Sunday, 31 January 2021

Cerebus Around the World and Web #65 by Oliver Simonsen

Hi, Everybody!

As always now on Sundays, Cleeck fer biggerings:

Oliver Simonsen:

Patrick Meaney, award-winning film director, screenwriter, producer, comic book writer, and editor, best known for his work as a director of documentaries about Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Chris Claremont and Neil Gaiman. Is a Dave Sim Documentary in the works?

BBC Writer learned about dramatic pacing from Cerebus

"OtakuKamihowl" draws Cerebus (have to hand it to the artist she really made it look like an image from an actual cartoon)

"Cerebus in hell?" highlighted

New "Cerebus in hell?" excitement

Cerebus #1 excitement

Cerebus and Spawn Remastered Line Art Proof

Cerebus cameo is favorite Spawn issue in French

Cerebus and Spawn is classic

Cerebus, Spawn and Lethargic Lad

Diana Schultz teaching College Course on Comics

Italian site looks at the inspiration for the first Mind Games in Cerebus including John Lennon and Neal Adams.

French site with retrospective on Cerebus by the late Video Game Producer and Novelist Thierry Gagnon who passed away less than a year ago. From the article (thank you google translate):
"Long before the advent of Image Comics, Sim's business acumen and fiercely independent demeanor made him one of the most successful writers in the 1980s comic book world. Almost 10 years before SANDMAN arrived and VERTIGO, Dave Sim was able to create a unique and highly literary universe while the dominance of superheroes was still undisputed. Like SANDMAN, CEREBUS had successfully developed a large female readership, unlike the rest of the industry"

"CEREBUS marked the 80s as much by its abundant creativity as by its business model. In particular, before the publication of WATCHMEN and BATMAN: DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, Sim revolutionized the industry with its adoption of the "graphic novel" format for its reissues, which was still unpublished at the time (except for the seminal "UN PACTE WITH GOD ”by Will Eisner)."
"Thanks to the popularity of the series, their productivity, and bold business decisions, Dave and Gerhart were able to maintain a luxurious lifestyle, lining up tours around the world and many well-drunk and good company parties."

"The CEREBUS series combines elements from the fantastic universes of Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcork, the Marx brothers and superhero comics, all in a hybrid universe between heroic-fantasy and the Victorian era."

Cerebus among comic moments that live in one's head rent-free

Too many to choose from with special thanks to Margaret Liss wonderful resource for all things Cerebus

A poet describes Cerebus

Completes "Cerebus: Church and State" and "Jaka" single issues collection

Cerebus reprints investment

Looking for Cerebus

Cerebus and Red Sophia

Cerebus and superheroes

Cerebus and the Marx Bros

Cerebus and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Cerebus and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is favorite crossover

If you look through one side of Cerebus mouth can see through the other side?
Cerebus a favorite

First thought is Cerebus

Sam Blanchard knows Cerebus is the perfect spokesman and sales tool

Comic creator Al Nickerson shares letter he sent to Dave Sim

Journalist asks how much did Cerebus influence rap?

Cerebus is highlighted for "Foreign Comic Friday"

Pourya in Sweden draws Cerebus

New Cerebus review of Cerebus #22 coming in the ongoing Cerebus review series by "Grunion Guy"

Award winning Jesse Lee Herndon's vlog series "Sanctuary of Reality" is now at the actual Sanctuary portion of his ongoing Cerebus review.

Andrew Riley completes his Cerebus review series - from the review:

People are always asking: What is the meaning of life? What does it all mean? Why are we here? Hey, right. Okay. So Cerebus gives it to them, see. Here. This is the meaning of life. This is what it all means. This is why we’re here. And what’s their reaction? “You mean I have to read all THIS?”

Cerebus says this.

Right after I started to skip.

Prophets tell us what is going on in the world. People don’t listen to them. Dave Sim has tricked me into exemplifying a universal truth.

Thanks Oliver!

Rigamarole (that's Eye-Talian for "list of crap Matt keeps posting".):
Hemingway in Comics:

Heritage has some interesting "Dave Sim" bits (three pages of original art Sean! Including the two page spread from the Wilf Jenkins Collection!)

Cerebus in Hell?
Order now:
Possibly still available to order:
And coming the first Wednesday in February: Cerebus in Hell? 2021 (the cover screw up delayed it a week...)

And Dave's calling on Thursday for Please Hold, so get your questions in to

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Please Hold Transcript: 6/2019

Hi, Everybody!

Rigamarole (that's Eye-Talian for "list of crap Matt keeps posting".):
Hemingway in Comics:

Heritage has some interesting "Dave Sim" bits (three pages of original art Sean! Including the two page spread from the Wilf Jenkins Collection!)

Cerebus in Hell?
Order now:
Possibly still available to order:
And coming the first Wednesday in February: Cerebus in Hell? 2021 (the cover screw up delayed it a week...)

And Dave's calling on Thursday for Please Hold, so get your questions in to

Speaking of Please Hold...
Suitable-ish for framing...

Matt: Hullooo, Dave!

Dave: Hellooo, Matt! How you doin’?

Matt: Pretty good.

Dave: That’s good.

Matt: How are you doing?

Dave: Oh, fair to middlin’.

Matt: (laughs) Not sick anymore?

Dave: Ahh, no.

Matt: Alright.

Dave: [pregnant pause] Well, that’ll do it for another edition of Please Hold for Dave Sim!

Matt: (laughs) I think if I posted a video that short, everybody would be like, “what happened? What happened?!” We’re good!

Dave: That would be funny. Did you… are you recording yet?

Matt: Yeah! I recorded right at.. on the last ring.

Dave: Okay. Good. Alright. Did you get this thing from Eddie Khanna about Hanna-Barbera doing a live-action film called, “Cerebus”?

Matt: Yes! I did!

Dave: (laughs) I couldn’t believe that. Talk about your comic-art metaphysics.

Matt: That was… the article mentions “Mother, Jugs, and Speed”, which I don’t know how but I saw sometime about 20 years ago, ya know, channel surfing and it came on and my mom was like, “Oh yeah, this is a great movie!” And I watched it and I’m like, “this is a really weird movie” and I’m like, and I didn’t realize Joseph Barbera was the executive producer.

Dave: Right. It would have to be a while back because you couldn’t use that for a title on a movie today.

Matt: Well, then lookin into it, after the thing Eddie sent me, they made a pilot for a TV show based on “Mothers, Jugs, and Speed”.

Dave: Oh they did?

Matt: And they made a pilot, and the network didn’t pick it up, but it got released on a home video thing and Joseph Barbera is credited as the producer on that. And, like I said, I remember this movie, so I looked it up and yeah, apparently, readin’ between the lines, it sounds like the network thought it could be like M*A*S*H where, yeah the movie’s for adults but we can water it down and make a TV show.

Dave: Right. Right. I would be really interested to find out what they got on “Cerebus” or “Cerebus 1” as the action-thriller somewhere in the Hanna-Barbera archive. Cause, they hung on to just about everything, I think.

Matt: I would assume that they hang onto everything. I remember that the article says they did a statue… was how they sold “Cerebus 1” or “Cerebus I”, because Eddie can’t figure out if it’s supposed to be a 1 or an I.

Dave: Right. Yeah, that’s hard to tell. And yeah, they said that they sold all of the properties, the other one was “Dante’s Trip”.

Matt: Yeah. Which was a rock opera.

Dave: The trifecta, there. And yeah, told in a revolutionary way with graphics. So, you would assume that it exists somewhere. And that would be very, very funny, like 2 years before Cerebus happened… as a funny animal in a world of humans. Hanna-Barbera is doing their first, or second live-action movie called “Cerebus”.

Matt: Well, then the comic-art metaphysics is, eventually Hanna-Barbera is bought by Turner, and Turner merges with Time-Warner, who owns DC, who almost bought Cerebus, way back in the day.

Dave: Right. That’s almost a full circle on that one.

Matt: Now, if Time-Warner bought Lucasfilm…

Dave: Yes. Well, let’s not go there…

Matt: (laughs) We’ll save that for November.

Dave: There you go. Um, yeah, so… I was going to… you got the list of questions that you got from people, I didn’t know if you wanted to tackle that first. I went digging for… where is it… the Byron Dunbar email that he wrote to you, where he was looking for “Dave Sim: Conversations” and “Cerebus the Barbarian Messiah: Essays on the Epic Graphic Satire of Dave Sim and Gerhard”. One of those epic-length titles. Who actually did that one? Like, he’s asking if I’ve got it, and it’s like, no, we didn’t publish either of those. One of them was the University Press… University of Mississippi, on the “Dave Sim: Conversations”?

Matt: That’s… I’m tryin’ to remember. I know the Barbarian Messiah was University Press… and…

Dave: It was University Press, as well?

Matt: Yeah…

Dave: Hang on, it’s just… I’ve actually got it in my upstairs cupboard. We’ll just edit out this part. Hang on a sec.

Matt: (laughs) And this is where the “Please Hold” comes in.

[time passes]

Dave: Yeah, Eric Hoffman edited it.

Matt: Yeah.

Dave: And it’s McFarland Publishing. Not spelled like Todd McFarlane. That would be F-A-R-L-A-N-D. So I would say to Byron that that’s what he would want to check, to see if that’s still available. I’m trying to think where the… the ISBN number is 978-0-7864-6889-8. Hike! So, umm… if he’s looking for one of those, that’s where I would start looking, IS McFarland and finding out if they still have it on their book list. He says later on, “I would fax Dave Sim myself to ask, however, I think I may have come off poorly to him in a series of faxes I sent trying to convince him that there are still what I considered to be “many people” who enjoy his work. However, to me, “many people” just amounts to maybe forty-to-fifty comic book fans I’ve interacted with online, at work, or at comic book shops.” Yeah, he definitely had the impression that he had upset me in some way. He didn’t upset me, it was just very, very weird to have someone ask people trying to tell me how popular I am when the vast majority of people think Dave Sim is just a completely unmentionable subject. Cerebus is a completely unmentionable subject. And for him to say that he knows like 40 or 50 comic book fans who enjoy my work… that was a weird one. He’s in Oakville, I think, and he works in animation, and that’s where Mike Kitchen works, is in Oakville, at Rockstar Video, the people who do “Dead Red Redemption” or “Red Dead Redemption”, I can never remember which order it’s going.

Matt: “Red Dead Redemption”.

Dave: Is it? Okay.

Matt: Yeah.

Dave: So, I was wondering, does Byron work there? And he’s talking about he has lunch everyday with two or three female animators who are all Cerebus fans. (laughs) At this point, it’s getting really, really weird where I’m going, “Alright, I’m trying to believe this. (laughs) And I’m trying not to say ‘oh, c’mon! You’re just making this up’.” That was his story. That was really my reaction, was just more… if you actually have with even indirect contact with 40 or 50 comic book fans who have a high opinion of Dave Sim and Cerebus, can you tell them about the “Postcards from Hell” and can you tell them about “Cerebus in Hell?” because I think we would… let me ask [both the viewers???] a question, do we agree on this, that the number of people who would speak highly of Dave Sim and would speak highly of his work, is down to a very very short number of people. And the thing that I keep talking about, you have things that go viral online, and Cerebus is the opposite of that, Cerebus is lariv.

Matt: (laughs)

Dave: Where, it goes absolutely nowhere. You can say, “Oh yeah, this is a 6000 page graphic novel. I’ve read it two or three times, it’s great.” That won’t go anywhere. As soon as you say that, it falls to the carpet and lies there, dying. So, I think my point with Byron and my point with anyone who’s in that situation, if you think Cerebus doesn’t need a lot of help in those areas. “No, seriously, this is something that I think is really, really good. I think that every comic fan should own the complete Cerebus, it’s a great comic. Don’t listen to the people who say that Dave Sim is an evil misogynist and no one should ever talk about his work and no one should ever buy his work.” So, we’ll start off with that. Just, Byron, there’s no way at all that you upset me or that you came off poorly. It was just, no, this is really really weird that somebody would know 40 or 50 people, like, when he checks his mental rollodex and goes, “No, I think I probably know 40 or 50 people who think Dave Sim’s work is great.” If that’s true, can you get ‘em all fired up to tell people, ya know, keep buying Dave Sim’s work, because all of his stuff is dying on the vine, because of the high school girl’s clique that the comic book field has turned into. Okay, end of rant on that one.

Matt: (laughs) The things I’ve heard from some people is, ya know, they support Dave, they support his work, they don’t support “Cerebus in Hell?” because they tried it and they just didn’t like it. Which, I understand and I like, but at the same time, it’s $4 a month, if you really like Dave, it’s $4. Slab it, put it away, hey, you’ll have a complete set of em so when “Cerebus in Hell?” finally ends you’ll be able to say, “I have a complete set” put it on eBay and try to get your money back.

Dave: There you go. Yeah… it ties in with Paul McCartney’s “When I’m 64”, which I’m gonna be finding out next year. “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64”. And I always had that reaction as well to Pete Dixon at Paradise Comics, who is the world’s biggest Spider-Man fan, world’s biggest Steve Ditko fan. Called his son Parker, which, ya know, tells you exactly how much of a fan he is. And when I told him, “Steve Ditko’s still working, he’s still putting out more comic books than I do. In his 80s.” And it’s like, absolutely zero interest in buying them. And it’s like, (laughs) well how much of a Steve Ditko fan are you if you don’t buy Steve Ditko’s work?

Matt: Right. That’s… I mean… yeah, if you don’t… it’s like sayin’, well ya know, I like the Flash. Okay, well, what do you like about him? Well, I like the art. Well, he draws other stuff? Ya know, depending on the artist.

Dave: Right. Ah well. It’s just the nature of people, I guess.

Matt: I was trying to think, there was somebody who was talking about Stephen King and ya know, and they tried a Stephen King book and they didn’t like it. It’s like, he’s written 50 of them. Ya know. Yeah, a lot of them are similar but not all of them are the same. There’s gotta be one ya like.

Dave: Oh, and the thing that you… either one the last “Please Hold for Dave Sim” or the one before that, where it’s.. they stopped reading Cerebus after “Church & State” or they stopped reading Cerebus after wherever they stopped reading it. And the book was just completely unreadable as far as they were concerned. And as you said, “but you didn’t read them, how do you know that it was no good?”

Matt: Yeah.
Dave: Okay, the… that Fax, the one from Byron… then there was another one… oh, Josh Leto. Talking about not wanting to sign the petition because he doesn’t know if Dave Sim is a misogynist, because how are you going to know what someone actually thinks or what somebody is actually like, because you can’t read their mind. And it’s like, yeah, that’s an interesting one. It’s more, as I think I said last time, when we were doing this… it’s more on my part one of those, like Paul Newman said to Tom Cruise in “The Color of Money”, “let’s clean this up.” Ya know, you’ve made a mess of this thing that was very straightforward, saying that you threw the match for your own, very very clever reasons. So let’s shoot a game and let’s clean this up. And that’s really… it took me a long to figure out okay, there’s not a whole lot I can do on my side about this. I think I can get Margaret Liss to put together an online petition, which she did, thank you as always Margaret. And it’s out there if you want to make use of it. I don’t… I’m pretty sure I would not want to be in the situation of appearing to be on the side of the online mob that actively destroyed my career in the mid-1990s. It’s one of those, okay, here’s a way you can try to diminish your personal culpability in that. To this day, [James Dolan???] is still the only person who wrote and wanted to apologize, and I accepted his apology. What are you going to do? You can’t not accept somebody’s apology. It’s just this weird thing in the comic books field, where everybody’s [???] “Dave we forgive you for what we did to you in the mid-1990s” And then it’s like, (laughs) that’s very nice of you, but it doesn’t really work that way. Like, I’m supposed to be the one that forgives you, nobody’s asking me for forgiveness, so we’ll just keep going along. It was nice to see from Josh, whose email that he sent you, that we are up to 2025 signatures. I was wondering if we were every going to get past whatever the year was and there we are, we’re actually 6 years into the future now.

Matt: (laughs) Well, that’s… I mean… It’s like I said last month, the petition is the petition, people bring baggage to it and it’s like, it’s kind of a simple statement. Either you do, or you don’t. I get Josh’s point. How do we really know what someone’s thinking and feeling, but at the same time, the other person in this conversation did spend 20-something years documenting what they thought and felt, publishing it for the world to see. I mean, you read the book, you get, ya know, this is what Dave said and if you agree with Dave, you agree with Dave. If you disagree with Dave, why do you disagree? Ya know, where did the common ground go away? To say, everything’s repugnant. Well, not everything’s repugnant.

Dave: Yeah, I think that’s sort of the box that the feminists have got themselves into now. Where they’ve got this lengthy, lengthy laundry list of what you’re allowed to think and what you’re allowed to say, and what you’re not allowed to think and what you’re not allowed to say. And it’s getting narrower and narrower and narrower. Which I’ve sort of… you could see that it was going to happen. I mean, that’s the personality profile. So the one thing that you can count on is that they’re going to get progressively more excessive in their absolutism. And eventually you start losing adherence. You start losing... not only fellow allies, who would normally be on your side, in the interests of, yes, feminism represents fairness and equality. You not only start losing the allies, you start losing the neutral people, who are starting to understand, no feminism does not have any capacity for any kind of neutralism. You’re either 100% in favor of their complete ideology from top to bottom, or you get voted off the island and you can go join Dave Sim over in the water over there.

Matt: (laughs) There was a thing I saw a while back, of the difference between equality and equamity. Equality is there’s a fence that’s five feet high and something will happen on the other side of the fence and you want to see it. There’s a five foot guy, a four foot guy, and a three foot guy. Equality is everyone gets a one foot box to stand on. Well, the five foot guy doesn’t need it, the four foot guy can see now and the three foot guy still can’t. Equamity is everybody gets everything that they need, so the five foot guy doesn’t get a box, the four foot guy gets a box, and the three foot guy gets two boxes, and now all three of them can see. Treatin’ everybody equally is great on paper. Ya know, some people need a leg up and, okay, ya know, let’s give a leg up to the guy who needs a leg up. But at the same time, let’s not give a leg up to the guy that obviously doesn’t need a leg up.

Dave: You have to get into specifics then, as well, where you go, “okay, we’re not really talking about a fence and we’re not really talking about boxes. What is the actual subject under discussion?”

Matt: Right.

Dave: If it’s, we have to make sure that we have all of these impediments keeping Asian people out of Harvard because if we go on the basis of merit, it’s just going to be one big Asian school. And it’s like, well, okay I take issue with that. I think you have to go by standards. You have to say, if they’re kicking everybody’s ass around the clock, and they have the highest potential to get into Harvard, then you let them into Harvard. You can’t keep skewing things… but at the same time, ya know, Harvard is business, and Harvard is based on how many alumni can get how many of their kids in, because they bought a new school gym or whatever it was. Yeah, ya know, that’s realism as well. I think until… you have to be very very cautious about doing anything that isn’t completely merit based. Where here’s the standards that we’re asking you to meet, here’s the standards we’re asking you to exceed, this is the percentile that you have to be in in order to make that happen in Harvard, and you can’t start fudging the numbers, because you go, “well we need more women. These are all Asian-stemmed guys. And we can’t have too many Asian-stemmed guys without a counterbalancing of women. And we gotta have black women and we gotta have white women and we gotta have lesbians.” It’s like, (laughs) you’re making this far more complicated than it needs to be for what you’re doing, which is trying to find the best academic with the best academic record, and making sure that they have a seat at the table. If you start getting into the rest of that stuff, it’s like, “I’m sorry, I can’t have a conversation with you. You’re just nutty as a fruitcake to me. You’re an identity politics person. You’re not interest in merit, you’re just interested in making sure that you’ve got this many different categories of people and they’re all equally represented as Harvard.” Well, okay, call it a rainbow identity politics social club, just don’t call it a university.

Matt: Right. I mean, I get the concept of “we want to get as many viewpoints as possible” but at a certain point it’s a history class, it doesn’t matter what the color of… what the student body looks like. It’s facts is facts. We’re gonna teach you the facts about history.

Dave: Yes. Yes. And that’s getting really fuzzy too. There is…

Matt: Well, I shouldn’t have said history, I should’ve said math. Because 2+2 is gonna equal 4. 2+2 isn’t gonna equal kumquat.

Dave: (laughs) Right, right. Well, we might be getting there! You might just be a little bit ahead of the curve.

Matt: I mean, when 2+2 = kumquat, at that point, I’m done. I don’t know what to do. I mean there was a… in the 80s when Harland Ellison was the creative consultant on the revival of “The Twilight Zone”, there was one episode the story was a guy who sells medical equipment. And at the beginning of it, he says, it’s like learning a whole new language, and one day he comes home and his wife is using words wrong. And it slowly builds that everyone is using words wrong, and eventually he doesn’t understand a single word anybody’s sayin’. It’s all English, but instead of being red it’s dinosaur. And at the end of the story, he’s in his kid’s room picking up an ABC book for like a five or six year old kid, and starts reading it, cause now he’s gotta learn the new language. Every now and then, I look at the world, and I’m like, “ehh, we’re headin’ towards lunch doesn’t mean lunch, lunch is now a reddish color.”

Dave: (laughs) Or an exotic site somewhere in Wichita. Yeah, okay, that’s probably enou…
Dave: That’s probably enough on that. Let’s go to the questions where Steve Peters, “Ask if he got the birthday card Gabe McCann and I sent him!” Yes, I did, and I think that’s on the Weekly Update on Friday. But the birthday card thing is getting interesting, because I got so many tailor made Cerebus birthday cards for my birthday. I’m wondering if we can do something through A Moment of Cerebus where Steve Peters and Gabe McCann can post, “okay, these are two or three birthday cards that we sent Dave Sim for his birthday, Cerebus birthday cards. And now you can have your own Cerebus birthday cards. And all you have to do is give Steve Peters this much money in his Paypal account, and he’ll print out one of these and mail it to you.” Same thing with Michael R. in Easton, Pennsylvania, which I thought was a very very funny Cerebus birthday card with the five foot cutout with the little tiny birthday hat on it. And it’s like, isn’t there someway we can provide these for people? You can have sort of a premium price on it, because you’re only gonna do ‘em one. But mail it from the guy who actually came up with it, to whoever it is, and let the guy who came up with it make the money off of it. So, I’m just gonna throw that out as an idea, but I think it would be a very funny thing for A Moment of Cerebus to have all of the “contact us” archives and then one of the categories is “birthday cards”. (laughs) People go, “wait a minute, what are you talking about, ‘birthday cards?’” Here, click on it! This is how it works, this is the birthday cards that are available, and here are the people that you can get them from, and this is what it’ll cost you.

Matt: I will see what I can do! I don’t know how well this is gonna work, but yeah, I’ll see if anybody who made a card has got a copy and want to offer it to other people. We’ll make it work.

Dave: Yeah. I think it would very very funny if this would be how you get a Cerebus birthday card, all you have to do is be tapped into A Moment of Cerebus. Ahh, Dion Turner asking about the update on the Cerebus Archive for “Women”. Still working on that one mentally. I don’t want to give up on it. Because it definitely seems to me like a sign from God that there’s that many of the Oprah Winfrey parodies pages in the first ten pages. It’s not like that was a surprise. That was comic-art metaphysics. “Oh here is something that would be interesting for him to talk about.” Crunching it, mentally, I think… I don’t want to go into a whole elaborate history, but I’m not sure how many people remember how that whole Oprah Winfrey thing came about? That it started with Phil Donahue, and I used to watch the Phil Donahue Show, I think just after I dropped out of high school, so I would be home in the morning and my sister, I think, was going to university, and she would be home in the morning. And we would watch the Phil Donahue Show, because it was really really interesting. He really came up with this amazing format for discussing ideas, which was to have a guest on who usually had an esoteric take on some idea, and he had a number of very pertinent questions on his own that he wanted to ask, trying to find out, “okay, is this a legitimate idea? Is this an illegitimate idea? Where do I take issue with this?” And he came up with this format where it’s this person on the stage, and this audience, and then him sort of like walking around in behind the audience, instead of being on stage. Really really interesting subject matter, so that you literally couldn’t wait for the commercial to come on so that you could talk about what you were watching and what your reaction is to the ideas being presented. And then Oprah Winfrey got a hold of it and basically used the format of the audience with her walking around in behind the audience and the people on the stage. But she turned it into this complete feminist thing of the emotional roller-coaster. I mean, we’re talking about 20 years difference, to the Phil Donahue Show at what I consider its peak early 1970s, Oprah Winfrey when she’s absolutely peaking on “Oprah’s On” which was the buzz phrase the entire world came to a halt so that all the women could watch Oprah. And it’s like the complete opposite of ideas. I didn’t see Oprah until I was researching “Mothers & Daughters” and I went, “well, okay, I was looking for ‘Mothers & Daughters’ material and this is definitely something that all of the women are absolutely obsessive about.” So I started watching Oprah, most of the time when I was on the road somewhere, because that was 1992 when I was doing the US tour of 26 cities. So 10 o’clock in the morning in your hotel room, when you had to get up for a 6am interview on a radio station somewhere. And it’s like I just sat there with my mouth open, going, “this isn’t even communication. This is so far away from what Phil Donahue was doing.” And that became sad because Phil Donahue, trying to stay in the game, had to go over into that stuff, instead of doing actual idea and debating political theories and what not, it was just, “let’s all find the one right way to think and let’s find what’s going to make everybody happy because that’s the whole point of society, is making everybody happy.” And it’s like, if this is the person that they’re saying is going to lead us into the future, I’m pretty sure I’m not looking forward to the future. And I turned out to be right!

Matt: (laughs)

Dave: Not looking forward to the future, and here we are! Dave Sim is the problem, feminism is the solution, Oprah Winfrey will fix it all.

Matt: Well, I was gonna suggest that if the commentary is gonna be too long, you could always record it, we could put it on the internet, and for the commentary it would just be a link of, “go online to here, and this is everything Dave has to say about page one, page two, and so on.”

Dave: Right, right. Yeah, I’m trying to chop back from that, to say… What I just told you is pretty much all I had to say about Oprah Winfrey. So, it’s a matter of, I’m just trying to scale it back and go, “here, let’s do this”. Because I also have to talk about Cat Yronwode. Doctor Ironcat in the Oprah parody is definitely Cat Yronwode and she was a piece of work in herself. So, it’s trying to figure out “how much space does this warrant?” I could probably write a 75 page essay and just scratch the surface, but at that point you’re sort of dignifying something that you really don’t want to dignify. So the short answer Dion, and I appreciate your interest, and definitely your ongoing support for all of this, and that you want the Cerebus Archive to keep going. I want it to keep going. Is this is the first one where I have to chop it back to, “let’s not make more of this than it is. Let’s get it down to here. Here is all that I have to say about Oprah Winfrey. This is a societal obscenity. I understand that the vast majority of society thinks the exact opposite. But that’s why I’m not going to take more than four or five paragraphs to explain it.“ So… there you go on…
Dave: Uhh, Jesse Lee Herndon! Our friend who saved you from transcription hell. And as far as I know, continues to save you.

Matt: Yeah! Yeah, actually I’ve got two of ‘em I was gonna send up, but then I thought about it, and mostly, I send them up, you put your corrections on ‘em and send them back to me and I watch the videos again reading the transcriptions and correcting things, and then I post them. I could just skip sending them to you until after I’ve corrected them, and then you’ll just have “here’s the transcript as posted, I’m pretty sure this is as accurate as it’s gonna get.”

Dave: That would be good.

Matt: That way you won’t have to waste time going, “what did we talk about? I can’t remember.”

Dave: Right, right. Yeah, it’s usually… it’ll be a phrase that Jesse just not familiar with. So it’s a Canadian thing, or whatever it is. Or, I’m not a guy who enunciates his words as carefully as he could, and it’s like, “if Dave Sim is saying that, it would sound a lot like that, but that’s not what Dave Sim is saying.” And yeah, that’s much easier to correct that way. Jesse was asking about Vichy DuPris, the character in “Church & State I”, one of the Countess’ many beaus. “Was he a reference to anyone in particular? The way he was drawn was very distinct, and his accent seemed to be akin to the McGrew brothers.” Yes, that’s one of those, I was setting up something that I ended up not having room for or a real call for, because the McGrew Brothers are Onliu, I believe is the nationality. And this was what I was just developing that the idea that the Onliu are all Yosmite Sam.

Matt: (laughs)

Dave: So, you have an entire country of Yosmite Sam’s, and that would have been a very funny two issue digression, if I had ever gone there. That what I was setting up, was that, yeah, anybody who was from Onliu sounds like Yosmite Sam. That would’ve been a lot of fun. Just skimming through, like Duckberg or whatever it is, where everybody is really the same sort of thing, and what an entire country full of Yosmite Sams would be like. Although, your average Canadian would think that’s what Americans have been like since Donald Trump’s been President.

Matt: I know that the introduction to “Church & State I” is, you did say, your plan was, you’re out of Iest, you’re not going back, and the story went, “yeah, no we’re goin’ back. We’re goin’ back right now.” (laughs)

Dave: Yeah. Yeah. I hadn’t realized how much thinking I had done about it. Mostly, subconsciously, or unconsciously, depending on how you are on those two terms, where because I thought the church was going to be a major component in “High Society” and would be half of the book would the political half and then the religious half, I didn’t realize how much stuff was preventing while I was working on the political side, going, “Okay, when I get to the religious side, this is gonna be in there, this is gonna to be in there.” And it had to be, yes, it was either that or it had to be Serrea in the Sepran Empire. But that was a different kind of religious set-up. That’s more early Roman Empire, which wasn’t what I was doing in Iest, which was far more of a balance between sort of religious side in decline and the political side in the ascendancy. So, if you’re writing that unconsciously, which I was, and then you try to go somewhere else, and do that, it’s like, “oh, no, we have to go back to Iest and get to the other side of the Upper City where the church is and go from there.”

Matt: Thinking back on “High Society”, there’s shades of the church side comin’ out, like the two Bishops that Cerebus gets drunk to find out what’s goin’ on with the duck statue…

Dave: Oh good, I’d forgot that! Yes. That was fun.

Matt: I mean, the whole albatross thing was leadin’ somewhere, it’s leadin’ somewhere, and all of sudden Cerebus is elected Prime Minister and it doesn’t go anywhere, and I go, “well, that’s kind of weird.” And the call back is in “Church & State” when Powers shows up with the albatross statue, the actual one, and goes, “here, now you’re Pope of the Unified Church, just kill this lady.”

Dave: Right. Right. Yeah, that was just inexperience at the time, thinking that I would be able to do that in a non-contrived way in a 500 page graphic novel. Again, because nobody has really done a 500 page graphic novel to that point. So I think everybody would have the same assumption that I did. “500 pages? You can do anything in 500 pages. “War & Peace” is 500 pages.” Until you’re actually trying to do the 500 pages, and you go, well, it’s either shoehorning all of the political stuff in, which means it’s not going to be very authentic. It’s not going to seem like genuine politics, it’s going to seem like Spider-Man running for President, or whatever it is, where, it’s “okay, this is a Spider-Man story, so we’re gonna have eight panels in the issue where he’s actually running for President or whatever.” Then it’s like, uhh, no. If I’m gonna do politics, I’m gonna do the constituencies, and I’m gonna do the different electoral districts and how they vote for their local candidate, because that was what was interesting to me. Politics is interesting, and it’s also funny. It’s very easy to make it funny, because if you’re not a big fan of politics, it does seem really weird the way the whole thing is done. Sort of the same thing I just finished doing with the “Green Dante/ Green Virgil” where Green Virgil dissociates into multiple Virgils, so he can decide how to do more ethical charitable giving by treating himself as a parliamentary democracy. A Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. As they said in it, “we probably should’ve monitored a few Westminster-style parliamentary democracies to see what their success rate is and actually coming to conclusions before having this really bizarre way of dealing with his own life.” I don’t know how much of the Brexit news coverage you’re following, but it’s like, “there you go, that’s where the Westminster model breaks down, is a narrow 52% to 48% morality and then okay, how are we going to make this happen?” And okay, let the speeches begin, and begin, and begin, and begin.

Matt: Everytime when Brexit comes up, I chuckle to myself, like… I remember when they had the vote, I was watchin’ the news the next day and there were people who voted “leave” who didn’t think they’d win, and it’s like, “well, then why did you vote leave?” (laughs)

Dave: (laughs)

Matt: Like, “Oh, it was a protest vote.” No, no, no, it was a real vote. A protest vote is saying I’m writin’ in Mickey Mouse because I don’t like any of the candidates, but when Mickey Mouse wins, now you’ve got a cartoon fictional mouse as your leader. (laughs)

Dave: Right. Right. Yeah, we’re probably not too far away from that one, either. Ahh.. Sean M…
Dave: …not too far away from that one, either. Ahh.. Sean Michael Robinson. “I have a question for Dave”. Oh! “Were there ever any story elements that you regretted, from a plotting perspective, including? That is, regretted while still in the process of the book. Or times when an improvisation or less-planned element made your job harder for the duration of a book or the series?” The closest to that… the short answer is no, that didn’t happen, because I have pretty good instincts when it comes to distilling plot elements down and saying, “okay, here’s what I have to cover in this issue, this 20 page span and I want to cover this, and I want to cover this, and I want to cover this. What are the best tricks that I can bring to the table so that it doesn’t look contrived and pasted on, but I can say all the things that I have to say about it, and where I’m making a political point about the nature of politics itself. Here these five panels will take care of that. Making fun of it, that’s these two pages here.” And then, having that sort of roughly mapped out up ahead. I know basically the next 40 pages after these 20 pages, and what I want to cover there. So all of that’s being worked on again unconsciously while I’m micromanaging my panels and pages today of what I’m working on. The closest to it of what he’s talking about, is probably bringing Mick & Keef in, and going, “how do I get these guys out of this book?” (laughs) “This was supposed to be like a 10 page throwaway… Oh okay, I’ll do a whole issue because this is just too much fun and I’m coming up with too many ideas. It’s like. Wait a minute, wait a minute. This is Cerebus, not the Rolling Stones comic. We’re definitely getting into dicey areas of fair-use versus not-fair-use.” I had that a little bit with “Cerebus In Hell?” I’ve got that happening, as a matter of fact, right now with Spider-Vark, where I want to do a really good Steve Ditko homage with Cerebus as Spider-Vark. I want to make it funny and I also want to stay true to Benjamin Hobbs’ original cover idea. Or as close as I can get to it. As soon as I came up with Cerebus trying to woo the Whore of Babylon back from Spider-Vark to him by becoming a feminist and what Cerebus thinks a feminist is, that became one of those situations. It’s like, “Dave, it says on the cover, ‘The Amicable Spider-Vark’. Do the Amicable Spider-Vark and stop coming up with these [???] to feminists.” But, then, just the other day, I sat down and I have to do my drawing of stock Cerebus shots. He’s got his frilly apron on, with a big flower on the front of it, and rubber gloves, and he’s waving a scrub brush around over his head. And it’s like, “see this isn’t helping. You’re supposed to not be thinking about this. Spider-Vark! Spider-Vark! Read your Spider-Man Essentials volume. Get your brain over there.” You actually help with that. You fax through the Dante & Virgil and Cerebus with the Spider-Creature in Hell.

Matt: Yeah!

Dave: Yes. And you did a couple of lines of dialogue under it. “Ya know, here’s something that I thought. You have to move Cerebus over in front of her, and have her saying this.” And it’s like, the line of dialogue that you came up with, I went, “Oh, I know what I’m gonna do with that.”

Matt: (laughs)

Dave: Oh yeah, that’s a good way to get Dave’s brain out of Cerebus the feminist and back onto Spider-Vark. So that will be a 5 page origin of Spider-Vark, and you are credited on it.

Matt: Well, thank you.

Dave: No problem.

Matt: The problem now is, you’ve got Cerebus as a feminist on the brain and I’m immediately, this little voice in the back of my head, is going, “You really need to start Googling classic Archie’s girlfriend Betty & Veronica covers and find a good one that we can parody.” There, Dave, shove all the feminist Cerebus into that issue! (laughs)

Dave: Yeah, I’m not sure what that would be. What comic book we would do a parody of that, where… called the “Untold Tales of Wooing the Whore of Babylon Back.” The credits I, again, trying to make this look as close to my Spider-Man Essentials, the Ditko material, and the credits, where I’m trying to figure out, “how do we describe how this is put together, so that Steve Ditko is getting credit for what he’s doing? Instead of making it sound like Stan Lee did all of this?” So I sort of made a joke out of that and your credit is, “Plotted and Faxed by ‘Manly’ Matt Dow.”

Matt: (laughs)

Dave: And “Mangled and Manipulated by ‘Dandy’ Dave Sim.”

Matt: (laughs) Ahh, that’s classic.

Dave: So, yeah! And I’m sitting there, going, “Okay, I’ve got 10 issues of Spider-Man to pick from here. Where are the different credits? Which credit box am I gonna do. Oh this one with the jagged edges this is the one.” I was wondering if Sam Rosen the letterer put the jagged edges on there because of how Stan Lee and Steve Ditko were getting along by then.

Matt: (laughs)

Dave: That’s something that we’re not going to know.

Matt: Now I gotta go grab my Marvel Masterworks and start looking at the credit pages in all the Spider-Man issues. When did they get jagged? Did the jaggedness get worse?

Dave: Looking at it, it’s very funny. Stan Lee definitely had his tongue in cheek through all of that time. It’s like, anytime there was space for a caption and an arrow pointing at somebody, what the heck? Let’s throw a gag in here. Let’s throw in something funny. Sturdy Steve Ditko came up with the context for this issue, and a bunch of really different ideas, so let’s get started here. I tried to make it look as much like a Marvel title. Issue 29 of Spider-Man was called “Never Step on a Scorpion”, so I changed it to, “Never Schtupp in a Spider.”

Matt: (laugh) The reason that that image and that particular gag came about was, when we startin’ to first talk about the Vark Wars and I said, “guys, I don’t have ‘Dante’s Inferno’ with the door plates. I don’t know… the only images that I know are the ones that’ve already been used in “Cerebus in Hell?” I don’t know, is there a backlog of images that we could use, but just haven’t used.”And they’re like, “Oh, you just Google it!” So, I google Dore “Dante’s Inferno” and the first image that shows up is a half-naked Spider-Woman. And I’m like, “I’m out guys. This is the only image I can find and I know Dave’s not gonna run it, over and over and over again. I mean, it’s this weird image that doesn’t make any sense. This isn’t what we’re seein’ in ‘Cerebus in Hell?’ guys. You got anything?” And I think David Birdsong sent me, “here’s a link to a digital copy of ‘Dante’s Inferno’”, I’m like, okay, and I started lookin’, and that’s, okay, now I can find images that’ll fit what I’m lookin’ for. But every time I Google Dore “Dante’s Inferno” the half-naked Spider-Woman shows up, and I shake my head like, “okay, why is this the top image in the search? Why aren’t we getting any other images?”

Dave: Yeah, it’s gotta be a comic-art metaphysic attached to that.

Matt: Oh, I honestly believe it’s the…

Dave: Anyone else Googles it, they wouldn’t get that. But Matt Dow gets that.

Matt: And, of course, the first thing I think of, cause it’s one of those, I kept gettin’ it, and I’m like, okay, ya know, I’ll put this aside, and then David Birdsong sent me 25 or 26 images of “these are Dore plates that I’ve inserted Cerebus into that I’ve sent to Dave, he hasn’t used them, if you want to run them with the Genesis question commentary, go ahead.” Cause I’ve run out of pages of 289/290. And I’m like, okay, yeah, this’ll work. And I’m goin’ through the images and I come across image 22 and it’s a half-naked Spider-Woman and I’m like, “That’s the origin of Spider-Vark. It’s the only joke you could possibly do with that image, is ‘this is the Origin of Spider-Vark’.”

Dave: Yep. Yeah, I was very pleased the moment that the fax came in, and I’m like, “oh okay, that’s the part that I was missing”. Because it is a very very disturbing image. The lighting on it and just the… particularly the way it came in. Your faxes always come in very very clearly for some reason. You’re asking about the blue color in the background on the Superman parody that you did, or did this just come through as mud. It’s like, no it actually came through as a half-tone, which is very weird, because most of the time it doesn’t. And the darkness that was attached to it added a whole other element to it. I faxed you… I got Roley to scan my mark-ups of the first 3 pages. So you’ve got the first 3 pages of “Never Schtupp in a Spider” storyline with two pages to go.

Matt: Okay.

Dave: I’m hoping to get the rest of those done today or tomorrow. It’s the first vertical “Cerebus in Hell?” It’s like, if I’m gonna do Steve Ditko, I definitely want to do 9 pages to a page ,and you can’t do that in the “Cerebus in Hell?” format.

Matt: Oh no, you’re messin’ up the format! Sales are either gonna skyrocket or plummet!

Dave: Uhh, well, either one… (laughs) I’m pretty philosophical about skyrocketing or plummeting at this point. We’re just limping along. Ya know, down by 250, up by 250, down by 250, up by 250. If you do “LGBTQ Etc.” and it just goes up by 250 because it’s always the issue that goes up by 250, and then “Fornicators Inc” goes down by 250, there’s no real internal logic to this. We’ll just keep going as long as we can keep going, and try to stay a year ahead of everyone, from all the…
Dave: So, uh, Jeff Seiler was the next one, and asking if Krull actually died, and thank you very much for telling him, “No, he shows up later on”, cause I didn’t remember that part. That’s one of the things that I rely on Matt Dow for. You have definitely an encyclopedic memory for Cerebus material that I forgot a long time ago.

Matt: Well, I know that in Flouroc, there’s a line of dialogue about, “has Krull been actin’ up”, and he escaped… he almost escaped but they managed to get him before he could escape. And then there’s the bit with Weisshaupt, but then I thought about it, I’m like, “wait a minute, I think the Weisshaupt line might be the guy that Julius picked to lead the army was the one that defeated the army.” And I’m like, “now I gotta go back and look and make sure” but I mean, Krull doesn’t die but at the same time, I can’t remember if Krull comes back. It’s encylopedic, but there’s a lot of stuff in there.

Dave: (laughs) Well, it’s one of the big pluses with you is that you usually have a good idea of where it is that you’re looking for. You maybe not remember what’s there, you know either where it is in the storyline or where it got talked about on the Blog & Mail or whatever else.

Matt: So, during the last Kickstarter, it was really weird, I’m on A Moment of Cerebus, readin’ comments about the Kickstarter. I’m on the Kickstarter readin’ comments, and then I’m emailin’ back and forth with Sean, Ben, and David ideas and that’s the idea for a Spider-Verse parody came up and I’m like, “Okay!” And I sent them the cover to Spider-Verse #1 and Ben’s like, “It doesn’t have enough characters. We need something with like 50 Spider-Men” and I’m like, “Alright” and I go back on Google and found “Spidergeddon” which has 50 Spider-Characters. And then the next day, I’m like, alright, we need to have a lot more than four aardvarks, cause if we’re gonna do a cover and it’s gonna be the same image of Cerebus over and over but just different sizes, it’s not gonna be as neat. So I’m scannin’ all these images, like all the “Following Cerebus” covers… I had a list in my head, I need to get this, I need to do this… I grab my copy of “Spawn #10” and got a couple of McFarlane Cerebuses that we’ll put these in the back, really small. And I wanted to get the image of Cerebus from “Minds” when he gets the vision of “if you had the medallions, the helmet and the shield it would’ve turned to gold, the statue would’ve come to life and you would have conquered the world.” And I’m like, “There’s an image there of Cerebus with the gold sword, and shield, and medallions… that’ll be perfect for this idea!” And I’m goin’ through, and I’m goin’ through, and I’m like, “Hahaha, there’s only… the image of where the medallions, the helmet, and the sword poit onto him and it’s only a half-figure it’s not a full figure, and the next page there’s a full figure and he’s about a quarter of an inch big.

Dave: Yeah.

Matt: And I’m like, “hahaha, it’s a great image, it would look perfect on the cover if it was four times as big.” (laughs) I’m like, “well, I’ll have to go with one of the other 55 things I found.”

Dave: Yeah, yeah, or drag Sean into it. Say, “can you do this 400% the size that is and not make it look like somebody downloaded it from a thumbnail drawing?”

Matt: Well, and that’s one of those, ya know, there’s a part of me, that’s like, “Oh I want this” and then I’m thinkin’, “we can take a regular Cerebus with the medallions and the sword and the helmet and color them” and there’s all of the digital trickery that is way beyond my skills. Way beyond. I started making a mock-up cover and I got about four characters on, and then all of a sudden I put the Unbeddable Vark in and for some reason he’s 8000 times too big. And I’m like, “Okay, I don’t know Photoshop, I don’t know my generic Photoshop knockoff. This is why Sean makes money at this and I run a blog.”

Dave: (laughs) There you go! There you go. Yeah, I did the first drawing of “Spider-Vark” I did really, really big. One of the things I’m learning about the wrist is if I ink with the wristband on, the inking goes down in quality between 20 & 30%. So I’m trying to figure out, well, okay, what if I do something much bigger than it’s actually going to be reproduced? And can I make up some of that 20 to 30% just on the size of it? So you will be emailed the full-sized “Spider-Vark” drawing from the cover, and that will give you another Spider-Vark to work with.

Matt: Okay. Well, it’s like I said, just scanning stuff and trimmin’ it and goin’, “okay, what exactly do we have access to?” And this isn’t even like regular issues, this is like one-offs or like I said, “Following Cerebus” and stuff and like I said, I think I got up to 50, or 55, and I still hadn’t touched any of the 6000 pages that are in the graphic novel.

Dave: Yeah. Okay, so… David basically made your life a nightmare for a little while there.

Matt: (laughs)

Dave: It’s like saying, “No no no no, we need hundreds of these things.”

Matt: Well, at first I was all worried, like, “oh my God, this is gonna take forever! And I don’t have the abilities and this is a nightmare!” and then it dawned on me, you guys are a year or so ahead at the earliest that we would even need a cover mock-up and if it takes me a week to do one and I have 50, that’s a year.

Dave: Yeah that’s one of the reasons why I try to keep the one year lead time at least. Because it’s amazing how quickly that gets eaten up, where it’s a complete “Tortoise and the Hare” situation. Get across the finish line, don’t tell yourself “oh I’ve got plenty of time”, because that’s the perfect way to completely blow it when you don’t want to blow it. Just the fact that the latest one, “The Iron Manticore” #1 is the latest one being solicited. And it’s like, holy smokes, that’s not far behind where we are in terms of completely finished. I’m working on the July issue, but there’s still that needs to be done with the March issue and the April issue. And it’s running ahead of the freight train. It’s still a freight train. If it’s in the next county behind you, that’s good, but you’re not getting off of the train track and when it comes around the bend, that’s a little too late to go, “maybe I should start running?” No, maybe you should’ve been running for the last six months or the last eight months, when you still had a chance to do so. Okay, getting ready to… we’re coming down to the… oh! The Steve Swenson, talking about the autograph. That’s a very weird experience, looking at as somebody looking at what is clearly a fake Dave Sim signature. Or either a real Dave Sim signature and somebody added an “authentic #1” hand-written to it. If it wasn’t for the fact that, no, I would never have signed a counterfeit as an authentic #1. It’s not something that I could make a mistake on. As soon as I look at Pink Floyd, it’s like, it’s either a clean-slate Pink Floyd or it’s a counterfeit Pink Floyd. And if it’s a counterfeit then, okay, you can have Neal Adams or you can have Frank Frazetta in terms of signatures. The only person who has a Dave Sim autographed counterfeit is Margaret Liss. That was because she got the last autograph at The Last Signing in 2010 at 3 o’clock in the morning, 3:30 in the morning. And part of me had already gone to sleep, and I signed it and went, “it’s a counterfeit! I’m not supposed to sign it ‘Dave Sim’!” So, Margaret definitely got something nobody else has got.

Matt: When I posted the image, I commented on it, saying, “I only know of one counterfeit with an authentic signature and Margaret has it. Right, Margaret?” And if I remember, she posted pictures and it’s you signed your name, crossed it out, wrote “oops” and then signed Frank Frazetta, and then she handed you an authentic #1 and you signed that.

Dave: Right.

Matt: And it’s like, that story’s well told.

Dave: At least I crossed it out. It was one of those things of going, “Alright, you’ve already made the mistake. Are you going to make it worse?” It’s like, “Ahh, yes, as a matter of fact, I am.”

Matt: Well, I mean, I highly doubt Margaret would ever sell that issue, so the chances of somebody else stumbling across it… But yeah, when he sent it in, “it’s obviously a counterfeit and somebody obviously forged Dave’s signature”. And I’m like, “I wonder how many there are out there where somebody went, “Oh it’s a counterfeit #1, it’s worthless. Ahh! I’ll sign it, and it’ll be worth something!” and then they find out Dave doesn’t sign the counterfeits as Dave, Dave signs them as Frank or Neal.

Dave: Yes. Well, that’s… unfortunately, that’s one of those really inside baseball things, in terms of the Cerebus end of the comic book field where most people don’t know about that. So that’s one of those things I do encourage the Cerebus collectors and people who buy Cerebus collectibles that’re always haunting eBay and whatnot of the various auctions. Any time you see something like, where you go, “No I can just about 100% guarantee that isn’t what that you think it is” and post it to their comments section, that’s… the closest I think that we can come as Cerebus people to having some sort of diplomatic contact with the rest of the comic book field. It’s like, okay, you don’t want to talk about Dave Sim and you don’t want to talk about his work, but here, we will try to save some of you from having a fraud perpetrated upon you by asking the Cerebus fans to help out a little. No thanks needed, no real danger of anybody thanking us, but we’ll just try to do what’s right.

Matt: Well, that was… there was a Cerebus #1 after the last time that the counterfeit thing came up and I got… Sean posted something about, “this is how to tell it… ya know, multiple steps of multiple places to look, ya know, Floyd is on there. The counterfeit… the page with the dragon where the counterfeit Cerebus is all black, was on there.” And shortly afterwards, a number one came up, for sale on eBay and the guy said “it’s a counterfeit” and posted pictures, but they weren’t high res pictures and people were complaining, but he had the counterfeit Cerebus.. ya know, this is the black Cerebus, it’s very much not the real thing And I’m like, “hey! We do good work. We gave someone a clue of ‘if you’re not sure if it’s real or not, Floyd’s one way, and the other one is flip to the dragon and if Cerebus isn’t grey, it’s counterfeit.”

Dave: And the glossy inside front covers, too, but you really need to see a real one to understand. Most people not being familiar with printing don’t understand the difference between glossy and matte finish inside covers. If you can see them side by side, then you go, “oh, glossy and not glossy.” But if you’re just looking at the comic book and it’s in mint condition, it’s like, “well, it seems to be reflecting light. I suppose it could be called glossy.” So yeah, we’ll stick with Pink Floyd and the Dragon. Hey! There’s a good name for a rock band.

Matt: (laughs)

Dave: Okay, Matt! That’s gonna do it for this time.

Matt: Well, thank you once again.

Dave: Alright, you watch your inbox for your “Spider-Vark” pages.

Matt: Will do. Uhh… I got an email about the stuff for Comiclink, that’s goin’ up in a couple of days, right? Or it’s supposed to?

Dave: What’s that?

Matt: Uhh, the items for auction on Comiclink.

Dave: Ahh, I don’t know about that. The last that I heard from Roley, they had like a half-dozen things that they hadn’t put in any of their auctions and I haven’t really heard why that hasn’t been in their auctions. So, Roley was just in today but I was I was out at the art store in Waterloo buying art supplies. So he’ll be in next Thursday and I’ll make that one of the questions that I will ask him, is, “Has Comiclink posted the material that we’ve sent to them? And have they posted all of the material?”.

Matt: Okay. Otherwise, I’m just gonna edit the scans like I normally do, sayin’ “this is what might be up for auction!” That’s what I normally say, “this is what’s supposed to be there, if it’s not there, I don’t know what to tell you.”

Dave: Okay. I think what I’m gonna do, having done the “Green Dante/ Green Virgil” with this mammoth package of everything. Here’s all of the stuff applying to the cover. I’m gonna try doing one piece at a time of the “Spider-Vark” and maybe we can have art for the masses… Art for the Cerebus masses. You might be able to get this first tracing paper drawing of Spider-Vark for… who knows? $20? $25? That’s one of the things that we’ll find out. We can… I’ve got a Cerebus arm sitting here. Disembodied from anything else, but it’s a Cerebus arm. We can auction that. Somewhere, we’re going to find something that everyone can afford.

Matt: Okay. Alright, well, I’ll let you get goin’, cause I’m sure you got a prayer time comin’ up.

Dave: Not too far away. Okay! Say hi to Paula, and Janis Pearl, and Natasha for me.

Matt: Will do!

Thanks again Jesse!

Next Time: Oliver!

Friday, 29 January 2021

Tales Of The Silverfish (Dave's Weekly Update #376)

Hi, Everybody!

Previously-recorded-at-an-earlier-date from 
the Off-White House in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, It's:
Aardvark-Vanaheim Founder and President:
Dave Sim, with his Weekly Update:

Well, THIS explains the scans of Tales From The Silverfish #4 I got. ON DECEMBER THIRD!!!

Anyway, click for biggers:

Hemingway in Comics:

Your store will be on sale:
Jan 13 – 16
Jan 27 – 29
Tell your fans! Remind them that everything will be up to 35% off! That means $13 tees, $20 phone cases, $30 hoodies, and way more.

Cerebus in Hell?
Order now:
Possibly still available to order:
And coming the first Wednesday in February: Cerebus in Hell? 2021 (the cover screw up delayed it a week...)

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Posey, Bishop Powers, and Tracing Paper

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.

So way back in October of 2014 we saw pages from Dave Sim’s 11th Cerebus notebook which we are going to discuss again here. That notebook, earlier called #8 before I relabeled them all ‘notebook’ and not ‘albatross’, covers Cerebus #96 to 102, it contain 129 pages of the 140 it started with, and of  those 129 pages, only 114 were scanned as there were a bunch of blank pages.

The page we’re going to look at again is page 51:

Notebook #11, page 51

Which we originally saw in The Trial many years ago. I compared it to the finished pages, Cerebus #98, pages 6 and 7, yes, a double page spread. Now though, we can look at the in-between step: the tracing paper. Dave would draw on the tracing paper, flip it over so the pencil that is on the tracing paper is on the Bristol board art page, and then he would pencil on top of the pencil that he could see on the other side of the tracing paper.

Here is the tracing paper, which measures 14” x 11” (35.6 cm x 27.9 cm). First up is the side that “looks right” in that it the same as the finished page. This was done in blue pencil:

Tracing paper, blue pencil side

The next picture is of the same sheet of tracing paper, but is backwards of the finished page. You can see that the black pencil is more prominent on this page:

Tracing paper, black pencil side

Here is what Dave has to say on his usage of tracing paper, taken from his note that came with a tracing paper preliminary pencil drawing used in Cerebus #300, you can view the entire note here.

Throughout the 26-year-and-3 month production of the 6,000-page Cerebus storyline, as a comic-book illustrator, I went through a number of phases and different techniques which I used in penciling and inking the characters. For example, for a long period of time, I used non-reproduction blue pencil to “rough in” and gesture of the characters I needed to depict and would then “tighten up” the drawings in soft lead pencil prior to inking them. And then, for a period of time, I dispensed with the blue pencil and went right to lead pencil both for layout and tight penciling.

During one of these phases, I also began to use tracing paper as a means of correcting imbalances and inaccuracies in the drawings. This technique involved getting a close approximation of how I intended the finished drawing to look and then flipping the tracing paper over and either drawing a finished version of the figure directly on the other side of the sheet or putting another sheet of tracing paper over the first one and doing the finished version on that separate sheet. When a final version of a figure was achieved (in reverse), the finished drawing was then turned face down on the artboard and—by tracing over the image in pencil—a light pencil impression of the finished drawing was transferred to the artboard which could then be “tightened up” in pencil and inked.

To get another look at the tracing paper and the finished page in the issue (well, phonebook here, page 942 of Church & State II):

Yes, you can clickity click to see all these images bigger

At some point Dave stopped using the blue pencil for the tracing paper prelims and used black pencil for both sides, though I don’t know where exactly.  He would throw the tracing papers away. Only during the creation of Cerebus #256 through 259 did he start to send them to people who wrote to him. Sending a form letter and a tracing paper sketch was his way of making up for not sending a personalized letter in return:

“Dear CEREBUS Correspondent”

Talk about giving me a heart attack. Even back in mid-2000 when I received this form letter. Yes, Dave – PLEASE do not throw them away. Yoinks! So the ones from Church & State II are probably few and far between. I’m not sure how this one survived, just that Dave sent it to me many years ago. I hope he still has some of them up in the Off White House. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

It's the last Wednesday of the month, BUT...

Benjamin Hobbs:

It's the last Wednesday of the month, but there was a slight hiccup in the production of CIH? 2021 #1, so it's most likely not out this week.  It should be on the shelves of your LCS next Wednesday!

Final cover, still not shown.

Batvark: XXXXX 2nd Print SHOULD be out this week.

Let us know in the comments if you found this or CIH? 2021 #1 at your LCS!

Now ready to order from Diamond: Cerebus the Duck #1 and Swords of Cerebus In Hell? #1!

Next Week: Cerebus In Hell? 2021 #1... ON SALE!