Sunday 5 November 2023

It's my Blog and you'll cry if I want you to...

Hi, Everybody!

Irony: Dave and I started Please Hold For Dave Sim because:
"He had heard that Stan Lee had passed away, and wants to save using the hand for Strange Death of Alex Raymond, so instead of typing out things like his remembrance of Stan, he'll call me, and I'll record the conversation and post a video."
And here we are five years later and Dave's...typing out answers to questions...

Remember when I said I wasn't gonna talk about Judy? Part of the reason was the list of questions VGDC Maroro sent in. 
1. (This is a bit heavy, so Dave doesn't need to publicly answer this one if he doesn't want to, or if you don't want to), I feel like the only way you're (Dave, not you) going to be able to dispel the stuff about Judith Bradford that got you kicked off of Van Sciver's Cyberfrog is if you were to record and upload video of you and Judith in the present day speaking to eachother about what happened, and her side of what it all was, since you bringing up the Mann act in your letter feels like it means what happened in that hotel room was at best "delinquency of a minor" and at worst explicit photography. I don't really care about Cyberfrog, that's just an example of something you got ousted from.
 And here's Dave's response that he typed out and read on the Please Hold:
I'ma interrupt Dave answering VGDC to say that the OTHER reason I didn't want to talk about Judith is this anonymous comment made on the Sketches of Familiar Faces post:
Matt Dow doesn’t mind his idol grooming children as long as he gets sent a sketch and a proof
Between this and VGDC's question, I started to write a long post explaining my perspective on the Dave Judith..."thing" (I find that every term I could use to have a ton of interpretive baggage that I would have to juggle to even TRY to explain myself. "Relationship"? That carries a mountain of subtext that I'd have to wade through. And frankly, I believe I already did that during the Trial of Dave Sim...), and frankly, I don't even know if it's worth my time.

Over on the Trial of Dave Sim, in the comments, this got posted:
TL,DR: There was no grooming nor molestation, and the lot of you using my adolescent relationships as ammunition are more exploitative than Dave ever was!


As the former adolescent female whose name and past relationships are being used as a cudgel by the prurient and presumptuous, I can correct the previous comments and confirm I was born January 8, 1970. I met Dave Sim once in the earliest year of which he is now accused of some form of immoral predation; we did not become close until somewhat later and at NO POINT did he behave in any way objectionably. Unless talking to an adolescent locked in a boarding school dorm a thousand miles away and once visiting to spend several hours in company are a crime, Mr. Sim has nothing to reproach himself for upon my account. In fact I remain grateful to him for his time and attention, which was unmarred by the scent of predatory interest, and I know what it looked and smelled at felt like; I'd been I don't know if he would "take No for an answer" because he never put me in the uncomfortable position of having to say either yes or no. Whether or not he found underage me attractive or not is beside the point--- he treated me with perfect courtesy as though I had no sexual aspect whatsoever. Indeed he refused to discuss the matter except to say it was something we might address someday, once I was an adult; and if he found it difficult, he never burdened me with that knowledge.

It has been quite traumatic to find out a bunch of total strangers have concocted a moral crime out of this personal series of events, violating my privacy as well as twisting the actual past to conjure up an indictment.
It is based on little more than the age I was on FIRST MEETING Dave Sim. The subsequent course of events is nobody else's business-- it should be sufficient to say that I trusted him and he never failed to be worthy of that trust. I could have slept in the same room, even shared a bed, without fear of inappropriate advances, because finding someone attractive does not preclude care for their well being, or even ordinary prudence wishing to avoid bad behavior.

Whatever he may now see fit to condemn in his past self from the perspective of his religious conversion, he did nothing sleazy or even sleaze-adjacent. Due to his disapproval (stated circa 2004) of married women corresponding with males other than their husband, we do not speak to one another. Otherwise I might have found out about this revolting persecution somewhat earlier, and spoken up to call out those who, it is clear, care nothing for either the truth or the alleged "victim" when they wish to hang a dog, and come across a promising bad name to hang upon him.

Did it never occur to ANY of the self appointed guardians of my "innocence" that you were publicly sticking your Grundy noses into the personal and sexual history of an actual person whose views COULD BE ASCERTAINED? Or did you make up some kind of excuse for why it was somehow "better for me" to have it raked over by people eager to presume a certain story, the better to wield against someone you dislike? You may all, with celerity, go f**k yourselves. Dave is worth a hundred petty scandalmongers, even if he does not always seem to realize that fact.

With freezing contempt,

Judith Bradford

PS. It's somewhat sad Dave seems to attribute so much more of my interest to supposed particular devotion to the comic. I worked in a comic shop and liked a lot of them, and met a lot of artists et cetera there and at local conventions-- but didn't want to call them to talk :) It was actually the person, and appreciation for his qualities, that was significant to me.
Now, this being the 21st century (and not even a cool version of the 21st century with robot maids and flying cars...), I'm  more than willing to admit that I'm very agnostic as to whether this is the REAL Judith, or just somebody pretending. In all honesty, I don't really give a shit. If it's her, cool, there's her thoughts/feelings/perspective. If it's not her, cool, doesn't change MY perspective on the situation.

Which is pretty much the same as it was back when I wrote the Trial of Dave Sim. But since anonymous wants to slander my name (I KNOW it ain't good. But I don't care about that either...), allow me to retort:
Dear anonymous,

I know you don't give a shit about me, my feelings, my anything, really. But since it seems to be an issue for you, here's my perspective. 

The Dave Judith "thing" isn't a dealbreaker for me for a few reasons: 
  • Judith dumped Dave's ass in 1992 (March 8th according to Dave.), I was twelve. That's younger than Judith was when she first met Dave. 
  • I didn't even discover Cerebus until a year later. (Spawn #10)
  • Even then, I didn't really get into Cerebus until years later. ('98  or '99. Whenever Going Home started.)
  • If Dave DID "groom" Judith (an accusation I don't believe), why did he wait until she was 21 before sleeping with her? Would not he have wanted to "seal the deal" as soon as she was legal? Whatever the answer, it's NONE of my or YOUR business...
  • Unfortunately for the "Dave's a groomer" narrative, not only did Dave NOT rob her of her agency (to use the terminology of the day), but she had full control of it, and used it herself when she dumped his ass in St. Louis 1992:
She looks like she's about to dump a f*cker...
  • Dave has admitted the "thing" was wrong. And he's been celibate since 1998. Is redemption not a thing for you judgey pricks? Can a man not admit his mistake and spend the rest of his life attempting atonement?
Listen, if the knowledge that 1984 Dave was a creep makes you unable to remain a Cerebus fan, I'll offer you a deal to help you out. I'm willing to buy your Cerebus #1 off of you for DOUBLE cover price!
That's TWO dollars! Two AMERICAN dollars even!

And if it's slabbed, I'll pay ya ten bucks for the trouble. And an additional five bucks per whole grade number. (I'll pay for the "9", but the "point 8" ain't getting you shit. You're the butthurt one who wants out...)

And if you have any other Cerebus collectables that it pains you to possess, send a list to, and I'll see what I can do to alleviate your psychic turmoil...
  • Oh, and finally, anonymous, 
Anyway, back to Dave and VGDC...
Now we can move on to the questions to be answered in

2. May I request a sort of "list of exercises" for one to learn how to ink lines,
specifically for learning the techniques to animate Calvin's mom's head and specifically her hair rotating in space under a lamp without the lines all wobbling or going off-model
The reason I specified Calvin's mom is that there's a bunch of very specific brush tilts and pressures done to subtly imply lighting, and her hair is less of a crapshoot to figure out than Calvin's since
⭾ 1. Bill lights the top of her hair, which shows how it's kind o
f (WHAT FORM IS IT) while Calvin's is usually a flat white/yellow
⭾ 2. Bill constantly cheats Calvin's hair to be drawn the same at many different angles, like Mickey's ears
⭾ 3. Calvin's mom's head is closer to a human head while Calvin's head is a trapazoid, so there's more "reality" to how it would naturally fall upon the head
⭾ 4. Calvin's hair is supposed to be messy, which adds a layer of complexity
3. How does one figure out how far one can push the expression of a character until it becomes off-model (specifically where it looks off to the point where the average viewer can notice it, since technically any deviation from the model sheet is off-model)?

Or are off-model and expression two different areas entirely, since you've done


While these two are very similar methods of showing anger done in the same issue, but the right one's face looks just off to where it feels like someone tried to copy your art style instead of being drawn by you


Or is it that there's a bunch of ways you can go off-model without it being noticeable, but a few key ways you have to be on-model to sell that it's all on-model?


While this one
feels distinctly close to the golden age of japanimation in the expression
It's similar in the same way this philippines scooby doo does (but less overtly)
A lot of these are— well, they stick out like a sore thumb that it was outsourced, but the only thing that gives me "this is a mistake" is the fact that Shaggy's mouth in the bottom left is way too bright and his hair feels too big even if someone with messy hair would be animated like that

The weirdly new perspective to the middle-right, the Lupin mouths, it's all done with enough skill that it only feels off because it's a rare expression

I have found a thing where if one flips between a drawing and a similar enough drawing on a model-sheet, the same thing that causes the illusion of animation shows where things feel off

However, it does not show how to get to there aside from copying what's on the model sheet exactly

4. How did you go about making the rock-climbing scene from Church & State so heartpoundingly thrilling that it took me all the way to 5 paragraphs of the brick wall that is Chasing YHWH in like 2 days
5. If you had the ability to draw without any pain in any bit of your arms tomorrow, would you attempt a second magnum-opus like Cerebus was?

I feel like things in comics suck to the point where someone who makes something at the level of Cerebus back when it first started out could succeed really well, if not in sellout "TMNT" success then in at least underground success.

Helluva Boss did it (for a single season and only because 2D animation also sucks nowadays and has a high enough skill barrier that starting blind isn't that good of an option) for animation, so I think someone who's actually competent and not just hiring competent people could pull it off for the comic world.

5a. If you didn't have those injuries, could you pull off writing a story at the level of Cerebus's highs? Not at the level of length, and probably using less explicit plot-threads than the many paths Cerebus's ensemble took, but I'm fine with AKIRA over The Godfather Part III. I'll take a slice of hope if the whole cake would cause mental anguish to create.
6. What is your take on the ethics of artists using an AI trained nonconsensually on the work of other artists as a tool to help them (as opposed to taking what the AI shits out and selling that with minor modifications, since that's the big storm of competition artists are worried about)?

As examples
  • Using an AI that changes the voice of an audio clip to George C. Scott's voice (One still needs to perform the audio clip for it to have a semblance of emotion, but it's still cheapening the work a voice impressionist would do)
  • Using an image AI to figure out how to create the effect of a CRT screen in ink without relying on grey or halftone or copying the effect off a photograph that's been run through a filter (
  • Using an image AI to generate character designs in the style of an artist that are then drawn by a person (steals the job of character designers)
  • Using an image enhancement AI to degrade an image to look like it was run through the same undisclosed analog processes The Simpsons went through to look like the way it was.
These can all be done with technology today, and as long as they don't explicitly compete with the originals it's all legal (according to Authors Guild v. Google)
7. Does Glenn Vilppu's technique work for cartoon characters that were constructed two-dimensionally like Fred Flintstone rather than ones made of 3D forms like Mickey Mouse?
*whew* I'ma glad THAT'S over...
I let Dave know that we both had the spelling of Zerebtz not right:
And that I looked at my back issues to see how Deni identified:
Oh how I laughed when I read the PS.

And my "Top People" (thanks Margaret!) sent in:
Deni Sim or Deni Loubert?
Cerebus #64. "Never Pray for Change" cover date July 1984, is the first issue that Deni is listed as Deni Loubert in the black box with her publisher title. Issue #63 is the last one she is Deni Sim in the black box.

Though as late as #67 the small print down the bottom says "Any inquiries regarding the use of the characters, images, or situations depicted should be addressed to Deni Sim."
Take care,
Narutobus Page 7 is live. And the Wolverroach Triptych is live too:
On sale:

Your store will be up to 35% off  

November 9-19 and November 29-30*

and up to 40% off on Black Friday: November 20-28.

The Strange Death of Alex Raymond Go Fund Me.
The Help Out Bill Messner-Loebs Go Fund Me, or buy Rodney Schroeter's book with proceeds going to Bill.
Larry Shell could use a hand. (I still haven't heard about where/when Dave's donation is getting sold.)
The Last Day Without nothing.
   "      "     "        "  Dave's signature.
   "      "     "        "  an Old Cerebus Remarque
   "      "     "     Auction catalog for the Panoramic Remarques
Oliver's Cerebus movie: The Absurd, Surreal, Metaphysical, and Fractured Destiny of Cerebus the Aardvark it's currently available on "Plex", "Xumo", "Vimeo On Demand", "Tubi". If you're in Brazil..."Mometu", "Nuclear Home Video". 
Next Time: If you got girl problems, I feel bad for you son...

1 comment:

Aaron w said...

this was a fascinating episode and ive admired Dave's candor on the topic- kind of surprised and disappointed in the cyberfrog guys, as vocally anti=woke and anti-cancel-culture as they are its a shame to see them pile on the blown-out-of-proportion hate-on-dave-sim bandwagon.
you know- there ARE folks who created cartoons that have done wildly worse.
when i was a kid my favorite cartoon was "fat albert" and my generation grew up with bill cosby as a father figure and look what a dirtbag he turned out to be.
or john k- a brilliant animator and "ren and stimpy" is iconic animation but hes a guy who BOASTD about sex with underage girls and shrugs it off...!
(and im not blaming parents here- but who lets their 15 year old move across the continent to live with a middle aged man??!!)
anyone who wants to depict Dave as a monster or predator can go pound sand.