Tuesday 20 December 2022

TL:DW: Please Hold For Dave Sim 5/2020

Hi, Everybody!

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Coming soon-ish to The Waverly Press, where Holiday Bundles are still available.
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:  

Part One:
Matt: There ya go.
Janis: Hi!
Dave: Hello, Janis Pearl, how are you?
Janis: Good!
Dave: Good.
Janis: So…
Matt: Explain what’s goin’ on, Janis.
Janis: I’m just gonna ask you some questions for my schoolwork.
Dave: Okay.
Janis: So the first question’s when were you born?
Dave: Uhh, I was born 1956, almost 64 years ago.
Janis: Wow.
Dave: [laughs]
Janis: Oh my! Okay, so…
Dave: I’m older than dirt, Janis.
Janis: Really?!
Dave: [laughs] That’s a joke, I was just pullin’ your leg.
Janis: So what’s your favorite color?
Dave: My favorite color? It isn’t really a color but I’d have to say black.
Janis: Okay… and then, what’s your favorite animal?
Dave: My favorite animal? Well, I really really really like aardvarks because they’ve been very very good to me.
Janis: ‘kay. And what’s your favorite book of Cerebus?
Dave: My favorite book is Cerebus? Um, I would have to say, that’s “Form & Void” because it didn’t turn out the way that I wanted it to because I was under a lot of pressure to get a lot of stuff into it that I didn’t know how I could make it fit and it all fit. So it was a great relief.
Janis: Okay, so where do you live? Just not your address.
Dave: Okay. I live in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. For anybody who knows anything about Canada that you might be telling this to, Kitchener is about an hour away from Toronto. Most people don’t know where a lot of places are in Canada, but if they do, they know where Toronto is.
Janis: Mm-hmm! And that’s it!
Dave: That’s it?!
Janis: Yep! Five questions.
Dave: Well, thank you, that’s… that was very very quick and efficient.
Janis: Yep.
Matt: You gotta say goodbye and stuff, you can’t just walk away, this isn’t like calling Grandad!
Janis: I’ll talk to you later! See you later!
Dave: Okay! Alright, it was very nice talking to you for the first time, Janis.
Janis: Yes.
Dave: Bye-bye.

Matt: And now back to the regular scheduled “Please Hold for Dave Sim”! [laughs]
Dave: If only they could go that quickly all the time.
Matt: They did that one month when I said, “what’s new?” and you said “nothin’” and you asked what was new with me, and I went “nothin’ much”, and you went, “okay goodbye” and I posted that! [laughs]
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: I think Seiler almost had a heart attack cause I did it as its own post of just one 30 second video because I was uploadin’ the rest of the hour, and like he started commenting on like, “no, no, you guys are just messin’ with us” and David Birdsong got the joke that I was just messin’ with everybody. But it was perfect!
Dave: Oh. Yeah. It’s, we’ll never beat that record.
Matt: We could! [laughs]
Dave: Oh we could, yeah, we’ll try one of these times, too. Okay, and the “Please Hold” questions, starting with, “gsquared asked (a while ago):”, how long is a while ago?
Matt: Valentine’s Day?
Dave: Oh okay, that’s a while ago. “Is there any way to order CIH? one-shots besides dealing with a comic shop? Like, maybe ordering a pile of them direct from AV?” and a pile of them would be a problem because, and this is one of the reasons why I haven’t been doing fulfillment, is I’m also trying to keep each issue in the Cerebus Archive in proportion to its rarity. So, anytime that I’ve been… before the lockdown I was consigning “Cerebus in Hell?” #1 to a local comic book store called Lookin’ for Heroes and as I explained to John Brenner, the owner, if you sell any of these, then I have to start bumping the orders up that I do, to make sure that I’m not losing copies out of the Cerebus Archive. I don’t wanna lost Cerebus Archive copies in order to just sell some comic books to people. So, I interrupted my own answer there to say, that’s why a pile of them direct from Aardvark-Vanaheim isn’t gonna be happening anytime soon. “I can't be bothered with the hassle of doing a special order, going to the shop, etc.” So, I have decided that we’re gonna do a pilot project on this. We will give this a try and see if it works, and the best way to do a pilot project is, on “A Moment of Cerebus” is just mention it once, so that if anybody misses it they don’t find out about it and we just have our pilot project crew signed on for it. And what I’m gonna say is, okay, I don’t want anybody to do this through CerebusDownloads, I realize CerebusDownloads is very very convenient for everybody, but unfortunately it’s getting into bookkeeping problems where I have to know, okay these are the people who are paying for “Strange Death of Alex Raymond” Volume One Fundraising Edition, these are the Patreon people, this is this group, this was an individual payment that came into this. It’s starting to get a little too complicated and Eddie Khanna’s having to keep track of way too much stuff over there as it is. So, what I’m gonna say, to keep this from gumming up any other works, just standing alone on its own, anybody can send me a $50 bill or a $50 check, but those are the only two options. If you can find a $50 money order, that’s fine, everybody starts getting all screamy anytime I talk about money orders, “I can’t get those anymore. They charge way too much for them!” Okay, I understand that. So, the options are a check, or cash in the mail which they tell you never do that, and I’m saying, no, in this case that’s the only second option, I would prefer a check in your domestic currency. If you’re in the US, you’re sending $50 US. A 50 dollar bill, a nice Ben Franklin or five 10s or a $50 check, and that’ll get you a 5 issue subscription to “Cerebus in Hell?” #1 and it’ll be autographed and bagged and boarded and sent to you as they become available. The thing that I want to test out is, what does this do to Roly’s workload here at the Off-White House when he’s out back at Camp David and doing the new issue when it comes in. Does this become too much of a headache for the sake of the amount of money that’s coming in? And it’s gotta be a few issues, because if we’re mailing them out individually, a lot of the money’s gonna get eaten up just with the mailing charge. I might end up actually saying, okay, if you wanna do this, you get the 5 issues in one package when the 5 issues have all been published. And that way we’ve just got one package going out and we’re not hemorrhaging money on this. If you’re in Canada, you can send a check in Canadian dollars, or a Canadian $50 bill, or two 20s and a 10, or whatever, and we’ll see how many people are interested in this, how it goes on this end, and how it goes on that end. And no promises that we’re gonna keep doing this, but if it doesn’t work, then I can say, no, we already tried that and that doesn’t work. So, sorry, but that’s just what the situation is. But there you go!
Matt: The two things I wanna add to this, cause… money orders, if you go to Walmart, Walmart does money orders, and I think it, last time I knew, was $3.50. So if money orders are “too expensive” Walmart should be able to do it for ya, for fairly cheap.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: And then the second thing is that Dave’s made this very kind offer and everyone who wants to take up on it, go ahead, but I, as the interim Editor of AMoC is sayin’, it ends at the end of 2020. If you see the video on the internet in 10 years and send Dave $50, he’s keepin’ the 50 and forgettin’ that he used to publish comics.
Dave: [laughs] Good point, yes. We want an end date on this and I think both of us are also still, we would prefer that you go to your local comic shop. Like, Margaret, I know that you are getting your Cerebus In Hell? From Menachem at Escape Pod Comics, please don’t take bread out of Menachem’s mouth so that you can send it to me and I can send you comic books directly. If you’re crazy enough to wanna order from Menachem and me, that’d be great. If anybody’s gonna be that crazy, it’s gonna be Margaret.
Matt: And if somebody’s orderin’ from a regular store and they just wanna have your signature, send up $10 and you’ll send five sticky labels with your signature on it.
Dave: [laughs] Uhh, that’s… yeah, I could picture doing that. I could picture doing that. But let’s not get this too complicated.
Matt: Well, that’s, I mean, if you’re nuts and you just want Dave’s signature on “Cerebus in Hell?” but you’re already orderin’, option F, just send him $10. But option A, five issues, $50. Preferably a check, money order, or cash…
Dave: And Bob’s your uncle.
Matt: And Roly’s gonna be really happen when the money starts comin’ in.
Dave: Uhh, yeah, theortically, that’s one of the things, trying to figure out how to keep Roly fully employed while we wait to see what this whole COVID-19 thing is gonna do to our personal economy in the long run. The…

Dave: Okay, moving on to Steve Peters. Steve Peters says, “Hey Matt! Hope I got this in on time. BTW, Nate Oberstein just bought a huge set of comics from my back catalog, including one of my few copies of Racecar Comics #4.” Uhh, how many copies of Racecar Comics #4 do you have, Matt?
Matt: Uhh, I haven’t looked in the box lately, but there’s probably at least a dozen or two dozen.
Dave: Okay, so you’re gettin’ down there, too.
Matt: Oh no no no, I only printed, I think, a hundred copies of that.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: And I may have gone back and printed more if I was out.
Dave: Okay, alright. Uhh, he said, “I think it's the first I ever sold! I included a handwritten copy of your translation of Sparky's monologue on Page 6.” So we definitely would like to plug Awakening Comics at this point. Just type in Awakening Comics into your Google search engine and it’ll take you right there and Steve Peters has not produced 300 issues, but what he has produced, but as Spencer Tracy used to say, is [inaudible]. So, definitely recommend all of the Awakening Comics, if you want to see a really interesting spiritual journey in two dimensions in comic book form, you can’t do better than Steve Peters’ self published work. “Anyway, here's my question for Dave: Hi Dave! Hope you are staying safe out there.” Ah, actually, I’m staying safe in here. “I was struck by the Synoptic Jesus' assertion that "If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me", variations of which appear in Matthew 10:38, Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, and Luke 14:27. The thing that struck me was that no one knew or expected how Jesus would end up (or the two Jesus' in your view). Perhaps "take up your cross" was a common saying at the time, and of course everyone knew what it meant. Do you have any thoughts on His statement, and why it appears in the Synoptic Gospels and not the Johannine?” And, you talk about your can of worms questions, there you go, you can always rely on Steve Peters for one of those. Uh, so, I’m gonna have to jump ahead a little bit. There’s a whole range of theories on the cross that the interlinear translation that I use, the entire appendix 3c is devoted to the cross and the nature of the cross. The cross… the Greek term for it, as the first written editions of the Gospel were in Greek, the cross is stauros, which means stake. Greek spelling is omicron, gamma, alpha, epsilon, rho, omicron, nu. And this gets so complicated I thought I’d better write this out. So I’m going to be basically reading this and I will fax this to you when we’re done and get you to forward it as an email to Steve Peters so he has a copy of it. 

Before the crucifixions the way it would have been understood is as part of a fence if it was a small stauros and part of a stockade if it was a large stauros. A wooden beam, in other words, but instead of horizontal like a roofing beam it was vertical. 

My personal opinion is that the Jews who knew Greek or the Greeks who were Jewish who first committed the Gospels to parchment in Greek were at a loss as to what to call the cross. They weren't there and what was being described to them by those who had been there was being described in Hebrew. Crucifixion was a Roman form of execution. Many theories as to where in their Empire the Romans got it from, but they didn't, I don't think, get it from the Greeks or anyone with whom the Greeks were familiar. Stauros was the closest approximation of a Greek term of what they were describing that they could come to. Stauroses plural would have been more accurate. An upright beam and a cross beam. But that would undermine the fact that they were describing a single execution instrument. It wasn't two things, it was one thing made up of two things. This is metaphysically important, but in deference to my largely atheistic audience, let's confine this to its 
more literal aspects.. After the crucifixion the use of the term stauros in your five citations resonated very powerfully with the crucifixion. "This is what he meant by stauros: he was referring to the cross beam he carried to the site of his crucifixion." 

Which is unique to the Synoptic Gospels. So far as the text tells us, the Johannine Jesus didn't carry his cross-beam. He was impaled the text tells us. Which I infer as crucified. Again, I don't think the Jews who knew Greek or the Greeks who were Jewish knew what to call that. What do you call affixing someone with spikes to a stauros cross-beam? Words literally failed them. They were civilized…

Dave: …Greeks, not barbaric Romans. 

The Synoptic Gospels usually cover as many angles on a subject as they can. The YHWH I infer was given, by God, "Final Edit" of the Synoptic Gospels and the option of multiple versions of the same episode and the same teaching, each differently nuanced. It disqualifies the Synoptic Gospels as Scripture particularly in Judaic terms. What makes Scripture Scripture in a Judaic sense is that it is always expressed the same way and in very exact terms. You don't change a jot and you don't change a tittle or you've violated what Scripture is. In my own frames of reference -- best two out of three -- my Judaic aspect and my Muslim aspect are in complete accord with that. The Synoptic Gospels are interesting for what they are -- incredibly intricate and efficacious interwoven multi-levelled manifestations of metaphysical concepts but, to me, they aren't Scriptural. There's only one John's Gospel, so, to me, it is Scriptural. 

But, let's visit the five-fold stauros teaching you cite and I'll tell you what I think I see here. Remember, I'm the only one who sees this so caveat emptor. You ask Dave Sim a question, you’re gonna find out what Dave Sim has to say about it. There is no team of people who believe it.
- MT 10:38 and who not is taking the stauros of him and is following behind me not is of me worthy 
- MT 16:24 Then the (Jesus) said to the disciples of him If someone is willing behind me to come let him disown himself and let him lift up the stauros of him and let him be following to me 
- MK 8:34 And having called to himself the crowd together with the disciples of him _ he said to them If anyone is willing behind me to come let him disown himself and let him lift up the stauros of him and let him be following me 
- LK 9:23 He was saying however toward all If anyone is willing behind me to be coming, let him disown himself and let him lift up the stauros of him according to day and let him be following to me 
- LK 14:27 Whoever not is carrying the stauros of himself and is coming behind me not he is able to be of me disciple 

Okay, to start with, there's four different stauros concepts here. 10:38 is TAKING. 16:24 8:34 9:23 are LIFT UP and 14:27 is CARRYING. Those are three different metaphysical concepts of what you can do with a stauros. 

The LIFT UP concept seems to have been what was most important to the YHWH. because it appears in all three Synoptic Gospels and three of the five citations.

 I think the reason it was important to the YHWH was as a refutation and rebuke of the Johannine Jesus in John 5 for healing the "man having thirty-eight years in the sickness of him" and telling him to LIFT UP the cot of him and be walking about. On the Sabbath. 

That's why, I infer, "according to day" appears in the capstone citation of the three LIFT UP citations and only there. You can LIFT UP the stauros of you, but only on a day when you're allowed to do so. i.e. not on the Sabbath. It's a rebuke based in Levitical Law. You're not supposed to lift up anything on the Sabbath. It's a real stretch to translate "according to day' AS "daily“. There are perfectly good Greek terms for "daily" if that's what you want to communicate. "According to day" means a specific day of the week or month or year is being cited. Strongly compelled inference, what it's referring to is the Sabbath. 

"Take up his cross daily" is, I infer, a very good Christian teaching. You have to commit fully -- daily -- to self-abnegation and be prepared at all times for potential or even likely Jesus-like martyrdom if you want to follow in the footsteps of the Synoptic Jesus. I just don't think the Greek text supports the "take up his cross daily" interpretation of what the actual words express.
Those three accounts also include the LET HIM DISOWN HIMSELF reference. Which is very different from the "he must deny himself" teaching which it has been popularly transmogrified into over the centuries. "Deny himself" seems to me a good teaching -- self-deprivation, of which fasting in Ramadan is an example --and, again, self-abnegation. Someone endeavouring to follow in Jesus' footsteps telling himself "I'm being like Jesus, but I'm not Jesus. Only Jesus is Jesus." That's how it's inferred universally by Christians today because Christians, as devout monotheists, are good and draw good inferences particularly when they're discussing -- or think they're discussing -- God's Son.

But "let him disown himself" I don't think is possible or beneficent or a good teaching. I mean, it is a teaching in the broadest sense of the terMatt: here's an instruction, take it or leave it. but only in the sense that in following the Synoptic Jesus, you're following the YHWH, which means you're turning your back on God. That, I infer, is the YHWH's idiosyncratic, poisonous hidden meaning. Which is why, I infer, the early Church saw the need to change it into something possible AND beneficent AND good. Something that the Jesus they pictured would say instead of what he actually said. Because people who believe in Jesus believe in God and believe that God is good. Which is a good thing to believe. "Let him disown himself", I infer, is a pure expression of the YHWH, in year 4,000 of this epoch, 2000 years ago, not giving up hope that everyone will abandon God and worship the YHWH because, as the YHWH sees it, men, are stupid and evil and easily misled.

The teaching is further subdivided -- fragmented -- by "to whom it is addressed". In order the citations are addressed to 
10:38 - a generalized "who" 
16:24 - the disciples but citing a very specific-nonspecific "someone" in the ranks of the disciples 
8:34 - the crowd, including his disciples but citing a nonspecified-nonspecific "anyone" 
9:23 - addressed to all, but citing a nonspecific "anyone" 
14:27 - it’s addressed to whoever isn't following the teaching 
I mean, it's metaphysically interesting to me because of the very specific, subtly nuanced manifold triangulation involved. I can't even imagine what it would be like to try to write something that would cover five widely different metaphysical bases simultaneously, which this does very effectively. 

The three central citations, 16:24, 8:34, and 9:23, further subdivide into two
16:24 willing behind me TO COME 
8:34 willing behind me TO COME 
Followed by 
9:23 willing behind me TO BE COMING
Which is, to me, equally metaphysically interesting. Given the time and inclination, I could probably write an interesting book examining, in-depth, the interrelationships that I see between the "someone"; "anyone"; "anyone" one-followed-by-two "who is being addressed" contexts and the "to come" "to come" "to be coming" two-followed-by-one verb tenses of the action presently taking place and the hypothetical future action about to take place. 

But, that seems to me a lunatic use of my…

Dave: …or anyone else's time. Because to me Scripture is about belief based in fact. Scripture is God and the YHWH's agreed statement of facts. And what I see here -- metaphysically fluid ideations -- seem to me not only anathema to belief but impervious to belief. What did the Synoptic Jesus say? I infer that it's in there somewhere: one of these accounts is accurate. But how would you determine which one? And this is just one teaching expressed multiple ways. It's the reason that I don't have the Synoptic Gospels as part of my Christian observance. In my experience, it's impossible to dig beneath the surface meaning without hitting these fractal multiplicities. I don't read Scripture to find interesting fractal multiplicities. If they’re in there, well that’s fine, I’ll deal with them on their own terms. So I don't read the Synoptic Gospels. Unless someone asks me about a specific citation (or five specific citations) as you've done here, Steve. And the result of the process is always the same. I dug down about two inches and here's the dozens of directions that these go in when you compare them to each other even cosmetically. 

Getting back to the spirit of your question, Steve (And I apologize that I always have to go through these, seemingly overelaborate but really "this is as simple as I can get the explanation" explanations when discussing Synoptic Gospel citations before I can get to what I'm being asked about per se): 
I don't think either the Synoptic Jesus or the Johannine Jesus were consciously aware in a human sense of what they were actually saying, they were just being told, in their minds, what to say. The Synoptic Jesus being told by the YHWH and the Johannine Jesus being told by God (or some being delegated to the task by God). Someone would ask them a question and even while the question was being asked, they were being told the answer in their head. Sometimes, I infer, they understood what they were talking about and sometimes, I infer, they didn't. It wasn't, I infer, their job to understand what they were being told to say, it was just their job to say it. 

So, when the Synoptic Jesus was told or was shown, mentally, what he was supposed to reference -- the stauros -- in his specific teaching, I think he thought he was just being told to reference a large physical object that requires a workmanlike dedication to deal with effectively and efficiently. That's (I infer was the idea behind the teaching) the form that your faith is supposed to take: that's your challenge. Comparable to his parable about the "beam in your own eye". There's a small object in your neighbour's eye and a large object in your own eye. What he was shown, mentally, I infer was that he was supposed to exaggerate the contrast between the two, dramatically to emphasize the extreme dichotomy (the same as he did with the camel and the eye of the needle: that's what he was shown and that's what he described). Arguably the "beam in your own eye" could be interpreted as the cross but I can't think of anyone who infers it that way. 

The YHWH, I infer, knew what the stauros referenced and would come to mean long term (i.e. what the fact of the crucifixion and the Synoptic Jesus' use of the term stauros in his answer Christians would turn it into) -- and I would assume God Knew, just as God Knew all of the YHWH's "Final Edits" before the 4,000 years of history that led to them was even enacted. God is omniscient -- but on a "need to know" basis, it wasn't, I don't think, necessary for the Synoptic Jesus to know what he meant by the stauros when he mentioned them.

Okay, there you go. That’s as condensed as I can get that one, Steve. And that was amputating a lot of stuff to go, look this is an online verbal interview, we can’t get into every aspect of this. But, I have come to expect that from Steve Peters, you’re never going to get a softball question from him.
Matt: You’re not gonna get Steve writin’ in, goin’, “what pen did you use on page 20 of issue whatever.
Dave: We’ve gotta get Janis to give Steve some lessons. Can you just ask Dave Sim was his favorite colour is?
Matt: [laughs]

Dave: Jeff Seiler says, “My question/s for Dave this month: Hi, Dave! I'm wondering, did you know when you finished JAKA'S STORY that you were going to bookend that with RICK'S STORY (much like you bookended WOMEN with GUYS?” Uh, yes, I did. It was pretty… “Rick Story” was pretty vague conceptually in my mind at the time of “Jaka’s Story” but at various points while I was writing “Jaka’s Story” I was mentally throwing things a good 10 years ahead, 15 years ahead to whatever that book was going to be called. “And, if IIRC, you printed your multi-part essay entitled "Mama's Boy" in the back of the book during the RICK'S STORY run. We never saw Rick interacting with his mum, but Snatcher was sort of a surrogate mother to him (in a very manipulative, bad way), right?” And it’s like, yes, that’s true about the only thing that actually made it into the book about Rick and Jaka’s relationship with Rick’s Mother was kind of a subtle kind of thing. And Oscar writes his letter to Jaka and Rick gives it to her and she reads it and right away she knows she’s going to write a letter back. And she says something about “where’s that good stationary that your mother gave us?” And that was, to me, that was to speak volumes about how that went. That I don’t think Jaka and Rick’s Mother had a happy relationship by any stretch of the imagination. I think it was one of those, Rick’s Mother was very used to being the number one woman in Rick’s life and saw Jaka as an interloper and tried to fight back to maintain her place and as often happens in those situations, just completely lost Rick. It’s like, no, no… in Jaka’s mind, Rick belongs to Jaka. Don’t make waves, don’t cause any static, or Rick will follow me out of your life completely, which is what happened. I think, as Rick’s Mother became aware that that was happening and was going to happen, inevitably, as a kind of bitter gift, she gave them really nice stationary. Like, you can write to me at any time. And the fact that in the apartment the size of a postage stamp that Rick and Jaka had, Jaka has to think, “where did I put that good stationary?” probably means exactly what it sounds like it means, they never wrote to Rick’s Mother, they never intended to write to Rick’s Mother, and there you go. That’s what happens when you try to cross Jaka.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: I think, that’s one of those “what goes around comes around” however, because the maternal presence does reassert itself, as Jeff suggests here when Mrs Thatcher got Rick and Jaka in her claws and it was, “oh dear, this fellow is actually quite a nice fellow and still is a very very nice fellow, except for this wretched Kevillist that he happens to have taken up with”. So you should always take care not to extract people from other people’s lives, because you’re probably going to experience your own extraction somewhere up ahead, which, as we know from the ending of “Jaka’s Story” and the story forwards from there, that is what happens to Jaka.
Matt: Well, and also, while Thatcher is sort of a Mother substitute, Jaka is a much bigger Mother substitute. Most of the first of the book is Jaka treatin’ Rick like a little boy cause mentally Rick is kind of a little boy.
Dave: Right! And that is the problem of that, if that’s what you’re attracted to, that level of naivete and that extremely simple kind of person, that does tend to happen if you choose to marry that person and make them your life mate. If you take him away from his Mother and he’s a Mama’s Boy, you’re going to have to be his Mother and that’s going to be a really unhappy situation. No woman should have to become her husband’s Mother and I think it probably happens a lot more often in our society than we’re aware of and a lot of those women would really like somebody to solve that if they possible could. “I didn’t want to get into this box, can somebody tell me how to get out of this box?” and it’s like, ehh, I don’t think so. That’s over in the women reading minds category and you’ll just have to try and coach each other through it. And I don’t think anybody has come up with a happy solution to that one. And…

Dave: Joe Fiore asks, “ Hi, I wanted to reach out as I've recently been asked twice by two different people to offer an opinion on what appear to be two Gene Day recreations. To me, they look like recreations he was commissioned to do prior to his passing in 1982.” Okay, I will interrupt these paragraphs as we go through. As soon as I read “Gene Day recreation” mmm, that just, there’s no resonance there for me on that. Gene Day didn’t copy other people’s work in that literalist kind of sense. Everything that he did, even if it was heavily heavily influenced by Von Bode it was still 100% Gene Day. I’m not in that category, if I like the idea of copying somebody, I will copy somebody. I have a lot of magpie in me. Gene Day had absolutely no magpie in him. “Both recreate Infantino's work on Star Wars, and both images (while different) seem to have been produced in roughly the same size/scale to Marvel Pin-ups from Marvel Star Wars UK Weekly. There's some oddities about the work that jumped out at me right away that indicate these weren't published, such as differences in line art, and just the fact that he isn't credited for doing the work, Infantino and Wiacek were. It's also kind of odd to me that he would be doing recreations of work by other artists,” Yeah, exactly my point. You picked up on that as well. “and while I think some attempt was made to attribute, seem confusing to the owners, who believe them to be original works by Infantino because his name is embellished on the work.” Okay, the thing that adds another dimension to this whole thing in that paragraph, is the UK Marvel Weekly, which are really a universe unto themselves. There were so many instances, particularly when it came to pinups of, something would show up in a Marvel UK edition, a weekly that somebody did six years before, five years before, seven years before. And it’s like, I didn’t even know Marvel still had that and suddenly I’m finding out this just appeared in the latest Marvel Weekly. So, I think that’s, if it was in a Marvel UK Weekly, it could have come from pretty much any time period. As you said, when you were writing to Joe about this, when he gets into the Star Wars Portfolio, that was 1977 and here he’s talking about circa 1982. If you’re talking about the Marvel UK Weekly, the year doesn’t matter. They could be anything from anytime that that person worked and just didn’t show up until they got out of a file drawer in New York and got shipped to London and London had a look at them and said, “oh this is great! We’ll throw this on the back cover there.” “Anyhow the reason why I wanted to contact Dave is because I am aware of a Star Wars portfolio Gene Day worked on, and intended to release under A&V (of which I understand some made it out, before Lucas shut it down)” Well, we don’t want to indite George Lucas for this, I don’t think it came anywhere near his desk. It made it as far as 20th Century Fox Canada, in 1977 and was just, “no, you can’t do that.” But yes, some of them made it out. Gene Day had, I believe, 10 copies of the Portfolio that, when we had the Portfolio done, it went out to Gene Day, and one of the Portfolios went out to 20th Century Fox in Toronto to find out, okay, what is the process for getting the permission on this. At that point it was, I don’t have those ten, Gene has them. I’m not gonna tell Gene to send back his ten Portfolio. And Harry Kremer here in town at Now & Then Books had already paid for and gotten I think five or six of them.
Matt: There’s uhh back in the Tim era he posted about it and linked to an article… no posted an article from a Star Wars collection magazine from the 90s, the author of the article was at Now & Then Books and found 11 of them and bought all 11.
Dave: Harry bought more than I thought.
Matt: Harry might have bought like at least 20!
Dave: Is that right?
Matt: It would be my guess that, ya know, you found 11, Harry probably bought ‘em in round numbers.
Dave: Right. Right. Yeah, that’s a good point.
Matt: And I know the ad in Cerebus #1 says it’s a limited edition of 250, so I can’t imagine that you guys would’ve printed more than 300.
Dave: No, it was, particularly at that time and I still try to stick to it, if you say that this is how many you printed, you don’t want to print more than that. That’s what you’re selling, is a limited edition thing. I do remember late in the day, probably late 1980s or something like that, Harry still had the Star Wars Portfolio on the assorted fanzines and stuff like that shelf that he had in the front room of 103 Queens St. South. And I remember looking at them, going, “I really should buy those.”
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: It’s not legit that Harry has them, and it wouldn’t be too legit for me to buy them from him, but you’re probably never going to see them again Dave, so you probably should pick them up for the Cerebus Archive, which wasn’t even called the Cerebus Archive at that time. Okay, that would be one of the things were I would suggest, relative to this question, if you can find that post in the A Moment of Cerebus archive and direct them to it. He’s suggesting, is this one of the plates from the Star Wars Portfolio? And the reproduction is really small, but I don’t think it is. I can’t rule it out completely…
Matt: It’s not.. [something fell sound] What the heck was that? My kid’s puttin’ away the dishes and I think just dropped the bowl. You okay down there?! And they’re not gonna answer me because I’m on the phone with Dave. [laughs]
Dave: There ya go.
Matt: Uhh, it’s one of those weird, it’s the internet, so instead of just posting everything, which is what I normally do, you’ll post a link, and at the link, there will be copies of all the Portfolio pages because I think there’s only eight or 10 of ‘em?
Dave: Right.
Matt: And, just doin’ a quick look it didn’t look like anything. What you said about Marvel UK, though, makes me wonder, if the original pencils weren’t… if they didn’t ink on the original board it could’ve been a case of when Gene got offered Star Wars they may have give him, “hey, quick, ink this” but then he would’ve put his name on it.
Dave: Not necessarily. 
Matt: Well, if it was like a try-out page, you’d think he would have put his name on it, as this is my try-out.

Dave: Yeah, you’re jumping ahead. I tend to agree with you, that if we’re looking for a providence to this, where did this piece come from, I think that’s a very distinct possibility. Because, definitely the major problem that Marvel had with Star Wars at the time, I think, was that George Lucas was a huge Infantino fan from back in the Adam Strange days. So if he was picturing Marvel artists that you could get to do Star Wars he would be picturing, “well, if Carmen Infantino is doing Star Wars would be like a dream come true. It would be like, this is the guy who did Adam Strange and all of that stuff that was very influential on me in terms of visual science fiction.” The thing was Infantino was… his heart really wasn’t in it by the time he was working on Star Wars, so consequentially what are called Infantino’s pencils, Carmen Infantino penciler, I saw the pencils, and it’s like, man, oh man, there’s just very very little here. It’s the absolutely minimum he could possibly do and still get paid as the penciler as opposed to just the layout artist. So what they needed was somebody who would essentially draw Star Wars over very very rough Infantino layouts and do a bang up job of it. Which is very definitely, well, if that’s what you’re lookin’ for, you’re lookin’ for Gene Day, cause he will labor prodigiously, prodigiously to make this book as much like the movies and all of the detail and everything as you can possibly hope for, essentially doing not only his own work of inking Carmen Infantino on Star Wars, but doing most of Carmen Infantino’s work on Star Wars. So I think, definitely, that’s the possibility, that somebody said, “this Gene Day guy” or “this Gene Day Studios”, they were convinced that there must be like a half dozen or a dozen people there because Gene would turn stuff around in an impossible deadline and do a bang up job on it, so they were convinced, “okay, this Gene Day guy is like Neal Adams’ crusty bunkers, but it all looks like Gene Day so we’re not gonna quibble about that.” I think somebody sitting around at an editorial meeting said, “why don’t you photocopy real life a pin-up by Infantino and send it up to Gene Day Studios and say, ‘can you do this? We’re kinda looking for somebody to ink Infantino art on Star Wars’” and cue the violins and the celestial angels when they got that in the mail from him. So, yeah, I would be happy to look at the pieces if whoever owns them wants me to look at them, you just relay them through Matt. You would get them in in digital form and I would get you to email them to Roly and he can put them on a memory stick or a thumb drive for me. And that, I don’t think I would be able to help very much beyond that. But it’s interesting, as far as I got with my explanation, you leaped ahead to exactly what I was thinking. This could be Gene Day’s tryout for Star Wars, whatever year that was that he started working on Star Wars and..
Matt: I know it was issue 18, but I can’t remember what year that was.
Dave: We’re both getting old, Matt!
Matt: But the problem is, I have it downstairs in a box, I could go get it and look, but at a certain point, it’s gonna be late 70s, early 80s.
Dave: Right, right. Well, ya know, after we’re done this, it’ll make a nice postscript to it, but that would be my best guess as to what it is that they have. Yes, it is a Gene Day piece. I guess what I don’t understand is where did the Gene Day part of it come from if Gene’s name isn’t on it? Like, he didn’t sign it, Infantino and Wiachek signed it? That’s the idea?
Matt: That… the only images I’ve seen are the published original images that Joe says, “it looks like this, and I’ve circled and highlighted what the differences are from what they have to the original” which helps if you’re comparing the two, but he doesn’t want to… one, is he doesn’t want to send the pieces out to, which makes sense, but as I said to him, unless you see it, it’s one of those, it’d be like if I made a copy of Cerebus #1 and then showed everybody Cerebus #1 and said, “it looks like this!”
Dave: Right.
Matt: Without actually looking at the linework and seein’ any Gene-isms, you’d have to be you, who would know Gene’s work by lookin’ at it that close.
Dave: Uhh, it’s pretty distinctive, if the owners of the original are Star Wars fans, emphasis on the Star Wars Comic Book fans, Gene Day’s inking on Star Wars is pretty distinctive. Almost everything is a Gene Day-ism when he’s doing Star Wars. You wouldn’t confuse Gene Day’s inked Han Solo with anybody else’s Han Solo.
Matt: And Joe says in the descriptions, in one image, he said, that they’re on the image this collector has, there’s two extra TIE-Fighters and he circled where the two TIE-Fighters are and all I think is it might’ve been a licensor thing where they put a bunch of spaceships on the cover and it was decided that the cover’s too busy, or the pinup was too busy, so they had somebody paste it up and fix it and remove stuff and they might just have an original Infantino page.
Dave: Right.
Matt: I don’t know how Gene came into it, unless it was a case of, well, Gene worked on Star Wars. Well, yeah he did, but ya know, like I said, he started at issue 18 and he only did, I wanna say, a half dozen issues as inker before..
Dave: Right. Is that right? Cause in my mind, he was on there for a long time. But definitely, like by 1982, he left the inking assignments and did “Master of Kung Fu” and penciling and inking “Master of Kung Fu”, it was like, that was really pushing his workload. Like, inking he could fly through it, but he really slowed down on “Master of Kung Fu”, which is why I can’t picture that he was done any Star Wars kind of commission for somebody after the point where he left Star Wars. When he left Star Wars it was for the rock pile, and definitely, this is going to be using up all of his available time, so Star Wars recreations? No, I can definitively say, I think, that these are not recreations that Gene Day did in the conventional sense of the term. And just…

Dave: …tying this into a plug. Might as well, if I’m going to spend this much time talking about something I’m not making money, let’s talk about something I will be making money on. As far as we know, God willing, Tuesday the Kickstarter through the Waverly Press, who I’ve licensed to do a Cerebus #1 facsimile. Actually, three Cerebus #1 facsimiles. One that looks like the #1 as I intended it, comic book sized. And a gold edition with 24 extra pages, and a platinum edition signed and numbered with 24 extra pages. If you want to see the Gene Day Portfolio all that really exists, that’s accessible to me anyway in this day and age, this’ll be the first time that the inside back cover isn’t halfway rolled into the inside front cover, trying to make a comic book sized comic book into a magazine sized comic book. And I was very very pleased getting the prototypes in and flipping to the back cover and going, “[gasp] Well, there it is. The Gene Day Star Wars ad I’ve been looking at since 1977 but it’s all along the inside back cover.” And I didn’t even fix the typo, where it was supposed to say “Best SF Film” and whoever did the typesetting for it at Moncrest Graphics changed it into “Best of Film”. So, if you’re reading that and going, “Best of Film? What does that mean?” It was supposed to be “Best SF Film.”
Matt: Uhh, the only reason I know that there were 250 printed is cause my prototype copy came in the mail today.
Dave: It did?
Matt: And the Kickstarter’s not startin’ on Tuesday, it started about 10 minutes before you called, and lemme check real quick on the interwebs… uhh, it already has 25 backers.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: And that they’ve raised almost 25 thousand… err, $2500.
Dave: Okay! [laughs] 25,000, I was about to say, “man oh man, these aren’t any people I know!”
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: [laughs] Well that’s great, cause Dagon faxed me, Dagon James who is the publisher of Waverly Press, goin’, “I don’t know what’s going on, I always get automatic approval from Kickstarter. I haven’t heard from anybody. This was supposed to go up at 8 o’clock this morning, so we’re bumping it to Tuesday.” It looks like they finally got their goons in gear and we are off to the Cerebus #1 races.
Matt: He had emailed me about it, me and Sean and Margaret about it, goin’, “yeah, I don’t know why Kickstarter’s not approvin’ it” and I’m thinkin’, well, with the COVID thing if everybody’s stayin’ home and they need someone to physically press the button to let it go live…
Dave: Oh, that’s true. That’s true.
Matt: It could be a case of, ya know, Bob’s not in the office, Bob’s at home, and because Bob’s at home, we can’t approve things, so it’s gotta wait and wait and wait. And then he emailed earlier today, goin’, “okay, they said it’s approved. Should I wait til Tuesday or do it now?” and I’m like, I would do it now, because I’m gonna talk to Dave in about an hour.
Dave: Right. Right. So what did you think when you looked at your prototype?
Matt: Um, I… well, my prototype is the expanded edition so it’s got the extra 24 pages.
Dave: Right.
Matt: And, I don’t have a Cerebus #1, I don’t have a counterfeit, I do have a Biweekly, I have a Swords, and I have the phonebook, but this is the closest I’m gonna get to an actual Cerebus #1 and it’s better cause Sean cleaned it up and made it real pretty. It’s got all the extra stuff with modern commentary. I mean, it…
Dave: It’s in mint condition.
Matt: Ehh, near mint, cause I read it.
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: I got it, opened it up, and I’m like, I read this story, I’ve read the biweekly reprint, so there’s nothing in here from the original that I haven’t seen, but then I’m like, but there’s the extra stuff, and I’m like, he sent you a PDF of this and you read it two weeks ago, why are you flippin’? Cause I’m a comic book Cerebus fan and new Cerebus, even if it’s old Cerebus, is still new Cerebus.
Dave: That’s right. That’s right.
Matt: He also included a couple of the prototypes for some of the extras, like the bookmarks and then he sent me like eight of one and I think like seven of the other one, and I’m like, okay, I only need one of each so, maybe I’ll do somethin’ with the other ones. And then he sent the prototypes of the trading cards and I’m like, oh these are neat, and I’m like, I’ll do the same thing, keep a set for me and get rid of it, and I started playin’, lookin’ at ‘em and every single trading card is different. One of ‘em’s printed so the bumps in the zipatone is raised, the backs are different on all of them, they’re processed…
Dave: Hey, I didn’t get one of those!
Matt: Yours are in Norway! [laughs]
Dave: [laughs] Oh that’s right! That’s right. Mine are still on their way back from Norway, their COVID-19 vacation.
Matt: I mean, when you get the box, you’re gonna be… on one hand, you’ll be super excited to finally see this stuff, but on the other hand, you’re like, but if I don’t open it, these are pristine, never been viewed by anyone except for Dan… you’re gonna open ‘em.
Dave: Yeah, I think I probably will. But now you’ve put that thought into my head… well. So.
Matt: I’m an evil editor, I know.
Dave: There ya go. It’s been really, really cool though, ya know, getting in the prototype and then doing a hand corrected version and then getting another one, and it is just like having a Cerebus #1 lying around the house. I do pause even walking past it going, “well, that’s pretty darn cool. Mine isn’t in pristine mint either, but that’s at least a 9.2 Cerebus #1 sittin’ there on the carpet.”
Matt: Well, my prototype, I believe the letter says it’s version 3, there’s still a few typos, it’s not, ya know, what everyone’s gonna be gettin’ through the Kickstarter, the Kickstarter ones will be slightly better. Which is why I was the first person to back the Kickstarter.
Dave: Oh, good. Good for you.
Matt: As soon as he got the link, I’m like, I’m gonna buy because he’s got a pack where you get the regular version, the gold version, and the platinum version for $50 and I’m like, sold! I almost went for the $95 where you get the proof version and I’m literally holding a proof in my hand and I’m like, I don’t need to buy this, I already have it.
Dave: [laughs] That’s right. Don’t tell Janis if you do that you paid $95 for something that you already had.
Matt: Yeah, that…
Dave: We’re okay with collecting around here within limits, but that obsessive kinda stuff, don’t do that. Yeah, it’s… where we’ve definitely been babysitting this all along, and the biggest quibble that I had with the prototype when it came in was the cardstock cover. Definitely made a point to Dagon that although it’s actually a much nicer cover, and definitely will be easier to keep in mint condition, it really needs to be comic book weight, either the weight of cover that we used on “Cerebus in Hell?
#1 that we used to, and then we went to a lighter stock, either one of those, and it’s like, “way ahead of you.” This was just to show me what the prototype looked like, not to show me what the stock it was gonna be on. And that gets into the area of, why are you calling this a proof if it’s not what the thing’s gonna look like? Don’t do it this way! But, it’s gonna work out fine. I’m definitely looking forward to getting my platniums and my gold and my reds in and bagging and boarding them for the Archive.
Matt: Are you gonna send one off and get it slabbed as a 10.0?
Dave: Ehh…

Dave: Ahh, no, I don’t think so. I was thinking of doing that with the hand-corrected proof, because I wrote “hand-corrected proof” and put the date on it and signed it. So, if that got slabbed by CGC then it would be more valuable because it was slabbed, but then you wouldn’t be able to see the hand corrections that are in it. So, that kind of defeats the purpose.
Matt: [laughs] True.
Dave: So, I’m still wondering what I might do with that. I was thinking I might auction that through Heritage Auctions. If I would have had it earlier and had known that the Kickstarter was going up, I could have gone on one of their last auctions. It might be in one of their weekly auctions as the Kickstarter is unfolding over the next 28 days. But that’s kind of pushing COVID-19 limitations. Can you get this in your weekly auction next week? “I can’t get anything done next week. Don’t you realize that I’m home teaching my kid geomatry? Don’t you know how much time that takes?” How are you doing with that, teaching Janis and Bullwinkle?
Matt: Bullwinkle’s great. Bullwinkle’s easy. I mean, she’s, I’m not workin’ with her as much as I need to, but it’s one of those, wake up in the morning, walk downstairs, see if they’re awake, if they’re not, sometimes I’ll wake ‘em up, sometimes I’m like, I’m gonna quickly try to do anything else besides help them with homework. Janis, it’s a lot of, ya know, she’s a straight A student, top of her class, and yet apparently when I try to teach her anything it’s, “that doesn’t make sense. That’s not how we do it.” I just wanna strangle her going’, “I’m telling you, this is how you figure it out. If you don’t wanna learn my way, okay, but don’t call me to ask me a question when you’re doing an online math test and then when I try to explain how to figure it out, complain that’s not how you learned it because I wasn’t here learning it with you because I already know.”
Dave: Right.
Matt: The big one that she had a test on, area vs perimeter, and last week she got it, back and forth, back of her hand, she knew exactly what she was doin’, and then this week it was, “well, I added the sides together” and I’m like, it’s area, you have to multiply. But I’m not telling her exactly, I’m trying to nudge her to figure this out, ya know, you’re learnin’ on your own, and she’s just getting madder and madder at me and I’m getting madder and madder at her, and finally I’m like, okay. And another one is, it’s an online math program and you take, it’s like four, and you learn the lesson then it’s four practices quizzes, it’s four or five questions. And if you don’t get 100%, you can move on from there, but it doesn’t say 100% on the home screen for all of the assignments, and so if she gets a question wrong, she goes back and redoes it and the questions are different but the same skills. Which would be fine, except that, ya know, you got 4 out of 5, that’s passing. But she goes, “no, no, I want 100%” okay fine, but now you’re going back and the question’s slightly different and you can’t just say, “oh, it’s 24.” But, she’s been kind of a perfectionist on it, which I like, cause, hey, she’s smart, but on the other hand it’s really annoying that, okay you got that done, move onto the next lesson. “No, no, no, I have to get 100.”
Dave: Right, right. Yeah, there’s an interesting, I’ve been reading parents who are columnists in the National Post, and you get a sense of what this is like, and what’s interesting to me is the attitude on the part of their children is, “you’re not my teacher.” They’ve got definite categories that they put people in and it’s like, no you’re Dad, you’re not my teacher. You’re my mum, you’re not my teacher. Cause, my teacher wouldn’t do things like this. And I think a lot of them are very eager to get back to school where that isn’t confused. It’s like, my teacher doesn’t act like my Dad or my Mom, and my Mom and my Dad are no longer acting like my teacher, but, something that, most of us who aren’t going through this and never had kids anyway, are just going, “wow, that sounds really really unpleasant.”
Matt: Well, that’s… she does Zoom, she does meetings over the internet where it’s got the camera so she can see the teacher, the teacher can see her, and she can see her classmates and they discuss what’s goin’ on, and she has a couple of them a week and I’m really tempted to bust in one and ask the teacher, “is she this whiny for you? Cause I’m gettin’ tired of it.”
Dave: [laughs] The teacher/parent meetings after this are gonna be I think packed for exactly that reason of, this is a different child from the child that I know. Is this someone familiar to you? Because I think my child is dissociating into student personality and child personality.
Matt: There was a tweet that somebody tweeted right after stay at home started and it was, “I have a bachelor’s degree in whatever, I have a high IQ, I’ve been teaching my kids for two days. Teachers deserve a billion dollars a year.”
Dave: [laughs] Which you don’t wanna say too loud because teachers are unionized.
Matt: It’s one of those, I mean, it was funny, but at the same time, exactly, it’s a bit of a split personality of, at school you can’t just sulk down in your chair and cry for five minutes without 12 other kids makin’ fun of you at the playground. But at home, when it’s just you and your sister and Dad, yes, you can cry and whine and not act like a student and get away with it because, ya know, you’re not at school.
Dave: Right.
Matt: And, I’ve been workin’ with her. I mean, part of it is I gotta be patient, because I have… I’m 40 years old, I’ve gotten to the point where, if I know something and I try to explain it to you and you don’t understand it. Why not? I understand it and I’m stupid as a post. And I had the same problem trainin’ people at work of, I explained it, why don’t you understand this? And have come to the realization that it’s not that I’m stupid as a post, it’s that I think I’m stupid as a post when I’m really very smart and I understand things okay I get this, why can’t you? It’s because you haven’t gotten it yet.
Dave: Right.
Matt: And, basically there’s a reason I’m not a teacher.
Dave: There you go.
Matt: Bullwinkle, we’ve been readin’ ABCs, so it’s preschool at this point, so it’s, ya know, shapes and colors and she’s way ahead on all that stuff. And a lot of it is just repetition of, we read Dr Seuss’ ABCs every day for a week and it’s weird, cause she knows the alphabet song and she can sing the alphabet song, but when we’re reading the alphabet and I’m pointing to the letter going, okay, what’s this letter, she has to sing the song to get to H to figure out that it’s an H. And it’s not every letter, it’s only like H, I think, J, K, and RSTUV. Those are the letters she doesn’t recognize at sight. And I’m like, there’s a T and an S in your name, how do you not recognize this? And there’s an H in your name, and how do you not recognize this? And she just looks at me like I’m a complete idiot.
Dave: Right.
Matt: And it’s one of those, okay. It’s the old computer thing of Moore’s law, processors get smaller, they expand in their intelligence. The same thing with little kid brains, as they get older they get smarter. And I just have to wait for her brain to kick on of, “okay, that’s alphabet and now I know it.”
Dave: Right, right.
Matt: Don’t you wish you could go back and tell your young self, “Oh no no, have kids, it’ll be fun!”
Dave: [laughs] Well, there’s no replacements for it. It’s a very very rare person who decides after the fact “why did I have kids?” It’s like, whatever else happens, it’s definitely the children do become the center of focus. I think I’m missing one of the questions here, which was talking about the inking… oh wait a second, we’ve got Keith Callbeck’s question, “While you are asking, I'm curious if Dave is still using the heavy art board.” The S172 illustration board. “It was interesting to see how different it was from the more light cardboard type that is the usual.” I have both. I haven’t really been using them because I haven’t been drawing, even when I do draw, it’s usually just sketchy stuff on photocopies, if I’m doing “Strange Death of Alex Raymond” mock-ups for Carson Grubaugh. Or, the most recent drawing was Dr Silver Cerebus, Chief Medical Caeser, just showing David Birdsong how I’d pictured Silver Cerebus with a mask and gown and surgical cap on. So, yes, I do have them all, I’m always more inclined to use the illustration paper because I’m already far enough way from the Alex Raymond style and the Al Williamson style, where those guys used that illustration paper. So anytime I would try drawing something, and I haven’t really tried drawing anything since last summer, I prefer the drawing paper to the illustration board, but still like to have the ill…

Dave: Uhh, and then somebody, I don’t know who it is, I haven’t got the name here… I don’t think I have the name here, sorting through… no I don’t. Was asking about the inking. Did I think that inking was an art?
Matt: Uhh, that’s Dave Kopperman.
Dave: Dave Kopperman. Right. Thank you. Dave, yes, I definitely do think that it’s an art unto itself and I think the funniest story about that was, I think, when Ron Perelman took over Marvel Comics and sent in the Legion of Junior League Ron Perelmans into the Marvel offices to sit down and figure out, “okay, how are we gonna run this place now that Ron Perelman owns it?” and they were walking him through the process of how you make a comic book and they were showing him a pencil page and then showing him an inked page. That you pencil it first and then you ink it. And being a very budget-conscious corporate guy, he said, “why don’t you just get them to do it in ink in the first place and just skip the whole penciling process?” [laughs] And it’s like, oh, oh, okay, that’s why you make the big bucks. That’s really the answer to the question, is, you couldn’t possibly ink a comic book page without penciling it first, so consequently you can’t, in the Kevin Smith sense, say that this guy is a tracer. There are tracers, depending on who you’re inking. Gene Day, when I would go up and visit him, would have different books by different people, Pat Broderick would pencil very very tightly. The latest Star Wars would be there, and I could see Infantino’s pencils and there was virtually nothing there, so it was a question of, how much do you have to bring to this? Something that… Dave Sim trying to, “here’s my friend and here’s my other friend, you guys should meet each other” Gene Day was at a convention that I was at, and Marshall Rogers was at, and I said to Gene, “Marshall’s a great guy, you should go over and meet him.” just a “Dave Sim said that I should come over and talk to you. Dave and I have been friends for many years, working together from back in the fanzine days.” And Gene said, “yeah, I’ll do that. I’ll go over and talk to him.” And Gene went over and was sort of waiting in front of Marshall. Marshall had a couple of people at the table, and Marshall was talking about complaints that he has with how he’s been dealt with in the comic book field, where he said, “well, one of the problems is that I’ve never been inked properly.” And it’s like, Gene Day’s sitting there and in his brain he’s going, “you’ve been inked by Terry Austin and you’ve been inked by Dick Giordano. You have been inked properly. You have been, as a matter of fact, improved spectorally” and realizing, being a very polite Canadian, which Gene was, he couldn’t say this to Marshall Rogers, he just basically turned around and walked away. And when I asked him, “Did you meet Marshall Rogers?” he said “uh, yeah, he was talking to somebody and saying that he had never been inked properly, and I thought you’ve been inked by Terry Austin and Dick Giordano. I have absolutely nothing to say to you, and walked away.”
Matt: [laughs] One of my favorite convention experiences was, I was at Wizard World and Erik Larsen was doin’ a how-to panel on how to draw a fight scene. And they had a transparency projector and a screen so that he could draw on a transparency and they would project it up and we could see what he was doin’. And he was drawing the Hulk fighting the Savage Dragon. And, have you ever seen how Erik Larsen pencils?
Dave: Yes.
Matt: So he was holding a marker the way he holds a pencil or pen in his funny grip, and he’s scribblin’ away, and up on the screen is six panels full of circles. And the entire audience is just kinda sittin’ there slackjawed, goin’, this doesn’t look like anything. It’s just a bunch of circles. And he’s sayin’, “ah, you have to use dynamism and a really powerful perspective”, he’s like, “in this panel it’s the Hulk punchin’ out the Dragon” and we’re all sittin’ there, glass-eyed, slackjawed, he goes, “see it’s the Dragon” and puts a line through one of the circles, and you realize, it’s the Dragon’s fin comin’ directly at you, and the entire thing… it’s all of a sudden, you can see, oh yeah, that pile of circles is the Hulk, and this pile of circles is the Dragon, and this pile of circles is some rubble. And I’m goin’, I can’t imagine how Erik’s pencils would look if he was doin’ it for somebody else and he forgot and didn’t do it tight.
Dave: Right.
Matt: I mean, the entire audience as one went, “oh!” And like, it was audible and he kinda stopped and looked up and went, “oh yeah, I’m not doin’ this… it’s not for print and I’m not doin’ it for myself to ink later”, but he was still thinkin’ as a penciler and not an inker.
Dave: Right, right. Um, one of the stories that I told Gene Day that I shouldn’t have told him, it’s kinda cruel but was very very funny… Gil Kane talking about inkers at Marvel and being inked. And he said that “inkers are like”, and then he gestured like a marionette, “you lift up the hands, you slide the pages underneath them, you drop the hands onto the page, and then,” [makes rapid blobbing sounds] “they ink it, and then you lift them up, and then you slide under page underneath it”, and it’s like, it was very very funny and very very accurate, both about the process from a penciler’s standpoint, which is what Gil always was. But also, this is what’s required in an inker. Unless the person is really really fast at doing that, they’re using up a lot of the penciler’s time. You need fast inkers which is why Gene had no patience for Marshall Rogers saying he’d never been inked properly. Terry Austin was, and I assume still is, very very fast, but anything he’s going to ink he’s going to improve it. There are very few jobs that I can picture that…

Dave: I think that’s… the end of our questions? Unless, I…
Matt: Uhh, I think so.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: Umm, what was I… I had a question that if I got a chance I was gonna ask you, but I can’t remember what it was now. Oh! Okay. So, this is… I don’t know if you ever experienced this cause you might not have, being up in Canada, but back in the 70s when Cheech & Chong got really popular on their first record they had a bit called “Dave’s Not Here”, where a guy shows up, and he’s bangin’ on the door, and the guy inside the apartment is goin’, “who is it?” and the guy out there’s goin’, “it’s Dave” and the guy’s goin’, “who?” “Dave.” “Who?” “D-dave?” “Yeah, Dave’s not here.” And it goes on for about five minutes, and finally, at the end of it, he goes, he knocks on the door, and the guy inside goes, “who is it” he goes, “it’s me, man, open up” and he opens up there door and says, “hey, some guy kept comin’ by lookin’ for ya.” So when that record got popular my parents were livin’ out in Rhode Island and my Dad was in the Navy and he and 14 other guys lived in this big yellow house they called Big Yellow because it was yellow. It was a rooming house. A little old lady owned it and rented it to all the guys, and they were all submariners, so it was six months on shore, six months on the boat, so for six months, the house was pretty much empty. And when my Mom and Dad got together, they were livin’ in the house, so my Mom’s in this giant house and then six months out of the year she’s by herself, it’s just her and one guy’s dog. So they got engaged and got married and moved out into their own apartment and weren’t livin’, but kept goin’ back for parties and every time they showed up they’d knock on the door and my Dad’s name is Dave, so it would be, “who is it?” “Dave.” “Dave’s not here, man.” So, they knock on the door. My Mom goes, “It’s Betsy.” They open the door, pull her in, slam the door in my Dad’s face and make him knock again. Now, I’m kinda wonderin’, did you ever had anybody do the “Dave’s not here, man” bit with you?
Dave: No, I didn’t. That would’ve been very very funny, though. I remember that bit on the Cheech & Chong record, and yeah, now I feel deprived! Nobody ever did the Cheech & Chong, “Dave’s not here” on me.
Matt: When I was in high school, and my brother and I played the record, and of course, it’s hilarious cause it’s just a funny record, and then my Mom tells us this story, so now my brother and I can’t listen to it without, ya know, laughin’ even harder cause just the idea of my Dad, the door in his face literally, cause he thought he was gettin’ in this time. And it got to the point where he’s like, “well, I’m not goin’ over there” and Mom’s like, “but it’s a big party, these are all your friends.” “No, I’m not goin’, they’re not gonna let me in.”
Dave: Right, right. The only story I can match with that is, my Dad used to have a joke where if company was coming over he would open up the door and they’d start to come in, and he’d go, “we don’t want any” and close the door. And that used to be one of my favorite bits until the time that friends were coming over, one of them a girlfriend of somebody, buzzed up from downstairs, come up to the door to the apartment, I opened the door and went, “we don’t want any” and she stopped the door before I could close it, she said, “you aren’t getting any.”
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: [laughs] And I went, okay, trumps that joke.
Matt: My Grandparents, their house, it used to be, when I was little, well, they had it for decades before I was born, but when I was a little kid my Grandparents lived in a house that had used to be a trolley station. Down near Milwaukee they had a train that ran from Milwaukee down through the town my Mom lived in, down to Chicago and stuff. And they converted the train station into a house, they expanded on it and stuff, but one of my Mom’s cousins had made and painted this really nice sign that says, “this building condemned” and gave it to my Grandpa as a gag gift for his birthday, and he hung it up on the wall for years. And it was one of those things, it was right behind the front door so when you would walk in, the first thing on the wall that you would see is a sign that says, “this building condemned”.
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: And when my Grandparents died, I inherited the sign, and I have it in my house above the front door but nobody looks up so nobody sees it.
Dave: Oh well.
Matt: But it’s one of those, I know it’s there, because I actually thought it actually came with the house, cause I was a little kid, nobody really explained, oh no, this is a gag gift that Grandpa got, I thought Grandpa had this sign because the building was condemned when they bought it and then they fixed it up.
Dave: It’s the gag thought that counts.
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: That’s, I think, the lesson on that one. Okay, I gotta run along, I heard the fax machine going and I cleaned my desk, so that means the faxes are getting shot across the room today.
Matt: You know it’s not a fax from me, so that’s the good news.
Dave: There you go! There you go. That narrows it down. No, actually, just before we started the call, the faxes were starting to come in, and it is from Dagon James so I’m sure he’s letting me know that the Kickstarter is up and running. Okay, thanks as always, Matt.
Matt: Not a problem, Dave. Uhh, one last, really quick question, so I did this painting of Cerebus and I don’t know if I should keep it, send it to you, or sell it.
Dave: Mmm. I would say… how big is it?
Matt: Uhh, like 8 and a half by 11?
Dave: 8 and a half by 11, and it’s a painting?
Matt: Yeah, it’s an actual canvas. One of the stay at home things that Paula got was, it’s canvases, paints, brushes, and little ceramic stuff from this place in town that sells… ua know, you can go there and paint with a bunch of people. Well, they’re not allowed to be open, so they’re sellin’ kits for kids who are stayin’ home, and Paula bought one for everybody. And it’s like, what am I gonna paint? And I’m like, wait a minute, I have to draw something for “Please Hold”, I’m gonna paint Cerebus.
Dave: Well, I got to tell you, it faxed beautifully. So that may be the calling that you’ve been waiting for.
Matt: What, tracin’ images from you on my do-it-yourself lightboard which is a really big window on the side of the house where it’s sunny?
Dave: Yes, and then painting them, and then faxing them. The original artwork is the fax. I would be very pleased to have it for the Cerebus Archive. We’ve got the Matt Dow box up and running at Camp David.
Matt: I apologize. [laugh]
Dave: Oh, no problem! No problem.
Matt: That box is probably bigger than it needs to be!
Dave: Uhh, I’m not sure about that. We’ll see how that goes in the long run.
Matt: The last I heard, Canada had closed the border to packages.
Dave: Yeah…
Matt: If you find out you’re gettin’ packages, I will set it aside and it will come up to the Archive.
Dave: Okay, that’s..
Matt: I mean, if people see it, and go, “I want one of those.” I will see how much canvases cost and I will find a price that will seem ungodly high to me but is reasonable to everyone else, I am sure, and I will start doin’ them and sellin’ them and paintin’ them and each one is gonna be different because I’m gonna discover, hey, you can’t paint the background on this painting and have it look good. Cause originally it was gonna be Cerebus in a room with burlap curtains behind him, and I got done with the burlap curtain and went, you didn’t go far enough and that’s a big block line, now you have to cover it with paint.
Dave: There you go. There you go. Okay. Say hi to Paula and Janis Pearl and Natasha for me, and we’ll do this again next month.
Matt: Will do! Talk to ya then. Thanks as always!
Dave: Buh-bye.
Matt: Bye. Well, then, so if you really want a painting of Cerebus, I will paint one, but you gotta give me money. You have to offer me an obscenely amount of money, cause this took me almost, I dunno, two hours? Alright, everybody! The Kickstarter is live, right here. Cerebus #1, and I’m gonna hold it sideways so you can see. And it’s a beautiful book. I mean, just look at how pretty that Cerebus is. And it’s got all sorts of fun extras, like here’s the original inside back cover and you can see how many pages are left. This is what you’re gonna be getting if you get the gold or platinum edition or one of the artist’s proofs. I mean… it’s got… it’s got everything, you, a Cerebus fan, could possibly want. Lemme see here, like the first drawing of Cerebus… actually, the first drawing of Cerebus is, where is it? One more, one more, hold on, hold on. There’s the first Cerebus, there’s probably the second, it’s got… the Cerebus style guide, it’s got… Frank Thorne, which was the back cover to this Cerebus print. It’s got the berserker Cerebus, it’s got behind the scenes stuff, and… it even has Cerebus Returns, Cerberus in Hell?, the zombies, and… well, I don’t know what this. I mean, I’ll have to hold this, you can’t see the light, give everybody a chance to read it and go, “when when when, when can I give all my money away?” Alright everybody, thank you for holding for Dave Sim, thank you for entertaining my kid, thank you for uhh…
Three days left to back Living The Line's Kickstarter for CENTRALIA by Miel Vandepitte.
The Absurd, Surreal, Metaphysical, and Fractured Destiny of Cerebus the Aardvark, currently available on "Plex", "Xumo", "Tubi". If you're in Brazil... And now on Mometu.
Cerebus in Hell?
Heritage has a bunch of neat original art.

Next Time: Hobbs.


Margaret said...

I'll take a collection of them. With relevant pictures and an index please.

M J Sewall said...

I always want another phone book. I suppose that means that all the Blog & Mail need their own phone book too...