Monday 17 October 2022

TL:DW: Please Hold For Dave Sim the Transcripts 12/2019, 1/2020

Hi, Everybody!

Jesse Herndon has been continuing the Herculean task of transcribing Dave and I's Please Hold for Dave Sim conversations so people who can't stand the crap audio can understand what the hell we were talking about. And then he sends them to me and I forget they exist.

Which is a major disservice to Jesse, and you the AMOC reader.

Sorry Jesse.

Sorry AMOC reader.

MY long term plan was to publish a collection of these with added bits from myself that clarify/expand/wrap-up/whatnot the topics discussed. The first batch of transcripts is 505 pages in Word. And there are more transcripts after that. 

SO, the question is do people actually want a physical Phonebook sized collection of me prattling on while Dave waits for me to shut the @#%& up?

OR does everybody just want me to post the transcripts here and call it a day?

While I await your comments either way, let's continue catching up on Jesse's excellent work.

Here's where I'm at (blue link means it's been posted):
1/2020 2/2020 3/2020 4/2020 5/2020 6/2020 7/2020 8/2020 9/2020 10/2020 11/2020 12/2020
1/2021 2/2021 3/2021 4/2021 5/2021 6/2021 7/2021 8/2021 9/2021 10/2021 11/2021 12/2021
1/2022 2/2022 3/2022

So, Here we go:  
As you can see from the link, we all held an extra month because Dave wasn't feeling well.

Here we go: (again)
Part One:
Dave: You have been busy!
Matt: [laughs] Yes, I have.
Dave: Ahh, have you got the music video done yet for “Walt’s Empire Strikes Back”?
Matt: Not yet. I have a script, I just have to get a time where I can get it filmed.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: I was supposed to do it yesterday, but then I got lazy.
Dave: [laughs] Alright, lazy is a relative term. You’re finding out that there’s different kinds of lazy and I’m not sure what you would describe doing comic books on the excruciating Diamond Previews schedule. But, lazy doesn’t really enter into it.
Matt: Well, I did work on “Vark Wars” 3 for, oh, an hour and a half yesterday. I think it was yesterday. And I’m like, I got a structure, I got a couple strips written, I got an ending, that’s the best part is I had the ending locked down.
Dave: Good. Good. The, yeah, I was curious about that. You’re going in the order that the films were released, like you’re going, “Star Wars”, “Empire Strikes Back”, what’s the third one?
Matt: “Return of the Jedi”.
Dave: “Return of the Jedi”.
Matt: And the parody title we have is “Return of the Ha-Ha” and I don’t think anybody likes it.
Dave: [laughs] Okay, well, it’s the working title, until somebody comes up with something better.
Matt: The version of the opening crawl that goes on the inside cover that I have right now, is, “Vark Wars episode VI, Return of the Ha-Ha*” and then there’s an asterisk at the bottom, says, “*not final title”.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: Which, if we print it that way, it’s hilarious to me, but I know that Ben Hobbs is gonna fight and say no, it’s not funny, we gotta come up with somethin’ better, but, I don’t know what could return to “Cerebus in Hell?” that would tie-in to “Star Wars” that would be fun.
Dave: No, it’s, ya know how it works with humours, it’s usually sittin’ right there in front of ya, and you just can’t see it until you see it.
Matt: Well, when we were writin’ the second, I kept sending emails, and it would be “Vark Wars: A Sequel”, it didn’t matter, it wasn’t a “Star Wars”, it was any title from any sequel. And I was doin’ this and it was every single time I started another email, so like, one of them was “Vark Wars 2: Electric Boogaloo”. “Vark Wars 2: The Wrath of Khan”. And my favorite was the parody for the “Fast and the Furious” sequel, which was “2 Vark 2 Wars” and the guys didn’t think that was funny at all.
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: And the one they loved, and Ben Hobbs fought to get “Walt’s Empire Strikes Back” changed to, “Vark Wars: Look Who’s Vark Warring Too”.
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: And the third “Look Who’s Talking” movie is “Look Who’s Talking Now”, so that might be the third Vark Wars, it might be “Vark Wars 3: Look Who’s Vark Warring Now”.
Dave: Who’s Vark Warring Now… okay. So that’s why I made you my foreign languages editor You speak “Star Wars” and all of these guys speak “Star Wars”, so, I’m sure you’ll come up with very funny stuff. I’m still laughing about the cover on “Walt’s Empire Strikes Back” with the George Lucas spaceship with the “Steamboat Willie” pipes on top of it and the paddle wheel on the side. It’s… first of all, whose idea was that? I’m assuming that David Birdsong actually did the drawing on it, but whose idea was that?
Matt: Actually, if I remember correctly, it was Sean Robinson’s idea and Sean’s the one who did the drawing of the Star Destroyers.
Dave: Well, it was very very funny. I mean, for somebody who’s just going, “well that was a really funny issue” and then “let’s take another look at the cover” and it’s like, “oh, my God, okay first of all, who came up with that and second of all, who actually drew that?”
Matt: I’m pretty sure it was Sean for both, and it was one of those, he sent the email of, should we do this? And we’re all goin’, how is that gonna work? None of us are visualizing it in our head, then when the final proofed cover came in, we were just dyin’, goin’, no no, that’s perfect. That is the absolute, I mean, I can’t imagine the cover not having them now.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Okay, well, this is supposed to be “Please Hold for Dave Sim”, so that’s our “Please Hold for Matt Dow” part taken care of. Ahh, okay, let’s start with Jason Trimmer. It’s nice to hear from Jason Trimmer again. I’ve said that before, that, it’s nice to get some postcards from him on his big European jaunt that he did, “Hi Matt! I hope this email finds you and your family well! I had a question for the upcoming 'Please Hold for Dave Sim' session - I was wondering if the remastered Reads edition will be added to the digital downloads area of Cerebus Downloads? Right now it isn't highlighted green, which seems to indicate that it's not the remastered version. 'Reads' remastered is hard to find in stores and online, so digital might be the best option. I am especially interested in Sean's essay for it. Cheers! And, muchos gracias for your hard work on AMOC!" And, yeah, we don’t say that often enough, that on top of everything else you’re doing A Moment of Cerebus completely on your own.
Matt: Technically, Ben Hobbs does Wednesday, Margaret does Thursday, the Update’s on Friday and Sunday now Oliver Simonsen sends me 100 links to various mentions of Cerebus and you on Twitter, and that’s now a column. So technically, I’m not doin’ it by myself, I’m just the one keepin’ the lights on until somebody comes along and says, “you suck, you’re fired. Now it’s my turn!” And I’m gonna say, “okay, here’s the passwords, I’m out, bye.”
Dave: Yeah. Yeah. The, but you’re also the nudge that has to keep telling them, “ahh, I still haven’t gotten your one for Thursday. I still haven’t gotten your one for Wednesday” thing.
Matt: Eh, technically, yeah.
Dave: Okay. Um, alright, well, I appreciate Jason saying this and I faxed George Gatsis, care of Eddie, immediately, “Happy New Year! Just got this, my call to Matt is Thursday the second. Can you confirm before then that, A) Remastered “Reads” is up, and B) It’s now shaded green” and then I mentioned to George that I’m planning to plug “Joe King”, his new graphic novel, on this edition of “Please Hold”. So there you go, there’s the plug for that. And you faxed back, “I have asked Sean, and he says he sent the files to George a while back.” Then it was… oh okay, then I got a fax from George saying, that he got an email from Sean. “Hello George, good to hear from you, congrats on the book. I will work on ‘Reads’ and Volume Four and Volume Five tomorrow, and get them to you then. I sent ‘Reads’ before, but will get a better version this time with Vector Text.” I have no idea what Vector Text is, but it sure sounds like it’s a really really cool thing to have in digital comics and if Sean says it’s really cool, and it’s what we need, then Vector Text it is. “So yes, fine to promote him on the next “Hold for Dave” call. Doing fine. Very busy but good. More soon, Sean.” So, there you go, Jason, you see what you’ve provoked here? You’ve got me to nudge George, and you got George to nudge Sean, and you got Sean to nudge back at George, and Matt was in the middle nudging with the best of us, and there we go, so if the remastered “Reads” and the remastered “Church & State II” and the remastered “Jaka’s Story” are not up at this time, they will be very very shortly. And yeah, definitely you’ll want to be downloading that to get the Sean essay.

PART ONE ENDS* (not final title)

Dave: Okay! Umm… it was funny because when I faxed this to Eddie, to relay to George, it also had David Kopperman’s question. And welcome back to David Kopperman, who is a very longtime Cerebus fan. “Okay, question for the call: was the one off gag of the missing "Rabbi" issue - which I recall translated to "what's in the box?" ultimately meant as foreshadowing to Cerebus's final visit with his son, or was it one of those nice coincidences? And I guess the larger question that comes up is did you intend for a sort of "game changing surprise" inside a box as a running theme through the entire series, as in the sphere in the courtroom scene at the climax of Church & State?” And [laughs] I’m sitting there mulling that over and going, well, I gotta tell you how gratifying that is, 14 years after the book ended, and I’m still getting people asking me esoteric questions about plot points. And Eddie puts an asterisk in his fax going, “you answered this before one place I found. Bottom of page 102 of ‘Collected Letters 2004’, reply to Michael G. Answer: nice coincidence, Scholarly Scroll Roach.” So, yeah, the only thing I can add to that, which I don’t know if I’m adding to that or if I have already mentioned it in the annotations for “Latter Days”, the “what is in the box”, which is Rabbi #70, as I recall, I don’t know if I told everybody that that was the only “Rabbi” cover that wasn’t actually a parody of a Superman cover. It was a parody of a Captain Marvel cover, a parody of “Captain Marvel” #70.
Matt: That is in the annotations, now that you say that, the old brain cell’s goin’, yep, I remember readin’ that.
Dave: Okay, alright, so I did mention that then! Okay, see, I’m becoming completely useless in terms of answering questions [laughs] because I don’t remember what questions that I’ve answered, and I think we just have to do a Eddie-check and Matt-check on all of these questions, and yeah, if you can come up with a question Dave can answer that Eddie can’t answer and Matt can’t answer, and that’s gonna get progressively more difficult as we go along, there you go. And in terms of recurring motif, that’s one of those things were, I would open that up to the floor. I mean, just in terms of conscious recollection, Cerebus is in a box in issue #8 where they’re trying to conceal the fact that they’ve got Cerebus prisoner and they drop a box over top of him. So, Cerebus is in the box in that one. I don’t know if issue 51 qualifies as Cerebus in a box, in the hole of the ship, which it’s not really a room, so if you’re not in a room and you’re not outdoors, are you in a box in that case?
Matt: Well then there’s also issue 25 when he and Claremont are riding Woman-Thing and they got a big box wrapped around her neck. I would include 51 only because Lord Julius and Elrod are in barrels, which are kinda like boxes…
Dave: That’s true.
Matt: Um, I mean, this is just off the top of my head, I’m like, there’s a number of boxes. I want to say there was… well there was the envelopes in “Jaka’s Story” from the Ministry of whatever it was on the blue onion-skin paper…
Dave: Right.
Matt: And then the dress was in a box. I mean, there are a number of boxes. Great, now I’m gonna have to start going through all 6000 pages looking for images of boxes and it’s gonna be Box Week on AMoC in February.
Dave: Well, there you go. Just keep that handy as, we’ll have a prize with the person who comes up with the most Cerebus in a box or a surprise in a box in the entire 6000 pages. I’ll send them a autographed personalized next “Cerebus in Hell?” whichever one when it comes in. But that’s only for the person who comes up with the most references. If everybody comes up with the same 15 references, and only one comes up with 16, we’ll probably need a judge at that point to decide, okay, how many of these were actually boxes and how many of these are just trying to pad out the total? An interesting question. Yes, I did… that was late enough in the story so that I knew that “what’s in the box” was going to be a resonant, distinctly resonant with “The Last Day” and the encounter with his son. And that’s also… it’s kind of a cultural reference? The Brad Pitt film, with…
Matt: “Seven”.
Dave: What’s that?
Matt: “Seven”.
Dave: “Seven”, yes, yes, “what’s in the box?” and it’s like, that’s a really grim “what’s in the box?”, so…
Matt: I’m not gonna lie, when I got the box of the “Vark Wars” I took a picture… I took pictures of the box, I took pictures of the stuff that was in the box, I took pictures of all the junk mail that Rolly packed in there, and I posted them with, “I got a box! From Dave!” Open it up and all the images are junk mail, junk mail, junk mail, and describing what it is, and get to the end, and I’m like, okay that’s the end of the post. I put a little space and, “actually, had the ‘Vark Wars’ issues.” And… when I got the box, at the end of the post, I always put “next time” and then I put somethin’ funny and, the one before that was, “next time: what’s in the box?” with a link to the Youtube video of Brad Pitt goin’, “what’s in the box?!”
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: I’ve done that particular Youtube clip a couple of times, where I’ll get a box or somethin’ comes up, it’s like, “what’s in the box?”
Dave: Yeah, yeah. I saw that movie with Susan Alston, for whom Brad Pitt was her major heartthrob, and I gotta say, there’s so many different ways to deliver that line, but, boy he really came up with the best possible delivery on that line. It gives you chills when you’re watching.
Matt: Yeah.
Matt: Okay! So, thank you, David Kopperman, for bringing that up, and if you’re feeling adventurous yourself, ya know, get out your trade paperbacks and start going through them and see how many “Cerebus in a box” and “surprise in a box” you can come up with. I’m pretty sure it is a major resonant throughout the storyline…


Dave: Okay, and then we move on to Bryon Dunbar, who asks, “Hi, I saw your post on A Moment of Cerebus regarding questions for Dave Sim about the Cerebus comic book in your upcoming phone call. I had a question with regards to the old standby, “Why an aardvark?” Although what I mean in asking this isn’t what most people probably do when they ask the same question. I know that early in his career, Sim was inspired by Howard the Duck and that Cerebus was originally a mascot for his then-wife’s fanzine. What I am interested in is, why an aardvark—in-universe! It’s established in Cerebus that aardvarks aren’t actually anthropomorphic animals in the sense Howard the Duck or Rocket Raccoon are. Rather, they’re born to normal humans and are more akin to deformed people than talking animals.” Yeah, I’ll just interrupt momentarily at that point to say, that wouldn’t be the perspective from the aardvark side of the equation, which would be, I would infer that the aardvarks are the normal beings and human beings are deformed aardvarks. “(Hence aardvarks being able to breed with humans, no one looking at Cerebus funny for his relationships with Jaka or Red Sophia, and Cerebus being disgusted by his son’s eventual experiments crossing humans with animals.)” Very good triangulation there, yes. What are we talking about here, and what are the presuppositions and what are the genetic predispositions of the lifeforms that we’re discussing? And we have to leave it as philosophically open as that in order to cover all of the property. Then Bryon gets even more down to the nitty-gritty, “The reason aardvarks are born is to bring balance, as among their various magical properties (attracting magic, occasional mutations like Cerebus sneezing fire or the Cerebus face in Cirin’s armpit), things tend to fall into perfect order around them. This is known as the “magnifier” ability in the series.” And I’m gonna interrupt there as well, to say, okay, magical is, I think, in the context of what Bryon is talking about and he is talking at a very elevated metaphysical level when he’s talking about this. I would suggest that magical is a pejorative sense. It could be magical, or it could be other-worldly, or it could be divinely inspired, which I would suggest is a hierarchy. But then, that’s my hierarchy because I’m a monotheist. Okay. Which, then, the reason I interrupted there, is because then he says, “What I’m curious about is who or what created the aardvarks and for what purpose.” Well, okay, in that case, if you’re asking a monotheist, everything comes down from God, unless it’s from God’s adversary. So that would be the question of, well, I created the aardvark. I mean, I created Cerebus and Cirin and Suenteus Po. For what purpose? And then that would depend on whether you were talking about pre-monotheistic Dave Sim or post-monotheistic Dave Sim. “Early in the series, we’re to assume Tarim (or perhaps Terim if you happen to be a Cirinist!)”. Now we’re geting down to the nitty-gritty of it, “created them for some unknown reasons. But by the end of the series, we learn that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God is in fact the true creator of the heavens and the Earth, and presumably created aardvarks for some equally unknown purpose. I would assume that in-universe, Tarim/Terim were either fictional gods from false religions OR that these are the Iestian interpretations of God and”, he writes it as “Yoowhoo”, I tend to say YHWH. I don’t like to use pejorative terms or satirical nicknames for people or entities’ self-identify name. “(As the Light/Void hypothesis holds true whether it’s in relationship to God and Yoowhoo or Tarim and Terim.)” Ah, yeah, that definitely gets down to the nitty-gritty, of, if you ask Suenteus Po, he would have one answer about who created the aardvark. Cirin would have another interpretation of who created the aardvark. And Cerebus had a different interpretation of who created the aardvark, and then a different interpretation after he became a monotheist through his exposure to Rick. “If that is indeed the case, my guess would be that God created aardvarks to be a special kind of prophet, and that it was Cerebus’ destiny to convert to Judaism, bring down the false Tarim and Terim religions, and finally interpret the Bible in the correct way. Cerebus brought light (male light, you might say!) to the distinction between God and Yoowhoo, while also giving an accurate religious interpretation of the Big Bang. (Perhaps Cirin and Susteus Po rejected their true callings and Cerebus was the only one to actually do what God made him to do? Perhaps God had some other purpose in mind for them, but they rejected it to play chess or run a fascist police state?)” Respectively! Yes, I mean, to me these are all Judgement Day questions. I think I’ve documented as accurately as possible what the structure is of God versus YHWH. I mean, I’m the only one that believes that, or I’m the only one that believes that as as thoroughly as I do. So that becomes a question of, well there’s a bunch of questions in there. One of the questions is, are women essentially fascist? I mean, Cirin is a female aardvark and is definitely the biggest fascist in the book. Are women essentially fascist by nature? And certainly that’s been my experience. They… feminists, which is not including all women but feminists are definitely fascistic by nature. I mean, it’s the beehive. You conform to the beehive or you’re destroyed or you’re eradicated. There’s inside the beehive and outside the beehive. But I want to go back to the beginning of Bryon’s paragraph, where he said, “my guess would be that God created aardvarks to be a special kind of prophet”. As interesting as when you get into the question of prophethood, which we all associate with God. God and his prophets, but I think it’s noteworthy that in the Book of Genesis, which spans a good 2000 years of this epoch’s monotheistic history, from “in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth” through to Joseph bringing his entire family down to Egypt, which is a good chunk of history. The term prophet is only used once, and that’s when Abimelech, being faked out by Abraham, saying that Sarah is his sister not his wife, essentially wants Sarah for his wife. And actually prays to the YHWH saying, ya know, in the innocencity of my heart, I didn’t do this intentionally. I’m not somebody who would transgress in that way, and it’s actually God who answers him. He prays to YHWH but God answers him and says, yes, the man is a prophet, so you don’t want to be messing yourself up in the middle of this. And that’s the first time that God calls anyone a prophet, and he’s doing it in the context of Abraham lying and saying that his wife is actually his sister, and she’s actually his half-sister. And it’s one of those, okay, ya know, for a first time, here’s where we’re going to say what a prophet is. It’s a very interesting spot.


Dave: …times that the prophet comes up, is in Exodus, when Moshe wants to shirk his responsibility as God’s spokesperson to the Judaic people. God’s and YHWH’s spokesperson. And says, ya know, I stammer, I don’t enunciate clearly, so I don’t think you want me. And it’s, at that point, I believe it’s YHWH who says, “well your brother Aaron is clearer of speech than you are, so you will be to him a God and he will be to you your prophet”. And it’s like, ahh okay, well no no no, you don’t really want to do that, but it is artful and this in turn leads into the big distinction between a prophet and a priest, because Aaron becomes the head of the Levitical Priesthood, so you have this relationship between the prophet, and the priesthood, and then up ahead that gets shifted over in Judges, when the subject of the prophet comes up, that a prophet before time was called a seer. You would go and not say you were going to see a prophet, you were going to see the seer. And it’s like, uhh no, I don’t think that’s true either. I think seer is one of those, you could be a monotheistic seer, or you could be a pagan seer, you’re just a seer, someone who sees the future or sees otherworldly things that other people don’t see. And then prophet and seer get confused with judges, which was Moshe’s pagan father-in-law’s idea that it’s no good for Moshe to judge all of the stuff that the people bring to him. He should have deputy people who can deal with the smaller stuff and then he’ll handle the major stuff. And it’s like, that’s pure YHWH trouble making to me. Because that’s when the Torah, to me, really goes off the rails and you see what happens when you’ve got a Legion of Substitute Moshes interpreting scripture and saying, this is the law and this is how we’re gonna deal with it. So that you have oxes being brought up on charges for goring people, and it’s like, [laugh] no, I don’t think you want to be bringing oxen up on charges, but, if you’ve got a Legion of Substitute Moshes mucking in on it, these are the kind of laws you’re gonna come up with. So, all of this, I think, is just pure comedia to God. It’s like, this is nothing that he doesn’t see everywhere in the universe with every little chunk of rock, every molten core that is convinced that it’s God because obviously it goes from here clear over to there, and everything else is just tiny little sparkling lights in the sky. It’s a great comedic feature for God when each of these little molten entities finds out, first of all, exactly how tiny they are and how many of them are there, and how much bigger all of the other entities are. So, it’s one of those, yes, I was unconsciously, when I was doing Cirin and Suenteus Po and Cerebus, I think, documenting whatever that nature is of prophet, seer, judge, priest, and then, of course, the king gets mixed into that. Okay, all of these are presumably ordained by God to be who they are. What is their nature? I mean, when you’re reading Judges you do realize that it is made explicit that whenever the Palestinians, or as they were called then the Philistines, become too powerful and start to overwhelm Israel then God sends the savior and the savior that God sends ends up being, essentially, genocidal. Essentially kills as many Philistines or Palestinians as need to be killed in order for Israel to reassert its preeminence. That’s one of those, as the only person who draws a distinction between God and YHWH, that’s one of those things where I go, do you really believe that God sent genocidal saviors to wipe out other cultures? As this is how this is going to go from now on? Ya know, whether it’s Samson or Abimelech or Barak or Deborah, or whoever it is, there’s a whole bunch of them in Judges and they judge Israel 40 years, but while they’re judging Israel they’re also committing genocide against the surrounding culture. I don’t think that that’s the case. I think it’s the same as, ya know, I try not to be overbearing about it, but do you really think that God would tell the Hebrew people, who found somebody gathering sticks on the Sabbath, “okay, what are we supposed to do with this guy that we found gathering sticks on the Sabbath?” Oh, stone him to death! Which, they proceed to do. And then the next verse after that, is the bell and the pomegranate, the bell and the pomegranate that you should have woven into the embroidery on the bottom of the priest’s robes, on the hem. It’s very important that it be a bell and a pomegranate and a bell and a pomegranate. [laughs] This doesn’t sound like God to me. This sounds, to me, like, what do I call it? Crazy beehive shit.  
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: So, ya know, it’s… I think I’m supported in that? That, okay, 100 years ago we gave women the right to vote, and now we got all of this [laugh] crazy beehive shit, which we all have to pretend isn’t crazy beehive shit. And it’s like, it’s nothing that we haven’t already been doing. It’s… the Torah is full of crazy beehive shit. God isn’t. Anytime God says anything in the Torah, it’s like, oh yeah, that makes complete sense. I can’t possibly refute that. But on a percentage basis, the number of things that YHWH says, it’s just crazy beehive shit, and I have to interrupt now, because it’s that time of year where I have very very short spaces between the prayer times so I’m gonna have to go and do a prayer time now, but I’ll come back and try and pick up where I left off on that.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And if you have any intelligent questions that you want to ask at this point and will dare to ask, by all means, see if you can come up with something while I’m going and doing my prayer.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: Alright, talk to you in a few minutes, Matt.
Matt: Okay! Thanks! Bye!
Dave: Buh-bye.


Dave: Back!
Matt: [laughs] Where were we?
Dave: Ahh, did you come up with a question while I was away?
Matt: Ahh, not so much.
Dave: [laughs] Oh okay. I’ll just go back to hacking through the undergrowth on my own here.
Matt: [laughs] 
Dave: It’s… a lot of what Bryon Dunbar is asking, on one level or another, is where did the idea of these aardvarks come from? And, like I say, the immediate and glib answer is, well, Dave Sim came up with them. Because that gets into “where do you get your ideas?” again. Did an unknown entity implant the idea in me? I assume, as a monotheist and as a believe in predestination, I was predestined to be the guy that does the 6000 page comic book, which, okay, what is that in the context of human history? Well, there’s really only one of ‘em. I mean, unless we want to start talking about “Spawn” and “Lone Wolf and Cub” and “Savage Dragon” in the same context of one extended narrative. But I am the… I’m in various categories. I’m the guy that does the 6000 page comic book. I’m also the first guy to say I think YHWH and God are two different beings and I think YHWH is God’s adversary. I think YHWH thinks YHWH is God and I think that’s completely delusional and I think that’s what the Torah and the Gospels and the Koran are principally concerned with. Is the back and forth on the question, who is whose son? Who generated who? Who preexisted who? Aaron becomes Moshe’s prophet. Is God YHWH’s prophet or is YHWH God’s prophet? And my answer would be, neither of them. YHWH is just a creation. Bigger than human beings, but just a creation of God and has a wildly disproportionate self-view of his/her/itself. So when Bryon asks, okay, who created these? Who created this concept? Certainly my awareness at the time was that I was creating it. But I don’t know if they were given to me, and you know, you could mount a persuasive argument on either side as to whether they were given to me by God or given to me by God’s adversary just to cause trouble. That this is a way of looking at prophethood, judgeship, seership, all of these different aspects of theological ways of being. Being a teacher, being a Rabbi, is that what I am? And it’s like, I don’t know. Cause, doing a 6000 page comic book concerned with these sort of subjects puts you in that category by definition. Or conversely, does the fact that you don’t just treat it as a raw material for a 6000 page comic book but in fact decide to devote your life to essentially getting “entertainment” out of your life and replacing it with scripture. Like, I would much rather read scripture. I don’t know how much I understand scripture, but I certainly I think read more scripture more often than the average individual does. Okay, what is that? Getting back to what Bryon actually says here, “If that is indeed the case, my guess would be that God created aardvarks to be a special kind of prophet, and that it was Cerebus’ destiny to convert to Judaism, bring down the false Tarim and Terim religions, and finally interpret the Bible in the correct way.” Um, yeah. That’s certainly what I thought I was fictionalizing. Is that what I’m actually documenting? Was that God’s intention to say, “you’re over-thinking this prophet thing. A prophet isn’t, or a seer or a judge, isn’t necessarily the exalted being that you’re thinking that they are. They’re just really interested, engaged, thoughtful people who are interested in discussion these subjects and not really interested in imposing their views on other people on these subjects. Or subjecting other people to their theological conclusions. Just say, okay I’ve been reading scripture nonstop for just about 23 years now, and these are the conclusions that I’ve come to. I haven’t… the more I read, and the more frequently I read, and the more in-depth I read, the more I tend to think… I think I’m writing what I’m saying. Now where it goes from there really depends on, whether this becomes universally excepted. It’s shocking and offensive and whatever else Dave Sim is in our society, to say God and YHWH are two different beings and YHWH is God’s adversary. But almost all of the conclusions that we come to, and ideas that we have adopted, started as really offensive viewpoints at some point in our history. So, getting back to Bryon again, “This would make sense of the visions Cerebus has in the final third of Cerebus. However, it’s complicated by the fact that Dave Sim himself appears in Minds (and again in Guys), revealing himself to be Cerebus’ creator (and also admitting to being created by the God who exists in real life), adding a metafictional layer that further confuses the issue.” Yeah, possibly further confuses the issue, or clarifies it. If the, why I prefer the original literal translation of the coined Greek, “the being into the bosom of the father” that explains. It explains it, it’s just you gotta get your head wrapped around it. That I created Cerebus, God created me, and I think for the same sort of good purpose. I didn’t… I created… as he goes on, “Why did “Dave” create aardvarks? To get “sort of rich and sort of famous,” as he memorably put it. But in-universe, where do the plans of God (be it Yoowhoo, Tarim, God, or Terim) factor into all of this? Is there an explanation? If so, was I on the right track earlier? Is there somewhere I’ve went astray? Am I completely off base?” You’re askin’ the wrong guy. I’m not God! [laughs] I can’t give you the definitive answers to that. I can say, this is what I ended up doing. This is what I ended up being interested in as an interested atheist who was intrigued by the whole idea of “what is a prophet?” “what is a seer?” “what is a messiah?” not really knowing very much about the whole elaborate theology behind that. What was really just, here I am, the first guy to do a 6000 page graphic novel and I wanted it to be the truth. I want it to come down to being about reality and as close to capture our reality as I can get it. And it’s like, okay, nobody ever did that before. I asked the same question that Bryon is asking of me. Is there an explanation? If so, was I on the right track earlier? Is there somewhere I went astray? Am I completely off base? I ask those questions of God the same way that Bryon Dunbar asks those questions of me. And I don’t have the answer. The best I can do is to come up with an incomplete answer, because I’m just a human being. I hope that I created the 6000 page graphic novel for a good purpose. I’m probably not going to find that out. It depends on, to a large extent, what gets done with Cerebus after I’m gone when I have absolutely no control over that and can’t have these elaborate discussions about what was my intentions and what is the total context of this. All really large questions, to me, are Judgement Day questions. Do the best you can, try and be as sincere in what you’re doing. Don’t do things just to create effect. Try and do things to improve the world in general and get people thinking. And that’s the best I can do with that. [laughs] So, I hope you’re still awake listening to this and I hope it provides, if possible, even more…


Dave: Okay moving onto “And Margaret wanted me to ask who a character was in a notebook page. But I can’t remember which page. Either”, okay, and then you’ve got one here. Looks like an early Pud Withers. What’s interesting is… the character in the upper left… because that’s definitely a female character. Those are breasts. I’ve even put in the cleavage to establish the breasts. What’s interesting to me, looking at it, is, because this is very early in “Jaka’s Story”, it could be Nurse before I decided I would never actually going to show Nurse unless it was just fragmentarily or from a rear view. But it is interesting that, as a quick little sketch, if you took that completely out of context and said, “here’s a drawing that you did, Dave. Who is this drawing of?” I would say, I have no idea. And they said, “well if you had to guess? Looking at this drawing and not knowing when you did the drawing, or where you did the drawing, or why you did the drawing, who do you think this could be a drawing of?” I look at it and I go, could be Margaret Liss!
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: Which would be interested. Because, obviously, I didn’t know Margaret Liss and I didn’t know Margaret Liss was gonna start reading “Cerebus” with “Jaka’s Story”, so. There’s an interesting kind of thought. Now, there was another page, now I’ve gotten them out of order… now here, okay yeah, “Tony asked about the second page,  OK, some random thoughts.1. Jaka's hair is considerably shorter in the sketch than it ended up being in "Jaka's Story." It's about the same length as when she visited Pope Cerebus. Did Dave change his mind on the length of time between C&S and JS at some point? As has been noted, passage of time was always hard to gauge in Cerebus.” Ahh, a little more esoteric than that. When I did this sketch of Jaka with the short hair, realizing that this was going to be the first major cohabitation between Cerebus and Jaka, I looked at the short hair and I went, no, this is too important in the context of the book. Cerebus has to cohabit with the long-haired blonde Jaka. The short-haired Jaka had to be an exception and if I have to change the nature of the interior reality of my comic book to make that happen, to make sure that Cerebus for the first that he actually lives for an extended period with Jaka, that she looks like the classic Jaka he fell in love with, then I’m just going to have to do that. And that’s a very weird thing for a writer/artist to do, but that was the decision making. Ahh, “2. Was "The Sailor" replaced with "The Poet?" Is it even conceivable that Dave ever plotted JS without Oscar? Seems unlikely, bit…” And no, the Sailor, I think, was… I wanted to convey the fact that Jaka had had more romantic experiences… far more romantic experiences than Cerebus had. So there would have been a sailor. That, I think ended up actually being used much later on in “Rick’s Story”, of Rick having to adjust himself to Jaka’s far more romantic experiences than he had. So, that was one of those, alright, I want to get into Jaka’s life story, but there ended up not being convenient room for that. There had to be, “Jaka’s Story” had to be a linear forward progress narrative having to do with her growing up in Palnu and why she left Palnu. And very very little about her life as a dancer, per se. How she became a dancer, yes, but not as a dancer. That, I even only got into fragmentarily in “Rick’s Story”. Ahh, “ "GUARDIAN?" What th'...Who was this, what was his/her/its place in the storyline as”, ahh no, now my pages are out of order. Where are we? “As originally outlined in Dave's mind, and where did he/she/it go?” That’s an easy one. That was Nurse before I called her Nurse. Is… there’s a little package, hang on. “Told her about those times where you start dancing and you feel you might never stop. The pain is excruciating.” That got changed into the point where Jaka was dancing that was, and then had her major accident, and was pretty much in a coma for a period of time. So that was, Nurse warning about that. Which, when I ended up finally using the anecdote, oh, Nurse doesn’t warn her about that, as matter of fact, she makes it works and causes the accident. “The sketch at the bottom looks a little like Pud, but not nearly as fat. Is that an early, non-fat version of Pud, or is it someone who ended up on the cutting room floor, so to speak?” Ahh, that’s an interesting question, cause the same sort of thing, if you asked me, “this is a sketch from your notebook, who do you think this is a sketch of?” I would say that that would be a sketch of Mike Cave, who I met at Peter’s Place when he was a bartender, and later a bartender and a disc jockey and I was one of the ushers at his wedding. It would be interesting to know if I drew Mike Cave before I met Mike Cave, designing the bartender and grocery clerk from “Jaka’s Story”, or had I already met Mike Cave? So I know that I had met Mike Cave by the time of “Melmoth” because I used him and Rolly and Eric as three mourners at Oscar’s funeral. But that’s an interesting question. Did I draw Mike Cave before I met Mike Cave, and consequentially summon Mike Cave to Peter’s Place or did I draw Mike Cave early in the time period of knowing Mike Cave? “Who's the pissed-off looking young lady in the upper left? She never made it into the storyline either, at least not in that form, and not in "Jaka's Story."" Uhh, if you ask me, [laughs] “okay, here’s a sketch in your notebook, Dave, and who do you think this is a sketch of?” I would have to say that looks like Elaine, who was a waitress who I was very very fond of and very very much had the hots for at Peter’s Place. She worked mostly in the Athenian, she worked sometimes at Peter’s Place, but that looks like Elaine when she’s not very happy with me, which was not a too-frequent occurrence but a couple of memorable times, like the time when she smashed an ashtray. Ah yeah, she was definitely not happy with me that time. “And that's just off the top of my head. If there's more from the preliminary planning of JS, Margaret, I hereby request it! Thanks!” And I think I’m safe in saying that Margaret twist her rubber arm to talk about and use pages from the “Jaka’s Story” section of the notebooks. This is still her favorite Cerebus story. “And Tony asked about the first image: I wonder if that's Pud's mum at the top left...?” Ahh, that’s possible. That’s possible, because there is… Pud ends up writing his diary to his mother and documenting things. I don’t know if I had early on the idea of her writing to Pud and having that correspondence [instinct]. Could be Pud.. it is possible. Okay, and you write, “ I think that’s the question Margaret asked me… (ya know, she HAS your fax number too, why am I the middle man? (It’s a tough life being AMOC Grand Poo-Pah…).) Okay, I think that’s all the bases, Talk to you Thursday (unless you’re still not back from Wonderland…)” Well, I’m not all the way back from wonderland, it’s been interesting how it comes and goes, but, I hope I was reasonably lucid this time up.
Matt: Fairly reasonably, yes.
Dave: Okay, good. And if there’re any gaps, or any really completely unlucid parts that anybody wants to ask about, we’ve never had a “Please Hold for Dave Sim” about a previous “Please Hold for Dave Sim”.
Matt: There might’ve been questions that I might’ve forgot about, I mean, that’s… I’ll post somethin’, somebody will ask, and I’m like, I gotta remember this, and then a month later, it’s like, where did that go? Ah, it’s here somewhere.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: If I really didn’t like ya, I’d send you a picture of my desk, sayin’, “explain to me what this is, Dave” and you’d be going, “I don’t want to know what your desk looks like, Matt.”
Dave: There you go, there you go. Okay, I’m gonna go and get something to eat now.
Matt: Okay! Thank you, as always.
Dave: And thanks to everybody who listens to all this, and I hope you find it entertaining, engaging, and thought-provoking, and if possible, all three.
Matt: I second that.
Dave: Okay, say hi to Paula, and Janis, and Bullwinkle for me.
Matt: Will do.
Dave: Take care.
Matt: Yep!

Thanks again Jesse!

Next Time: I COULD just keep going with these...


+Nate+ Oberstein said...

I don't read too much online these days. And I cannot hear the audio that well because I have aphasia. But if you publish it, I read every single word.

Michael Grabowski said...

Matt, I love reading these here. I really appreciate the way you break up the YouTube segments these days, so I listen to the responses I'm most curious about, but I enjoy reading these whole magillas more. A Collected Babblings pdf is fine, but I'm happy reading these here, too.

Michiel said...

Maybe a ‘best of Please Hold’? Like Dave Sim Conversations contained a selection of questions from the Yahoo Re-read. To avoid duplications and focus on stuff not touched upon in previous publications.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you decide, I enjoy and appreciate being able to read them on here.


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