimed that Cerebus was a flawless work, or even a work with few flaws in it. Like, I think, the text in itself is what we really have in scripture, that’s the flawless text in terms of witness and testimony. This is why it exists is to keep the record straight of, “okay, this is how everything’s happened.” That’s my interpretation of it. And it took a long time, it took centuries and centuries for anybody to even consider creating text that wasn’t scriptural. [laughs] I think exactly the reason we’ve that we see in our society. If you just let people write whatever they want to write, you get over into really, really dangerous areas very very quickly, and before you know it, scripture has been completely elbowed out of the way in favor of stuff that people wanted to make up. So, I’m always… like I keep those things completely separate in my life. There’s scripture, and then there’s commentary. I comment on scripture, and then there’s made-up stuff. And it’s like, I’m pretty careful to know the difference on that. I don’t talk about books that I’ve read as if they’re in the same category as the Bible. The Bible is the Bible. Commentary on the Bible is what it is, and made-up stuff is what made-up stuff is, and that sort of dovetails into… we’re talking about the commentaries on the Genesis question.
Matt: Right.
Dave: That it just runs out in the middle of February, and it’s definitely done. That was Doctor Troy in Texas, my major patron on the 2012 Kickstarter where we offered $10,000 and Dave Sim will come and stay at your house and do a picture on your wall. Doctor Troy went for it and didn’t want me to do a picture on his wall, but he did want to videotape me talking to his Minister, who was John Burke at the time, and that was a situation where I was happy to do that. His Minister, John Burke, gave me a copy of his book, “Soul Revolution”, and I read that and then, figuring, well, okay, $10,000 is a lot of money. $10,000 US, so I will comment on “Soul Revolution” and send my commentaries on Reverend Burke’s book to Reverend Burke and to Doctor Troy, and never heard back from either of them. That was one of my Sabbath observances, every Sunday I would write about 5 or 6 pages of commentary, and then Doctor Troy sent me the “Genesis Question” book in 2013, and it’s like, “well, okay, I guess I’ll comment on this.” Mostly making the point why YHWH and God can be the same being, and this is a recurring motif in any of the scriptural commentaries that I do. So I did the scriptural commentaries on the “Genesis Question” and “Soul Revolution” 2012/2013/2014/2015. And then, in the middle of writing all of that, that was when my wrist went [??], so I didn’t know if that was, “Okay, I’m not supposed to be doing this. I didn’t know why I’m not supposed to be doing this, but if Doctor Troy’s gonna send me the book in the mail and I’m gonna read it, and then I’m gonna comment on it.” So, basically, I just stopped doing it. But that’s one of those, I do write commentaries because the Bible comes up reasonably often in the course of Rip Kirby. Ward Greene definitely had a background in the Bible and theology. He went completely over to the other side, over to the dark occult side, as far as I can see, but he did have a background in it, so his references are very specific. But me commenting on the Bible, commenting on what I see here, and going into considerable depth of using Strong’s Concordance to figure out, okay, what is the actual Hebrew term here and where does it come from, and what are the 10 or 12 different meanings that I can have? Which could definitely change what is the traditional translation of it, to, okay I think this is probably a more accurate translation, because there’s an androgynous female connotation to the term that I think is the reason why YHWH is using that term, because YHWH to me, is he/she/it. To which, ya know, LGBTQ on a different level, and that’s planet Earth, that’s what we’re reading when we’re reading, “The Lord says” and the Lord tells the Hebrew people to do this. So, I do that, but I also spend a considerable amount of time just reading scripture aloud, because what I see in scripture and how I interpret scripture to me is on a much much much much lower level than just reading scripture aloud from the Bible, from the Koran, from my English translation of the Koran, or my interlinear [??] scriptures. I think scripture is really all that we’ve got and that’s why I avoid going over into the scripture thing. I mean, scripture commentary exclusively, thing. The thing that drives me crazy about the Church Sermon is the priest and minister wants to talk for 15 minutes about something that happened to him this week, and then, will touch on a verse of scripture. It’s like, I really think scripture is a lot more important than what happened to you when you were sitting stuck in traffic for a couple of hours last Tuesday and this funny thing happened. It’s like, why don’t you know the difference? [laughs] Why don’t you know that scripture is on this elevated level and what you have to say about it is way down here? So, it’s interesting that all of this has sort of interconnected in this weird way. That tends to happen, as well.
Matt: That’s something I thought about the other day was, with the Strange Death of Alex Raymond, that… I know you’re doing a lot of research and it’s this never-ending rabbit hole of, ya know, you found something, you went for more information about it, and then that leads to something else, which leads to something else, which leads to something else. And I’m like, “ I wonder if this is gonna turn into this giant holistic thing where it’s all interconnected?”
Dave: Well, I think it is! I think see it as God’s immaculate clockwork mechanism. It’s just an imaginably large clock, we’re enacting things, over and over again, and the more you gravitate to scripture and the more that you focus on scripture, the thing of reading scripture aloud so it’s coming out of your mouth, it’s going in yours ears, it’s coming in your eyes, it’s circulating in your brain. That’s the closest you can get to God’s clockwork mechanism, as opposed to, ya know, watching “The 10 Commandments” with Charlton Heston, or something like that. One is actually part of the clockwork mechanism, and the other is somebody who doesn’t know how to build a watch, going, “That looks like fun, I want to do that.” Yeah, it all does seem to be interconnected and you just get glimmerings of it. You see, “wow this actually is linked to. This actually is connected to that.” Particularly when I’m doing the commentaries, because if I’m doing Alex Raymond commentaries I have to explain it on paper… well, not on paper, but on a word processor, explaining it exactly the way that I see it, which involves writing it all out and then going back to the beginning and reading through and going, “Okay, I’m not explaining this to myself thoroughly enough for me to understand it, so I don’t think anybody else is going to understand it.” And I have to find sharper and sharper ways to explain what it is that I think that I’m seeing here. And, it does seem to me like the best use of my time, but at the same time, you gotta go, “well, you also got to figure out a way to make a living here. You’ve got to bring in money on this.”

Dave: You gotta bring in money on this. And that becomes the problem. That’s one of the things that’s going on with the Kickstarters is… I dunno, we might just have to leave the restorations, the remastering of the books alone because the books are just not selling well enough for Diamond to warrant that. The only thing they’re selling is Cerebus In Hell?, so try and find, okay, what’s a way to bring in money not just doing the Cerebus In Hell? comic book? Let’s do this postcard, we can do a postcard everything two months, maybe they’ll be enough money coming in so that the four of us can buy groceries, at least. And we’ll see, this time next week, we’ll have a much clearer answer of, “okay, this is how much money came in” and then the week after that, “this is how much money it costs to do the postcard”, “this is how much money was left over when we divided it four ways”, “this is how much money each guy made.”
Matt: Well, that’s… one of the things with Cerebus In Hell? people have mentioned is, they’ll go to their comic book store and they’re like, “Oh yeah! There’s that new Cerebus book” and they go and they look in the C’s and they don’t find it because Watchvark is under W for Watchvark, and Nick Calm is under N for Nick Calm. I dunno if I faxed you, but I mentioned something to Sean and Ben and David of, if you guys title the book “Cerebus in Hell presents” whatever the one shot is, then they’d always get racked under C for Cerebus and maybe people could find it easier and maybe sales would go up. But that’s one of those… ya know, it’s an intangible that there’s no control group of, well, is it gonna help or not?
Dave: Right. There’s also the fact that it’s pin-balling between 1900 and 2100 copies, so I’m inclined to believe the retailers are finally finding the bottom. This is exactly how many of these that we need. One of the problems is that, with Cerebus, they always went up after issue 5 and issue 6, which then made it sensible to do a collection in order to catch people up on the storyline. That’s not happening with Cerebus In Hell? So it seems a lot more sensible to just have people figure out, okay here they all are on the back cover, here’s all their Diamond order codes, I just have to go into the store and say, “I want this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one.” And then buy the other ones online, and that’s the 1900 people taken care of.
Matt: Right.
Dave: You don’t want to be forcing the 1900 people to buy the same four comics they’ve already bought when they’ve already got those comic books.
Matt: Right. I know for Ben Hobbs’ column he was doin’ the 2019 checklist, and then he did the revised checklist, and then he did the revised revised checklist, and the joke the next week, cause on Tuesdays I’ll say, “next time, Ben Hobbs” and whatever. [laughs] That week, it was “next time, Ben Hobbs and the revised revised revised 2019 checklist?” Cause it seemed like it was changin’ every week, and I could tell, just reading what Ben was writing, that it was one of those, “Yeah, we decided not to do that, now we’re gonna do this.” I mean, I can see not doin’ a collection if the numbers aren’t there, cause, why waste… it’s gonna cost how much to print, versus how many one-shots could you print for the same amount?
Dave: I mean, this brings me all the way back to when I was doing “Swords of Cerebus” and I was getting hate mail from people because I put a backup story in it. It’s like, now I have to buy these four comic books that I already own just to get the backup story. And it’s like, yeah, I can see that too, but I also see it as as here’s more Cerebus. I can’t do two monthly titles, but if I’ve got a trade paperback coming out and I work with somebody else, I can maybe do another 8 page story. It’s like… [laughs] Can I get a round of applause for productivity? And it’s like, “No.” [laughs] What you get is hate mail for forcing me to buy something that I already own.
Matt: It’s the Catch-22 of, ya know, “Hey! I’m gonna collect everything, but I’m gonna give ya a little somethin’ extra.” “Well, I don’t want somethin’ extra.” “Well, wait until 1995 and buy the World Tour Book.”
Dave: Right. Yeah I’m still thinking about a Cerebus in Hell? trade paperback, and I was going, “how do you avoid that?” and I was thinking if you did the old science fiction annual thing of just putting the covers on the front cover and the interiors are on the interior, so there’s absolutely nothing in here that if you have these four issues you don’t already have, so you don’t have to buy them.
Matt: Right. I mean, that’s one way.
Dave: Then I’d probably get hate mail, saying “Well, couldn’t you put some more strips in here?”
Matt: [laughs] I believe somebody commented on it when it was still on the schedule was, “so instead of paying $4 an issue for 4 issues, I can pay $25 for 4 issues… ya know, I’m not savin’ any money.” It’s one of those, “yeah, but it’s gonna cost this much to collect these four issues. Ya know, the cost of paper, the cost of printing, it’s tied together, ya know.” It would be nice if you guys made a little money on the deal, too.
Dave: How are comic books priced now? Are they still $3.99.
Matt: Yeah, for most of ‘em. Far as I know, I don’t think they’ve dropped the price. I know there was talk of droppin’ prices, but I haven’t been to comic shop in a couple months, so I’m not sure.
Dave: Okay. How long have comic books been $3.99? Do you have a memory of that?
Matt: Uhh… I remember DC did a big thing where they did their New 52 which I think was like 5 years ago? Where they were “holding the line at $2.99”, and uhh… lemme see when that was…
Dave: That’s one of the questions of, “I have to admit I have a big mental block against going to $4.50” or something like that, on Cerebus in Hell? It’s like $4 seems like above the maximum that you can do. That’s why I wonder, are we ready for the $5 comic book?
Matt: I don’t think so…
Dave: Cause it seems to me that they did sort of jump from $3 to $4. Like there’s territory in between there. But it does seem odd to even talk about, “well okay, do we do a $3.25 comic? Or do we do a $3.50 comic? Or do we do a $3.33 comic?”
Matt: I know that that was the thing in the 90s that Marvel was doin’, increasing it like a quarter every time there was an increase. Once they hit $2 they jumped up.
Dave: Okay, the other thing that you were commenting on, in over 40 years you’re the only person who has noticed it, is the Cerebus silhouette thing.
Matt: [laughs] I only noticed it because I read the first three issues and I was like, they all have that same ending and I’m like, I wonder how issue 4 ends? And I got to that one and I’m like, “Okay, that’s… something that I just noticed.”
Dave: That was square one. That was the first panel in the first issue of Cerebus, Cerebus is a tiny silhouette, you can’t even tell where he stops and where the horse begins. So, it was always going back to square one, panel one, in the early stories, cause I didn’t know how many of these I was going to be able to do, and this was certainly my experience was, it didn’t matter what I did, I was always back at square one.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: Which, was why I called 112/113, “Square One.”
Matt: Okay, that makes sense.
Dave: Cause it was definitely the sense that I had, and remember I was a complete atheist at the time, why is this? Why are there people like me who are always getting sent back to square one, and there are all these other people where they have a success and just a giant vista of success opens up in front of them? Like, how does that work?
Matt: Right…
Dave: And from my perspective now… well, not strictly from my perspective now, but certainly after I became religious I looked back at it and went, “no, this was a saving grace in your life that you didn’t have that kind of success, because there are more unhappy stories attached to that kind of success than there are happy stories attached to that kind of success.” That’s really one of those, there but for the grace of God go I. Before I became religious, I did have intimations of it, though. I did… when Image came along they had this absolutely unimaginably explosive success and out of the 7 guys, the one guy who was actually doing what I was doing, which was producing his book, was Larsen on Savage Dragon.
Matt: Right.
Dave: Everybody else went the whole Hollywood route, and I think that was a sort of an after the fact explanation of, well, this is why your life had to go and had to go the way that it’s going, because you would have gone off in this direction. As attractive as that looks, the big pile of money and the giant commercial success definitely has its own gravitational pull, and that pulls you away from what’s actually important to you. Talking to Kevin Eastman the last time when I talked to him on the phone, and that’s definitely been his experience. He’s much much happier now just being a guy who draws comics, draws turtle comics, than he ever was being the multimillionaire creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the CEO of Turtles, Inc. And it’s interesting to have those kinds of wheels turn around in that way, where what I had already suspected I get confirmed for me from the guy who actually went through it.
Matt: Right. I can see that.
Dave: Okay, well, that just about uses up our hour. I’m afraid I did a lot more of the talking this time than you did.
Matt: Yeah, but it’s “Please Hold for Dave Sim”, not “Please Hold for Matt Dow”, so it’s fine by me.
Dave: Okay, alright. Try not to leave off on a down note or a somber note, I was talking to Bob Burden a couple of weeks back, and he had, what I consider a very funny suggestion, which was Donald Trump should make Bernie Sanders the American ambassador to Venezuela so he can see what an actual socialist country looks like.
Matt: [laughs] Yeah… [laughs] It’s a suggestion, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen, but it’s a suggestion… [laughs]
Dave: I would definitely like to be a fly on the wall if that happened, anyway.
Matt: [laughs] I would like to hear the tape the fly on the wall made of that conversation when it happens, but I don’t think I’d actually want to be on the wall.
Dave: [laughs] There ya go. Okay, well, that does it for another month again, Matt.
Matt: Okay! Thanks.
Dave: Alright.
Matt: Talk to you again next month.
Dave: I’ll talk to you again. Say hi to Paula, and Janis, and Janis’ birthday card is… it’s not in the mail, cause she’s at the end of this month, right, the 31st?
Matt: Correct.
Dave: And is turning 8?
Matt: Correct.
Dave: That boggles my mind, that Janis Pearl is turning 8. I still picture her as a baby.
Matt: We have a photo frame with a bunch of photos and one of them is Day One, within 3 hours of her being born, I picked her up and held her, and she reached her little hand up to try to touch my face, and we got a picture of it, and every time I walk past it, I’m like, “And that kid is now 4 feet tall, and dancin’ and runnin’ around and just… a barrel of energy” and I think, “she was so sweet. What happened?”
Dave: I remember the birth announcement where you wrote, “Look upon my works, ye mighty, and tremble.”
Matt: Yep.
Dave: [laughs] That still cracks me up.
Matt: When Natasha was born, I went online and I posted the video of John Hurt at the dinner scene from “Alien” and said, “if you know what’s going on, you’ll understand.” And everybody went, “there’s something wrong with you, Matt.” And I followed-up with the 1933 Universal Frankenstein “It’s alive, it’s alive. Now I know what it feels like to be a God.”
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: And everybody understood what I was talkin’ about after that one!
Dave: Okay, good. And they still look at you funny.
Matt: Oh yeah, everybody looks at me funny.
Dave: Alright. Alright, you have a good one, and we will talk to you in April.
Matt: Yep! Have a good one, Dave. Take care.
Dave: You too. Buh-bye.

Next Time: "HEY."

1 comment:

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave's a weird dude. His views of feminism seem as accurate as ever (ask me again about him ignoring the definitive refutation of No. 3 of his "X Impossible things"). And he doesn't believe in correcting himself before he releases his work? We used to call that "revising" or "editing" or "being a good writer". And he still seems to think that "atheist" means someone who is not an Abrahamic monotheist. Weird dude.

I've been enjoying the remastered phonebooks, and it would be too bad if there were no more of them. There are somewhere between 200 and 4,000 Cerebus fans left in the world, and perhaps that is just not a large enough market to support the remastering project. As a conservative, Dave will of course accept the judgement of the marketplace: there is no audience for Cerebus.

I'm still (trepidatiously) looking forward to Strange Death. Let's hope it's as good as the promise it showed when it was the best thing in Glamourpuss.

-- Damian