Monday, 31 March 2014

Weekly Update #24: Supplement

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 #49 (April 1983)
Art by Dave Sim
DAVE SIM:
Hi Damian!  I just wanted to pick up on your observation "if we personally might be better off with voluntary non-participation" in media saturation.

The best analogy I can come up with: back when I was a serious alcoholic -- I haven't had a drink in eleven years -- I'd be out binging on a Friday night and there would come this point where I would go, "Am I drunk?  I don't feel drunk."  And it was usually the last thing I remembered.  Which is the interesting thing about alcohol.  At the exact moment when you should be aware that you are "over the edge" you're too far over the edge to be aware that you're over the edge.  And you proceed to go further over the edge.  That's always the sense that I get from social media or pretty much any conventional form of entertainment. If you immerse yourself in it, you aren't going to be aware of your immersion.  You've eroded your ability to perceive the construct accurately by being Inside the construct.

I was just answering a letter today from David Branstetter who was apologizing for sending me a letter he started over a year ago, December 2012.  He's got a wife and daughter and he's working to get into the business and he does like his entertainment.  And I told him, really don't worry about it.  Answering the mail is about as "social media" as I want to get.  Four or five letters to answer.  And they Stay!  If I don't "get" something, I reread the letter until I do.  And then I organize what I have to say about it and say that.  And THAT stays.  It's in the correspondence archive. But most people aren't like that.  When I think of all the things people... subject themselves to.  I understand the concept of Netflix.  But, man, the idea of having it in the house?  The number of things that I think during the day that I could check with Google.  I'd never get any work done!  I don't know how anyone does get work done.  Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, porn, hockey highlights, classic cartoons, music videos.

I did go out for dinner two weeks ago with Dave F and Carrie K, one of the few couples who have both signed the petition.  Because of my fasting schedule it took us from November to get a date that worked for all three of us.  I owed Carrie for a dinner she made the three of us back in 2010 and Dave for his 50th birthday.  Once every 50 years, I'll spring for dinner.  And I kept thinking, Wow, this is interesting, but I'm only going to remember little bits and pieces of it.  I wish we had ordered takeout and stayed home and they sent me a letter with all this in it.  It's just a different form of immersion.  My socializing is on paper so that's what I get used to and what I'm comfortable with.  And it's my entertainment.  I don't listen to music or watch movies or surf the net.  So getting the mail once every two weeks, it's a very big deal.  Other people's ideas.  What they're thinking about.  What they want to tell me.  But I'm very low maintenance when it comes to socializing and entertainment.  A full day of that and I'm ready for 13 days of work.

It's not really that I don't have friends. I have a LOT of friends.  At least 500 have signed the petition.  I know most of those names.  But I can't stay in touch with 500 people on a daily basis.  It seems to me unrealistic to even try.  That doesn't mean (to me) that I choose not to have friends.  But I can certainly see people seeing it that way.

"Is it a case of throwing good money after bad? Does Dave have enough orders for the collections to cover all these expenses?"  In a word, no.  But, really, that's because of the structure of business in the 21st century, everyone is ordering to meet very short term demand.  That's the idea behind Diamond's Star System. They order enough books to cover a specific length of time and they shortened the window so you have to get the books to them in 7 days (if possible).  So they can wait until they're just about out.  It's called "Just In Time" delivery.  They don't have the books so they don't get orders for them. We have no idea if the books will sell or at what rate when they do come back into print.  My own view is that if you can't know how they're going to do, you have to bring them back into print to find out.

Diamond ordered 1100 of the signed and numbered HIGH SOCIETY which was a really good order.  They had orders for 800 I think after relisting it and promising delivery last summer.  And my Diamond Rep Tim asked how many orders I would like -- a reward I think for being a reliable vendor. I'm Diamond's vendor #4. Fourth account they got back in the early 80s. And I said, Oh, well -- how about 900? And he laughed and said, I'm already authorized to go to 1100.  So I could probably have said 1300 and he could have gotten approval.

It really seems to me that this is -- pardon my Comic Art Metaphysics (hope I didn't get any on you) -- like the ending on CEREBUS 186.  I'm "in check" and possibly in "checkmate".  I can't move. I can't do anything.  It's why I decided, I might as well do this publicly because there's no real way to explain it in a traditional press release sense.  No, the only thing that made sense was "week after week".  Weekly Update. Here we are.  I'm still "in check".  Anyone see a square I can move to? Shuffling of feet. Murmuring. "Open offer: anybody sees some completely obvious 'solve this thing in five minutes' solution I'm not seeing, let me know."

I was just suggesting that I think people, generally, are upset.

In a sense, it's like people are used to one hour or 90-minute narratives.  CSI: AARDVARK-VANAHEIM.  What's Dave going to do? Well, we'll find out after the last commercial break.  The Updates are even sinking on Tim's Hit Parade. Where is the resolution in this?  You tell me and we'll both know.

 Stores that can't get CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY -- they aren't raging up and down and throwing things, but they are, I think, saying "Am I EVER going to get those two HIGH SOCIETYs I ordered last year?"  And the buck stops here.  If you don't have HIGH SOCIETY it has to be Dave Sim's fault.  

I'm pretty relaxed because I couldn't see light at the end of the tunnel no matter what point we got to/ have gotten to.  When Tim faxed me -- one of the last faxes I got -- "So, it's all smooth sailing now, right?"  Uh.  Gosh, that would be terrific. I would be the happiest guy in the room.  But I'm really not seeing it.

See you next Friday!

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.

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.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Weekly Update #24: Ultimate Cerebus!

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...
Ultimate Cerebus (2010)
Art by Dave Sim
(Click image to enlarge)
DAVE SIM:

1. IMPRIMERIE LEBONFON:
Still waiting on a price quote from Imprimerie Lebonfon for a single signature and what the minimum number of copies they would need to print would be.

2. GEORGE & SEAN:
Had a phone message from George Gatsis that he WILL be forwarding raw digital files and his finished files to Sean but that it will take about a week to get them all assembled. MANY thanks to George -- and Sean -- for taking time out of their very busy schedules to help out on this.

3. HERITAGE AUCTIONS:
The 4 "BBC CENSORS DAVE SIM" DOCTOR WHO PRISONERS OF TIME original covers (#8, 9, 10 and 11) (well, they didn't really CENSOR me, it was work- made-for-hire, but it seems like a catchy way to headline an original art auction) have been sent to Heritage Auctions along with the "non-censored" #12 cover with all 11 DOCTORS WHO on it and the Wally Wood tribute THUNDER AGENTS #2 cover.

Watch the weekly Heritage Auctions if you're interested in getting one. I haven't done a variant cover for IDW since last April and it looks doubtful I'll be doing any more before THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND is done, so these six covers are your last chance for a 21st century Dave Sim cover until at least 2017.

4. ULTIMATE CEREBUS:
I asked Ted Adams during our phone chat a couple of weeks back if IDW would be interested in publishing ULTIMATE CEREBUS: basically the "re-telling" of the first 25 issues by other writers and artists and he was VERY enthusiastic.

My thinking is basically that the CEREBUS volume is a tough "sell" for a lot of people since I was, at best, semi-professional at the time but that there's enough Warner Brothers-style funny and well-designed (though not IMHO well-drawn) raw material there to produce 25 comic books and a trade paperback if enough top-quality writers and artists want to have a go at them.

Let me emphasize "TOP quality" writers and artists -- amazing veterans or undiscovered geniuses, I'm not fussy :) -- there's not much point in replacing my semi-pro comics with someone else's semi-pro comics -- writers and artists who are able to meet a deadline obviously preferred.

This could, potentially, become a "feed-in" volume to the self-published Aardvark-Vanaheim trades starting with HIGH SOCIETY (and a Plan B if it takes much longer to get the CEREBUS trade back in print -- basically skipping printing the CEREBUS trade and going right to printing the HIGH SOCIETY trade).

You may have noticed that anything having to do with Dave Sim and CEREBUS tends to go "lariv" on-line (that is, the opposite of viral), so I think I'm safe in saying that if any TOP quality artists and writers have a favourite among the first 25 issues (and ONLY the first 25 issues) and are interested in trying out it might be worth doing a few sample pages and sending scans or photocopies of them to Ted Adams, ULTIMATE CEREBUS, 5080 Santa Fe Street, San Diego, CA, 92109. You'll be one of the few, practically guaranteed. And if you have the "chops" a regular paying gig for the next couple of years. Not without pressure attached. I imagine long-time CEREBUS fans will be very critical.

Note that IDW doesn't accept ANY unsolicited manuscripts or submissions, but I think an exception can be made in this case because I'm the rights holder and all you would be doing is a variation of what I already did. And you'd have to get a green light from Ted before he would send something to me. If you don't hear from Ted, that would tell you, pretty much, whether you were considered a TOP quality writer and/or artist. i.e. NOT! :)

And if this goes "lariv" no harm, no foul, eh?

5. PATREON.COM:
Thanks to everyone who has been pledging monthly amounts at Patreon.com "for dave sim". We were pushing up towards $300 a month the last time I checked (last Friday). I'll be commenting there this weekend on Ted Adams' interview from a couple of weeks ago, particularly as regards his interest in getting a national PR firm to promote THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND -- with an eye to getting SDOAR onto the New York Times bestseller list where IDW's PARKER and LOCK & KEY collections have gone before and releasing the material as a series of trade paperbacks instead of as monthly comic books.

See you next week!

Dave

UPDATE:
Reaction to the ULTIMATE CEREBUS proposal:
 -  Bleeding Cool
 -  Cerebus Facebook Group
 -  Bill Sienkiewicz
 -  Roger Langridge
 -  Simon Fraser

 

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.

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.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Alan Moore's Mad Love

AARGH! (Mad Love Publishing Ltd, 1988)
Cover art by Dave McKean
DAVE SIM:
(from Cerebus TV, Season 3, Episode 20, 2010)
...a lot of people probably don’t remember that Alan was temporarily a self-publisher back in 1988 and it was me who designed the logo for his short-lived self-publishing company Mad Love, which so far as I know appeared only on the cover of AARGH! (which stood for Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia... we all have our bugs we like to boo... and its way down here at the bottom of this gorgeous [Dave McKean] cover) and as well on the covers of the only two issues that came out of Big Numbers... 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Elephantmen: Earthly Desires

Elephantmen Vol 6: Earthly Desires (Image, 2013)
by Richard Starkings, Dave Sim & Others
DAVE SIM:
(from the introduction to Elephantmen Vol 6, orginially posted on The Blog & Mail, 23 July 2007)
I have to say that HIP FLASK has to count as one of the most amazing "bait and switches" ever perpetrated on the comics-buying/comics-reading public. The bait, of course, was this GIANT BAD HEAVY METAL MEETS JACK KIRBY RIFF war between humans and these mutated anthropomorphic creatures (called "Unhumans" and "Elephantmen"). KAMANDI told sideways, in a way. "The Island of Dr. Moreau" for the Pepsi Generation. What you THINK you're getting is a really, really tired cliché about the mad scientist who mutates all these creatures and plans to use them to take over the world. Yawn. The switch was that it wasn't going to be about the war. The war was just the set-up, the actual story, the actual series of anecdotal stories, was going to be about What do you (you, as a society, that is) do with these creatures now that the war is OVER? Where and how do they fit in since they pretty obviously don't, you know, fit in anywhere?

Giant humanized hippos and giraffes and zebras, all trained to be mindless psychotic killing machines and now having to be acclimatized to and grafted onto human society. It works beautifully. As a reader, you've already (grudgingly) suspended your disbelief that it is even possible (in a Marvel and DC over-the-top kind of way) to take over the world with mutated giant humanized hippos and giraffes and zebras and rhinos and then, with the switch, you find that you don't have to. Here's Richard and Ladronn and Joe Casey looking back at you from behind the printed page and saying, "C'mon – take over the world with a bunch of mutated killing machine anthropomorphics? How likely is that?"

I mean, you "GET" all that in the last nine pages and then you get a series of pin-ups of HIP FLASK who obviously gets acclimatized as a detective. And they're gorgeous pieces, moody, evocative and (yes) definitely looking for all the world like a Big Screen Summer Blockbuster Motion Picture. I mean, no doubt there is a lot of blood sweat and tears that went into this. These things don't just land on the page, but in terms of the way that it connects with the reader, the nearest analogies I can come up with are Alan and Steve and John's SWAMP THING, Neil's SANDMAN and Bill's FABLES. Once you "get" the context, you just want to see what the creators do with it next. Having nailed the context, all the creators have to do is to NOT SCREW IT UP. If it doesn't actually write itself, it's the nearest thing to it. The proof is that, at least for the foreseeable future, anytime I'm in a comic-book store, I'll be checking under "E" and not just waiting for the collections to come out…Yeah, you would THINK that I would be looking under "H" for HIP FLASK, but you'd be wrong. I'll be checking under "E"… er - for ELEPHANTMEN. It's a good example of how creative people can do really UN-rocket science like things with their intellectual properties that would give any marketing director the heebie-jeebies even to contemplate.

"Let me get this straight. You've built this brand, step-by-step over a period of years and now you want to…"

"Completely change the name. Or actually add a different name and use both of them."

(rifle shot sound of marketing director's pencil snapping in two)

Obviously the property per se evolved way beyond its point of origin which, I suspect, was "Okay, I've got this Raymond Chandler Hippo called HIP FLASK that I've been using as a mascot for my lettering fonts company. Now, how do I make that concept plausible when I turn it into an actual comic book?" And all three guys brought so much of their best game to the table that the original idea, the Raymond Chandler Hippo isn't really in the same league. Believe me I can relate – try turning the Funny Animal Conan into a political and religious satire. So, what to do? Well, you have to rethink it and call it something that's a little closer to the Big Screen Summer Blockbuster it's evolved into. What would you call it if it was an ACTUAL Big Screen Summer Blockbuster? ELEPHANTMEN. Yeah. I can see that on the trailer now. ELEPHANTMEN. Coming to a theatre near you. Summer 2009.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Song Of Amergin

Cerebus #151
(October 1991)
BRIAN WALSH:
(from The Song Of Amergin blog,  24 September 2012)
For many people, the first introduction to the Song of Amergin came through Robert Graves The White Goddess (1948). Graves states that, "English poetic education should, really, begin not with Canterbury Tales, not with The Odyssey, not even with Genesis, but with the Song of Amergin." However, despite this apparently reverential beginning; Graves does not actually put forward the Song of Amergin as we have it; rather he begins by utterly changing this ancient poem to better fit his own pet theory, connecting the lines from this poem to the Ogham alphabet and the 'months' of the year. This creates a vague pattern, unprecedented in either nature or the Gaelic source culture he purports to respect.

Graves provides neither the original Irish poem, nor anyone else's English translation. Instead he just sets off on his own imaginative journey.

In order to create proof for his notions, he translates the lines of the Song very loosely, which, given the dense and obscure nature of the poem, is completely acceptable. However, he then proceeds to rearrange the lines, with no consideration of what they might mean in their original order, and invents completely new lines to give it the flow and meaning Graves, himself, wants this poem to have. The result is a perfectly lovely poem, but it has no real connection to Celtic tradition, myth, or cosmology, save through the mind of Robert Graves.

Grave's Song does not even begin with "I am Wind of Sea"; so the primordial significance of this line and it's connection to the last line of poem (which was dropped entirely) reveals his unfamiliarity with the tradition he is pretending to illuminate while pursuing his unique vision... It really is lovely, but bears only a vague and passing resemblance to the original, which he pretends to respect so much. 


The Song Of Amergin
(from the album Immortal Memory, 2004)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Unfinished Cowboy Song

DAVID BIRDSONG:
(by email, 25 March 2014)
...I wanted to share this sneak peak that Dave sent me in response to my 2013 Christmas Card. The message is waaaaaay inside and has to do with our discussions of The Nashville Cowboy Church and I would certainly understand if you left that part out... I had a very nice scan that I had tweaked a bit with Photoshop, but my computer died so this is the best I could do with an iPad.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Gerhard's Life After Cerebus...

GERHARD:
(by email, 22 March 2014)
This was a display at Night Flight Comics and me having a bit of a laugh.

People used to ask me what my post-Cerebus plans were. I would tell them that I had been practising for that. "Check it out," I would say and clear my throat and then in a monotone, bored-to-death voice, "You want fries with that?"

Dave hated that joke.

Monday, 24 March 2014

The X-Files Cover IDW Didn't Use!

Cerebus Guide To Self-Publishing (1997)
Art by Dave Sim

Weekly Update #23: Supplement

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...

DAVE SIM:
A bit of a light week in terms of comments, so I'm going to "shoot from the hip" and address the issues raised:

Stephen Benson:
Actually, I'm going in the other direction.  A few weeks back I got up in the morning and checked the phone for messages and the phone was as dead as a doornail.  And I thought, "Well, okay -- that means that I'm just down to regular mail to communicate."  I mean, I ran that around my brain a few times to make sure that was what I was thinking but, yes, that was what I was thinking.

Then I left the house and a Bell Canada guy was repairing the -- pedestal, he called it.  Yes, he said, if you're on this side of the street, your phone will be dead until I get this repaired.  Snowplow had winged it.

I might get fax capability again at some point, but I'm really having trouble making a case for it. "WHY do I want people to be able to communicate with me INSTANTLY?"  We originally got a fax machine (three fax machines ago) back in 1990 but that was more because Mirage Studios had one (our first test fax -- still in the chronological Archive -- was a picture of Kevin) and Karen McKiel was angling to be one of Kevin's many "girlfriends".

The only real need for receiving faxes is orders from Diamond and that can be handled by mail at the pace that the books are selling these days.

As I say, I suspect I'll get a new fax/photocopier/scanner combo but it's going to require a trip out to Radio Shack way, way, way, way out past the Conestoga Mall even to make sure I'm getting the one I want.  And a trip to Radio Shack just isn't on my radar right now.  Getting STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND pages done is.

Damian T. Lloyd:
Thanks for your comments.  Much appreciated.

Jeff Seiler:
Yes, that's going to be the problem most of the time.  The guy or lady who answers the phone is very seldom the guy or lady who does the ordering.

But I think if you talked to the guy who does the ordering, he probably wouldn't have an answer either because the business isn't really set up for feedback.

A store would know if they ordered a book that people weren't buying because the printing sucked, but the odds are unless Diamond told them it was returnable (and Diamond would only tell them it was returnable if Diamond could return it, is my guess) then they would just be eating the loss and hoping that some people wouldn't be as concerned about the printing "sucking" and buy the remaining copies or the returned copy.

So we're pretty much on our own here.  Speaking of which:

Sean Michael Robinson:
Well, personally, I've pretty much decided that "proofs" are a waste of time since Lebonfon has already nailed it:  proofs don't look like finished printing anymore and that's the new normal in comics and printing generally.  So, what I'm attempting to do is to find a compromise between doing proofs and printing 3,000 500 page books "just to see what they look like" (which is basically what we did with the "unbound" copies).

I'm not expecting Lebonfon to print the sample "mixed" signature as if it was a proof.  I'm going to pay the printing bill on it and assume that Lebonfon will give it their best shot since whether or not they continue as the CEREBUS printer is going to be riding on the outcome.  You're going to look at it, George is going to look at it, I'm going to look at it and x number of CEREBUS fans are going to look at it -- and possibly one or more other printers are going to look at it (Gemstone relayed word through Matt, my Diamond rep, that they're not in a position to print the books but they are willing to help us out by giving me contact info for THEIR printer and help facilitate that).

And, yes, you're right -- there's a certain amount of trouble involved in getting the press fired up and printing enough copies to be sure that the printing is of the best quality.  That's why I'm asking them to set a print run:  here's how many copies we need to print of a signature to guarantee that we're giving you the best quality possible.  500? 1,000? 2,000?  That's their call.  Obviously, I'd like to get a "lower than usual" price quote because the only reason I'm doing this is because it is now a "given" that proofs don't look like finished printing, so I need to see finished printing of bit-mapped and non-bit-mapped problem pages to see if you're right or George is right.  i.e. either the problem is that the pages need to be tweaked and bit-mapped (your position) or the problem is that Lebonfon is just not doing good enough printing (George's position).

I hope George will send you the raw scans and what he considers finished scans for one of the signatures in HIGH SOCIETY.  But... I get into all that in this week's Update.

I'm not trying to upset anyone although pretty clearly a number of people are upset. I'm just trying to find a reasonable, sensible way to more forward with this.

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.

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.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Weekly Update #23: The End Of The Trade Paperbacks

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...

DAVE SIM:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  1. George Gatsis and Sean Robinson to produce "mixed" signature: 16 pages bitmapped, 16 pages not bitmapped.
  2. Lebonfon to provide quote for printing single signature / minimum number of copies possible (via Canada Post regular mail: no rush).
  3. Extended process, while unavoidable, is a drain on Aardvark-Vanaheim finances and there is "red line" up ahead where I'll have to choose to print EITHER CEREBUS or HIGH SOCIETY.
  4. There may come a point where I just let the trade paperbacks go out of print until printing processes improve and, instead, just do full-sized photocopies 600 dpi of the original art in the Cerebus Archive as stop-gap "Artist's Editions".
  5. Thanks to Ted Adams for his interview at my Patreon page. I'm hoping we can make this a regular feature every time I turn in an issue of THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND.
  6. George Gatsis is finishing high resolution versions or HIGH SOCIETY AUDIO DIGITAL for IDW and will move on, as he is able to find the time, to posting all 16 trade paperbacks at CerebusDownloads.com.
  7. I only read the comments posted to the most recent WEEKLY UPDATE, so if you have something to contribute, please add your comments to the most recent WEEKLY UPDATE even though you are commenting on content from a previous WEEKLY UPDATE.

1. "MIXED" SIGNATURE:
One of the major problems is that I'm not a big fan of digital printing and this tends to run afoul of my duties as THE custodian of the Cerebus Intellectual Property (a major element of which is "best reproduction possible") since -- whatever solution is arrived at -- in the early 21st century -- is going to involve digital printing. "Best reproduction possible" in my case becomes a problem because it depends on whether you're asking my opinion as the artist of the work or as the publisher of the work. My standards as an artist are much higher than my standards as a publisher.

The latter standards involve: "is this printing good enough for the average consumer?" Particularly in an age where most people have never seen anything besides digital printing, the erosion of visual standards are pretty much a given.

The former standards involve: "if someone becomes enamoured of my 1980s drawing style and wants to refer to it while developing their own style, is this printing good enough to give them what they're looking for?"

If I was to go looking for Eddie Campbell's work as reference -- say his style at the time he was doing THE DANCE OF LIFEY DEATH (which I did do for Alec's appearance in GUYS) -- I would go to the 1990's version that wasn't printed digitally, not the one in THE YEARS HAVE PANTS which was printed digitally.

Even though, on balance, more of the artwork has been recovered in producing the Omnibus collection, if I was looking to see how Eddie did something, I would just look for the "best reproduction possible" -- a page from THE DANCE OF LIFEY DEATH that was reproduced accurately using an upright camera, photographic negatives and printing plates.

Anything digital -- particularly extremely fine lines which are a staple of Eddie Campbell's drawing style -- is going to be like looking at the work through a sheet of gauze.

I'm still giving George the benefit of the doubt that what he has accomplished is "best DIGITAL reproduction possible" on CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY with his restorations. George, as can be seen from his last comment last week that I read, is also holding to this view:

Nothing needs to be done to his digital scans in his view.

I thought we were past that point and he had agreed that Sean should do the bitmapping necessary but evidently we're not.

2. LEBONFON QUOTE:
So, I think the logical next step -- after getting a quote from Imprimerie Lebonfon for a single signature (which I still haven't got -- but with more prep work left to do, that isn't a MAJOR problem) -- is for half of the signature to be George's original digital files and half digital files bitmapped by Sean.

If there's no major difference, then George has won his point (that the problem is and was Lebonfon's printing). If there is a major difference, Sean will have won his point (and Aardvark-Vanaheim will have to reprint all of the printing done thus far).

I suspect my reaction is going to be: it's like looking at the pages through two different kinds of gauze and "which is the lesser of two digital evils?" But, having seen THE YEARS HAVE PANTS and having compared it to the original printings of the same material, I at least have an idea of what is possible in terms of shooting my work through layers of gauze.

One major variable will be: What do George and Sean have to say about the signature? That is, with their own experience in printing, has Imprimerie Lebonfon just done a bad job? If that is the case, then we have to go to another printer (or, very possibly, printers) and get the same signature printed and then compare that signature to the one in question.

A second major variable will be: can I see which pages are George's and which pages are Sean's and do I have a preference? So, I'm suggesting that I not be notified as to who did which pages in the "mixed" signature. If I can't tell the difference then I think George will have won his point. If I can tell the difference and think that Sean's pages are better, then I think Sean will have won his point.

3. DRAIN ON COMPANY FINANCES:
My best guess is that -- combined with day-to-day expenses -- this will soon drain the company bank account down to the point where I can't afford to print both books anymore with Cash on Hand and will have to choose: CEREBUS or HIGH SOCIETY.

Probably CEREBUS.

It's the comic-book field and you always want to have #1 available wherever there is a #1 involved. And then hope that enough money comes in on CEREBUS over the course of a one-to-three year period to then print HIGH SOCIETY.

(this obliquely answers one suggestion that was made which was that the first priority was to keep all 16 trades in print. No. The first priority is to recognise the Reality of the comic-book field relative to CEREBUS which is: the stores, generally, are only willing to stock the first two books, so those are the two books to which I need to devote a disproportionate amount of focus and attention even though I think they're far from my best work: as a publisher, what the market thinks is my best work is far more important than what I think is my best work)

Since HIGH SOCIETY is the book with the most problem pages, it makes sense that the "mixed" signature would be from HS even though CEREBUS will be the first book printed.

I'm also, in my view, obligated to pay Imprimerie Lebonfon for some percentage of the work they've done so far, depending on how bad it proves to be. If it's as bad as George says it is -- VERY bad -- then a smaller percentage. If it's pretty well standard for digital printing -- that is, digital printing is, by nature, VERY bad and can't be made any better -- then a higher percentage.

I certainly can't rule out going back to Imprimerie Lebonfon if we do go to another printer and get a sample signature printed and it's of the same roughly VERY bad quality: because at that point the choice is between paying for VERY bad printing that is half done and VERY bad printing starting from scratch.

4. THE END OF THE TRADE PAPERBACKS:
My ARTISTIC inclination at this point is to do one more printing of CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY to allow Diamond to "cover" their substantial inventory of the other books and then let the books go out of print until EITHER digital printing becomes less "gauze-like" OR someone revives a boutique printing industry that uses upright cameras, photographic negatives and printing plates and then go with that, raising the cover price of both books to cover what would, undoubtedly, be substantially larger printing bills.

AND... (and I think this is probably in the foreseeable future)... produce full-sized digital photocopies on glossy paper of the original artwork for CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY that exists in the Cerebus Archive and sell those as "quick and dirty" Artists Editions through Aardvark-Vanaheim. They couldn't be reproduced from themselves without a loss of quality -- they would just be photocopies -- but they would "cover" the "artistic reference" problem. If someone buys a set of the photocopies because they want to refer to my early 1980s inking style, this would allow them to do so.

My PUBLISHER inclination is to minimize the "gauze problem" to the extent possible, accept that ALL that can be done is to minimize it, and find a printer who can produce a consistent "product" which doesn't worsen the "gauze problem" generally or only on specific signatures. This is going to cost thousands of dollars and take a great deal of time.

5. TED ADAMS INTERVIEW:
I haven't read Ted Adams' interview over at my Patreon page but I'm looking forward to it. As part of my "open governance" model for Aardvark-Vanaheim, I asked him to fill everyone in on what he said to me on the phone and -- depending on Ted's schedule -- hope we can make this a regular event each time I finish an issue of THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND. I've been working since March 10th on the two-page splash that introduces Part Three: "In His Wake".

Many thanks to everyone who has donated a monthly amount at Patreon.com "for dave sim"! The last time I looked it was up to $260 which is closing in on being able to pay the Aardvark-Vanaheim electric bill - $360 a month. If you live in Ontario, you're aware that Ontario Hydro is becoming one of the most expensive power-generating jurisdictions in the world.

6. DIGITAL CEREBUS PROGRESS:
The last I heard from George he was closing in on the end of producing high resolution digital files for IDW of HIGH SOCIETY AUDIO DIGITAL so -- depending on when he does get them done -- IDW's AUDIO DIGITAL version in gift box with booklet -- will probably be the earliest version of HIGH SOCIETY to come back into the comics market.

I've also supplied George with a price breakdown of the "bootleg the bootleggers" versions of the 16 trades for CerebusDownloads.com, substantially below the cover prices of the actual trade paperbacks -- topping out at $100 or so if you buy all 16 trades. This is going to take some time and George is still hard at work on his movie, so expect that this will be "phased in" as George gets each book prepped.

7. WEEKLY UPDATE COMMENTS:
Because of time constraints -- with no revenue coming in from CEREBUS as an intellectual property -- I can only justify putting in an hour or two every Friday on my "open governance" model which keeps me from going back any further than the most recent WEEKLY UPDATE to review comments and questions. So if you are "catching up" on the WEEKLY UPDATES and you want to call my attention to something, the best solution is to post your comment or question after the most recent WEEKLY UPDATE and refer to any earlier subject matter when you do so (i.e. "Back in the January 14 'Weekly Update' you said...")

As you can see it's taking way too much time and way too much space to examine all of the nuances of the restoration of CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY but, hopefully, we're coming to the end of that conversation (while just at the beginning of implementation) and I'll soon be able to address more long-term concerns and policy directions for Aardvark-Vanaheim.

See you next Friday!

Dave

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.

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.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Your Own Biggest Fan

Cerebus #1 Page 2
Originally published December 1977 (left), Recreated 2010 (right)
Art by Dave Sim
(Click image to enlarge)
DAVE SIM:
(from Cerebus TV, Season 3, Episode 20, 2010)
You also have to strike a balance between being the biggest fan of your work and being your severest critic. I remember interviewing Bernie Wrightson back in 1974 and him telling me that he likes to sit and look at his own work when he’s finished a page that he’s especially happy with. Up to that point I was of the severest critic school. I would occasionally do a piece I was happy with but I tended to focus of those things I was dissatisfied with. Being mostly a critic of your own work leads to frustration and a sense of futility. “I can’t draw, so why bother?” It also compels you to redo work that you’ve already finished and as I’ve mentioned previously, there’s really no time for that in the comic book field unless you’re prepared to take a direct hit to your productivity. At that same time I have known many, many cartoonists who’ve had the opposite problem. They were the biggest and most uncritical fans of their own work that you could imagine. Most of these fellows, virtually all of them in fact, were aspiring cartoonists. They achieved a certain level of mediocre proficiency and are, to this day, sitting in their studios waiting for the rest of the world to share their assessment. It’s a real problem. On the one hand being too critical of your work means that you get frustrated and give up, while being too big an admirer of your work limits your ability to improve. At essence this is why too few amateur cartoonists become professional cartoonists, and why most professional cartoonists are of the sky-rocket variety. They appear out of no-where, do a series of jobs that get better and better, reach a peak, flare briefly, and then lapse into an endless regurgitation of a few stylistic tricks that verge on self-parody, or they vanish altogether from the scene into commercial art or animation.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Gene Day's Star Wars

DAVE SIM:
(from Cerebus Bi-Weekly #1, December 1988)
The inside back cover of Cerebus 1 featured an ad for a Star Wars portfolio by Gene Day. When permission to do the portfolio was denied by Lucusfilms, all copies of the portfolio were destroyed except for Gene Day's personal copies which are in the possession of the Gene Day Estate.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

One Tribe Anthology

One Tribe Anthology (2014)
Cover art by Mark A. Nelson
GERHARD:
(from Gerz's Blog, 13 March 2014)
James Waley asked if I would contribute 4 to 6 pages for the One Tribe benefit comic book anthology, a non-profit book to be published in 2014. The collection is being produced in support of improving First Nations' reserve schools in Canada. I thought that I would try to illustrate a little incident that happened a couple of summers ago while anchored in a small cove on Killarney Bay combined with some thoughts that Shel had jotted down at the time. At the very least it would nice to draw summer scenes as relief from this long, cold, cold winter

This is page one of a six page story that James said is, "simple but so touching." Which is great, since that what we were going for. Please support this project by buying one or more of the books when they come out in late August, early September.

One Day On Georgian Bay... (2014)
Art by Gerhard

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Working With Gerhard

Cerebus #151 (October 1991)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
DAVE SIM:
(from Comics Interview #107, 1992)
...Gerhard wasn't a comic-book fan and had no background in comic books. He had read Archie and stuff like that when he was ten years old, but that was about the extent of what he knew about comics. There became no point in laying out a really nifty Steranko sequence because there wasn't somebody in the room going, "Wow, that's just like Steranko, or that's one step up from Steranko." It's the difference between working in the studio with Gene Day and working in the studio with Gerhard.

From Gerhard I get the reaction of a person - this is what anyone reading Cerebus would think is pretty cool or funny or whatever. With Gene, there was no question that he had just as much of the comic-book world as his background; it was obviously difficult to tell a lot of the times if we were doing something really innovative or if we were just doing the best Steranko we could do. Ger's also a sounding board and he is there to talk to if I'm unsure about something. He's a great audience, he laughs out loud if it's funny, and it's always easier finishing a page if Ger laughed when he read it - assuming it was intended as a funny part. If it was a serious part and he laughed when he read it, then it's a bitch. But definitely, if I put a joke in, like issue 151 where the judge-like character shows up and tells death that's not death at considerable length and then Death goes, "Well, fuck me" and disappears - the moment Ger read that, he burst out laughing. Then I lost whatever ambivalence I had about this really ponderous character going, "Well, fuck me." 

So he's a good audience in that way but, really, we don't comment on each other's work that much. Every once in a while the other guy will say, "It's a piece of shit," and you go, "Fuck, I like it okay." That's about it. If something is really amazing and you say, "Wow, that's really amazing," it has to be pretty amazing. This relationship is going on seven years and we've seen a lot of amazing pages come out of each other. We try to do the best that we can and our theory is if you're not happy with it you've always got another page tomorrow that you can do better on. That's about the extent of our reasoning on the influence of each other's work...

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Gerhard's Art

Skulls & Butterfly

Forest's Revenge


House On The Hill


Wairton Railway Station

Jason's Bridge


Monday, 17 March 2014

One Hundred Gerhards

Pride Stables (2012)
Art by Gerhard
This print is available to buy directly from Gerhard.
All proceeds to Pride Stables.
NATE TAYLOR:
If you could make a hundred clones of yourself (ethical dilemmas aside), what would you set yourself to work on?

GERHARD:
Hmmmm... hundreds of clones, eh? My first reaction would be to set them all to work completing all of the unfinished projects that have stalled. It would also be great to be able to hand off a drawing once I've done all the "fun stuff" and have my Legion of Substitute Gerhards ink all of those tiny little lines. A couple of them could cut, split and stack wood. But then I got to thinking that there are probably much better uses for the manpower. I volunteer at Pride Stables assisting with the therapeutic horseback riding programs and they can always use more help with the horses and riders, or with fundraising. There are a lot of worthwhile charities and causes that could use a couple of hundred helping hands. It'd be nice to keep one of them, though, for chores around here and to have him make me a sandwich.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Weekly Update #22: Crisis On Infinite Cerebus Trade Paperbacks

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...
DAVE SIM:
Still getting used to this new format for "open governance" of Aardvark-Vanaheim Inc.

I've decided what I need to do is to download the comments from the previous week and then think about them for the following week before replying. The present structure leads to the typical "shoot from the hip" Internet response which, in my view, tends to lead nowhere good. I'll always come up with a more rational response given another week to mull things over.

So this is being written with only Monsieur Roberge's Midweek Update in front of me.

And a belated BIENVENUE! to you from all of us, Monsieur Roberge!

I'll leave the technical response to Monsieur Roberge's Midweek Update -- which is outside my area of expertise -- to George and Sean, and instead attempt to sketch in a roadmap of the "way forward" and then invite the input of all of the stakeholders:

So far as I know we are still working toward getting a single signature reprinted composed of George's extensive restoration work with Sean's final tweaks where Sean thinks they are needed. So we still need Imprimerie Lebonfon's quote for a "best price" on that single signature as well as an indication of what the minimum number of copies is that they need to print to make it worth their while doing. Once we are at that point, we are looking at having a lot of copies of that single signature.

So it seems sensible, at that point...

(and I hasten to point out that this is all purely hypothetical: the "default" option if -- and only if -- the signature doesn't meet with my and George and Sean's unanimous approval)

...for me to mail copies of that signature, along with George and Sean's finished digital files, to various printers who are already working with Diamond Comic Distributors (that is, comic art printers), including a Hong Kong printer I had contacted a few years ago and whose quote, while competitive, wasn't, back then, sufficiently lower for me to reconsider my multi-year working relationship with Imprimerie Lebonfon and (through Ted Adams) IDW's South Korean printer and asking ALL of them for a quote on printing CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY and asking ALL of them to critique the printing on the sample signature.

Basically: can they do a better job than this and what will they charge Aardvark-Vanaheim to do it? This is far from flawless as approaches go -- the person you're going to be in contact with at any printer is going to be a company salesmen and company salesman tend to have "auto-settings": "Yes, they can do this" even when they can't. But I'm hopeful that HOW they express that assurance and WHAT critique they present will "pass muster" with George and Sean: i.e. THESE people know what they're talking about!

There's a Plan B and Plan C that comes after that, but, let's see about crawling before we try walking, n'est ce pas?

Even the most conservative "ballpark figure" I have in mind for getting the one-off signature printed is going to be a lot of money in these "cash-strapped" days (I'm assuming that 99% of the people reading this -- like myself -- would classify themselves as "cash-strapped" here in 2014).

So what I'm picturing is getting Imprimerie Lebonfon to ship a quantity of the signatures here to the house where I'll use them as a basis tor a "bare bones" Kickstarter campaign by signing and numbering them -- and personalizing them -- for the primary stakeholders -- the CEREBUS fans and readers interested in helping -- as pledge items: the number of copies signed and numbered being limited to the number of pledge partners after the campaign has concluded. I'm guessing a hundred or so at most (as I say, these are cash-strapped times) (if I'm underestimating the demand and potential support, let me assure everyone that ANY additional funds raised will ONLY be used to finance the successive next steps on the way to getting both books back into print)

At the very least it seems like a way of ensuring that everyone who has been following this CRISIS ON INFINITE CEREBUS TRADE PAPERBACKS for the last couple of years has a chance to get a rare artifact from this extended process and to see -- firsthand -- what we're talking about as we discuss the "ins and outs" of the reprinted signature...

...and possibly (God willing) to own a copy of the "finish line" in this lengthy process: The Last Spike in the HIGH SOCIETY railroad!

In conclusion, let me also state that my "one-time" print run option for Diamond to do an interim printing of CEREBUS and/or HIGH SOCIETY through Gemstone Publishing stands.

As Monsieur Roberge alluded to in his letter, there was a roughly 15% shortfall of CEREBUS trades in inventory when Imprimerie Lebonfon decided, last year, to no longer store inventory on their premises and after Diamond agreed to acquire all of the CEREBUS trade paperbacks stored at Imprimerie Lebonfon with the proviso that they be able to pay for them over 8 quarterly instalments (more on this in future Updates):

This definitely made -- and makes -- Diamond the Primary Stakeholder in CEREBUS trades (after Aardvark-Vanaheim).

And -- obviously -- both Diamond and I THOUGHT that they would have copies of CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY to sell alongside their considerable investment -- and vote of confidence in my and Gerhard's work, which is deeply appreciated -- in these (I reiterate) "cash-strapped" times back in July or August.

So, this many months later, it only makes sense to give Diamond an "override" option if at any point they decide that they NEED CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY back in print in a narrower time frame than we seem to be looking at at this moment.

(any publisher/printer combination capable or producing the OVERSTREET PRICE GUIDE on an annual basis can, unquestionably, in my mind produce serviceable one-time print runs of CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY)

Had any comics retailers chosen to participate here, I'd request that Diamond consult with those retailers on this hypothetical "Gemstone Printing". But, since our stakeholder "meetings" to this point have consisted only of CEREBUS fans and readers, Aardvark-Vanaheim, Diamond Comic Distributors, Imprimerie Lebonfon, George and Sean I'd leave questions of quality control on these hypothetical "Gemstone Printings" up to Gemstone's own in-house experts.

And I'd leave any compensation from Diamond/Gemstone to Aardvark-Vanaheim up to them, taking into account a) how long they've had to carry a substantial inventory "unsupported" by CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY b) how long their "gut instinct" tells them the CRISIS ON INFINITE CEREBUS TRADE PAPERBACKS is going to take.

I'm on page 2 of issue 5 of THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND.

I'll mention -- as an aside -- that I hope things work out here with Imprimerie Lebonfon and I can, therefore, "pitch" Ted Adams on letting Imprimerie Lebonfon bid on being the printer of STRANGE DEATH: a Canadian printer for a comic book written and drawn by a Canadian. It's not as if the printing quality on glamourpuss doesn't speak for itself and I can't imagine my American readers would object to moving the work hours from South Korea back here to North America.

See you next Friday!

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.

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.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Strange Death Of Alex Raymond - Update

Find out IDW CEO Ted Adams' answer to that question exclusively over at Dave Sim's Patreon page!

There are now two exclusive updates posted there:

These updates are for Patrons only. You can donate as little as $1 per month to gain access.

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.

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.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Mid-Week Update #21(b): Lebonfon Responds!

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...





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.

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.