Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Eight Days Of Dave - Day 2: Dead Dave

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.
Cerebus #161 (August 1992)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

DEAD DAVE

Speaking of my death, I finally got around to phoning Schreiter-Sandrock funeral home a year after the fire at Sandeep's place destroyed the only copy of my funeral arrangements. Sandeep and I were working regularly together, so he seemed like the person to leave them with. Now we're not working together there's no obvious candidate, so I'm going to get you, Tim, to print it here when you get some space. I mean SPOILER WARNING! Here it is:  the end of Dave Sim's life whether it happens next week or thirty years from now. Do I think it's actually going to HAPPEN the way I described it?  Mm. No. Probably not. But I would appreciate it if anyone reading this who is remotely interested would speak up or cut and paste and e-mail it to Schreiter-Sandrock funeral home when the time comes. Of course, it's not a funeral that 99.99% of CEREBUS fans are going to want to BE at -- religious content and all -- so that's going to count against it. People don't speak up about things they dislike. But, anyway it will be here for as long as AMOC endures.

AFTER DEAD DAVE

I'm working on it, I'm working on it.  Have been for twenty years. At some point I hope to be able to post that here as well.  Rough sketch: I hope to have Aardvark-Vanaheim cease to exist and all assets converted into a Fund that will be used to maintain the house in exactly the state it was when I died. You'll be able to make a reservation to come and see the house. You hire your own bonded security guard who is right next to you wherever you go, but you're free to look at whatever you want for however long you want to pay the security guard. The idea really started when "J" was here. And I asked him what he wanted to look at. And he wanted to look at someone's letters for a specific time period. Okay. Give me the dates. Gave me the dates and I dug out the correspondence box and went through it and just pulled out the letters as I came to them.

And I thought, that's a really CEREBUS kind of thing.  Everyone's going to want to see something different.  And they'll be perfectly happy being by themselves in the house.  "What's in here?" Well, the security guard isn't going to know. He or she is a security guard. They're just there to break your arm if you look like you're going to steal something or break something.

I mean, if I die a natural death (koff koff) in my 80s a lot of you will never live long enough to do that. And by that time, there might only be 8 people on the planet who are remotely interested.  But it would be as if there was an Alex Raymond House or a Stan Drake House. Would I be interested? Are you kidding me? I can just go through his desk drawers and read whatever I want as long as I put it back where I found it?  And all I have to do is to hire a security guard for however long?

In terms of What's Left After Dead Dave, that's the only thing that made sense to me. No one is going to go to Columbia University and ask to see Box 1 and Box 2 and Box 3. I just can't picture it. It's CEREBUS.  It's something you have to do on your own and immerse yourself in it.

Anyway, that's what I'm working on:  if I can make it to, say, age 86 there would probably be enough insurance money to keep the house as it is for a couple of hundred years.  There might only be 6 visitors in those couple of hundred years, but that's not the point.  To me, it's debris that I'm leaving behind but it was YOU the fans that made it possible.  I didn't turn out the way you wanted me to, but you helped me to turn out the way I wanted to.  So it seems a sensible trade.  Here's all my insurance money and RRSPs and what's left of the bank account and it will be used to keep the debris intact so any time you want to come and see it, you're more than welcome.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think this is a pretty cool idea. Future comics scholars interested in "Cerebus" (however large or small their number) will have access to the primary source material. Great!

-- Damian T. Lloyd, tlb

Jeff Seiler said...

Hm. "J" asking to look through the letters when he was at the house. Sounds strangely familiar. I think I read some account of that over at the Cerebus Yahoo site, in the documents (letters?) section. I seem to recall that "J" also checked out the rest of the house, according to his account.

Jeff Seiler said...

Oh, yeah. I meant to say, too, it's a very cool idea. I know for "J", going to the house seemed to be an actual pilgrimage

Glen said...

I hope someday Dave will decide to donate Cerebus and all his correspondence to the Archives of Canada or a university in Kitchener.
Future generations need to know this great work of art.

ChrisW said...

I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. It seems a really "Dave" idea. What happens if the house gets broken into? How is he going to pay for a security system for the next couple hundred years? What about heating? Ontario gets pretty cold in the winter. Who will these appointments be made with?

I like the basic concept, that Dave is leaving a sort of 'message in a bottle', having experienced the smallest of small amounts of fame along with the larger amounts of influence and anonymity a comic books writer can expect, and he's got a legacy he is deservedly proud of.

CerebusTV said...

How about freezing the body and a cryogenic display?

We are considering something like this for the CerebusTV Archive.

Jeff Seiler said...

Psst. "J" was me. And, the house wasn't the coolest part of that visit. Check out the story.