Previously on 'A Moment Of Cerebus':
Dave Sim, working with George Peter Gatsis, has remastered the first two collected volumes of Cerebus to restore details and quality in the artwork lost over the thirty years since they were originally published (as detailed here and here). After Cerebus' original printer Preney Print closed its doors, Dave Sim moved his printing to Lebonfon in 2007 as at that time they were still capable of working with photographic negatives and making printing plates as Preney had done. And then Lebonfon switched to digital scanning and printing - a technology which struggles to faithfully reproduce Cerebus' tone without creating moire patterns (as detailed in Crisis On Infinite Pixels). Dave Sim continues to work with Lebonfon to ensure the print-quality of the new Cerebus and High Society editions (as detailed in Collections Stalled). Now read on...
|Cerebus Vol 2: High Society|
30th Anniversary Signed & Numbered Edition
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
As of Saturday the 18th, my fax machine stopped receiving faxes so I've had to reconfigure how I do these Weekly Updates on the progress of the CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY reprintings.
Which is, maybe, all for the best because posting directly here, gives us all more flexibility in including participation of all of the "stakeholders". What I'm picturing is Tim running these updates every week and then everyone involved having a chance to post their comments after the post. I'll come in here to the coffee shop every Friday and download the comments for the previous week and then look at them and comment on them the following Friday. So, I'll always be a week behind all of YOU in knowing what's going on.
In the list of "stakeholders", I'd include, first, all of the CEREBUS readers, fans and collectors who are waiting for the books to arrive in stores. Second, the store owners who are waiting for the books for customers that (in many cases, I'm sure) they only HOPE are still interested in buying them. In both cases, I sincerely apologize for the unbelievably lengthy process of getting the books as fully restored as possible and back into print. For those of you who just want to, you know, VENT at this point, please feel free (within the reasonable limits that Tim has established in keeping this a venue for calm, rational discussion) (and for which I think we all owe Tim a great debt of thanks).
Third? A three-way tie: George Peter Gatsis who has given so unstintingly of volunteer time he can ill afford in getting the books restored to the best of his ability and continues to shepherd those restorations every step of the way. I hope he will post any comments he has on continuing events in this lengthy process.
Diamond Comic Distributors which has gone far above and beyond the call of duty in keeping the purchase order for 1100 signed and numbered gold logo HIGH SOCIETY's "live" many months after it would have, in the normal course of events, have long ago been voided. Their support across the board has been remarkable and gratifying is very, very much appreciated. ANYONE at Diamond who has anything to contribute to the discussion is more than welcome to do so.
And Imprimerie Lebonfon who continue to work with me and George AND Diamond to see that the books get printed. We're -- tout ensemble -- always glad to hear from notre amis de Val d'Or. Bien sur, n'est ce pas?
The latest news comes in the form of a phone message from Patrick Jodoin at Imprimerie Lebonfon (Bonjour, Patrick!) notifying me that the General Manager of Lebonfon is sending me a letter notifying me of what they will be charging Aardvark-Vanaheim for correcting the signatures that contained unacceptable reproduction the last time we had gotten to this stage: unbound printed copies sent to George and myself for approval.
I confess, this surprised me a little, because I thought -- over the course of the last few months -- George had made a very persuasive case that the problem with the printing originated with inadequate proofs -- scanned at 300 dpi instead of 600 dpi.
However, in these situations -- "first time through this particular mill" -- in this case, the "mill" being the printing fully restored books, I always like to err on the side of flexibility. I can certainly understand Imprimerie Lebonfon being loathe to just write off the ENTIRE first attempt to produce viable unbound, printed copies. But, at the same time I don't want to set a precedent that every time an unsatisfactory printing job is produced Aardvark-Vanaheim ends up having to pay for the parts that are unsatisfactory.
I have to anticipate "where this is going" and I can't rule out the possibility that the next set of unbound printed copies will have residual -- or new -- flaws. Hopefully, far fewer. And, hopefully, we are far closer to having approval by George and myself in the not far distant future.
But CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY are, in all ways, just the beginning. The next book that needs to be restored -- more tweaking than full restoration according to George's preliminary notes to me when I sent him Lebonfon's last printing -- is READS, and then CHURCH & STATE I and then CHURCH & STATE II. A massive undertaking and one that I'm not looking forward to as a one-man operation if Aardvark-Vanaheim has to absorb all or even most costs involved in correcting unacceptable printing.
So, I'm hoping that Imprimerie Lebonfon can take the same longer view and that we -- in company with Diamond -- can work out some way to recover Lebonfon's COSTS in producing the parts of the books that George and myself have deemed unacceptable, with Aardvark-Vanaheim paying PART of those COSTS and Diamond perhaps agreeing to take a larger quantity of books than they would otherwise be inclined to take and to pay for that additional quantity over a series, of say, quarterly payments, the quantity matching, in terms of dollar amount, a third of the additional costs incurred by the need for corrections. And that Lebonfon would accept comparable instalment payments for their out-of-pocket COSTS which, I'm sure, we ALL -- tout ensemble (encore une fois) -- understand that they want to recover.
I realize it's unusual to negotiate these sorts of things in a public forum, but there is a downside to "the buck stops here": the longer this goes on, the more people are going to be inclined to "blame Dave Sim". Which I understand. Which is why I try to do EVERYTHING with complete openness and transparency. I don't mind taking responsibility...or blame..."the buck DOES stop here"...but I also like people who are GENUINELY interested (as opposed to "gawking at the traffic accident" interested) to GENUINELY know what's going on at all times where that becomes necessary. And I really think that has been necessary since the date when Diamond Comic Distributors' Purchase Order for the GOLD LOGO SIGNED AND NUMBERED HIGH SOCIETY would have, without internal intervention -- (and thank you again to Tim and Matt and all concerned) -- been voided, last August.
Thus, these weekly updates.
Progress this week on THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND, issue No.4, page 11, page 12 and 13 completed, additions begun to page 14.
Help finance Dave Sim to complete 'The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond'
by making a monthly donation at Patreon or a one-off Paypal donation.
by making a monthly donation at Patreon or a one-off Paypal donation.
Originally serialised within the pages of the self-published Glamourpuss #1-26 (April 2008 to July 2012), The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond is an as yet uncompleted work-in-progress in which Dave Sim investigates the history of photorealism in comics and specifically focuses on the work of comic-strip artist Alex Raymond and the circumstances of his death on 6 September 1956 at the wheel of fellow artist Stan Drake's Corvette at the age of 46.