Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Eight Days Of Dave - Day 3: The Next Three Years

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.

The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond #1
Art by Dave Sim



THE NEXT THREE YEARS

Tim, I really didn't mean for you to keep communication to "essential only". You're more than welcome to keep me apprised of what's going on: I know absolutely nothing about what's going on in CerebusLand or comics in general. I don't know if there's anything you want to ask me about.

All I was saying was, for the next three years (MINIMUM of three years -- it's only three years if I can a) keep STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND to the contracted 18 issues and b) stick with a bi-monthly production schedule. I have no idea if either of those are remotely plausible.

What I DO know is that I will be finishing issues as I go along. And AMOC seems a good place to check in to. So it's really a matter of prioritizing what you want to ask about because I'm only going to allocate so much time when I'm done the issue. But I'll be glad to just keep your faxes as you send them to me and answer things in order when I get to The End of the Issue. As I'm doing here.

Thanks for the kind words on the cover of STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND No.1. Good news bad news.  It does create a level of expectation that I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to measure up to.  Three years of picturing what comic book you would want under that cover.

I'm not sure there's much to say because I'm in the middle of working on STRANGE DEATH. I mean, if you think about it, most entertainment is that way. If it takes three years to make a movie, you aren't going to hear from the people making the movie until the movie's made because they're making the movie. You DO completely disappear for three years. This is a very unusual way to do comics, but it seems the only sensible way at age 57. I work for three years to produce a year and a half's worth of entertainment. I'm sure there will be websites and promotions and teasers and any number of things. But not three years "out". Or two years "out". Or a year "out". If I get issue 12 done and I'm making good time, that's when we'll start thinking of how to promote it. And a year after that, I'll be able to promote it full time, as you do with a movie. But right now, all I'm suggesting IDW do is to have a little corner of their website that says "STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND No. 2 is now in-house" and maybe show the cover. But even there, people want to know "Well when can I see it?" Uh not for three years. WHAAATT?! But what's the alternative? "Wow that was good. When's the next one?" No idea. "Next month right?" Uh, no. Dave's only on page 3 and it took him two and a half weeks to get there. "BUMMER!" The next issue finally comes out five months later and no one remembers how No.2 went. "I'll wait for the trade." Sales drop. Book's no longer viable.

There's no guarantee the book will be successful my way, but it will at least come out on a monthly schedule, win lose or draw. If it's a "Wow! I can't wait for the next one" which I fervently hope, then at least I can say, yep, thirty more sleeps and it's here, cowboy. God willing, of course, but all the production is done, the printer has had it in the on-deck circle for eight months or a year. It SHOULD come out on time.

1 comment:

Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

Serious question: If Dave is drawing the entire series before release... why release it monthly at all? Why not put out the entire graphic novel? If the market is as TPB/GN oriented as people say it is, why bother with the monthly book?