Saturday 11 May 2024

TL:DW: Please Hold For Dave Sim 8/2020 & 9/2020

Hi, Everybody!

Jesse Lee Herndon has been plugging away transcribing the Please Hold videos. Let's run another one...
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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 4/2022 5/2022 6/2022 7/2022 8/2022 9/2022 10/2022 11/2022 12/2022 
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1/2024 2/2024 3/2024 4/2024 5/2024 

Please Hold for Dave Sim 8/2020:

Oh! This is the one I messed up. Alright.

Dave: What numbers does that mean Dave’s going to get? It will be interesting because they are going to be machine numbered. So you will have a specific numbering of “Batvark: Penis” #1 out 2500, 2 out of 2500, all the way up. And then “Batvark: XXX” will be numbered out of 400 and whatever. So, whoever ordered both of them is going to be able to see right away, okay these are the rare ones. These are the not so rare ones. Which is all relative when you’re talking about 2500 copies in perpetuity. This is all there is, there ain’t no more. And then, of course, Benjamin Hobbs wanting to know, “Can I do my own print run of the logoless ‘Batvark: Penis’, just with the picture on the cover, if I agree to pay the fee that Marquis charges to change the print run in midstream.” And I went, yeah, that’s no problem. Well, those are going to be even rarer than XXXXX, those are going to be numbered out of 200 and Benjamin Hobbs is going to be the only guy who has them. And he’s asking me, “how many of those do you want?”

[gap in recording, brought to you by the Richard M Nixon library.]

Dave: I’m the guy in the box. So… okay, here we go… look at this! It’s two hours again, Matt.

Matt: [laughs] This always happens to us, cause we’re such good friends and we love to talk on the phone!

Dave: That’s what it is. That’s… jabber jabber jabber like a couple of high school girls.

Matt: If anybody asks, that’s gonna be my story, and you can totally tell everybody, “oh, Matt and Jeff, 98% don’t trust them.” [laughs]

Dave: That’s right. Or 70%! All three of us will go and have a coffee somewhere, we’ll just agree that 70% of the time you guys misrepresent me. Seriously, though, I have to say that… I’m impressed with your track record of “what Dave actually said.” Sometimes it’ll take you a while to figure out and go and find where I said that, but, you’ve even got a pretty good memory on that. Where in the Blog and Mail I said that, or what I was talking about when I said that, which is going to be very important for my legacy that you not only remember what Dave said, but what was the context of it. What was under discussion when I said that. Not trying to stretch meanings and say, “Dave said this and this applies to thing over here.” QED.

Okay, 9/2020:

Please Hold for Dave Sim: 9/2020.
Matt: And… oop, wrong one. Come on… alright! Everything is all set and recording.
Dave: Okay, let’s just record a couple of seconds here, and then you say something now.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: That was good. Now, if you can play that back, just to make sure that it’s recording.
Matt: Um, sure, hold on a second. Stop, and button.
[recording plays successfully]
Matt: Alright, so that is workin’.
Dave: Okay, good.
Matt: [laughs] The original…
Dave: Make sure that you do the same thing that you did so that it was working, so that we know that it will work.
Matt: What happened last month is, I have this app for podcasting and I’m like, okay, I can record phone calls while I do it! No. What happens is it records a file with no audio whatsoever.
Dave: Well, that’s handy.
Matt: And I’m goin’, well, why do I have this app on my phone if it won’t let me do anything? So, I’m using it on my old phone while we talk on my new phone, and I record on my tablet like I normally do.
Dave: Okay, so… Theoretically this app is supposed to do podcasts and it doesn’t record.
Matt: It records, it just doesn’t record when I’m on the phone. If that makes any sense.
Dave: No, absolutely not. But…
Matt: This is why you have a fax machine. [laughs]
Dave: Exactly! I mean, it’s one of those… my very very limited experience with the internet has been almost completely, universally unhappy. So I have never been able to figure out that, why it is that people thought this was a good idea. I really really did think back in the 1990s when I first experienced the internet at Jeff Smith’s place in California, it was, no this is like CB radio but it doesn’t work as well.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And, it’s just this giant time-sucking thing. So I give it two or three years and everybody will just forget this.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: So… surprise, surprise! No, no, we’re going exactly the other way. Everybody’s piling on, and boy the sharks are circling. They are determined to get me on the internet by making it impossible to do any number of things without the internet. They have an uphill struggle ahead of them, because it’s, no, this is one of those, everytime somebody tells me that this is going to do X, Y, and Z and I try and do it and it doesn’t do it. There’s a long elaborate explanation as to why that didn’t work, but it should work from now on, kind of thing. It’s like, uhh… I worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, with very very few interrupts and absolutely no spare time, so my level of patience for these kinds of things is very very limited. But we will persevere. We will persevere.
Matt: I knew the internet wasn’t gonna go away when I was visiting my Dad and we were making breakfast, and I pulled the carton of eggs out of the refrigerator and on the shell of the egg, they had printed a website. And I’m like, yeah that’s it. The egg has a website.
Dave: [laughs] On the egg?!
Matt: Yeah. It was the website for the farm the egg came from.
Dave: [laughs] Okay. [laughs] When you need to text your egg, you can do it, because the URL is right there on the egg. That’s very very handy. Oh-ho-kay. Alright. Uh, these are the times when I go, “I really hope I don’t live too much longer, because I don’t think this is gonna get much better.” Okay, “Hold it, Dave, old business first and then this month’s ‘Please Hold’ questions. -Matt (I almost forgot to fax this).” “Rich Laux,” your message to me, “he beat Jeff Seiler for the mis-stapled “Spider-Vark” #1 with a bid of $150 US! Plus shipping. I told him to contact you to arrange payment and shipment.” And it’s like, well, I couldn’t be more surprised. I’ve gotta say that what’s interesting to me about Rich is I think he’s the most devout Catholic Cerebus fan. I don’t know if there are other contenders out there, who would be listening to me who are devout observant Catholics. I know that Rich still does his rosary every day, and I’m going to embarrass him here, because I know he’s going to be listening, and say, can you put in the comment section exactly how classic your Catholic religious observance is? Be as exhaustive as possible, because my impression is that he is still a very good and loyal and devout post-Vatican 2 Catholic, but I think he’s still keeping up all of the old observances that, for most Catholics have fallen by the wayside. I’m gonna be very interested to find out, first of all how extensive his Catholic observance is, and is there any other Cerebus fan out there who can match that, past, present, or future? Catholic Cerebus fan who’s going, “yeah, I wanna get back to that, but I just can’t get around to it.” or, “yeah I started getting back to that”, or “no, you’d have to go back to when I was 9 years old and whatever year, 1983, 1984, for me to be that observant.” So, one of those, please humour Dave Sim and let’s find out if Rich Loux is the most devout observant Catholic Cerebus fan. And thanks to Rich for outlasting Jeff, and thank you Jeff for driving Rich up to $150. I think this was the first inside-out “Amicable Spider-Vark” #1 Annual that had gone up for auction. I sent two copies to Rob Walton because he’s moving in with his longtime girlfriend, finally getting out of Toronto and moving down to a small town down around Niagara Falls. I knew he would be hurting for bucks so I sent him one, personalized to Rob Walton, and one personalized to “congratulations, eBay winner!”
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: So I imagine that one will be going up for auction sometime. You will see if $150 way way beyond the pale, or if that’s what these are gonna be going for. There’s about 50 of them out there. I still have the offer in to Marquis, you know, send me all of the misprints, just give me a good price on them. You know, whatever your at-cost price is and I haven’t heard back. I think Marquis is sort of inclined to go, “uhh, we don’t really like the idea of having our mistakes out there and being flogged as mistakes.” So think that they’re hoping if they just ignore it, that I’ll just leave it alone. Which I will! Which would mean, even though I’m numbering them out of 730, there’d only be 500 to buy and then the “Cerebus in Hell?” guys, Benjamin Hobbs I think gets 40, David Birdsong gets 10, I’m not sure how many Sean Robinson gets, but not a lot. And those would be the only misprinted copies, because nothing actually even made it to Diamond. So, really good news! Nothing brightens up my day like finding out that something that I did a year ago to be published this month is going for $150. So, let’s see, then the next one… [laughs] funny. David Birdsong’s “Spider-Vark” contest and that came about because David Birdsong said to me, if you actually scan the bar code on the cover of the Aardvark-Vanaheim smackdown cover. Was it the smackdown cover or was it the minotaur cover? I think it was the smackdown cover. That it’s for a box of giant Trojan condoms, and I thought, that’s really funny. We should have a contest that says, “can you figure out what the secret code is in this issue?” And that was decided, maybe, like eight months ago? We’ll try that out. I completely forgot I had mentioned it to David that we’re gonna try that out. The fact that he did go ahead with it, he did push on the website, but this, “Hi Matt! Ha ha ha ha ha! I bet you though that I “spotted” and “researched” the secret code. Ha ha ha ha ha. I need a clue. Went bonkers last night, reading, re-reading, and just going looking for this secret code. I think I’m going off the trail a lot. Just frustrated, that’s all. Michael.” And for people who aren’t aware, I don’t know exactly how obsessively addicted Michael R is to A Moment of Cerebus. I suspect that he has A Moment of Cerebus microchip planted in his brain that he’s constantly feeding all… anytime something brand new shows up on A Moment of Cerebus, everything else in his brain shut downs while he reads or looks at whatever it is. I used to do contests on A Moment of Cerebus that would say, “the first Cerebus fan to” and then before you could finish even explaining what it is, Michael R of Easton, Pennsylvania has already won whatever it is. So, no big surprise that he won it. [laughs] When you’re that obsessive about A Moment of Cerebus and you’re that obsessive about winning whatever the contest is, when he says that this was driving him bonkers and that he was going off the trail a lot, he’s talking on multiple different meanings. So, it was very very merciful of you to email him, “sorry, but I’m BARRED from helping crack the CODE.” I’m pretty sure that he would figure it out from that. I’m think Janis Pearl probably would have figured it out from that. Okay! So, that was interesting. I don’t think you can do that again, though. You can’t give that good a hint to one other person, but I love the way that story kept going, with you saying, “because I took forever to send him his prize I kept adding to it, so not only did he get his ‘Vark Wars’”… that was the “Vark Wars” #1?
Matt: Yep.
Dave: And that was the one signed by you and me? One of those?
Matt: Uhh, I think it was just signed by me.
Dave: Just signed by you.
Matt: It might’ve been signed by you, I have one copy left that signed by you that wasn’t personalized, and I can’t remember if I sent him that one or not.
Dave: Okay, well, we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one. “And remastered Cerebus #1 prototype bookmarks. I almost sent him a remastered Cerebus #1 postcard sticker. A proof copy of the ‘Secret Origin of the Counterfeit Cerebus #1’”. [laughs] “#26 of 20, he can figure out how that works.” Well, he knows how that works, anytime you can put a 26 on it, put a 26 on it and Michael R is in. “An Iguana and Beer Star Wars sketch. But wait, there’s more. An 8 and half by 11 ‘print’ of my recreation of a Wolveroach cover. A Cerebus ‘The Hell It’s Yours’ bookplate that I hand lettered his name on. The painting I did of Cerebus and his buggid! Along with the tracing paper and original printout that I used to make it. And an Iguana and Beer sketch for Grace”, that’s Michael’s wife, “she had apparently groaned when she saw a photo of me wearing a pair of jeans with holes in them I put on the Facebook group. So Iguana is wearing ripped up jeans and telling her they’re ‘cool’. Michael seems happy with everything.” Uh, you wear ripped jeans?
Matt: I have a pair of jean shorts that, they’re so old and I’ve worn them so much that they’ve naturally ripped. They’re not like I bought ‘em ripped, they happened to get ripped.
Dave: How old are you?
Matt: 41!
Dave: I’m kidding. [laughs] I’m just kidding. It’s like, ripped jeans at your age?! Where are the holes? I don’t know if we’re really getting into TMI territory here.
Matt: On my thighs where the pockets are.
Dave: Okay! Alright, so it’s a sort of peekaboo quality.
Matt: They’re not like really high up, but like I said, they’re a really old pair of jeans and they fit.
Dave: [laughs] Have you tried pole dancing in them? No! I’m just… joke. We’ll just skip that one entirely.
Matt: That actually reminds me of, when Janis was really young, like a year old, a year and half, we went to visit my Dad and we’re at bookstore and they have a large pole holding the ceiling up. And my Dad’s trying to get her to dance around it, and Paula and I are going, “Dad, knock it off! Dad, knock it off!”
Dave: [laughs] No kidding?! C’mon, Grandpa, we’re trying to go the other in this society.
Matt: No, Granddad’s a dirty old man and sometimes he forgets to turn it off.
Dave: [laughs] Oh boy, good thing… no unchaperoned visits with Grandpa.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: “Wilf Jenkins week will start next Friday. Here’s the good news, Fisher and I agreed to it. Now to contact Wilf and set up my end of it.” How’s that coming along?
Matt: Uhh, I gotta email him tonight.
Dave: Okay.
Matt: I have the email address, and I keep going, I gotta email Wolf, and then I forget.
Dave: I haven’t heard back from him, I have to say. I emailed him… like, I sent a fax to whoever I sent it to, and had them relay it to Wilf explaining what we wanted to do. That you want to do a short interview with him and maybe one like one question a day on Wilf Jenkins week. And is he okay with you giving me his phone number and his email address? And I never heard back from him. So I’m hoping that doesn’t mean that he didn’t actually get the email. He’s playing a lot of golf these days. But, that was like 9 days ago. I think he must be off the course by now. So, okay, just wanted to check on that, we are now definitely getting into forward momentum on the Wilf Jenkins copies. All of the freebees that got from Aardvark-Vanaheim when he was the Aardvark-Vanaheim corporate attorney between 1982 and 2014. So, I’m actually buying a bunch of the Wilf Jenkins copies at $10 Canadian each from Lookin’ For Heroes in town, who volunteered to actually do the sales on them. Issues that I was low on, and particularly the other Aardvark-Vanaheim titles that I was low on or did have any of. I got every issue of “Ms. Tree” that we published between the time that they left Eclipse and when Deni took them over for Renegade Press. So the Food Bank of Waterloo Region is already $1000 ahead just from my purchases of the Wilf Jenkins collection. And starting, hopefully this week, I think Roly was dropping off all of the Wilf Jenkins copies at Lookin’ For Heroes downtown here in Kitchener. And they will be offering them for sale at the $10 Canadian plus whatever it costs to send a comic book, in Canada or the United States. I think it’s $5 Canadian to the US, $4 Canadian in Canada. They’re probably not selling them internationally, because you’ll be paying more in postage than you’re paying for the comic book. And, “Dan Eckhart sent me this a little while ago and I’ve been lazy in sending it up. And Matt, this email is about Dave’s response wherein he told me to contact him care of you. Yes, I would like the exception noted addition #1 out of 1 Cerebus Archive portfolio #1-8. I would prefer to pay at” I think he’s already done that. If not, then we had a really good month without him and he will be helping us next month. “I assume that means I use the one time Paypal donate button.” Yes, yes. That’s what you do if you’re entering an amount that isn’t the regular downloads amount at “But if there’s some other method I should use, please tell me.” And has anyone noticed how long it takes to get even the most basic things done here in the COVID-19, he asked himself rhetorically?
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: [laughs] That being the case, I decided to [inaudible] down into this, his own self, and say, everybody here is up to our eyeballs on the “Cerebus in Hell?” team. I just heard from everybody multiple times that day. So I went, okay, I’m going to put you in charge of getting your portfolio done. Here’s a fax for Alfonso at Studiocomix Press, you turn it into an email and send it to Alfonso and then you keep track of the program on the portfolio. That was the last I heard, so I was hoping that was moving ahead and then when Roly and I were up at Frederick Mall today, Roly had gone in and Alfonso was with another customer but did say, yes, he did find out about this. Yes, he is printing the 8 portfolios and they will definitely be done next week and then just while you and I were playing weird telephone tag, just now, I got a phone message from Roly saying Alfonso got the portfolios printed. The contents of the portfolio, and Roly picked them up and brought them back. #4 is missing because Alfonso can’t find it on his regular computer, so he’s having to go into the hard drive and find the digital files for Cerebus Archive #4. But, amazingly enough, this is like a near few days later, and this is moving ahead and tentative plans, God willing, Roly is coming in on Tuesday to put together the stay-flat with the Cerebus Archive metal labels on the front and the front label and I’ll be signing the front label. And Roly will be packaging up the 8 portfolios, God willing, sometime in the week coming up and they will be going out to Dan somewhere in Ohio. We won’t be writing that on the package. We know where he lives, we’re just not going to say that on the internet. Somewhere in Ohio! And Dan says, “thanks for all your help, Matt. Sorry to bug you so much!” Was he bugging you with that?
Matt: Uh, no, just he had sent like three or four messages about various things all at once.
Dave: Okay, alright. Do you get that a lot?
Matt: Ahh, I set it up so that the A Moment of Cerebus email gets all the comments from A Moment of Cerebus, so some days I’ll get two messages, some days I’ll get 10 messages. Some days I’ll get a bunch of messages, but half of them are spam.
Dave: [laughs] It’s a good thing we’re paying you like $50,000 a year, isn’t it?
Matt: This is one of those time intense hobbies that a smart person would say, “I should be getting paid for this” and it’s like, nah, it’s fun.
Dave: [laughs] That’s true. What, and give up show business?
Matt: Part of it is, I get an email, and if I want to ignore it I can ignore it, cause it’s not like I’m gonna get fired.
Dave: [laughs] That’s right. “Dow, did you lose that email?!” Who wants to know? [laughs] Okay, and then Dan added at the bottom, “It is no accident that you became the caretaker of Dave Sim’s memory anymore than your being online was an accident. And if his story is really a confession, then so is yours. Nearly said, Dan.” So yeah, if anybody out there has been thinking about, “yeah I’d really like to get the Cerebus Archive portfolios and I’d like to get all of them and I’d like to have them as #1 out of 1, personal edition with their name on it in Times New Roman.” I think that Dan’s, we’re just doing it like 14 point Times New Roman? If you’ve really got an ego on you, and you want it like 36 point, 48 point, it’s just a matter of doing a larger label. So you let us know how big you want your name on your 8 Cerebus Archive portfolios and as always, we here at Aardvark-Vanaheim, we live to serve.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: Ahh, I think that covers the old business, you said. Now are the guy who has to collate this stuff, I’ve elected to throw out the first order of business. And we’ve got the Duke Leonardi, Lord Julius, Cerebus panel from “High Society”, throwing out the first order of business. Nothing succeeds like old comedy. So, let’s see. JV asks, “Hi, Did Dave ever publish the conclusion to the Why an Aardvark essays that ran in Cerebus around issue 205? I was wondering if any of the Archives or Following Cerebus had it. Thanks.” And you said, “I think maybe issue #6 or 7 of Following Cerebus, or the last issues of Cerebus Archive?” Or that was maybe his postscript. And just on my desk over here, I’ve got a set of “Cerebus Archive”s, err, “Following Cerebus”es. And everything over here, [inaudible]. No, that one isn’t here. But I’m pretty sure “The Many Origins of Cerebus” was in “Following Cerebus” #7 and when I went online looking for… well, we’re getting to that part. I didn’t actually go online, what I did was, I went into “documents all” on my computer, which [laughs]. Going back 12 years when you hit “documents all” you definitely get documents all. And while I was looking for something else, I found a digital file of “The Many Origins of Cerebus” from “Cerebus Archive” #7, so right away, Roly was still in working out back at Camp David. I ran out back with my laptop and got him to download that digital file of the original article, without the illustrations, and email it to you. So you will be able to put that, at your convenience, up on A Moment of Cerebus and email it to JV as well, if he’s interested. That’s… the actual “Why an Aardvark?” essays, that’s a question for greater and more research inclined people than myself.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: If somebody wants to go back… I’m pretty sure “Why an Aardvark?” was concluded. I don’t think I had any series of essays in Cerebus that I left hanging, but I’m always willing to be corrected on that. So, it’s one of those, if anybody wants to help us out on this. What issues were the “Why an Aardvark?” essays in. We should make this a job for Michael R!
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: Michael R, I’ll find something in the office to write #26 on and send it to you, if you can find the issues that had all of the “Why an Aardvark?” essays. There ya go. This is how we do maximum research as Aardvark-Vanaheim. Turn it into a contest and get Michael R to do it. Okay.
Matt: I just wrote a note of, “ask Margaret.”
Dave: [laughs] Okay! That’ll work too. That will work too. But Margaret’s busy, Margaret’s actually, as far as I know, she’s still having to go into work. She’s not being able to do work from home. The tech company that she goes to in the Boston area, she actually has to travel, so she’s risking her life on a daily basis for this tech company, because we all know, COVID-19 is instantly fatal within 15 to 20 minutes. Well, we’re not at the point of saying that yet, but if people stop wearing their masks, then you’ll start hearing about people dying from COVID-19 inside of 15 to 20 minutes. Uhh, “Speaking of ‘Cerebus Archive’, a whole lot of peoples would be most happy to give you money for a collected version. Either print or digital. Maybe a Kickstarter in 2021? Huh? Maybe? Please? (I admit a self interest”, you say, “since I only have issues 1 and 3 (and a bootleg of 1 that Seiler printed off at my place years and years ago)).” Okay, here’s the answer to that one. I’m always willing to experiment. Kickstarter, no, because that gets into something else up ahead, which is, how long it’s taking to do the fulfillment on the Kickstarters. And everybody’s being very very patient about it, which is very nice of them. And everytime we go… you know, we’re really working on accelerating the fulfillment process. But I think we have to just acknowledge the fact that this is baked in with Kickstarter. That, as an example, the Cerebus #1 Kickstarter ended just after Ramadan was over, so just before the beginning of June and we are now at the beginning of September and Dagon is being assured that he will getting all of the comic books that are being printed by the printer in Manitoba by Tuesday by UPS. We will see if that actually happens. We’re hoping they’re not on their way to Oslo, Norway again.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And, I also got Rolly to take pictures of me today signing all of the six boxes of comic books that came in from the Cerebus #1 Kickstarter for the Cerebus Archive. So, reassurance for people, yes, we are finally coming to the end of the fulfillment period, we’re just trying to figure out, is there some way to actually shorten this process. One of the things, is the Kickstarter survey. Soon as the Kickstarter ends, then you’re supposed to get people to fill out surveys and send them in. And most Kickstarters, and we’re not really exceptional in this, you’re only as fast as your slowest survey answerer. So if it takes your last survey person a month or a month and a half to actually get around to it, that’s exactly how fast your Kickstarter is going to go. And I’ve been trying to figure out how to get around that, so you say, the number of surveys we have in, let’s say, 96 hours. Those are the first ones that will get done, and the rest of them will get done when we hear from the survey person and we’ll send it to them. So they’ll be getting their stuff a month and half after the people who answered right away, which is sort of the achtung bremen approach to Kickstarter. We’re trying not to go quite the extreme with it, but that explains why this wouldn’t be a Kickstarter, the 18 issues of “Cerebus Archive”. A whole lot of people is one thing is you’re taking about Waverly Press, and wherever Dagon James found 600 and some odd backers for the Cerebus #1 Kickstarter, that’s a whole lot of people! If you’re talking about the 130 people, or 140 people who backed the last Cerebus Archive portfolio, that’s a different quantity of people. And if you’re talking about the people who’re not obsessive about A Moment of Cerebus, as Michael R of Easton, Pennsylvania is, or over in that direction, that whole lot of people is… mmm, 25? 20 people? So, it’s one of those, I have to do stuff that makes money and makes the most amount of money possible because I’m still having to keep the price of a car in the bank for whatever the next Cerebus trade paper is going to be. But I am always willing to experiment, so I’m going to turn this around a little bit and try doing the same trick that I did with Dan Eckhart and say, you tell me who Roly gets to invoice for scanning all 18 issues at $15 Canadian per hour. You can put together a consortium, if you’d like. Everybody finances getting 4 issues scanned. I mean, Roly, he will come in an extra day next week, and I don’t know how long it would take him to do 18 issues, 24 pages per issue, front cover, inside front over, inside back cover, back cover. We want it to be exhaustive and we want to make sure that everybody has everything that’s in the “Cerebus Archive” issue, but I really don’t have time to do it. In the course of his regular duties, Rolly doesn’t really have time to do it. So if you want Rolly to do it, then you’re gonna have to pay Rolly to do it. And let me extend that to, after Rolly has scanned all of the issues and has the raw scans, if somebody wants Sean Robinson $40 an hour US to remaster the pages so that they’re at their absolute crispest, most pleasing looking, just doesn’t get any better than this scanned from printed material. Again, you can put together a consortium to do that to make it look that much better. If you want to go beyond and that say, okay, now we’ve got all 18 issues scanned, which is gonna be roughly about 500 pages. Now we want to have this on file at Studiocomix Press to produce the “Cerebus Archive” issues 1 to 18 complete phonebook. And with the covers in there. It’s colour, so you’re getting, and the back cover in colour, so they look exactly like the original comic book, and printed on separate glossy stock. Alfonso and Sandeep would be happy to do that for you. [laughs] They’re going to charge you to do that and it’s gonna depend on how many copies of it you’re going to produce. So again, a consortium basis, when you say a whole lot of people, if there’s 100 people or 200 people who want a “Cerebus Archive” issue 1 to 18 trade paperback or… [laughs] or hardcover! If you wanna go all the way over to hardcovers, Alfonso will be happy to do hardcovers for you. He’ll just tell you, look this is how much it’s going to cost you, however many people it is. Because if it’s 100 or 200 of you, it’s gonna cost less. If there’s only 9 of you, then it’s gonna cost more. And it’s gonna cost a lot of money. So there you go, that’s our new way of answering those kinds of questions around here.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: [laughs] You wanna do it, you wanna pay for it, and you wanna set the whole thing up and then, you know, you’ve already paid Rolly, whatever, $15 an hour for 6 hours, 5 hours, I have no idea how long it would take to scan all that stuff. So you’ve sunk that money into it, and then you got Sean to remaster it, sunk all that money into it, and then you sent it to Studiocomix Press, and they did a proof copy and you’ve got 10 people that want it, and each one of the books is gonna cost you whatever it’s gonna cost you. Ya know, $100, $125, and you go, “forget it! I’m not paying $125 for a 18 issues of ‘Cerebus Archive’”, well okay, you’re out all the rest of money that you’ve already sunk into it.
Matt: Well, I know that Dion Turner was gonna scan, cause he has all the issues, he was gonna scan them for me. Then I got an email from somebody whose name I’m not gonna say on the internet, that they had a copy of the digital files and that we could go from there, but that’s somebody that’s gotta talk to you, and I’ll send ya a fax about that. About who it is and what’s going on. You know them!
Dave: That would have nothing to do with me, because I have no idea about it. That would be a matter of, whoever has these digital files, sending them to Sean, and if Sean goes, “yeah this would be a certain amount of work. I’m guessing X number of hours to get these right up to snuff.” Or if Sean just breaks up laughing like he did when… I mean, he’s very nice about it, he wouldn’t actually laugh about it because he’s not a cruel person. But when I sent him the scenes I had of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” #8 that Pete Laird had sent me as part of our reciprocal ownership of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” #8. It’s like, “ahh, these are useless. But it’s okay, I’ve got this really clear black and white book that Kevin and Peter did way back when and I can scan the Turtles out of that and remaster that and it’ll look great.” That’s one of those, yeah, don’t send me a fax about it. [laughs] Send Sean an email about it and have whoever it is send him the digital files and either Sean will be able to work with them, or he won’t be able to work with them.
Matt: Well, it was actually Sean who has the digital files.
Dave: It is Sean that has the digital files?
Matt: Yeah.
Dave: Okay. Are they remastered?
Matt: Uhh… He didn’t actually say. He said he got copies of them, and I’m like, okay cool, ya know, what’s happening with this and he made it sound like the backstage stuff that I wasn’t involved in, but it sounds like it was really backstage and you weren’t involved either!
Dave: Uhh, no! [laughs] Because this is not anywhere near the top of my list. I really have to get “Cerebus Archive” #1 to 18 into print and into everybody’s hands who want it, because as I’ve been saying all along as people ask about this, after that it’s gonna be, “are you ever gonna continue doing ‘Cerebus Archive’? Like when are you gonna do issue 19 and if you do issue 19, how soon after that is issue 20 coming out? And will there be another trade paperback of that one.” It’s like, it’s just this endless headache for me. So I’m trying to meet everybody halfway.
Matt: Well, at a certain point, though, doesn’t “Cerebus Archive” turn into the remastered Cerebus #1?
Dave: Uhh… no. No, it’s… “Cerebus Archive” is here’s how Cerebus came about. And Cerebus #1 doesn’t even come into it until, I don’t even know what issue, 9? 10? Something like that? And that was, automatic negative reaction from the entire Cerebus audience, what their was left of it in the early 2000s. I know Jeff Tundis said, “well, I’m not buying it until Cerebus in it.” And it’s like, oh ho, it’s very difficult to explain to how Cerebus came about if I have to start with, okay, here’s Cerebus #1 in issue #1. That carried the day, it’s like however many audience members there had been for Cerebus #300, that was absolutely cut down to maybe 25% of that. And it’s like, okay, “Cerebus Archive” isn’t viable, I can’t do it if Cerebus fans aren’t gonna buy it.
Matt: I remember when it came out and my local comic book store had stopped ordering comics because there was a shakeup in management. And I’m like, trying to find a new store, and in the meantime, the book got canceled cause the sales weren’t there, and I’m like, I’ll go to the print on demand place and then I kept hearing everybody say how the shipping was just atrociously high. So everybody’s waitin’ for there to be enough books to justify the shipping, and then the book ended.
Dave: Right! And when you’re talking about the number of people. Those are the rarer Cerebus comic books by a wide margin. I mean, I don’t have the numbers right here at hand, they’re in the Cerebus Archive in the correspondence boxes. Extensive levels of correspondence, and sales figures and all the rest of it. I think the best that they ever sold was maybe 50 copies each? 75 copies? And then a certain number of them would trickle out after that. There was just no viable business model, either for me or for Comixpress to be able to do that. In terms of, okay this person wants #2 and #3 and a #4 and a #6, and this person wants a #1 and a #7, so we’ve printed this whole print run of this indie publisher’s #1 and now we have to print these individual copies of “Cerebus Archive” and put them in plastic bags with backing boards and put them in envelopes and mail them to people. Yeah, they were charging what it cost them to mail the comic books. Imagine! The nerve of those people!
Matt: I know.
Dave: Charging what it costs to actually ship these things. And yeah, people were saying, “yeah, okay, I’ll wait and let them build up. I have very few of them in the Cerebus Archive, because I was doing the same thing. It’s like, well, I’ve only got one or two left of #7 or whatever issue it is… but I can always get more! It’s print on demand. Just remember to ask them, can you print out five more #7s and ship them up here. We could counterfeit them at Studiocomix Press. Just say, put the same ads on the back and the same covers on the front, but they’d be in the same situation. It’s like, I can’t make money printing onesies and twosies of these. I do that for proofreading “Cerebus in Hell?” When an issue’s done, I’m supposed to get a prototype for the issue and then I proofread that, because I’m looking at it as an actual comic book. The reason that I do that is because there are mistakes that you aren’t going to see as digital files but you will see when you’re looking at the printed comic book. Most recently with “Vault of Cerebus”, which is the Halloween issue this year, theoretically, we’ll see how that pans out.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And Benjamin Hobbs’ story was formatted wrong, so parts of the strip were almost getting cut off. So at that point, okay, tell Benjamin this is the situation. Fax over printed pages showing where the trim isn’t working. He adjusted, emails it to Studiocomix Press, they print out another prototype and give it to me. Those prototypes are like $7 each, $8 each. So, if we do anything like that in regard to Cerebus, you’re gonna be talking about an $8 Canadian comic book with a $5 shipping charge, plus whatever it costs for the envelope and the backing board and the plastic bag. And that’s just not to lose money, that would be just me going, okay, here’s your $14 comic book, and this isn’t rhetorical, I’m not making a nickle on the deal.
Matt: Right.
Dave: Right. [laughs] So…
Matt: Well, that’s… when I was sellin’ the “Vark Wars” and “Walt’s Empire Strikes Back” books and I’m getting people going, “okay I want one of each”. Alright, and where do you live? “Canada” and I’m thinking it would be easier and cheaper to get it from Dave.
Dave: Right. Right. And easy and cheap are both relative terms. It’s like we do enough mailing already here that that’s a good chunk of the check that I cut for Roly every couple of weeks. Because he does all of the mailing and puts it on his credit card and then basically gets reimbursed by Aardvark-Vanaheim. There’s absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing cheap about shipping anything to anybody under any circumstances for any reason anywhere on this planet at this point, and that’s only gonna get worse from here on out.
Matt: Your birthday card this year came back to me with insufficient postage, and I’m like, okay, what’s goin’ on? Put it into a new envelope, and put two stamps on it, let’s see if it’ll work this time. Like I can’t believe that one stamp doesn’t get it up to Canada anymore.
Dave: Yeah, yeah. I had Roly going to the post office and get Linda to write about all of the.. you can’t just go in and get a brochure of postage rates anymore. It’s like, no, Grandpa, everything’s done online. Just get out your cellphone, go to, and it will tell you the cost of everything that you have to do, at this particular moment in time. And it’s like, well okay, I’m not gonna do that. The reason that I got Roly to do it was, okay, you pick up stamps, I want a variety of stamps, a variety of denominations and here’s how much it cost to send a comic book. So I can go, okay, that’s two American stamps, one Canadian stamp, and a 5 cent stamp, and a 10 cent stamp. And I put that on there, and that will get it there. And everybody’s so philosophical about this, that it’s like, if you put three US stamps, that’ll get it there. Yeah, it’ll get it there, but I’m overpaying by like 40 cents! I don’t want to overpay by 40 cents! I want to put the right number of stamps on it to send to wherever I’m sending it to. And I don’t want to give Canada Post a tip. [laughs] I understand they’re not doing any better than anybody else and they’re heavily subsidized by the government, but [laughs] I don’t want to subsidize Canada Post personally. And it’s just getting crazy. I still end up doing that a lot of times. If I’ve got a birthday card that I’m sending to somebody and I put a couple of “Cerebus in Hell?” postcards in there, or something else, one of the bookmarks or whatever. I sort of weight it in my hand, I could take it out back to Camp David and weigh it on the scale. No, better to just put another dollar’s worth of postage on it, to make sure that it doesn’t come back, just the way that you’re saying. Okay, so I think that we’ve exhausted the subject anyway. If there is a whole lot of people, as you say, really really interested.
Matt: I will let everybody know and it’ll be one of those, this is the situation, we’ll pass the hat around, if everybody wants to throw some money in the shiny metal helmet, we can get it done. Otherwise, you want it, but not enough to pay for it.
Dave: Right, right. Exactly. Thank you. So, Margaret asks, “Dave sent me something for the 20th anniversary of the domain name (August 04, 2000, the website had geocities domain before then). Can you please ask him if I can post about it at AMoC? I'm not going to ruin the surprise unless he wants me to. If he has anything to add to that post, I can get posted along with pictures. And please thank him for it, it was a welcomed surprise!” And no problem, Margaret, and congratulations again on the 20th anniversary of As she was saying, doesn’t it have to become CerebusFanWoman after some point after 20 years? And it’s like, no, no, it doesn’t have the same ring to it. It’s gotta be And the rule on that one is, if I sent it to you, you can post it to AMoC. Use your own discretion. Remember, I’m the opposite of a spoiler alert guy. I have absolutely not interest in spoiler alerts, because when it comes to any form of entertainment, I’m probably not going to partake of it. I can definitely say I’m not going to partake of it because it’s not “Strange Death of Alex Raymond” research or it’s not having to do with stuff to do for Cerebus. So, somebody says “have you seen the new Star Wars?” It’s like, no. “Well, cause there’s a big surprise at the end?” Oh what’s the big surprise? It’s like, “you want me to tell you and you haven’t seen it?” It’s like, yeah, I’m never going to see the new Star Wars film. So, by all means, tell me what the big surprise is. I don’t even remember what I sent to Margaret. I do remember going, “ahh, well if I’m congratulating her about the 20th anniversary, I really should send her something. What am I going to send her?” I’ve got a sneaking hunch what it was that I sent her, but that’s all it is, is a sneaking hunch. So, Margaret, this is on your head now. If you think it’s a significant enough spoiler alert that you don’t want to take personal responsibility what it is that you got from me, then that’s your call to make. And if you go, “Oh what the hell, it’d still be really cool to be part of a post that I would put up on A Moment of Cerebus”, that’s your call as well. And to all of the people out there that go, “OHHH! You spoiled it!” Uh, sorry, like I say, I’m not a spoiler alert guy. So that’s a general policy thing. If Dave Sim sent you something in the mail, and it seems to you to require a spoiler alert, it is still up to you whether you want to post it to A Moment of Cerebus, although Matt Dow will be the final one deciding on that. I mean, Matt’s already deciding whether your email even came in in the first place.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: If he decides that your email didn’t come in, sorry, your email didn’t come in. And if he decides, “no, not only does that not need to have a spoiler alert, I don’t need that on the website. I’m not remotely interested in that, so that doesn’t exist.” So there’s the two hurtles to get over.
Matt: There’s also the problem of, I get something and I’m like, okay this will go up, and then… the internet breaks with, ya know, we’re doing a Kickstarter for the remastered Cerebus #1, and I’m like, okay that’s gonna have to wait. And then I forget about it. I have an email from Seiler from a couple of years ago that has the preliminary tracing paper for “Judenhass” and they’re really nice pictures and I’m like, oh yeah, I gotta put these up and then I forget about it, and then I’m cleaning out my email and I’m like, oh yeah, I gotta put this up and then I forget about it.
Dave: Shouldn’t you have like a file folder for that, where, as soon as you see something, as soon as it comes in, and you go, “oh I definitely want that for the website” just throw it in as fallback position. When you’ve got other things going on in your life, in the name of God man, you’ve got two small children!
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: [laugh] You must have other things going on in your life. Then you just go, okay, just put a date on this one, throw it up, we’re all done.
Matt: You would think that I would get smart enough to do that.
Dave: [laughs] But you’d be wrong!
Matt: You would be SO wrong. [laughs]
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: There was a post, I forget what it was about, but the title of the post was, “one of those quicky posts that takes Matt 5 hours to write.” I was posting a letter you had written me and I was going through my digital files looking for the letter that I had sent you that you were responding to, and I literally spent four hours going, it’s gone. It just doesn’t exist anymore. Which is funny, cause I have letters dated before this letter, but this letter, nope, it’s gone. Didn’t save it, it must have been one of those, I wrote it, sent it ya, and then didn’t save it or something. But, ya know, I’m trying to find the context for your letter so that people understand what I’m talking about. And it’s like, no, it’s gone. At this point, I think it was about this.
Dave: Right, right. Like, c’mon, there are better uses for four hours of Matt Dow’s time.
Matt: You would think, but no.
Dave: [laughs] It’s one of those things. Once you get obsessive about it. I’m trying to train myself that way, as well. Which is, okay, what am I looking for that’s [inaudible] and is there a way to just say, okay, I give up looking. Which is, as I say, the same thing that happened with the “Many Origins of Cerebus” article and “Cerebus Archive” the 18 issues. Yeah, they exist out there, yes, I can look for them, yes I can try to find them. No, I don’t have time for this right now. I’ve got way too many things that I’m doing already. I’m trying to get it as simple as possible so that it’s down to Waverly Press stuff, which comes down to write stuff and sign stuff. That’s what you’re doing. You’re writing stuff, you’re signing stuff, and that’s all that you’re doing, and I’ve got my Dagon James pile of faxes and everytime a new one comes in and I answer it, I put it on top of the pile. I’m starting to get organized with “Cerebus in Hell?” It’s like, okay, we’re working on three comic books right now. We’re working on “Public Defenders Annual”, “Defective Comics: All Black Costume”, and “Cerebus the Emily” #1. So, find a buffalo clip and clip everything together. All of the faxes that come in discussing this, sketches, how about this, no change it a little bit like this, here’s an idea for page one, all of that kind of stuff. Just buffalo clip it together, and then… I was going into the closet in the office, again, looking for something else, and I looked up at one of the hinges, and the hinge had a mid-sized buffalo clip on it. And I went, that’s weird. Why would that hinge have a buffalo clip on it? And I took the buffalo clip off of it. And then I went, there’s a box of buffalo clips in the closet! And they’re the large size, so they will actually hold a complete “Cerebus in Hell?” annual, which, once you’re talking about my mock-ups and David Birdsong’s finishes, and all of the back and forth discussion, you definitely need a major size buffalo clip. And those buffalo clips must have been sitting there since when Gerhard was here, which would have been pre-2006. And it’s like, yeah, another 14 years from now he’s going to be really happy to find it. “I feel like I was supposed to tell her something you faxed me”, you said about the response to Margaret. And you put in brackets, “what? I’ve been feeling lazy. I’m blaming having had COVID-19. Course, I’ve been blaming everything on having had COVID-19.” It really is the built-in excuse for everything here in 2020. You don’t even have to have COVID-19, just blame COVID-19. Roly and I do that. If I’m supposed to sign a bunch of stuff, and I do sign all of the stuff and he’s going through it, and I missed one of them, it’s COVID-19!
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: COVID-19 is just upsetting our lives in ways that we are just barely being able to understand right now. So, apart from the fact that COVID-19, if you contract it, can kill you inside of 15 minutes, it also is causing all of the deficiencies and problems that we have as human beings. If it wasn’t for COVID-19, everything would be going smoothly and perfectly. And moving on to, “Hi Matt!” and this is THE Michael R of Easton, Pennsylvania! His own self. “Question for Dave. Will there only be 150 Signed & Numbered sets of High Society: The Regency Edition? ...or will there be tiers of the Regency Edition?” We’ll answer that one first, yes to both questions. There will be tiers and [laughs] When you see the price on the tiers, there will be tears, trust me on that one. “The reason I ask is because I saw a price range of $125-$295. GULP. I hope the $295 version comes with a night at the Regency. LOL. Also, I'm guessing that there won't be a Kickstarter with this one and only available at Waverly Press.” And you answered that one, “I know this is more of a question for the fine folks at the Waverly Press, but he asked so I’ma asking. Anything about Aardvark/Vanaheim’s collaborations with the Waverly Press that your allowed to talk about, or is that still all “backstage pass” stuff that you and I know and everybody else can guess at?” Uh, well, I can talk about whatever I want to talk about.
Matt: Well, let me interrupt for a second. So the prices that Michael saw were from the proof copy of the expanded edition of Cerebus #1 that I got from Dagon.
Dave: Oh, okay, see, there ya go. That’s…
Matt: And what happened was, I got all this stuff from Dagon and it was really neat, so I made a video going through, “this is what it’s gonna look like. This is what you paid for. These things actually exist. Some of this is proofs, but some of this is the final product that will be shipped to your house if you backed the Kickstarter.” And it was like 12 minute video, and I said, what was proofs and what wasn’t. And at the very end I showed the inside back cover saying this is… cause it was an ad for the Regency Edition, and I put it out on the internet and then I forgot about it, because it was, “okay, for anyone interested, this is what it looks like.” And Rich Johnston at “Bleeding Cool” ran an article of, “now we have a price for the Regency Edition. It’s gonna cost this much for definite.”
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: And immediately, I’m like, you gotta be kidding me! I went back, watched the video, and I’m like, yeah, I didn’t make a point of saying at the end of the video, “this is a proof ad for this” and I’m smacking my head going, why do I do this to myself?
Dave: [laughs]
Matt: And I let Dagon know, and he’s like, “well, any publicity is good publicity” and I’m like, okay!
Dave: What, and give up show business? Yeah, you find out that you become the source of these things that people are very very curious about. And it’s like, I wonder how many government leaks are like that. It’s like, “I didn’t mean to leak that. I was sending them a photocopy of something else and it just happened to have it on the same page. But now that’s all over the front page of the Washington Post.” Yeah, sorry, that’s how that works. Okay, on my side of this, as everyone knows on A Moment of Cerebus, as all longtime Cerebus fans know, I’m not a hardcovers guy. There’s the 16 trade paperbacks of Cerebus and the remastered editions of those 16 paperbacks. From my point of view, that’s the finished Cerebus work. This is how it looks best. If you do a hardcover, you’re just spoiling it, because there isn’t a single hardcover format that I’ve seen anywhere that I like. As I say, I’m just not a hardcovers guy and that puts me very much in the minority, and the pressure, of course, has been enormous, for years! “Do a hardcover. Why aren’t you doing hardcovers? There needs to be Cerebus hardcovers.” Anytime I ask for suggestions, anybody got suggestions over here? “Yeah, you can do hardcovers.” So, okay, we’ll try A hardcover. “High Society.” This came up because I got… Dagon sent me the Waverly Press Jimmy Hendrix book with the photographers, “Rolling Stone” photos of Jimmy Hendrix. All of them, in there. And I went, yeah, Dagon always does absolutely perfect books. As soon as you get a book from Dagon, you sit there thumbing through it, going, I’m really glad that I own this. I wouldn’t have put the subject matter anywhere near the top of my personal list of things to be interested in, but if Dagon James is involved with doing a book about it, you will get sucked in and if you don’t watch yourself, you’ll have to read the whole book from cover to cover because it’s just so cool. And then just sit there looking at it. And then if you don’t put it away somewhere, you’ll keep looking at it. He has uncanny expertise for doing ideal hardcovers for people who want a hardcover and a book. My only interest, because I’m not a hardcover guy. Dagon will send me #1, #2, and #3 for the Cerebus Archives, I can’t really picture myself looking at it, because it’s like, well no, the “High Society” remastered edition, the one we just did with brand new pages and everything, that’s what this is, in terms of the insides, but the format just looks funny. I just don’t like hardcovers, I don’t like the way that they look and what they do to the interior pages. So, my only interest, I’ll be completely honest about this, is how much money does Aardvark-Vanaheim get? Which, when Dagon got interested right away. I phoned him after just fawning over this Jimmy Hendrix book and going, do you want to work on something together? Do you want to do a book, because I have 100% confidence in you. That if I just give you, here’s the raw materials for the book, you’re gonna put the book together and you’re gonna do it as a Dagon James book. I don’t have to give it a second thought. It’s gonna be really really cool and the Cerebus fans will just love it. And he went, “what about a hardcover? A hardcover or hardcovers of the Cerebus trade paperbacks.” It’s like, I don’t want to do hardcovers of the Cerebus t trade paperbacks. But it’s like, that’s where his interest is, is “if I’m gonna do a Dave Sim Cerebus hardcover of some kind, this is what I want to do”, and of course, at the point, we were in pre-production virtually at the production page. Everything was at Marquis and they were just blocking in printing time for the latest “High Society” trade paperback. Well, okay, if we’re going to do this, now would be the time to do this, because you just add X number of copies to the print run. So, that’s what we agreed to do, again, on the basis of we will try A hardcover and my only interest is how much money does Aardvark-Vanaheim get. Which means Dagon has complete carte blanche to price them at whatever he wants to price them, by adding whatever add-ons he’s going to add to it, so that you, “oh that’s so cool. I mean, that’s just tucked inside the book, but as soon as I open the book, there it was, and that’s just so cool! Okay, I’m gonna put this over here while I thumb through the book. Oh, here’s something else that came in the clamshell, or whatever it was.” The most recent and most lavish book that Waverly Press did was Michael… I’m gonna forget his name, the photographer who took a lot of pictures of the Rolling Stones. Wasn’t their official photographer, but did a lot of photos of the Rolling Stones, and he just did a book, “Brian Jones: Butterflies in the Park.” Butterflies in the park, referring to the butterflies that got released at the outdoor concert after Brian Jones died back in the 1960s. And Dagon went to town on this, just decided, okay, this is going to be a state of the art hardcover with these Brian Jones photographs. Michael… why can’t I think of his last name? Anyway. And, he got so immersed in it and decided, “I’m just going to do everything with this that I always wanted to do with a hardcover.” I forget what they were priced at. $300, $400? $500? And it was practically a break even thing, because he put so much into the book to make it the most lavish production possibly. And not only did that, but only did 150 of them. Now, picture what that’s doing to Rolling Stones fans worldwide, who know Dagon James’ reputation from his Andy Warhol books and Billy Name and just like a bottomless list of amazing photographers and amazing books. But there’s only 150 of these, so, what’s happening, of course, is that the Brian Jones is already doing regularly for over $1000, if you can find one being auctioned online. And the other thing about Dagon is that he never reprints. He does the best possibly job he can do on that book and then he moves on to other books. This is the core of his satisfaction with doing these things, is making an immaculate art object and then leave it alone. That one was done, now I want to move on and do this one over here. I’m not trying to figure out how to get everyone a copy of this. I’m trying to figure out how to make the best of the 150 copies that exist of it. If you compare the Cerebus audience to the Rolling Stones audience, both in terms of numbers and in terms of who has the deepest pockets, you can imagine what this Brian Jones book is going to be going for in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years… well, you can’t really imagine. Because we don’t know how badly currency is going to erode in the meantime, and how stingy people are going to get about putting these on the market. So, what I’m doing is answering Michael’s question, will there only be 150 signed and numbered sets of “High Society: The Regency Edition”? Yes, that will be it. And I am making suggestions from my side of the equation, knowing the Cerebus audience, and saying, if we announced that these books are going to be available on Waverly Press starting at, just pick a day and time out of the air. 2:30 in the morning on a Monday. Michael R will book off work, to make sure that he’s sitting there to claim the #26, because he’s gonna really want the #26, if he and Grace decide that they can afford it. And I’m trying to say, I’m always advocating for that with Dagon, going, I don’t think you can just sort of open it up and say, “okay, they’re doing to go on sale, such and such a day.” He’s already got a list of people, email addressed for people, who have expressed an interest in buying a “High Society: Regency Edition” hardcover of about 200 people now? So there’s 150 of them, and there’s 200 people clamoring for them already. Again, I’m not a hardcovers guy! I never wanted to do hardcovers. I have been backed into the corner and it’s like, okay, my only interest is how much money does Aardvark-Vanaheim get, I will find out, out of this. I’m saying to Dagon, please don’t go all Brian Jones on this. [laughs] I don’t want 150, 100% perfect hardcovers with all of these amazing features, and when I finally get the check for Aardvark-Vanaheim, I get a check for $912 out of however much money was brought in on this because this is how much it costs to produce. So, yeah, that’s backstage pass stuff, but it’s all still in flux. Dagon’s company is Dagon’s company, my company is my company, and Dagon paid Marquis however much Dagon paid Marquis to print 150 extra copies of the latest remastered edition and ship them to him, so that’s already an expense. That’s gonna come off of however much money comes in, but… for the people who are going, “I have to have the hardcover”, well okay, there’s only going to be 150 of them because that’s the way the logistics works out. This is the publisher that I’m working with. So… Go ahead.
Matt: Well… it will come up on the Facebook group where something comes up, like a collected “Cerebus Archive”, or collected “Following Cerebus”, or whatever. And there’s somebody who will respond, “well when’s Dave gonna do hardcovers?” and then the “Regency Edition” tease came out and somebody else went, “oh I’m just not into hardcovers” and it’s just smacking your head of, no one’s gonna be happy 100% and how do we make everybody happy?
Dave: Right.
Matt: And that’s, okay, ya know, there’s 10 guys clamoring for hardcovers and there’s 10 guys clamoring for “Cerebus Archive”, and only 3 of those guys are the same guys.
Dave: Right, right.
Matt: And I just start shaking my head like, I can ask, and the answer’s probably gonna be no.
Dave: Well, yeah, I mean we’re still really really in early days on this. I mean, one of the things that Dagon and I agreed on early on was… because the hardcovers are gonna be this expensive and this is like sticker shock on steroids for Cerebus fans who were hoping that there’d be a “High Society” hardcover that they could get for $40 or whatever, it’s like, that’s not going to happen. Because none of this triangulates over in that price point, which is why it was, okay, instead of having Cerebus #1 a remastered edition as an incentive or an add-on with the “High Society” hardcover, why don’t we do it as a separate thing? So it’s one of those, you might be in the category of, you can only afford to buy the remastered individual comic books. And you can only buy the low end. Like, if I was buying, which I’m not, but if I was a buyer, I would be one of the guys going, “okay, I can get a facsimile of #1, the size it was supposed to be printed and with the covers looking the way they’re supposed to and the Gene Day Star Wars ad all on the backcover instead of partly on the front cover, and it’ll cost me $10. Okay, I’m in for $10.” That was one of the things that Dagon was talking about, losing on the Spawn 10 Kickstarter, which will be the next one coming up. And I said, I don’t think you can really do that. Like, there was only about 47 people who went for the absolute cheapest $10 Cerebus #1 facsimile. And I’m going, on the $52000 that came in, that’s a rounding error of $470, so I don’t think you can lose that. We’ve gotta have a $10 Spawn 10 as well, and just figure, okay, if we don’t lose money on it, we’re certainly not gonna make any on it when you factor in how much it cost to print, how much the packaging costs, how much the labor costs, and how much the shipping costs. But that’s one of those things of, you’ve gotta have an access point way down here at the bottom end, which is where I would be buying. When it gets up to the high end, it’s like, well, we’re doing high end stuff, so with the Cerebus #1, what we’re gonna be trying to do. Originally the next project was going to be “Swords at 40”, which was going to be “Swords” Volume One, which was the game changer, reprinting the material chronologically in trade paper format. We didn’t know it was a game changer at the time, but it certainly became a game changer. The interest in Cerebus is so severely limited in the comic book field that immediately we were starting to think, no, that’s using up the first four issues in one project, and I don’t think we want to do that. We want to do Cerebus #2 the same way that we did Cerebus #1, and I think the emphasis that we have now is, how do we do a Cerebus #1 that’s available with Cerebus #2 so the people who didn’t get in on the Cerebus #1 Kickstarter can get on Cerebus #1 and Cerebus #2, and then Cerebus #3 somewhere up ahead. I mean, the timeline, as I say, with Kickstarter are distended, you’re looking at four or five months from the time that you buy it, to the time that you actually get it. Which means, doing the first four issues of Cerebus is probably going to take 2 and a half to 3 years. But that’s good! That’s good if we can maximum how much money Aardvark-Vanaheim gets. Like I say, I acquiesced to this. Look, there’s no point in me doing the “Strange Death of Alex Raymond” and thinking that I’m going to make money on this. No, nobody wants me doing this. People want Cerebus #1. To a degree they want Cerebus #2 less than they want Cerebus #1, and Cerebus #3 less than they want Cerebus #2, and then the drop off is drastic from there. The only big market thing that we’ve got is Spawn 10 because Spawn 10 sold 900,000 copies, or whatever it sold. It’s pretty close to 900,000 copies. So, that’s the only time that Dave Sim was even known as existing in the comic book field. So that’s why we’re doing Spawn 10 next is, hoping to get Todd, which he said he will do, is talk it up on his social media, hoping telling his Spawn fans, “youse all gotta buy Spawn 10 remastered by Dave Sim, cuz this is da coolest. And here’s all the covers and etc. Etc.” If he does that, then it’s very possible that we could actually have a substantial grown-up payday for a change, instead of trying to figure out how to get , ya know, a $50 book into the hands of the 10 people that want it, and sorry you just can’t make money on it because people aren’t willing to pay that much money. So, that’s the theory that we’re working on, is once we have… taking the 600 people, I still have no idea where Dagon James found 600 people…
Matt: I was #1.
Dave: …to buy Cerebus #1. It’s like, okay, but then you now, as I say to Dagon, you know have the benefit of the doubt. You tell me what you want to do, and if I can live with it, I’ll live with it because you have the track record. I still don’t know how much money Aardvark-Vanaheim gets from the $52,000. It’s like, I don’t want the money until all of this is done, because then, it’s the same thing as the advance game. “Here’s this giant check from Dagon James and after we crunched all the numbers and subtracted all of the expenses divided by two, here’s what you get. Oh! It looks like you owe Dagon James $4000.” No, I don’t want that to happen. When it’s over, it’s over, and all of the bottom line is there, and then we divide by two, and then I get a check, then I look at it and go, okay, how workable is this? Presumably it is workable, but how workable is this? And then, okay, what happens with Spawn 10 if we actually get some backup from Todd McFarlane and somebody besides “Bleeding Cool” in the comic book field agrees to talk about Dave Sim and Cerebus again. Which nobody has for the last 25 years, so I’m really not counting on that. But Todd McFarlane being a stand-up, going “yeah I’m not gonna pretend that I don’t love Dave Sim, ya know. He did Spawn 10 for me and that was a big deal at the time. A big deal for both of us.” Todd’s not the kind of guy who goes, “well, Dave Sim isn’t politically correct, so Dave who? I have no idea who you’re talking about.” But it’s also gonna be, does he like what we do? So we’re gonna be sending him prototypes of everything associated with it and if he looks at it and, if Dagon James put it together I think the odds are Todd’s going to go, “this is really cool. Everybody needs to buy these.” Then it’s, nobody has to have all of these. You can buy the $10 copy, or you can buy whatever the equivalent of the gold, platinum, and red is this time around. Or you can buy these 8 different versions, the whole dog and pony show that everybody’s doing in this day and age online who has that kind of cache. Spawn 10 and Turtles 8 are the only two were I have that kind of cache. Cerebus is a completely marginal thing and always has been and always will be, a completely marginal thing. So any questions on what I said there? Anything that you think automatically, this is what people are gonna ask about?
Matt: No, no. I’m sure I’m gonna get undulated with people going, well what about this, what about that? And it’s gonna be, I keep telling people, when there’s gonna be an announcement, as soon as I know, I’ll let you know.
Dave: Right. Right.
Matt: Ya know, I’m probably going to send an email to Dagon going, okay, hey we talked about it for 20 minutes. I’d send you the link before I post it but I’m not gonna do it this time because… it’s all publicity, at this point.
Dave: Right. And I can definitely assure everybody that the timing on this is the Spawn 10 Kickstarter launches when we start getting reports of people getting their Cerebus #1 packages. I think that was one of the things that helped back in April, May when we were doing the Cerebus #1 Kickstarter, was that launched at the same time that the Cerebus Archive portfolio #8 was starting to arrive. I mean, it does space it out in a way that acknowledges that people have limited financial resources. They’re really really devoted Cerebus fans, but you can’t be gouging them for giant amounts of money every month just because you came up with something else that you want them to buy. When they paid for Cerebus Archive portfolio #8, it’s like, okay, that’s a major commitment, but I know that I’ll really enjoy it when I get it in, and it’ll be worth the money, but I really don’t want to be talking about those kinds of amounts of money until the next time that we’re actually talking about this. Which, as I say, is like four or five months later. I think sticker shock wears off at that point, and okay, the next one’s going to be the Spawn 10. There will be high end packages [coughs] excuse me, that the average person can’t afford, but Spawn 10 isn’t a human right. Spawn 10 is a luxury good that, count yourself lucky if you have the kind of revenue and the kind of bank account that allows you to buy luxury items. We, in North America, tend to be that privileged in circumstances. So, okay, let’s say that we’ve covered that as completely as we can. Then, I’m not even going to quote the email address asked, “Hi there, for some reason I COMPLETELY missed the new 2010 edition of The Cerebus Guide to Self-Publishing even though I was one of the guys that encouraged Dave multiple times to consider a reprint.... Any chance this PDF can still be had? Appears this is no longer available on Sellfy.” And I had no idea it was still available on Sellfy, I don’t think I’ve gotten any revenues from Sellfy that I recognize as CerebusDownloads, which is where they transfer to. It’s one of those situations where I spent about a half an hour going through all the documents. That was what I was looking for when I came across the “Many Origins of Cerebus” article, and there’s a digital copy of the 1997 “Guide to Self-Publishing”. The 2010 exists someplace. So, same situation, I do have a copy of the 2010. I have a few copies in the Cerebus Archive of the 2010 edition. I can give Roly “The Guide to Self-Publishing 2010” and as him to scan it, and he can invoice you at $15 an hour Canadian for however long it took him to scan it, but, again, in terms of, I’m working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, going and finding the 2010 “Guide to Self-Publishing”is not something that I would consider a good use of my time, or the half hour that I already spent today. This is getting to be our bottom line answer to just about anything. If I’ve got it here, and you want Roly to scan it for you, [cough] excuse me, and send it to you, I will definitely take it under consideration. He will invoice you at $15 an hour and then you pay him. We’ll see what we can work out that, or what we can’t work out on that. Okay, we’re down to Jeff Seiler asks. Hello, Jeff. [coughs] Excuse me again. “Hi, Dave! Many years ago, you wrote to me about the then-upcoming penultimate Cerebus volume, "Latter Days" (still one of my favorites) that you had considered using the Jacobean spelling of the second word in the title--"Daies". I'm waaay too old to go dig out that letter.” See, we’re all getting to be in the same category. “So (finally getting around to an interrogative sentence), what made you change your mind? Did you think it would be too much of a spoiler warning for the back-of-the-book issues of Cerebus reading Genesis in the 1611 version, or did you think it would confuse potential buyers, or was it something else? Just curious. Best, as always, and yours to the very end, Jeff.” I would have to say the level of hate by the time I was doing “Latter Days” was bending the needle on the dial. Like, from Gerhard on out. Gerhard was sort of the on-site representative, whose face was always telling me, he disapproved, Rose disapproved, all of the Out to Lunch Bunch, his high school group, disapproved. All comics fans disapproved, all Cerebus disapproved. I’m not a stupid person. I was aware everyone hated me, and that that hate was intensifying as I was getting through “Latter Days”, and that point it was, well, I didn’t do this to make people like me, or to make people feel good about me. This was my quest for truth, I was going to tack towards truth wherever I found it, and I did find it in the Bible. That’s an individual perception, it wasn’t, I will find truth, because no human being can say that, it was I will find truth where I perceive it to exist and I will report back to everybody. This is what I see. This is what I have to say. I know that Jeff has always loved “Latter Days” and I know that there are a handful of people who love “Latter Days”. I’m definitely one of them, I’m very very proud of the work. The juxtaposition of Konigsberg Woody Allen bringing the Torah to Cerebus, and then watching all the permutations that Konigsberg goes through, while Cerebus is just commenting on “here’s what Cerebus is reading”, which is what I thought I was reading in the Torah, and which I still think I’m reading in the Torah. That was one of those, it’s gonna cause a problem if you spell Days “Dais”, you’re just asking for trouble, “What does Latter Day-is mean?” And it’s like, it’s not Latter Day-is, it’s Latter Daies, it’s how it was spelled in English back in the 17th century, which had a really charming quality to it, because latter days is actually talking about a time period that hasn’t occurred yet. We’re in the year 2020, the phrase latter days was first made publicly available in the English speaking countries in the 17th century, we’re three centuries later on and we’re still not at latter days, the events of “Revelations” and where all this is going, ultimately. So it was a matter of, “Latter Daies” would have been the ideal solution, particularly in terms of this is the truth that I am talking about. This is the closest I can get to objective truth knowing that all of human truth is subjective truth. Let’s compromise with all of these people who hate my guts and that’s always a difficult thing to do. It’s like, why am I compromising with people who hate my guts? It’s not gonna make them like me, they’re still gonna hate my guts in perpetuity. They’re still gonna hate me when I’m dead, and they’re gonna hate me 100 years after I’m dead. But, let’s compromise on that and say, yeah, “Latter Days”, so there’s no question of what the second last Cerebus book is called. Just in terms of the Diamond computer system. I’m sure there’s probably an algorithm, “I’m sorry you can’t put titles into this system that don’t exist as a word, and daies doesn’t exist as a word.” If they don’t already have that at Diamond, they probably will have that sometime in the next couple of years and that would mean, okay, now I have to change the name to “Latter Days.” Thank you Jeff, and that’s my best answer on that one. We’re coming up on the 2 hour mark, and now we’re into extra time because it’s Matt Dow wants to know!
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And when Matt Dow wants to know, no man can say thee nay! You were asking about “Cerebus Jam”. This looks like it’s from “Amazing Heroes Preview”?
Matt: I’m not sure where it’s from, somebody posted those images on the Cerebus Facebook group, and when I read I’m like, this is an announcement of something that, as far as I know, doesn’t exist.
Dave: Right, yes. I think this is what Heidi McDonald used to do when she still acknowledged that I existed. She was the person assigned to phone Dave Sim. I think they did an “Amazing Heroes Preview” every six months. So, before I would know it, six months would go by, and Heidi McDonald would be calling to find out what’s happening in Cerebus for the next six months. This was obviously, just after “Cerebus Jam” #1 had come out, and I was going, that was a lot more difficult than I thought that was going to be. And I didn’t really know why it had been that difficult. I just thought, okay, I’ll send these stories to people… the first issue, some of it went pretty smoothly. Scott & Bo Hampton, that one was easy. Terry Austin, the one was easy. Will Eisner, that was an easy one to do. But this was for #2, “Mike Grell, Dick Giordano, Colleen Doran, and Barry Windsor-Smith with a cover by Barry Windsor-Smith for the third issue.” And obviously, none of that happened. The Mike Grell story exists as photocopies of the lettered pages that I sent to them. I have seem them, they’re in what’s called the manila envelope cupboard upstairs at the Off-White House. They’re not in a manila envelope, but I have seen them. All three stories are together. The Mike Grell story, the Barry Windsor-Smith story, and the Dick Giordano story, but just the lettering. And the Mike Grell story was a Warlord on steroids kind of character. Like, if Mike Grell’s Warlord character and the Hulk had a kid.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: What would that character look like? And it was funny, because he’s avenging the death of his family and his whole clan and he’s Borealan, I think. But he only speaks Borealan, and he’s just slicing and dicing everybody in this bar. [laugh] One of the things that he’s really really steamed about was, that they killed his cat, Mr Whiskers.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: [laughs] And, I had forgotten that line. And when I got to that, I went, that’s really funny. I wish this was [inaudible]. And what happens is, is, spoiler alert, he’s chopping everybody up, and he gets to Cerebus, and Cerebus is the only guy in the bar who speaks Borealan, and says to him, “What bar is it that you were told all of these people who plundered your clan and your family and Mr Whiskers are in?” and says, ya know, the Dog & Pony. And he goes, “oh this isn’t the Dog & Pony, this is” whatever the name of the bar is. “The Dog & Pony is like two blocks down and two houses over.” It’s like, “oh, thank you”, and he leaves, having chopped up all of these people. So it was a little short story, but I thought it was funny. The Dick Giordano story, [inaudible] was a bureaucrat that Cerebus visits during the “High Society” campaign. Cerebus is there to get support from him for his campaign and it’s Dick Giordano. Like, I’m telling him to do a caricature of himself. He’s disorganized and hard of hearing, everybody knows that Dick was hard of hearing, and trying to find something in his files. And again, it’s just the lettered pages. Dick never got around to drawing it. I don’t think it offended him, Dick and I were on very good terms right up to the point of his death. He did acknowledge having been one of the DC executives at the DC executives meeting that I had at the top of the 6’s at Rockefeller Plaza with Jenette Kahn, and Bruce Bristow, and Paul Levitz, and Dick Giordano. It was the DC freelancer that we ran across just coming off of the elevator to go up on the private elevator that goes up to the top of the 6’s. And this guy’s jaw just dropped open, because it’s like, here’s the entire top executives at DC Comics and they’re with Dave Sim going somewhere. I just sort of said, “oh hi”, whoever it was, I forget even who it was. And anyway, Dick did say to me in confidence long after he was no longer working at DC that, yes, everybody at the meeting was being way too greedy on DC’s behalf. I was talking very sensibly, and they should’ve gone for the deal that I was talking about. Which was, you pick the dollar amount, whatever it is, at some point, if you licensed Cerebus to DC, we split 50/50 on the revenue and all of the expenses come off on your side, because that’s how they used to do, and how they still do it, I don’t know, in the comic strip field. It’s always a 50/50 split of revenues with the cartoonist. Like I say, I called it the Superman contract. If you knew that you were buying Superman, you knew that you were licensing Superman from Siegel and Shuster, and you knew that that was going to turn into, at what dollar amount would you go, “yeah, we don’t have to have any more than 50/50, we’ll do fine, and Jerry Siegel and Jim Shuster will be fine.” And that was just a complete nonstarter with Jenette, and Paul Levitz, and Bruce Bristow. Dick Giordano is at the other end of the table, just sort of like grinning at me because, yes, he was a DC executive, but he was also a cartoonist, and he’s like, [laughs] he’s like a plantation slave, sitting there going, “Damn!” [laughs] “He might get away with it. I dunno if he gonna get away with it, but damn!” So, yeah, the story was that this… Dick Giordano, who was very disorganized and is always calling for Pat, who was his assistant, Pat Bastienne, who he eventually married. Left his first wife and married Pat, and all of that’s there, “Pat, where’s the such and such and such”, she said, “It’s behind the such and such file.” “Uh, pardon?” you know he can’t really hear, and “It’s behind the such and such file.” And he goes to it, and he finally finds the file, and he says to Cerebus, “What was the question that you asked me again?” and Cerebus goes, “Cerebus forgot.” So, that was that anecdote. The Barry Windsor-Smith story, which Barry eventually sent back, was Estarcion’s answer to Leonardo da Vinci. His thought balloons are all visual, they’re like Leonardo’s notebooks, and he just walks around looking at how people are doing things and imagining a catapult device that could be invented, that could do that much more effectively and much more easily. And he runs across young Cerebus fishing, and young Cerebus is fishing with his fishing pole, but instead of using it as a fishing pole, he’s using it as a club. It looks like a fishing pole, but he just watches for a fish and then just plops it down into the water to try and knock the fish unconscious. And this cracks up Leonardo da Vinci, but it works! [laughs] He manages to club a fish, and rearing back with his fishing club, smacks Leonardo da Vinci in the face with the fish, and the last panel is Leonardo da Vinci imagining all of the different medical procedures he’s going to have to go through to fix his face now that he’s been hit with Cerebus’ fish, and Cerebus wandering off with his fishing pole club and his fish. And as you say, the Colleen Doran story did actually appear. Colleen did a wonderful job penciling it and I had a lot of fun, and learned a lot inking it. And that is still in the Cerebus Archive, although, for some reason, one of the pages is missing! Which I’m not happy about. And then there’s another preview, and I think this is before that one? This would’ve been the 1983 “Amazing Heroes Preview”. It’s not credited to Heidi McDonald, so I think they weren’t really that interested in what Dave Sim was doing, even back then. Aardvark-Vanaheim, you’ll notice the aardvark has two A’s at the beginning and two A’s at the end. “’Neil the Horse’ has been so successful that the mini-series has been extended from six to eight issues. Creator Arn Saba will produce a 48-page ‘extravaganza’ in the extra issue.” And that was definitely 1982, 1983 time period, because Arn had just finished “Neil the Horse” #1 when we were in Los Angeles on the 1982 tour. “David Sim and Bill Sienkiewicz”, David Sim, not Dave Sim, “produced a Moon Roach story at Rochester’s All-Star Convention and it will appear later this year in ‘Swords of Cerebus’ Volume Five.” And you’re asking where’s this Moon Roach story? Um, if Bill and I talked about a Moon Roach story, and it’s very possible that, yes, we went out for dinner, or went back to one of our hotel rooms, or both, and just started drawing ideas around about a Moon Roach story that Bill would be interested in drawing and that he and I would write. Or he and I would draw, I was definitely interested in trying to ink Bill Sienkiewicz. Bill is his own creative force of nature, which I didn’t know at the time. This is something that we know from the experience of “Elektra: Assassin” and the Bill Sienkiewicz story that he did for the “Sandman” hardcover with Neil Gaiman. If you give Bill a script, or an outline for a story, Bill is as a capital-A Artist is just going to do what Bill’s going to do. You will get back something completely unrecognizable but brilliant. Frank Miller was terrifically impressed that Neil Gaiman got his story back from Bill Sienkiewicz and just started rearranging the pages, going, “Well, this is lovely. But maybe if I put this page first, and this page over here, I can get back to sort of my story.” [laughs] And, I think it was Frank who said, “ya know, if I had thought of that, ‘Elektra: Assassin’ would have come out very very differently. Just, here, here’s a pile of pages, let’s rearrange these and try to turn it back to something between me and Bill.” And none of us had any ideas about that at the time, and certainly I had no idea of that, and I think Bill went, “I’m just not seeing what I would do on this. This is not hitting my Artist bone anywhere that I would go, ‘okay, I will start drawing this and then I’ll do 6 pages or 8 pages and whatever it is and then send them to Dave.’” So whatever we did Rochester’s All-Star Convention, it never got any further than that. But there is a Bill Sienkiewicz jam story that I’m now going to tell you, as we’re definitely coming up on hour #2. There was a jam story that I started at PetuniaCon. One of the things that I was very insistent with the PetuniaCon people was, we all come to these conventions, and we’re all just sitting at ordinary dealer’s tables with ordinary chairs, and we have to bring our sketchpads and markers and our pencils and whatever else, so we’re not really doing what we do for a living. Because, none of us draw with markers and none of us draw on sketchpads, on individual sheets of paper, and in other people’s sketchbooks. We have a drawing board, and we have pencils, and brushes, and pens, and ink. So I managed to persuade them to set up a drawing board with all of the drawing materials that I used, and that people generally use. Different thicknesses of brushes, different size pens, different kinds of pens. Black ink, India ink, a jar of water so that you can clean all of that stuff while you’re working, and tissues to wipe it off on. Here’s all of the stuff that we need to do actual artwork. And I sat down to do the first panel, and I was working on the first panel, and I remember Deni came by, we weren’t together at that point but we were both at the convention. And very very upset because whoever the woman was who was running the convention had just gotten into a screaming argument with Joshua Quagmire, who does “Cutey Bunny” and Deni was saying, “Mr President, you have to come and fix it.” And it’s like, I’m not Mr President right now! I’m the guy who draws comics for a living. I’m finally at a convention I’m going to be able to do a jam story where I’m doing the first panel. Tell them I’ll be there as soon as I finish drawing this panel. And nothing really happened with the crisis, it’s like, she wanted to have Joshua Quagmire thrown out and charged with a city offense for swearing at her. And it’s like, ehh, no, this is more important to me. And I forget who went next on the page, but it’s like, okay, now you can see what I’m doing. I did the first panel, now you do the next panel, and do it like you’re actually drawing a comic book story. I seem to remember that the next person was Bill Loebs. And he did either one panel or two panels, definitely following up on exactly what I was doing. It’s like, okay what is the second panel in the story? What is the third panel in the story? I’m the one who decides it. I’m gonna letter it, just as if I was lettering a professional page. I’m gonna pencil and ink it just like I’m doing a professional page. Really nice couple of panels. I came by and kept checking it on it, see how he was doing. It’s like, oh this is going to be so cool. This is something that I always wanted to do at a convention and it’s actually happening. Building on my first panel. The next person to sit down to do it was Jim Valentino, and Jim Valentino screwed it up.
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: [laughs] Jim Valentino did a fourth panel, or a fifth panel, or a sixth panel, that obviously he has sat down, glanced at my panel, glanced at Bill Loebs’ panels, and said, “Oh okay, this is the next thing.” Completely misunderstanding what I had at done, and what Bill had done. So, the whole thing that I was trying to do, which was a completely organized comic book story, is now screwed up. And he did it like really really quick, and if he didn’t use markers he used the drawing materials as if they were markers. And it’s like I went, I can’t believe this. How could you not understand, looking at what I did and looking at what Bill Loebs did, what you were expected to do next. And, but, ya know, it’s all free, it’s just an experiment. So, okay, I had no idea this was gonna happen. And Bill Sienkiewicz was a guest at that convention, and I’m showing Bill what happened and saying, like I’m really pissed off because now I don’t know what’s going to happen next. And Bill went, “I’ll tell you what. Just leave it with me. I’ll do the next couple of panels” and I completely forget the story. Like I have no idea what it was he was doing, but Bill Sienkiewicz sat down and did the most amazing two panels. Not only fixing Jim Valentino’s mistake, but getting it back to the original plotline, and all rendered as if it was Neal Adams doing Stan Drake doing Alex Raymond, and just this immaculate piece of work. I was awe-stricken at he fact that he understood exactly what the problem was and went, “okay, I can’t undo Valentino’s panel, but here’s the best that I can do”, and it’s like, oh man, we are off to the races again. And whoever did the next panel is obviously going, “wow, I really got to live up to Bill Sienkiewicz now. And Bill Sienkiewicz doing his absolute best stuff.” So they did that, and that’s about as far as we got with it, and I went, okay, Arn Saba, do you want to do the next one? And it’s like, “Ah yeah, sure.” and I said, okay, I’ll tell you what. The convention is closing down, you take these pages back with you, and you do either another panel, or another two panels, picking up from wherever it left off. And that was just when Arn was just down in Toronto. Didn’t get down to see Arn in Toronto for maybe three or four months after that, and then going to visit Arn, and I went, did you do your jam panel? And he said, “what jam panel?” And I said, the jam panel I sent you back with the story the had Bill Sienkiewicz’s panel, my panel, Bill Loebs’ panel, Jim Valentino’s panel, you were supposed to the next one. And he said, “oh yeah, I couldn’t figure out what to do with that, so I gave it to somebody.”
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: And it’s like I’m going, I can’t believe this! [laughs] Like, I realize nobody’s ever done this before and it took me like another 15 years to even try it again, because it’s like, look obviously this is just not computing with a certain cartooning mind and this is just the sort of real crap that’s gonna happen with this. And I’m going, I can’t believe that Arn thought, “okay, I have no idea what to do with this, so I just gave it to somebody. I forget who I gave it to. But somebody was interested in it, so I gave it to them.” And it’s like, those gorgeous Bill Sienkiewicz panels, and I’m thinking, Bill’s gotta be going, “well, whatever happened with that?” [laugh] “I really busted my hump to fix that problem.” Well, ya know, if Bill ever finds out, ever listens to this, there’s what happened, Bill!
Matt: [laughs]
Dave: The “Neil the Horse” guy, Arn Saba, just went, “ahh I have no idea what to do with this, so I just gave it to somebody.” Okay, and then you also wanted to know, asking about the fleas that… whose book was this?
Matt: Ahh, Gerard Jones.
Dave: Gerard Jones, right. The “Men of Tomorrow” book. No, that’s, he’s talking about 1986, Tom Hall of Elite Comics, so whatever situation Jerry Siegel was in by 1986, my experience with Jerry Siegel was summer of 1983 and a little earlier in 1983. “Ricky Robot” which was the script that I decided to work on of Jerry Siegel’s, was drawn in the fall of 1983. I do have a January 1984 letter from Jerry Siegel, which is actually framed with a picture of Jerry Siegel and is part of the Superman entrance here at the Off-White House. Jerry Siegel on side, and Joe Schuster on the other. And in the 1984 letter, it’s not the “Future Cop” script that he’s talking about, so I’m assuming that three years later on for Jerry Siegel, he was already flogging different material. He would try whatever he tries, and then try something else. The ones that are referred to in the letter that I’ve got that he was asking if I was going to be interested in, was did I want to do the “Ricky Robot” graphic novel that he had written, and if I was interested in seeing the “Ricky Robot” screenplay, and I hope those exist somewhere. Like, I have no idea what the situation is with the Siegel family, but you hope that all of this material is preserved somewhere. And he also talking about a superhero satire called “The Fabulous Misfits”, that he was doing as a graphic novel, and suggesting that all of these concepts he was willing to break down into Cerebus Preview sized chunks, just to introduce them, and see if people were interested, and we definitely not got that point. Well, that was also the time that I was splitting up with Deni and we were splitting the company and all of that going on in 1983. Not splitting the company yet, but trying to figure out how two people who used to be married are going to remain business partners, and not the best circumstance for figuring out new ways to do comic books. He also had something called “Congaolla: The Ultroid”. That was a concept that he was pitching, and “Redd Death vs Life Queen” and I never got to see those, but definitely Tom Hall of Elite Comics was looking at very different material from Jerry Siegel. And no, as far as I know, I never got a package full of fleas from Jerry Siegel. And, you’ve written here, “and”, large font, “if we have enough time, I have to tell you about my silly stupid idea.” So I’m definitely getting to sunset prayer time, so what’s your silly stupid idea?
Matt: So, Dagon had come out with the Cerebus trading cards. There’s four of them for the remastered #1 and then a bonus 3 (5, 6, and 7) were unlocked during the campaign. He’s come out with #8, which is a promo for the Regency Edition and he came out with #9 which is a blank card, it just has the number nine on it. And he’s selling them, 5 for, I think, $10. And I was thinking about it, I’m like, oh yeah, I can get these five cards, I can do Iguana the barbarian, Beer the barbarian, Boner the Runt Dog the barbarian, and Bob the barbarian. But I’m like, who do I put on the fifth one? And it dawned on me, it’s card #9, there’s only person you can put on here. John Lennon. So I was gonna put John Lennon’s caricature, ya know, his signature character of his self portrait, give him a stick figure body wearing the cut off ringer t-shirt that says New York City, only instead it would say “Palnu”. And I’m thinking, yeah, and I’ll get a bunch of them, and I’ll do like 50 of em and then send them to Gerhard and have Gerhard do backgrounds and then Ger can sell them. And that was silly, the stupid part is, who’s paying for all this? [laughs]
Dave: Well, yeah. I mean, Dagon sent me, gosh, it’s gotta be about 300 of those original art cards. Like, that’s what it says on it. Dave Sim Cerebus original art card #9, and the idea is you’re supposed to draw on the other side. I’m doing a bunch of Cerebus trees and Elrod bunnies on the one side where the artwork is, and then signing them on the back, but I’m also using it [inaudible]… getting this on the Waverly Press site, I’m doing a diary of trying to figure how to do a zero stress on the wrist Cerebus head drawing. Not a sketch. When I saw the original art card, it’s like, no, it has to look like what it says. A piece of original art. If it says sketch card, then you can do a sketch, but if it’s an original art card, you’ve gotta do a piece of original art. So I’ve done 10 of those two days ago, September 1st, and then yesterday, still trying to figure out zero stress, but getting it over in the original art direction, and I’m doing a diary for each card. This is what I changed in my thinking in card #2 from card #1, the first day. And card #3 and card #4 and card #5, those will be, I think, those are gonna be auctioned by Dagon on eBay. So you can get the absolute earliest cards where I haven’t figured out how I’m doing this, or one of the later cards where I’m gradually starting to figure out how to do this. I don’t think zero stress is possible, so one of the things that I changed from day 2 to day 1, was instead of doing 10 of them, I only did 5 the second day. And the idea was I would put in an hour or so every day, doing these until I figure out a really nice Cerebus head drawing, 2 inches by 3 inches, that people will be able to bid on. And if we reach saturation on that market, okay, then people will start getting very very inexpensive finished Cerebus head drawings. And if the bidding always goes up on them, well, good for me. I figured out how to do the Cerebus head drawings people are interested in, and this is what they’re going for as an average price. And I got that far with it, and the Cerebus sketchbooks came in. Cerebus #1 logo and flames with blank pages and cardstock cover that presumably will take drawing materials well. And that was one of those, okay, I don’t really want to do these, so we’ll charge $750 for each of them, and I think we got orders for 5 or 6. So I will stop doing the original art cards for the period of time while I figure out, how am I going to do a drawing that is a close-up of Cerebus from the cover of Cerebus #1 and there’s no way. I don’t think it’s going to be worth $750, but if you’re looking for a Dave Sim drawing of Cerebus from the cover of #1 and I think we’ll be numbering them, and I want to find out from Dagon what order the orders came in on those pieces. Somebody will get #1, somebody will get #2, #3, #4, #5, and Dagon thinks there’s 6 of them. And we will definitely be, if not FedExing those, sending those with tendering loving card, bagged and boarded and with some bonus stuff for the people that had those, so that, ehh, even if it’s not worth $750, it’s closer to $750 than it would have been.
Matt: Okay.
Dave: Okay, Matt! Well, I think my prayer sense is tingling…
Matt: Really quick, Janis wants to say hello and goodbye.
Janis: Hi!
Dave: Okay. Hi, Janis, how’re you doing?
Janis: Good.
Dave: Are you back in school yet?
Janis: No.
Matt: Tuesday.
Dave: Are you going…
Matt: She goes back Tuesday.
Dave: Go back Tuesday?
Janis: Yeah.
Dave: You lookin’ forward to it?
Janis: Yeah!
Dave: Yeah, it’ll be pretty cool, you get to see everybody again.
Janis: Uh-huh!
Dave: All of the people in your class, you’ll see new people and people from last year.
Janis: Yeah.
Dave: Alright.
Matt: You do one word answers? Alright, Dave, you gotta go cause you’ve got stuff to do.
Janis: So do I, I’m hangry.
Matt: Oh, and she’s hangry, so she has to go too.
Janis: I got a hamburger waiting for me…
Dave: Okay, we’ll talk next time!
Matt: Yes, we will talk next time. Thank you very much!
Dave: Take care.
Matt: You too, bye!
Dave: Buh-bye.

Next Time: October 2020?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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