Showing posts with label Short Stories and Crossovers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Short Stories and Crossovers. Show all posts

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Cerebus: "Passage"

DAVE SIM:
Original thumb-nail sketches of the "Passage" storyline -- four pages of the original art of which have been included in CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER ONE: pages 3, 4, 5 and 6. Can you spot the four pages on the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER ONE ad on its way to Diamond Comics for PREVIEWS?! The first A Moment of Cerebus viewer to do so... will have done so before anyone else! :)
Also, scans of the really bad photocopies which are all that remain (so far as we know) of the first two pages of the story. So old that the cellophane tape holding them together just dropped off, leaving the charming yellowed "period" adhesive stains you see here. Also, note my ca. 1990 beginning attempt at "restoration" -- i.e. re-inking the solid blacks with a rapidograph and brush. I figured out pretty quickly that that wasn't going to work.

Passage was reprinted in full in Following Cerebus #2 (2004) and pages 3 to 6 formed part of Cerebus Archive Number One (2014).

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Cerebus Dreams II



Cerebus Dreams II
 Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(originally published in AV In 3D, December 1984,
reprinted in 2D in Following Cerebus #10, June 2007)
DAVE SIM:
(from Following Cerebus #10, June 2007)
The second Cerebus Dreams story -- Barry Windsor-Smith's innovation in Swords Of Cerebus volume five was the first -- was originally published in AV In 3D. Ray Zone, who did the 3D effects explained the process to us and, as I recall, emphasized using a thicker-than-normal ink line, which Gerhard did and which I chose to ignore for the most part. It's a very quick dream, perhaps a fever dream while Cerebus has his head cold, or a cat-nap dream...

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Kickstater: Weird Crime Theatre (featuring Cerebus!)

Weird Crime Theatre (2005)
By Kumar Sivasubramanian, Mulele Jarvis & Dave Sim

DAVE SIM:
(from The Blog & Mail, 10 October 2006)
...Weird Crime Theater's first two issues which I just got in from Kumar Sivasubramanian (who I'll just be referring to as "Kumar" from now on for obvious reasons) in photocopied form. He called me a while back (a year ago? Year and a half ago?) from Australia where he lives to see if I was willing to let him use Cerebus in his second issue which, at the time, was going to be published by Dan Vado's Slave Labor Graphics (which was one of the reasons that I not only agreed but suggested that I draw Cerebus myself - I've never been published by Dan Vado before!). Kumar writes the book and does the digital lettering and Mulele Jarvis does the art and the digital sound effects.

...Anyway, it's always a fun experience to work on a cross-over cameo (Cerebus is in 14 panels over three pages) and then actually read it for the first time in context months later. As it says on the title page for issue 2: Cerebus pencilled, inked, lettered, adlibbed copyright, appears courtesy of and a very special thanks to Dave Sim. I basically wrote it as if it was a career move on Cerebus' part, alternating the dialogue with Cerebus' internal thoughts about the gig ("It's a minor role. But it's one that the critics and the other publishers are going to notice - you know, like Howard the Duck in Giant Size Man-Thing or John Travolta in Pulp Fiction").

Anyway, I guess Dan's decided to stand pat with what he's publishing right now at least for the time being and told Kumar to resubmit in another six months and feel free to show the project around to other publishers in the meantime. As Kumar writes "So, unfortunately, we're back to the submission - rejection - depression cycle for the time being" - which really seems to add a whole other layer of resonance to the gag. Not only can Cerebus only get a walk-on cameo these days the producers can't even get a distribution deal from a major studio! Makes Cerebus grateful for all his trade paperback royalties. Looks like Melissa will be back to waitressing for the time being.



KUMAR SIVASUBRAMANIAN:
(by email, 15 February 2014)
Hi Tim ~ The Weird Crime Theatre website went down a couple of years back due to various circumstances, but we have not given up, and we are trying to bring it back in print form via a Kickstarter campaign. The complete book will of course include the Cerebus cameo and tons more fun stuff. If you could give it a shout out on your site it would be much appreciated, and I think some of your MoC readers would be interested. Thanks again!

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Girl Next Door



The Girl Next Door (Epic Illustrated #30, 1985)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Uncollected Cerebus Stories

Selling Insurance in Epic Illustrated #30 (Marvel Comics, 1985)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
DOUGLAS WOLK:
(from Eight Comics That Demand To Be Reprinted, Time.com, 6 August 2010)
...The Anal-Retentive Cerebus. Or whatever title you like for a collection of all the Cerebus material that didn't make it into the sixteen paperbacks that collect most of Dave Sim and Gerhard's 300-issue series. There is rather a lot of it. Some of it is gorgeous (like the full-color stories Sim and Gerhard did for Epic Illustrated); some of it is pretty significant to the overall plot (especially the Gene Day collaboration What Happened Between Issues Twenty and Twenty-One); some of it is just a lot of fun (like the collaborations with Terry Austin and Will Eisner that ran in Cerebus Jam). Meanwhile, instead of keeping this stuff in print, Sim has published two volumes of his correspondence from 2004 and a new edition of his 1997 self-publishing guide. Not the same.

Luckily for Douglas most of those missing Cerebus stories are available to read online at Cerebus Fan Girl and Cerebus The Aardvark (navigate to the 'Colour Miscellany' section). Also, the 1995 Cerebus World Tour Book reprints the Gene Day collaboration What Happened Between Issues Twenty and Twenty-One, together with other short stories that originally appeared in the Swords Of Cerebus reprint series. Cerebus #0 collects the 'inbetween' issues of the monthly Cerebus comic not included in the 16 reprint volumes (ie #51 Exodus, #112/113 Square One and #137/138 Like-A-Looks).

UPDATE:
Sunday Comics Debt points out that Cerebus Dreams II from AV in 3D remains uncollected (but was reprinted in 2D in Following Cerebus #10). In the comments section Michael Grabowski notes that the Elfguest 4-page short story from Cerebus #52 has never been reprinted.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Murphy Anderson

The First Invention Of Armour (Cerebus Jam #1, April 1985)
Art by Murphy Anderson, with Dave Sim & Gerhard
DAVE SIM:
(100 Hours Internet Tour at MillarWorld, February 2008)
...The Raymond School, as filtered through some primary adherents (it was said that Julie Schwartz used to say he wanted everything in his books to look as if it was drawn by Dan Barry) used to BE the comic-book field, and now it’s something of a specialized interest. And the more realistically you draw, the more time it’s going to take to do a page so you have a much higher “burn-out” rate than you do with guys a step down on the realism scale. How many times has Adam Hughes or Frank Cho done a monthly title and for how long? Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson probably never made more than $35 a page on anything they did with DC so they had to follow the dictum: first you get good, then you get fast, then you get good and fast. And to put food on their families’ tables, roofs over their heads, shoes on the kids’ feet, braces on their teeth they needed to produce x number of pages to Julie Schwartz’s satisfaction every month.

Compare that to today where a top name realist guy can make his reputation onthe X-MEN or something similiar, do four or five issues and then make a good living doing prints, commissions, selling his originals, living off his royalties from the five issues, royalties off the collected version. The way the business was set up made marathon guys, the way the business is set up now it favours wind sprinters.

Murphy Anderson (born July 9, 1926) is known as one of the premier inkers of his era, who has worked for companies such as DC Comics for over fifty years, starting in the 1930s/40s Golden Age of Comic Books. With his frequent collaborator, penciler Curt Swan, the pair's artwork on Superman and Action Comics in the 1970s came to be called "Swanderson" by their fans. He was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1988.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Silverspoon

Cerebus: Silverspoon #1 of 11
(Buyers Guide For Comic Fandon, 1980)
Art by Dave Sim
DAVE SIM:
(from the Q&A at Cerebus Yahoo Group)
...Joe Matt... suggested that he and Chester Brown should re-read all of Cerebus because I was coming down to visit reasonably often and, basically, Joe's just like that. Pull out a chessboard at lunch. "Let's play chess." Uh, I'd really rather just talk, Joe. "No, let's play chess. C'mon. I'll let you be white." Most of the time you just give in because it's easier than discussing it for an hour or something. So, they both re-read Cerebus. And one of the things Chet wanted to know about was "Why aren't the Silverspoon strips reprinted in the Cerebus volume?" And I said, they are. And he said, mm, not in my copy. Really? And I went home and checked and sure enough, he was right. They weren't in there. One of those "I must've dreamed that last part" moments (apologies to Fat Freddy's Cat).

So, I made a note to put them into the next reprinting, having wrestled with whether or not to promote it as such, since that would seem like I was conniving to find a way to get everyone to buy another copy even though I was aware that a certain number of people would buy another copy. The Silverspoon strips I tend to see as being in a different category because without them Lord Julius just suddenly appears in the story with no explanation...

Monday, 2 September 2013

Eight Days Of Dave - Day 1: Cosmix (again)

DAVE SIM:
Hi Tim - I think what I'm going to do is just blather -- since this is our first time doing "after the issue" -- and leave it up to you if you want to run the whole thing all at once or dribble it out.  Issue 2 of The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond took about two and a half months.  I hope I get faster but I'm not counting on it.

Cosmix (Imagine #4, November 1978)
by Dave Sim
Read the full 4-page comic here.
COSMIX:
Something I forgot to mention in my comments on "Cosmix": the "So what now?" question was posed to me after CEREBUS was done in what was (I hope) a not unkindly way -- but not a particularly kindly way -- by Denis Kitchen. Which seemed to have an element of Comic Art Metaphysics about it. I mean, if you just look at his name as "Deni's kitchen". I believe the Latin expression is "Nomen est omen" (or is it "Omen est nomen"?). It was something I was acutely aware of: no one was particularly happy that I finished CEREBUS and they were unhappy for a variety of reasons. But that was where I parted company with "Cosmix". I wasn't forlorn about it. I'm STILL not forlorn about it. I did a 6,000-page graphic novel and got it done right when I said I would a quarter of a century earlier. Very little that's good has happened since 2004 for me, but that just can't be taken away, no matter how much people want to take it away or ruin it or diminish it. And I think that was built in at the time I did "Cosmix": "You know this IS possible -- you could do a 6,000-page graphic novel, but you'll have to pay the price." Um. [laughs] OKAY! "No, you'll REALLY, really have to pay the price." Yeah, I know. You said that. Where do I sign? And that never changed from 1977 to today. And that really pisses people off. Price? What price? It didn't cost me anything that I valued as much as doing a 6,000 page graphic novel.

I'm not going to be muttering "Rosebud" on my deathbed I don't think.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Harlan Ellison

Anything Goes #3 (Fantagraphics Books, March 1986)
Art by Dave Sim, colours by Tom Luth
DAVE SIM:
(from the 'Eisner Goodwin Sim' panel talk, Will Eisner's Quarterly #4, 1985)
...I also tend to have specific individuals in mind. When I found out that Harlan Ellison was a fan of Cerebus, that raises... to the extent of saying, "hey come on, we better wake up here, because Harlan Ellison is going to read this and he's going to know good writing from bad... This one's for you Harlan. Pay attention." Yeah. Or the same as Barry Windsor-Smith. There is a certain attitude that helps me to think that, okay, these are people whose work I admire and if I know they are reading the book, I feel less inclined to say "Oh, well, this is good enough," or "This will get by." I feel more compelled to expand the borders or try something new...

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Miami Mice vs TMNT vs Cerebus!

Miami Mice #4 (Rip Off Press, 1987)
Art by Mark Bodé, Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman and Dave Sim
Inked by Bill Fitts
MARK BODE:
(from The Invurt interview, 22 February 2012)
...Kevin [Eastman] was a big fan of my dads, and he came up to my table at San Diego, I think it was '85 or '86… I think TMNT started in '84, and then it snowballing into mainstream around ’86 and it became a huge phenomenon... I think it was the cartoons and the TV that really pushed it over the top… but you know, Kevin came to my table and said: "I'm a big fan, and we should work on a strip together." At the time, I'd come out with my first comic, Miami Mice, which was just riding on the black and white funny animal boom that had happened because of Kevin and Peter [Laird]. So I rode on that without even knowing them, and Miami Mice became a best black and white seller itself. It sold 185,000 copies in the period of a year, and that was my first comic. It was disillusioning to have a hit right off the bat, and you just feel like... what now! I stopped doing Miami Mice after I collaborated with Kevin and Dave Sim, who did Cerebus. We jammed on the last issue of Miami Mice, and then I killed it, because I just didn't want to do that. It was suppose to be a one shot, and I did four issues and I was like, this is taking over my life. I'm underneath my drawing board with a BB gun and there's mice running around in my basement... and it was just taking over my mind. So it was time to end it. It was still selling well, and I went on to something that didn't sell at all - but there you go.

In the near 30 years of Mark Bode's professional career as an artist, his work has appeared in Heavy Metal, Epic Magazine and many other magazines and comics. He was born in Utica, New York, the son of the legendary cartoonist Vaughn Bode. Mark is best known for his work on Cobalt 60 and as the creator of the hit comic Miami Mice.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Cerebus vs Madmen

Glamourpuss #18 (March 2011)
Art by Dave Sim
For the first time since Cerebus #300 in March 2004, Cerebus returned to comics in 2011, in a ten-page sequence in Glamourpuss #18, trying make sense of the celebrity, movie and music culture of 1950s America.

Back issues of Glamourpuss are always available from ComiXpress.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Dave Sim: Thoughts About Colleen

The Applicant (Cerebus #91, October 1986)
Art by Colleen Doran, Dave Sim & Gerhard
DAVE SIM:
As Neal Adams said of Stan Drake -- he knew how to put expressions on girls' faces and they would still look pretty. Colleen has also had that remarkable skill, which was a big reason that I asked her to tight pencil the unnamed Colleen clone in The Applicant over my layouts. The emotion -- complete rage -- was there in the text and I just did very rough faces and figures. Sure enough, the tight pencils came back -- COMPLETE rage -- but still cute as a button. Inking those faces was both a pleasure and an education in pencilling female characters that came in very handy, particularly on JAKA'S STORY.

Colleen seemed to me to be a natural for self-publishing. She certainly had the sales figures on A DISTANT SOIL to sustain a regular title. And as Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld concluded about the pre-Elaine SEINFELD scripts: 'This show needs some estrogen'. That was -- and is -- certainly true of self-publishing. Elaine always reminded me of Colleen. When she did make the leap to self-publishing, joining me and Martin Wagner of HEPCATS, I made a point of the three of us going out for dinner with Colleen's Mom. 'There's no way to EXPLAIN Colleen -- better to just let Martin experience her for himself.' He spent the whole dinner sitting there with his mouth open, looking back and forth between Colleen and her Mom and me. He adjusted beautifully.

Of course, Colleen ultimately opted for the mainstream success that is so justifiably hers and 'co-publishing' with Erik Larsen's Image studio. In retrospect, sticking with self-publishing would have constituted hiding a very bright light under a very small bushel.

I would certainly encourage any CEREBUS fans with a few dollars to throw around to visit Colleen's website and buy a 'Colleen Collectible' or two to help finance the mammoth project of reconstructing all of the material she's now missing as a results of her printer ditching her negatives. I mean, don't forget about CEREBUS, but let's make sure that Colleen is in good shape to cross the A DISTANT SOIL finish line!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Ray Zone (1947-2012) RIP

AV In 3D #1 (December 1984)
3D by Ray Zone, art by Dave Sim, Arn Saba, Bill Loebs, Valentino, Bob Burden & Terry Beatty
(Click image to enlarge)
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER:
(from 'Ray Zone: The  3D King Of Hollywood Dies At 65', The Hollywood Reporter, 15 November 2012)
He produced 3D adaptations of art for more than 150 comic books and worked in the movies and on Tool's cleverly packaged 2006 album 10,000 Days. Ray Zone, a pioneer in methods of converting flat images like comic books into stereoscopic images, helping to earn him the nickname "The 3D King of Hollywood," has died. He was 65. Zone, whose interest in 3D began in 1953 when, at age 6, he started reading 3D comics starring Mighty Mouse, died Nov. 13 at his home in Los Angeles of a heart attack, the International 3D Society reported Thursday... 

"The 3D Society truly mourns the loss of our community's best friend," the organization said in a statement. "Ray was our mentor and advocate. As an accomplished 3D producer, stereographer and leading scholar, he helped pave the way for all of our success today. Ray served as the society's historian and now takes his place as a treasured part of our industry's history. He will be profoundly missed." Survivors include his sons Johnny and Jimmy Ray. 

DENI LOUBERT:
(from 'A Note From The Publisher', AV In 3D, December 1984)
For those of you unfamiliar with Aardvark-Vanaheim, this book is a sample of the titles we publish. We first began talking about doing a 3-D book when Dave, Jim, Arn, Bill and I were attending Petuniacon in April. Since we had never had so many A-V artists in one place before, we spent one morning meeting for the upcoming year. We knew Pacific Comics was going to put out a 3-D book, and everyone liked the idea of using 3-D as a way to introduce people to our line of books.

Needless to say, getting this type of project off the ground took some time. A-V has always tended to attract very independent artists, and our policy of non-edited book with mutually agreed upon schedules can make a book of this sort hectic. But everyone pitched in and helped, including the master of 3-D himself, Ray Zone and the fine people at Preney Print & Litho. Each of the stories has a feel of it's own, and, I feel, an appeal that, given a chance, can reach anyone. We have always tended to have a rather non-conformist reputation. I tend to see it more as a line of books written for a select and discriminating audience. Could that be you, I am talking about? I suppose that remains to be seen.

In the meantime, make yourself comfortable. Sit back and prepare to enjoy yourself.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Kevin Eastman: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #8

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #8 (1986)
Art by Kevin Eastman
(Click Image To Enlarge)
KEVIN EASTMAN:
(from the introduction to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #8, 1986)
...I first stumbled onto Dave Sim's Cerebus in a pile of underground comics in my home town of Portland, Maine's own Moonshadow comic store. It was issue #23, entitled The Beguiling, and I was blown away from the start. At first glance, Cerebus seemed to be a dark, straight forward (with the exception of the main character's species), well-drawn, serious barbarian adventure... then I read it!

To say the least, I haven't missed  an issue since #23 and have also managed to pick up all the early books through Dave's Swords Of Cerebus reprint collections. Cerebus is a book that I believe every comics fan should read at least once -- and perhaps for you too that will be all it takes to get you hooked!

Anyway, in the following forty-five pages (yes, forty-five of them!) I hope you will find not only an exciting, kinda bizarre adventure for the turtles, but also a just plain fun story for all the characters involved.

Before I forget, both Peter [Laird] and I want to extend a great big special thanks to Dave Sim (and Gerhard!) for all the wonderful touches he and Cerebus gave our story...

Kevin Eastman is the co-creator (with Peter Laird) of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and is currently the publisher of Heavy Metal. TMNT #8 has recently been reprinted in IDW's TMNT: The Ultimate Collection Vol 2. Dave Sim discussed the TMNT/Cerebus crossover during the recent HARDtalk Tour at Millar World.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Spawn #10

Spawn #10 (1992)
Written by Dave Sim, Art by Todd McFarlane
COMICS ALLIANCE:
(from the Spawn Year One: Writertown review, 27 June 2012)
The Dave Sim-written issue #10 provided a much bigger picture of Spawn's world. The Cerebus creator had little interest in Spawn, The Violator, or anything else that would later sell toys. What Sim was interested in was what McFarlane represented -- a highly successful comic creator who owned his own character. When Spawn touched Angela's lance [in the Neil Gaiman written Spawn #9], he zapped himself right into meta-fiction, where Sim's Cerebus makes Spawn aware that he is a creation and, in part, his creator; and that Erebus, the seventh level of Hell seen in the previous issue, is a prison for licensed superhero characters and the creators who gave them up. And it's much better than it sounds. The image of the prison cell, with several heroes' arms sticking between the bars, is one of the most enduring of early Spawn.

Sim has always possessed an ability to write about mundane things at a magical level; he breaks the fourth wall and stretches into meta-fiction more naturally than several of comics many practitioners. Issue #10 is an Imaginary Tale about real things -- creators' rights, making a living in the industry -- that somehow ends like a romance comic, with Spawn (McFarlane) snuggled in his giant home with his wife and daughter, and a big, juicy "Spawn is trademark and copyright Todd McFarlane... Forever." Aww.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Primitive Manned Flight

Cerebus #255 (June 2000)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
DAVE SIM:
(from the notes To Ham & Ham Not, Cerebus #255, June 2000)
When I was collaborating with other artists on short back-up stories in Swords Of Cerebus, I wanted to do one with Barry Windsor-Smith, who was and is a big influence on my work... I called Barry on the telephone and suggested that we work "Marvel-style", that is, that he would pencil the story and I would write and letter it from his pencils. The idea that I gave to him came from a story which I had heard about Leonardo da Vinci. The story was that, in his old age, Leonardo used to terrify his nurses by inflating sheep's bladders as one would inflate a balloon, blowing them up until they filled his bedroom and crowded out his nurses. I told Barry that it was interesting to me that Leonardo, who was all of his life obsessed with the possibility of "manned flight" (this taking place in the Renaissance and, thus, well before our own time, it is permissible to call it "manned flight" instead of "personned flight" or "manned or womynned flight"), would have missed so completely the obvious - hot air balloons - even when he was holding the idea in the form of a sheep-bladder-metaphor in the palm of his hand. I sketched out very roughly and verbally a story idea where Cerebus would encounter a Leonardo-like figure assembling his own hot-air balloon, which he had just invented.

When I next spoke to Barry, he was chagrined (being a verb which can only be used accurately when you are describing an English person). Barry was chagrined with his efforts on the story in that it was already many pages long (!!!!) and it did not, in his view, appear to be going anywhere. To Barry it did not appear to be going anywhere. To me, it was an unpublished Barry Windsor-Smith-pencilled Cerebus story and so it was just fine as it was and should be sent to me as soon as possible when Barry finished it. Barry demurred (a verb which also is a verb which can only be used accurately when you are describing what an English person does when he is completely and definitely chagrined). Instead Barry came up with the wonderful and delightful Cerebus Dreams short story, which is in the back of Swords Of Cerebus volume five and which has nothing to do with even dream hot-air balloons.

Many years later, when Barry's Storyteller anthology came out, featuring his The Freebooters serial... I thought I recognised, from my memory of it, his description of parts of the stillborn Cerebus back-up story in the first few pages. Among many delightful details, these pages featured two scantily-clad young women in a very imaginative "airship" that appeared to be part-boat and part-dirigible (this, possibly, being a veiled reference to a night when I and two young women - later characterised as "floozies" by Barry - actually dragged Barry to the famous New York City Danceteria during its hey-day, and, again, possibly not) (possibly not a veiled reference; the young women were definitely "floozies").

Anyway, having decided that the time was right for primitive "manned flight" to make its debut in Cerebus's world, I have chosen to repossess Barry's airship concept (and have Gerhard reconfigure the whole thing with steam power added truly and good into the bargain as well), since said debut would have prefigured by many, many years if Barry had just stuck to my original idea. If the first few pages of The Freebooters did not originate with the stillborn Swords back-up story, then using Barry's airships constitutes outright thievery on my part, and I beg Barry's indulgence in the matter (which is something that also as well you do only with English people).
The Freebooters in Storyteller #1 (Dark Horse Comics, 1996)
Art by Barry Windsor-Smith
The collected edition of Barry Windsor-Smith's The Freebooters is now available form Fantagraphics Books.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Cerebus Prequels & Sequels

Epic Magazine #26 (Marvel Comics, October 1984)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
DAVE SIM:
(from Cerebus TV Season 3 Episode 18, 2 March 2012)
My own view with Cerebus is to leave well enough alone. The reader not only wants you to revisit the material, they want you to go back to 1981 and go back to being who you were then, and to take them back to 1981 and who they were then. I don’t think it can be done, and even if it could, I wouldn't want to do it. I want to be in 2012 and do material that interests me at age 55 which didn't interest me nearly as much when I was 25. At the same time I'm completely open to anyone who wants to do a Cerebus prequel or sequel. I won't authorise it or endorse it, but I won't try to legally crush it like an insect either. It's a risk someone else will have to take if they choose to. You'd better 'measure up' because if you don't, it's going to be a giant step backwards in your own career, but I don't think anyone could rationally blame me... if the prequel falls short.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bob Burden's Flaming Carrot

Cerebus #104 (November 1987)
Art by Bob Burden, Dave Sim & Gerhard
BOB BURDEN:
Bob Burden is the writer/artist of Flaming Carrot Comics which The Comics Journal described as "steeped in a broth of surrealism, hardboiled adventure stories, knowing innuendo and superhero comics turned inside-out." Aardvark Vanaheim published Flaming Carrot Comics #1-5 between May 1984 and January 1985, with #6-17 published by Renegade Press and #18-31 by Dark Horse Comics before ending its original run in 1994. Bob Burden was the recipient of an Inkpot Award in 1990 and an Eisner Award in 1988. The following quotes are taken from an interview in The Comics Journal #268, June 2005.

On Publishers:
Deni [Loubert, Renegade Press] was a great friend and somebody that I could trust, and you always have to be able to trust your publisher. I've been very very lucky with that. Dave Sim [Aardvark Vanaheim] was a sweet, honest, wonderful guy, and Mike Richardson [Dark Horse Comics] has always been solid, 100% there for you... Really, when you think about it, the comics industry has had a few nebulous and shady characters, but by and large we've been very very lucky. National magazine distribution and movie distribution and whatever it is, it's whole different ball game. We had a wonderful cottage industry there where there was integrity and honour that you don't find in a lot of other businesses. It was more of an art form.

On Leaving Aardvark Vanaheim:
It was fine. Dave was cool. He was all "Go for it! Do whatever you want!" He was the rebel and the rest of us were kind of following this madman, upstart, revolutionary, like the cast of Seinfeld through a parking lot. There was a sort of hippy spirit there. No one ever thinks of Dave and Deni as hippies but it was real laid-back and there was a trace of that. Also in Dave there was always this almost undetectable but very dark and deep sadness: a bit of introspective, self-aware Hamlet thing going on there. Don't know if he even knows it but Dave is different from most people. Never met anyone quite like him.
On Creating Cerebus #104:
I think that ideally I'd like to be working with two or three more artists and be plowing through this stuff quick. My big problem is the backgrounds. They are just a big chore for me. I dread [them]. If I had a Gerhard like Gerhard, I could be knocking out a monthly book... When I worked with Dave Sim on Cerebus #104, Dave wrote the story, and I contributed some dialogue. It was such a relief to not have the responsibility for the whole story. It was one of the most fun stories I've ever done because the pressure was off. It was a good story too, because Dave wrote a good story. I find that it's hard for me to work on a story that sucks. It's like the artwork takes five times as long to draw, because you're just drudging your way through it. So when I write a story, I have to write a good story in order to get me spirited up to actually sit down and start drawing it. So anyway, that Cerebus story was one of the best times... We did Cerebus, me and Gerhard and Dave, in nine or ten days, Cerebus #104... It was great to knock out a comic book in ten days... if we hadn't been out partying and carousing and drinking all night, we might have been able to get that issue done in seven days.