Saturday, 25 April 2015

Gerhard: "Sitting In One Spot For Four Days"


GERHARD:
(via email, 22 April 2015)
Sitting in one spot for four days may not sound like a lot of fun. At a slow, ill-attended show two days can seem like four. But the 2015 Calgary Expo on 16-19 April was hands down THE best organized, best run and best attended show I've ever seen. That was the unanimous consensus of every other guest and exhibitor that I spoke with.

The staff and volunteers were incredibly helpful and efficient and possibly clairvoyant; the food cart would magically appear at the first thought of a hunger pang. Yes, you read that right... they provided free food and beverages (no beer, though) for the guests. The carts were brought around to our tables on a regular basis by extremely friendly and cheerful staff. The quality and selection were top-notch, especially the Mexican salad, California rolls and Dim Sum dumplings... okay, enough gushing about the food. I never liked eating at the table in front of the public, though; feels like you're on display at the zoo or something: Come To The Show! Watch The Starving Artists Eat!


With 102,000 people filing past and with the popularity and exuberance of cos-play (formerly known as 'dressing up') the guests behind the tables got to enjoy the parade as it passed by (when we didn't have our head down sketching). We met a lot of people; some die-hard fans (one guy drove the 3 hours down from Edmonton), some had never heard of Cerebus.

One young woman stood back from the table starting over my head for quite a while. When I asked if I could help her, she pointed at the Regency print behind me and sheepishly asked if I had drawn that. I told her that I had and showed her the smaller print in my display portfolio that she could have a closer look at. She was pouring over the image and I told her that the print was available for $20. She looked at me wide-eyed and said, "I can buy this?" Dumbfounded, she handed over a twenty while I slipped a print from the case and signed it.  She thanked me, told me that she knew nothing about comics; this was her first convention and she wandered away holding her print as if it were a holy relic.

It doesn't get better than that.

We were tired and show-shocked at the end but as Shel said the next morning, "I could do another day!"

Cerebus Sketch: Finished After 20 Years!

JASON HALL:
(via Twitter, 25 April 2015)
Finally finished a sketch I have had since 1993.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Weekly Update #79: Exploring The Basement


In which Dave Sim discusses: Cerebus Archive Number Two Diamond Edition, researching The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond, and upgrading the Off-White House basement.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Mrs Thatcher

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

In March we saw a couple pages from Dave's fourteenth notebook, covering issues #127 and #135 it gives us a glimpse into Jaka's Story.

Mrs Thatcher doesn't show up until issue #133, but Dave started doing some sketches of her on page 12 of the notebook:

Notebook #14, page 12
The top two sketches look less like the Cerebus Mrs Snatcher Thatcher and more like the Prime Minister Thatcher. The sketch to the far right between the Prime Minister Thatcher and the Cirinist Thatcher doesn't look like Mrs Thatcher at all, but someone else.

On the next page we can see the Prime Minister Thatcher covered in a see through Cirinist cover.

Notebook #14, page 12
We see here again on page 48, looking more like the Mrs Thatcher from Cerebus, and she is wearing the head piece that we've seen before, not the full head mask as seen on page 13.

Notebook #14, page 46
A couple pages later we see more Mrs Thatcher head sketches, but from the her other side:

Notebook #14, page 49

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Crowd-sourcing Church & State I Revisions!

Sean Michael Robinson:

Greetings everyone!

Some notable activity in the past week, mainly, getting scans of much of the amazing art collection of the generous Jim Guarnotta, which netted us another 30 (!) interior page scans, and some lovely one-off art as well. More information on that next week, when I'm back in town with access to the files again.. Thanks so much to Jim, and all of our Art Dragnet contributors so far!

So, now that High Society has been released, I've been thinking about the "revision" process we went through with that book, and how we can best tweak it for future volumes.

Dave and Mara and I proof-read High Society in a pretty comprehensive way, for the first time since it left Dave's art board. As I've mentioned before, Dave rarely made any changes to the books after the artwork was shot for monthly publication. I can only recall a few changes so far-- eliminating "cut lines" at the edge of a PMT in some Cerebus interior narration, adding/extending the art in the "BOOM!" double-page spread in Church & State I to maintain the bleed that was present in the monthly book. Re-shuffling the "Goat" pages to fit the format/page order of the first HS collection.

So, as we embark on a similar analysis of the Church & State I material, I thought, what better way to go about the process than asking you, as the patrons of this work-- what changes would you make to Church & State I to make it a more cohesive reading experience? After all, it's a process that served us extremely well when revising the "Goat" pages in High Society. (thanks again, Scott and Tom!)

Things we'd be looking for--

1. any spelling errors or punctuation oddities that might be lurking somewhere (only a handful in High Society by the way) (I'm looking at you, Jeff S!)

2. Any instances of MISSING TONE from Cerebus, or the dreaded "TONED TEETH." (i.e. instances where Dave or Gerhard missed cutting out the teeth from the letratone)

3. Any other visual abnormalities along these lines

4. Any suggestions you, the fans and patrons of this book, might have regarding artwork print size and margins/gutters. We didn't end up making any changes to HS, but it's very doable this time. Any designers in the audience want to take a crack at this puzzle? I'm personally working on the problem of re-instating the full bleeds on the "Mind Game III/IV" that were present in the monthly book, and in a few other issues as well. How best to do that? How much can the artwork be expanded, and in what way, and at what cost, without changing the actual physical makeup of the book?

5. Are there any elements remaining from the monthly publication that distract from the reading experience of the whole? Banners, "...continued"s, footnotes, etc...

6. What would you like to see in the back matter of the book, besides CANO names and art dragnet contributors? Production artwork? Enlargements? Another essay?

This is your time for feedback, and any and all suggestions, so pull out those Church & State I volumes, and let's hear what you have to say! I'll talk to Dave and see if we can scrounge up some prizes for all involved. Please leave a comment with your feedback.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Eddie Khanna's TedTalk

EDDIE KHANNA:
(from a Patreon Update, 12 April 2015)
...Which leads me to my upcoming TedTalk, scheduled for May 18. Shortly after Dave came back from his surgery, he told me that the whole experience gave a good opportunity to test a "Defcon 2" type of situation: i.e. Dave Sim is Dead or Incapacitated in some kind of manner that prevents him from completing The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, and determining What Happens Next. He said he'd like me to have a 1 hour conversation with [IDW Publisher] Ted Adams as if the above has happened, discussing what we see as being the next step for the project, what we think should happen, and what we think Dave would have wanted. I'll be recording the conversation using my computer and then transcribing it to send to Dave, and then he's going to add his comments, noting which parts he agrees with, which he disagrees with, and what he thinks about the conversation and our assessments and decisions (much easier this way than having to use a Ouija board if the real thing were to happen), so I'm starting to make a list of everything we would need to cover. Just from my quick email exchange with Ted, I think I can safely say we're both on the same page about the importance of SDOAR. Read the full update at Patreon.com...

Eddie Khanna is the Vancouver-based reader of Dave Sim's Glamourpuss who began researching The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond "by mistake". Read the full story of how that happened here...

Monday, 20 April 2015

Taboo: A Financial Kamikaze Plane

Taboo #1 (SpiderBaby Grafix, 1988)
Cover art by Steve Bissette
STEVE BISSETTE:
(from an interview with Chris Dahlen at A.V.Club, 23 July 2009)
...Taboo was not self-publishing. Taboo was my first real experience with publishing. Of the work that appeared in Taboo, very little of it was mine. With Taboo, I learned about the ethics of publishing. And our deal with Taboo was, we sunk no proprietary rights or hooks into any of that material. It was one-time publication, a flat page-rate, $100 a page, and that was it. Deal over.

When From Hell the movie was made, we got nothing from it. Some people felt like that was unfair, but hey, that was the deal. The whole reason From Hell and Lost Girls and Throat Sprockets exist today is because they were made for Taboo, and Taboo, I was the midwife. I literally looked at it as that profession. My job was to facilitate the birth of something into this world, and then I’m done...

...Dave Sim forged a friendship with John Totleben and I at the Mid-Ohio-Con. And Dave laid out his whole vision of the inverted pyramid, that the whole superstructure of these businesses was built on the backs of freelancers that they were treating badly, paying badly. But they wouldn't be going home with their paycheck every Friday if the freelancers didn't get their work done, and all their income and revenue was generated by the work of a freelance pool that was at the end of the food chain, instead of benefiting from the food chain.

I was receptive to that. Not just because it was a radical thought -- and it was, at the time -- but also because it was the first thing I'd ever heard from someone else in the industry that was making sense of my real-life experiences with the industry...

...Taboo was like a kamikaze plane going into the deck of the Midway. It was a defunct business model before it started! I lost tens of thousands of dollars. Dave Sim poured tens of thousands of dollars into it that he never got back. The year I made a ton of money off 1963, I sent Dave Sim a check for $10,000. And he said "Steve, your checks are no good here. Keep it." For Dave, it was an investment he had made in not just Taboo, but a group of creators he believed in, and it ended up having a beneficial effect on comics.

But no one ever waited for a check from Taboo. My family ate macaroni and cheese some weeks, which drove my wife nuts, as you can well understand. Because instead, a few hundred dollars were going to Eddie Campbell and Alan Moore, because the work on From Hell was underway...

As a comics-artist, Steve Bissette is best known for his collaboration with Alan Moore and John Totleben on DC Comics' Swamp Thing in the 1980s, as well as his own self-published Tyrant. As editor of the horror-anthology Taboo, he published the first serialised appearances of From Hell (by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell), Lost Girls (by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie) and the still-born Sweeney Todd (by Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli).

After self-publishing Taboo #1-4 through SpiderBaby Grafix, Steve edited Taboo #5-7 and Taboo Especial which were co-published with Kevin Eastman's Tundra Publishing. In 1993 Tundra Publishing was involved in a controversial merger with Dennis Kitchen's Kitchen Sink Press, which published the final two volumes of Taboo, #8-9, in 1995 edited by Philip Amara. In 1994 Kitchen Sink Press had been purchased by Ocean Capital Corp. Kitchen Sink Press was finally dissolved in 1999.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Work For Hire: "Open Up Your Eyes To What’s Going On Here!"

Comic Book Creator #6: Swampmen
Edited by Jon Cooke & George Khoury
Cover art by Frank Cho

STEPHEN R. BISSETTE:
(from an interview conducted in 2003, printed in Comic Book Creator #6 in 2014)
...But that was what had me ultimately walk away from the [Swamp Thing] series. I just couldn’t stomach working with the company [DC Comics] any longer. Part of it was the awakening to what "work-for-hire" really meant, what the real impact of that was… that all of the work the three of us had done meant, in legal terms, that Alan [Moore] was not the writer, I was not the penciler, John [Totleben] was not the inker, but pairs of hands slaving for this corporate entity of DC and that they, DC Comics, was the creator of the property. That’s the legal conceit of work-for-hire.

At the time -- and it took a while to get my head around that -- there were a number of factors and one of them was John and I were really getting to know Dave Sim over this period. Dave knew what the life of a freelancer was because of his friendship with Gene Day, and Gene was one of the great tragedies of comics. Gene wanted to work for Marvel with every fiber of his being, got to work for Marvel, and ended up dying as a result of just allowing himself to be siphoned away. You know, made all of his deadlines, got everything done, but lived on coffee and cigarettes until physically, he was incapable of living any more. One time in particular, when Rick Veitch and myself spent a number of hours with Dave at some convention we were at, Dave just spilled the whole story of Gene Day. What his friendship was with Gene, how important their friendship was, what Gene meant to Dave, and how, in Dave's view, Marvel killed Gene Day; and that he, Dave, was living for the day that he could dance on the grave of Marvel. Dave really radicalized me over time. What DC did during this period, the event that I won’t discuss, definitely pushed me into the wake-up call of realizing that Dave Sim was right.

Dave has given some very eloquent testimonials, spoken at various gatherings, a lot of that material has been transcribed and written down and published in Cerebus, and that is a body of work that should be collected and studied, because he is right. By and large, the relationship between the creative people and the publishers can be a very dangerous one. Things changed a lot in the wake of what happened to us, and the fights that my generation fought at places like DC. The people who really scored were the bigger names, people like Frank Miller. Frank really broke ground with his Ronin and Dark Knight contracts. The fact is that when Alan walked away from DC, they lost him forever. I mean he really walked. He wasn’t coming back. (It's very telling to me about what Machiavellian maneuvers had to go on for the ABC line to end up at DC, but I won't even get into that, because that’s a separate conversation for a separate venue.)

Creators like Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison and Garth Ennis benefited from the real hard-fought battles that were fought. And, in my small way, I was involved in a number of those battles. Around the time of Swamp Thing #35, as we’re getting up to #40, my personal conflicts with DC over a legal matter came to a head, and my political reorientation to the whole nature of making a living as a freelancer was affected a great deal by my friendship with Dave Sim. It wasn’t like was Dave was ranting at me. It was that DC would prove Dave’s points almost every time.

John Totleben went every year to Mid-Ohio Con, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. We would donate art to the auction, do sketches, and it was a great communal event. It was a lot of fun. Dave was at Mid-Ohio where we first met him, and Dave showed up one day at our hotel with a limo and said, "Boys, get in." And I didn’t know what to do. I didn't even know that you weren't supposed to open the door yourself when you got to where you were going, that you’re supposed to wait until the guy comes around. You know, Dave's whole thing was, "Guys, this is how the executives at the company you work for travel. [Jon laughs] Get a taste of it."

There's something wrong when the pyramid is reversed. There’s something wrong when you're the guys shelling out for taxicab fare or hitchhiking to conventions and staying three and four in a room, all the while the publishers are coming here in the limos and getting Presidential suites. Dave's whole orientation was to open our eyes to what the power dynamic was, what the reverse pyramid was, as he put it, where the whole power structure was built on the back of the freelancers, and we got a real taste of that with the success of Swamp Thing, you know? We got a glimpse that suddenly made sense to us.

We all went to New York City to meet Alan and Phyllis for the first time. There's Dave Gibbons, delivering the first pages of Watchmen, Alan and Phyllis are put up in one of the best hotels in New York City, and Dave ends up in a dive on 42nd Street where his room is broken into because he's the artist [laughs] and Watchmen is just in the early stages. It was hard to ignore the favoritism going on, and it was getting harder to ignore it any longer.

If I was called in to the Marvel office, Marvel footed the bill. If I brought in receipts for the train ticket and cab fare, I was reimbursed. But when DC called John and I in, we had to pay for travel. It took me longer to wake up to it because of the fun I was experiencing doing the work, the fun of doing the comics. So had it not been for people like Dave saying, "Listen, open up your eyes to what's going on here!" I would have remained blissfully ignorant.

I bring all that up, Jon, because that’s part of what also soured my passion of staying with the book. By the time we got to American Gothic, where it was all schematically laid out for the next 10 issues where we were going and what was going to be in what issue, the ride was over. It was that I knew 12 months down the road where we were going so there was no fun to it any longer. I remember the metaphor John used, and John’s great with this stuff. He says, "You know, we put the car on the road and now they want us to ride in the backseat." [laughs] And it was true. It wasn't a power thing. That wasn't what it was about. It was that everything the book had become was through our energy and drive and concepts; and suddenly, there was this road map and we were part of the machine. It just wasn't as fun any more, but the personal side cannot be downplayed and I take full responsibility, and always have, for my issues of deadlines, and so on, but it’s still tough to hear some of the stuff said at DC. It's pretty easy to ignore their culpability in a lot of events that went on, but that's what they did...

Stephen R. Bissette is best known for his collaboration with Alan Moore on Saga of the Swamp Thing from 1983-87, and for his self-published Tyrant comic, the portrait of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the late Cretaceous period. He also edited the ground-breaking horror comics anthology Taboo, which launched From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. He co-authored the books Comic Book Rebels and The Monster Book: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and his novella Aliens: Tribes, illustrated by Dave Dorman, won a Bram Stoker Award in 1993. More recently his articles on horror films have been collected in the Blur series published by Black Coat Press and Steve currently serves on the faculty of The Center For Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. 

STOLEN ART ALERT!
With SWAMPMEN out this week (from Jon B. Cooke, George Khoury, TwoMorrows, 2014), it's time to remind everyone in the community that the painted cover art to SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #34 and the final page of that issue (Rites of Spring) are STILL STOLEN PROPERTY.

These belong to John Totleben and yours truly, Stephen Bissette -- only they don't, because they were stolen right out of the DC Comics offices in 1984-85.

These are STILL STOLEN PROPERTY. Anyone owning, trafficking, trading, or harboring this original art -- SOTST #34 cover painting and the final story page -- is involved (knowingly or unknowingly) in criminal activity.

John and I also have children; mine are now adults. They are looking, too. Even after we're dead and gone, this will be sought-after STOLEN PROPERTY.

This is not going to "go away."

Stephen R. Bissette, 2014

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Tumblr: All Of Cerebus For Free

All Of Cerebus, One Page Every Day
BLEEDING COOL:
(from an article by Rich Johnston, 17 April 2015)
Cerebus is one of the greatest comic book works in the history of humanity. Initially a funny animal parody of Conan The Barbarian, it became a comic about politics, religion, life and death. And parodying anything that geek and pop culture was obsessed with along the way. Running for 300 issues, for twenty-five years, it is 6000 pages long.

And it is running, with permission of Dave Sim, one page a day on Tumblr. The first two issues are up. If completed it will take [over 16 years] to conclude. Tumblr may not even be around that long. Just consider it a daily comic book strip. Oh and it will get really good in about a year-and-a-half…

And if you can’t wait, there’s always Cerebus Downloads...

High Society Figurine

OLIVER SIMONSEN:
(via Cerebus Facebook Group, 7 April 2015)
...animator Zeke Sabee actually had a figurine made that at Dave's suggestion was going to be made available with a limited premium edition of the [High Society Digital Audio/Visual Experience] DVD. IDW thought it a great idea and was totally onboard, but in the end Zeke's production costs of mould making and poly resin casting were too high. Now with 3D printers becoming common place that could maybe have gone very differently.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Weekly Update #78: All Good Things Come In Threes


Featuring updates on Dave Sim's contributions to the Cerebus Covers collection from IDW, Cerebus: Fractured Destiny movie, and The Puma Blues collection from Dover Books.

BONUS SKETCHES:

Unboxing Video For "High Society: Digital Audio / Visual Experience"

SANDEEP ATWAL:
New to the world of computers, Dave Sim tries his hand at an unboxing video as he has heard that there is "an entire website" devoted to the pastime. Although there is no box per se, the spirit of the Unboxing Video is adhered to throughout this presentation.

8-Disc DVD Box-Set
by Dave Sim, with George Peter Gatsis
IDW, $39.99

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Assassin

MARGARET LISS: 
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

So way back in July 2014 we saw page 72 of Dave's notebook #7. Through that page we could see page 71, which was Dark Roach from the cover of Cerebus #93, Dave's homage to the cover of Batman: The Dark Knight #2 by Frank Miller.  

Dave started sketching some roughs for the cover of #93, a grimacing Dark Roach, on page 69. He had some different mock-ups of the title for that issue 'assassin' along with the different tries of 'Bishop to Queen Two' and 'Vortex'. Note of the three would be the actual title of the book, as Dave went with 'The Prisoner' instead.

Notebook #7, page 69
We also see the thumbnail of page 1 of issue 93 in the above notebook. Page 70 is some floating heads and dialogue for some of the first couple pages of the issue. Then on page 71 we see a couple of roughs of the cover for issue #93.

Notebook #7, page 71

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Heartfelt Philosophizing at the ookstore

Mara Sedlins:

I've been back in the States for about week now and am settling back into a normal routine with restoration work. Working abroad worked out fine - but it feels like a luxury now to be back in my home office with a standing desk and large monitor. Sean told me the negative scans we have for Church & State I are looking fantastic, so I'm looking forward to working on those once I finish the original art scans I'm focusing on right now.

I suppose this is old news by now (thankfully), but I wanted to share a few thoughts related to Dave's recent health crisis. First of all, I share everyone's relief at his recovery and good wishes for his continued improvement. I also want to echo Sean's comments about the way a crisis like this puts things in perspective. In the day-to-day you become occupied with immediate concerns and small difficulties - but when you're forced to shift focus, then you see the world in a new light and your real priorities become clearer. 

The best examples of art do this too - though ideally without a trip to the hospital.

I found that travel can also produce a perception-shift, though for me it was fairly subtle. People warn you about reverse culture shock when you return home after living in another country. But when I got back to San Diego, I just felt a renewed sense of gratefulness for everything in my life - my home and spouse, friends and family (including two precious-beyond-belief baby nieces) - everyone I love and the memories I have here. 

I hope that as the recovery process continues, Dave and all those who care about him will find ways to see beauty in the impermanence and fragility of every human endeavor.

Heartfelt philosophizing aside, I did find one very specific thing unchanged when I returned to San Diego. Getting back to work on C & S I, I discovered that I really need a good reference copy of my own to work from - especially for a page like this:



As you can see, the outline of the bird has been mostly obscured by a bad ink spill. There's simply no way to clear this up without consulting the original printing. I remembered seeing a pristine copy of C & S I at a used bookstore (excuse me - a used "ookstore") a while back and returned a couple days ago to see if it was still there.


It was a fun experience to walk into this haphazard place, cramped with piles of books everywhere, nothing alphabetized (of course if I owned an ookstore, it would be compulsively organized!) - and go straight to the thing I wanted, still in the same spot I remembered from months ago.

Book in hand, I was able to finish working on the ink-spilled page yesterday:

Middle-- scanned from my reference copy. Bottom-- cleaned original art

Come to think of it, coming back from a long trip, or emerging from a crisis, or having a brush with mortality - all of these things can make the world more vivid to the senses. For example, I now realize that San Diego air has a particular, delicate scent - probably something to do with the ocean - that had become so familiar to me that I stopped perceiving it until I left and then came back again. My goal with the cleanup process for Church & State I is to give readers a similar experience of renewed vividness - to bring out details that had been obscured, to make the familiar new again.

"Cerebus: Fractured Destiny" Update

Gerhard's pencilled/inked/coloured Sanctuary (above) stunningly modelled in 3D by John Eyre (below).
Keep up to date with the latest Cerebus movie news here!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Happy 56th Birthday, Gerhard!

Self-Portrait (2011)
by Gerhard

Be sure to visit Gerhard's website, blog and print-store!

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Avant Garde List

Penguin Graphic Classic Covers
Cover art by Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Chester Brown, Seth & Charles Burns

DAVE SIM:
(from 'Mind Games Of The Avant Garde' in Following Cerebus #8, May 2006)
...when [Chester Brown] and I were en route to The Beguiling after having had lunch with Rob Walton and James Turner, we were discussing a recent plum assignment that Chet had landed with Penguin Books: doing a comic-strip / cartoon illustration cover for a literary classic -- in his case D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover. I had asked -- more than a little disingenuously -- who else had been asked to do one of those covers? "Let me see," he said, "Art Spiegelman did one, Dan Clowes, Charles Burns, Seth, Chris Ware..."

"The usual suspects," I said.

Chet smiled and allowed -- I suspect more than a little disingenuously -- that it did seem to be the same group of cartoonists that kept turning up in these high-prestige real-world environments. Indulging in a little good-natured teasing from the sidelines, I asked, What had happened to the Brothers Hernandez? How did they get dropped from The List? Chet didn't know. Hard to tell if he was being serious or answering in the same facetious manner -- as is always the case until one of us cracks up. They hadn't been in that special issue of McSweeny's had they? Mmm. Chet was pretty sure they had been. As I say, good-natured teasing. Of course then we got to the Beguiling and Chet pulled out a copy of McSweeny's, and there they were: Jaime and Gilbert. Okay, I thought, time for some more good-natured teasing. What about Adrian Tomine? Why wasn't he on The List? Adrian -- or Mr Tomine if he prefers -- was on my mind because I had just picked up the latest issue of Optic Nerve.

"Oh, Adrian is definitely on The List," said Chet.

Yeah? How so? I asked -- preparing to be needlessly quarrelsome -- which is always a big part of discussions when I visit Chet: whether the subject is comic books, Scripture, prostitution, or gloves vs. mittens.

"Adrian passed on doing Lady Chatterley's Lover -- that's why it was offered to me."

I cracked up. Okay, Chet won that round hands down.

...what bothers me about The List is the sense of More Validity Than Thou that seems to accompany membership on it for several of its members. It seems to me that the latest round got launched with the New York Times Magazine - can you cite the date? - cover that you had done and the picture of you with Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Seth, Dan Clowes and... am I missing anyone?... and the accompanying article last summer. Nice Big Feathers in everyone's cap all the way around, to be sure, for whatever actual value the "real world" coverage has. But I really thought we had all gotten past that back in the 1980s when the Major Piece on Frank Miller in Rolling Stone really didn't do anything much for Frank that Frank... and DC... hadn't done for himself and when Alan Moore became Top of the Pops pop culture phenom in England that left him, at the end of the day, you know, Alan Moore. Not that there's anything wrong with that stature. I should be so lucky...

New York Times Magazine (July 2004)
Clockwise from Top Left: Seth, Chester Brown, Adrian Tomine, Art Spiegelman, Joe Sacco

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Wolveroach Triptych Revisited



The Wolveroach Triptych (2005)
By Dave Sim

DAVE SIM:
(from Following Cerebus #7, February 2006)
A series of three colour-proof reproductions of my ink and watercolour "revisitings" of the covers of Cerebus issues 54, 55 and 56 (which were originally done in black and white with mechanical colour separations back in 1983)... Although most cover recreations attempt to reproduce the original version with pin-point accuracy, I've adopted a slightly different approach of attempting to get a little closer to what I had pictured in my head but which the limits of my ability as well as the constraints of a monthly schedule at the time kept me from achieving...

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Tribute Art Round-Up #10

Cerebus (2015)


Cerebus & Boobah (2015)

Cerebus & Red Sonja (2012)

Cerebus Jam (2014)

Cerebus & Yojimbo (2015)

Friday, 10 April 2015

Weekly Update #77: Not Dead Yet!


In which Dave Sim discusses: his lack of sleep, the 'correspondence' pile, IDW's proofs for Cerebus: The Covers, the shipping date for High Society 30th Anniversary Signed Limited Edition, and Tom Stazer's Lionheart Tales.


Lionheart Tales (2014)
by Tom Stazer