Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Restoration Bulletin-- High Society Trim Size Suggestions

SEAN MICHAEL ROBINSON:
Greetings everyone!

I hope you all had a great holiday season.
I just got back from the arctic, i.e. Minnesota, to find a fax from Dave regarding the almost-ready-to-go High Society. In the fax, Dave proposed the (radical?) notion of, for the first time since their initial publication, changing the trim sizes on High Society to squeeze a larger image out of the paper size we have to work with. Here's what he had to say--


So first off, as far as enlargement goes, the files as we currently have them can be enlarged much further than that without any issues, one of the many advantages of working at a higher resolution. So it's really just a question of balancing the various aesthetic considerations verses the practical ones.

Dave's follow-up fax mentioned one of those potential practical problems--


So here's the issue-- without affecting the size of the book, and thus the cost and overall consistency of the series, we have some space to enlarge the artwork in this High Society edition, and in the other books going forward. Dave is specifically looking for AMOC readers to give their input on this.

There are more things to consider here than you might imagine.

First off, there's the matter of why the gutter space was expanded in the first place. If you take out a copy of the monthly Cerebus book you'll notice that the margins are much tighter than the collections-- there a 1/2" margin on every side of the artwork. The trades have a 3/4" margin on the sides. 

I personally think that the 1/2" margin of the monthly issues look much more elegant than the imho too wide margins of the trades. But there's a practical reason to keep a wider margin on the interior of the trades-- in a larger book, it helps offset the problem of the artwork being obscured/lost in the gutters of the book. 

The Akira editions put out by Dark Horse in the 1990s are a good example of the "Classic comic book" Cerebus trim size being applied to a long book. At 394 pages a book, they can't compare to, say, Church and State, but the gutters give you a good idea of what you're losing applying that interior margin to a larger book. I'd consider 1/2" on the interior margin to be the outside edge of possibility, from a readability perspective.


Akira Volume 3, which has a paper size and trim almost identical to the monthly Cerebus issues-- 1/2" trim on all sides, with slightly more at the bottom, to account for the less tall artwork size. Notice with the 1/2" gutter how close the two facing pages are to each other-- on pages closest to the center of the book, the 1/2" of space is easily eaten up by the fold of the book.

However! There's no reason that the interior margin has to match the outer margin, especially with the more extreme sizes Dave is suggesting above. What would it look like to have a 1/4" margin on the outside and top, and a 1/2" margin on the interior, with the bottom taking up the slack?

Bang's prepress guidelines specify a gutter margin minimum of 3/16", which is even smaller than the 4/16" Dave is proposing above. But you rarely see margins this narrow, possibly for historic reasons, but also because, as Dave mentioned above, any little variance in the trim is then more visible than it would be under other circumstances. In other words, if the trim is 1/16" too tight in, you're unlikely to notice that with 12/16" margins, but the narrower the intended margin, the more visible the error.

I went on a little reconnaissance mission on my bookshelf, and then at the local Barnes and Noble, to get an idea of typical trim sizes on graphic novels. 1/2" (8/16") seems pretty standard, at least among my collection, and I've found plenty of instances of 3/4" (12/16") and a few narrower margins as well. Notably, the collected edition of Box Office Poison, which also uses the trick I'm suggesting above, of keeping the interior gutters wider to prevent losing the image in the gutter.


Heart of Thomas. 6/16" gutter on outside, slightly larger on top and bottom, and 8/16" (1/2") gutter on interior, in order to lose less artwork to the center fold.

Above is a photo of Heart of Thomas, which uses 6/16" on the exterior and 8/16" on the interior margin. This is proportionally the closest I've found to what I'm suggesting. I also saw at least one example that was tighter than the proportion Dave suggests above-- 4/16". This was on the exquisitely reproduced Attack on Titan: Colossal Edition. I wish I had my ruler with me when I was browsing this one in the store. Once again, tighter trim on the outside gutter, looser on the interior gutter.

Okay, so how does this play out in the current decision?


Here's a random spread for the book, as it currently exists. There is a gutter of 1/2" (8/16") on the top and bottom of the artwork, though the bottom one floats a bit on some pages. The side margins are both a very generous 3/4" (12/16").

Way back in August I faxed Dave a proposal to redesign the trades, so that the "Legacy" editions could have new clothes to suit their new interiors. My original proposal to him in that fax involved a tighter trim margin that preserved the original monthly book's proportions. Here's what that would look like, without resizing, just tightening the outside margin to 1/2" (8/16")leaving the interior as-is, at the more generous 3/4" (12/16") size--

The same size image, with tighter trim on the exterior gutter. Now all of the gutter space is visually the same size, when taking into account the amount of paper visually absorbed by the interior gutter.

This is probably where I would go with this, were I to redesign the books from scratch, along with a cardboard casing that was larger than the interior pages. Of course, as I'm sure Dave will point out, it would surely bug completists who would want all of their books in the series to be the same size. So let's table that idea for the moment and see how much more room we can get through expansion, while leaving the paper the same size--


And now we get an inkling of what the real issue is here-- proportion. Here is the same sized paper, with the margins significantly moved in, to 6/16" on the outer, and almost that same size on the top and bottom. For all that effort we've only gained a 4 percent size increase-- here the pages are now 104 percent of their previous size, and our page numbers are now dangerously close to the edge of the safety zone-- it's possible that they'd have their bottoms trimmed off accidentally. Now, this size increase is more dramatic in print than on paper, but 104 percent is still fairly modest.

Okay, well, what if we went with the very narrow margin Dave was suggesting, and dropped the page numbers? Where would we be then?


Even then we're still constrained by the proportions. This is at 104.75 percent. You can see that the interior gutter has actually grown here as I'm struggling to make the image area larger while still maintaining the relationship between the top, bottom and exterior margins.

So, where does that leave us?

I personally think the only way to expand the image while keeping the current proportions would be to drop the page numbers, or shrink them and move them to another place on the page. Even then, the size gain would bring us to about 105 percent, max, of the current size.

As Dave requested, I'm throwing this out to you all for comment, and evaluation. I'm sure it's clear by now how much Dave values everyone's input. If there's something that you'd like to see, or any questions you'd like answered, please let us both know in the comments!

Happy holidays to you all!

Sean

Edit: Jan 1

I just realized that I didn't explain why the 1/2" gutter margin works on the Heart of Thomas book but not the Akira book. That's because of the binding. Akira is "perfect bound" like the Cerebus volumes, i.e. signatured glued together. This eats up a lot more image in the gutter than a case-bound book like Heart of Thomas, which will easily sit open on any given spread. This is certainly the direction I'd go with future Cerebus volumes, if that option were available.


Brian Coppola: Cerebus Art Dragnet

Cerebus Art Dragnet (2014)
by Dave Sim
(Click image to enlarge)
BRIAN COPPOLA: 
(from Comic Art Fans, 14 November 2014)
There is a digitization project underway (2014) to gather original art pages that are "out in the wild" (e.g., the 200 or so pages that I possess) and get high-res scans of them for future digital versions of the Cerebus books (as opposed to trying to scan the crappy printing done on newsprint, of the printed books). The restoration project, being run by Sean Michael Robinson, has been dubbed "The Cerebus Art Dragnet". The original art for the "badge" logo and an illustration of Jack Webb (Dragnet!) as a Aardvark, above a couple of 2014 head shots of Cerebus, was auctioned. For my inscription, I asked Dave to be creative with the classic noir intro narrative motif used in the Dragnet series: "This is the city... we wear badges..." This is what came back. Pretty cool. 

SEAN MICHAEL ROBINSON:
(from Costly Continuing Contributions, 19 November 2014)
The Cerebus Original Art Dragnet suffered a pretty serious blow this week when we heard definitively from a prominent art collector who owns several hundred (!) originals. No, he would not be contributing scans of any of his originals to the art hunt, nor will he be selling any of these pages in the foreseeable future. This was particularly hard news as this person's collection represents a significant chunk of "in the wild" Cerebus art pages, pages that will now never be scanned for this project, will now forever be represented in print by second, third, or fourth-generation images rather than the pristine reproduction possible when sourcing from the original art...

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

T. Casey Brennan's Hypothetical Cerebus

Photo by Steve Pepple

ANN ARBOR JOURNAL:
(by Sara Waisanen, Ann Arbor Journal, 20 January 2010)
Somewhere in Ann Arbor is a comic book writer who could have changed the course of history. He is a man who earned fame and notoriety for the comics he wrote in the 1970s and now he's homeless and "couch surfing."

At the age of 61, he hangs out in Ann Arbor meeting "chicks" and talking about how he "helped kill John F. Kennedy."

T. Casey Brennan is the author of Warren Publishing's "Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella," DC Comics' "House of Mystery" and Archie Comics' "Red Circle Sorcery," among others.

The "T" in T. Casey stands for Terrance and he's gone by T. Casey ever since he has been a published comic.

Brennan's most head-turning comics are the ones in which he tells of his involvement in the JFK assassination, as a victim of MK-ULTRA, an alleged CIA operation that involved brainwashing and experimenting with drugs. In 1996, Brennan first wrote about what he says happened in the JFK assassination in his comic Conjurella. "It seemed to breathe new life into my comic career," Brennan said.

In 2006, Brennan wrote more about the JFK assassination in his comic Hypothetical Cerebus in Actor Comics Presents. He writes in detail about how he was forced to take a shot at JFK and what his life has been like since that historic event... "I wanted to tell the truth about the Kennedy assassination," he said.

Prior to JFK's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, Brennan said he would go with his father who would get hypnosis from a Dr. Earnshaw. While they were there, the doctor would drug them with or without their consent, he said.

"I was a docile kid," Brennan said. "I did what they told me to do."

Brennan claims that Dr. Earnshaw and David Ferrie, who some conspiracy theorists believe was involved in the JFK assassination, came at him with a needle and injected something into his neck. He was then stuffed in a crate and flown to Dallas. Brennan said he woke up in a storage room. A hood was put over his head and he was forced to fire a shot at the president who was driving by on the street below. Brennan said he didn't know if the shot connected, but he thinks it ricocheted off the pavement and hit a pedestrian. He was then pushed out of the way and Ferrie continued to shoot. Brennan said they left the storage room and ran into Lee Harvey Oswald on the second floor, pushing a broom. Brennan was 15 years old at the time of the assassination, he said.

Brennan's name is mentioned in the book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi, which he carries around with him on he streets of Ann Arbor. Brennan said he would take a polygraph test and testify about his experience, but no one seems to care.

"Nobody wants to know or hear about it," he said.

Hypothetical Cerebus
Written by T. Casey Brennan, art by Dave Sim
Actor Comics Presents #1 (HERO Initiative ,2006)

Monday, 29 December 2014

Available To Preorder: High Society!

By Dave Sim
Aardvark Vanaheim, $30
In Shops: 25 March 2015
DIAMOND PREVIEWS:
A PREVIEWS Exclusive! Hard to believe that it's the 30th anniversary of the serialization of High Society in the pages of Cerebus (#26 to 50). Even harder to believe that there's never been a signed-and-numbered edition of Comics' first 500-page graphic novel. Well, now there is. The edition will be limited to number of orders received before PREVIEWS' order deadline. All this and a snazzy gold logo! Diamond Order Code: JAN150915


Gene Day: May The Force Be With You

GENE DAY:
(from the introduction to the Star Wars Portfolio, Aardvark Vanahiem, 1977)
In July of 1977 one of the biggest events of my life occured as I made my first venture into a theatre to see George Lucus' Star Wars. I practically lived on the theatre for the next week, seeing the film over and over again -- and I still have not seen a minute of it that I don't love. I know for a fact that the film will always remain one of my all time favourites (most certainly the favourite of the s-f films I have seen). So naturally, when Deni [Loubert] approached me to do a folio on Star Wars, I was delighted to say the very least.

The following collection is the product of three weeks time, how many hours I cannot begin to guess of sketching, planning and studying over a 150 black and white and  colour photos for reference -- and I still haven't begun to comprehend full on paper that wonder and detail that is Star Wars. My only hope is that you will feel I have captured at least a bit of the atmosphere the film gave to you -- and that it will bring back some happy moments before the screen. If I succeed  in that much -- then I have succeeded fully. This folio is dedicated to Mr. Lucus -- thank you for it all, George. And May The Force Be With You.

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 Lucasfilms, all copies of the portfolio were destroyed except for Gene Day's personal copies which are in the possession of the Gene Day Estate.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

S.M. Watson's Cerebus

Advert from Cerebus #27, June 1981
That's over 30 years ago, so don't even think about responding!
(Click images below to enlarge)


UPDATE FROM MARGARET LISS:
Two versions of the doll were made, Sarah "Sally" Hitchens did the first one - see issue #7, the tall one, and then Sheila Watson did them, and they were the smaller ones. Sheila also made the tall ones for a while -- the price was dropped (see issue #11) at which time the dolls shrunk by a foot. The one currently on ebay appears to be the taller one, though not worth $395 imho. I took some pictures of the dolls I've gotten over the years:

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Weekly Update #63: The Morning After

The Morning After (Swords Of Cerebus Vol 2, 1981)
By Dave Sim & Joe Rubinstein
DAVE SIM:
Hello, everyone!

As I wrote Jeff Seiler, if that isn't the funniest Christmas card I ever saw, it's certainly in the Top Five. Bringing a whole new meaning to the term "ugly Christmas sweater". So funny I took it with me to Mike and Erika's place on my pre-Christmas visit. Where three-year-old Zack GLOMMED onto it. I'm hoping Mike or one of the girls can shoot low-res footage of the card and post it here (we're all wondering how long the battery will last under 'three-year-old game conditions").

Executive Summary
1)  Rarest Cerebus Archive FIRST RELEASE print: the Barack Obama/Zombie Cerebus cover from CEREBUS ARCHIVE No.2: only 20 signed and numbered FIRST RELEASE copies

2)  JAKA'S STORY, MELMOTH, LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY to be available again from Diamond Comic Distributors early in 2015

3)  Joe Rubinstein to contribute "The Morning After" splash page BONUS PRINT to CAN3 (CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER THREE) and production paintings for CEREBUS: THE MOVIE

1)  I signed and numbered all of the BONUS PRINTS for CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER TWO in one marathon ten-hour session December 23. I was interested to note that the Barack Obama CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER TWO cover was the rarest of the Bonus Prints, selected by only 20 pledge partners. Just to give you an idea, the second rarest print was the BACK cover of CEREBUS ARCHIVE No.1, the Zombie Cover.

Which might, I think, prove to be a mistake in retrospect.  Although the President is not exactly at the peak of his popularity in December of 2014, a) he IS the first black President of the United States and b) Democratic presidents usually hit a low-ebb while in office, but usually rebound in popularity (although admittedly the process usually takes roughly 50 years:  Harry S. Truman is just now "coming into his own" and Jimmy Carter isn't due until around 2030).

Anyway, this means that all I have left to do is to sign the 10 HIGH SOCIETY page prints and hand-letter however many bookplates we had ordered this time.

Thanks to Funkmaster John and Funkmistress Karen for "getting 'er done" before the busy Christmas holidays.

We know we have a lot of eager pledge partners out there, so just wanted to let you know: We ARE Getting There!


2)  Owing to a miscommunication -- Diamond thought that the Lebonfon inventory they purchased late in 2012 included ALL of the trade paperbacks Aardvark-Vanaheim has in stock -- JAKA'S STORY, MELMOTH, LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY have been unavailable from Diamond for some time.  This gradually moved through the system and a couple of weeks back, I got an order from Diamond for 200 of each of those trades (which will come in handy as Aardvark-Vanaheim's US$ reserves have been dropping like a stone:  with most of A-V's expenses now in US$: with a US printer and Sean's restoration work being done in the US and being paid for in US $).

That will make READS the only officially "out of print" CEREBUS trade at this point.

Hit a snag just before Christmas.

It's been so long since I've shipped books to Diamond from the Leamington warehouse, I forgot that all of that inventory is PRE-"Bar Code Edict" (everything sold through Diamond needs to have a bar code on it as well as on the box its shipping in).  I still haven't heard from Marquis Printing (not even a storage charge for November) so I'm working on this from the other side: getting Diamond to e-mail Funkmaster John the digital files for the bar codes (and Diamond order number) for all four books, which are right now sitting at the "freight forwarding" service I use from time to time out in Waterloo.  John will be printing removable bar code stickers and then the "freight forwarding" place -- I HOPE -- will be unpacking all of the books, putting bar code stickers on them and then repacking them and shipping them to the Star System in Mississippi.

Of course everyone involved is gone for their Christmas break, so there are faxes and phone messages from me to all concerned letting them know that I don't THINK this is an emergency (I notified Eileen Palmer at Diamond that I wasn't going to be able to hit the 12/24 order cancel date) (a Star System order is ONLY valid for two weeks -- Diamond's way of making sure that their "just in time" Star System works, uh, "just in time") and that -- as long as we get to it sometime in January -- that should do it.  I always hate to think of people coming back from Christmas Holidays to BLARING EMERGENCY MESSAGES.

I'll try to keep everyone updated on the progress on this.  Judging by the experience on the CEREBUS TRADE being back in print, it takes about a month from the time that books are OFFICIALLY available to when the retailers are actually notified.  I'm going to try to estimate that arrival time and post the Diamond order codes for all four books in a future Weekly Update and then rely on Menachem -- as usual -- to let me know when its OFFICIAL on the retail side.


3)  I also did a marathon cleaning of my Rectangle Office (as opposed to the office where I do all of the actual office work) and found a post-it note with Joe Rubinstein's address on it.  Which I had known was under the big pile of stuff on my desk...SOMEwhere.  We had left off in our correspondence, years ago, with him suggesting that I send him a pencil drawing of Cerebus that he could watercolour and we could...jointly sell?

I had sent him scans of the two pages of "The Morning After" (the back-up story he had inked WAAAYYYY back in SWORDS OF CEREBUS No.2) and suggested that we could both sign prints of them and...jointly sell?...those as well.

This, of course, was long before the CEREBUS ARCHIVE BONUS PRINTS and CEREBUS: THE MOVIE arrived on the front burner at pretty much the same time.  Literally, Oliver sent me a fax hoping that I would be able to do some paintings -- the religious paintings in RICK'S STORY, LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY for THE MOVIE for the new scene that I'm working on (uh -- not LATELY but which I have worked on)(and I faxed Oliver that I don't really paint and that I didn't think actual watercolour paintings would work in a digital film)  at the same time Joe left a phone message reminding me that that had been his original pitch: water-colouring a pencil drawing of mine.

Joe also asked in his message if I wanted the piece water-coloured in the old-fashioned way or if I wanted it coloured digitally -- Pixar-style.

So I did pencil a CEREBUS: THE MOVIE production painting on watercolour paper on the day between finishing all of the inked Cerebus heads for CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER TWO and when the two big cartons of BONUS PRINTS arrived.  Now I can't find Joe's address again, but I do have his phone number and when that gets to the top of my list (the top of my list always being "Things I've Been Paid For And Haven't Done" which means anything having to do with CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER TWO), I will be mailing him the pencil drawing.

And if Joe is reading this -- and wouldn't mind leaving me a phone message with his mailing address -- the answer to your question, Joe is: I think it would be a good idea to do BOTH and we'll offer both CEREBUS:THE MOVIE as Bonus Prints as part of CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER THREE.  I'd be interested to know how many people were interested in a "Classic Watercolour" look and how many people were interested in a Pixar look.

And, of course, I'd like to go "One Page At a Time" on "The Morning After":  Joe, for you to do a watercolour version of the splash page and we'll follow that with water-coloured versions of each successive page until all of the pages have been offered as Bonus Prints.

We could also consider auctioning one of the CEREBUS:THE MOVIE Sim/Rubinstein paintings -- the ACTUAL old-fashioned watercolour production paintings -- on eBay and, depending on how much money IT generates, consider doing that on an on-going basis.

I'm even going to try printing the CEREBUS:THE MOVIE logo as a screen capture and pasting that up at the bottom of the painting -- so it looks, you know, REALLY official. Depending on how my printer is behaving at the time.


Happy New Year, everyone!

See you January 2nd, God willing!

Cerebus & Friends

Convention Sketch: Cerebus & Friends
by Dave Sim

(via Weldon Adams, Fandom Advisory Netwrok)

Friday, 26 December 2014

2014: The AMOC Year In Review

TIM W.:
Thank you for visiting 'A Moment Of Cerebus' during the past year. Your support and encouragement are what keeps AMOC alive. Also, a huge thank you to the AMOC blogging team -- Dave Sim, Sean Michael Robinson and Margaret Liss -- who have helped keep the AMOC show on the road. 2014 proved to be a very significant year in which Dave Sim raised over $75k with two very successful Cerebus Archive Kickstarter campaigns, Sean and Mara began the Cerebus Restoration project, and the first Cerebus trade paperback finally got back into print after years of struggle. Below are links to these and other significant 'moments' that ran on AMOC during the last 12 months... 

December:
New Gerhard prints offered for sale, including a "High Society" cover recreation
Cerebus Archive Number Two: Bonus Print Popularity
Cerebus Archive Number Three: New aardvark art revealed as bonus print

November:
Dave Sim's "Judenhass" available for free download
Cerebus Restoration Project 'shakes off' total loss of 100s of original art scans
Dave Sim contemplates rewriting the "Cerebus: Fractured Destiny" movie
"High Society" rolls off the presses at Bang Printing in Valencia, CA

October:
Kickstarted: "Cerebus Archive Number Two" raises $42k
Dave Sim's tribute to CANAR founder John Balge (1954-2014)
Under Construction: Repairs to the Off-White House foundations begin

September:
A True Life Dave Sim Adventure: Visiting Lenny Henry & Dawn French
"The Puma Blues" reprint announced, with new introduction by Dave Sim

August:
Glamourpuss Tracing Paper Art Auctions begin
World shortage of 'Winsor & Newton Series 7 No.2' art brushes averted
Gerhard's production artwork for "The Knick" revealed

July:
Cerebus Art Dragnet launches
The Lebonfon presses roll on the "Cerebus Vol 1" reprinting
Dave Sim's original thumb-nail sketches for "Passage"

June:
Margaret 'CerebusFanGirl' Liss begins her guided tour of Dave Sim's notebooks
Sean Michael Robinson & Mara Sedlins launch the Cerebus Restoration Project
$10k donation by retailer Tim F to the Cerebus Restoration Project
Interview: Dave Sim's Kickstarter Q&A

May:
Kickstarted: "Cerebus Archive Number One" raises $33k
Cerebus Bookplates Announced: "The Hell it's yours!! Put it back!"
Doctor Who art auction raises $4,500
Interview: Dave Sim's 'Lost' CBG Interview from 1998

April:
IDW's X-Files 2014 Annual: Dave Sim writes 'Talk To The Hand' short story
Off-White House Summit: Dave Sim meets Alain Roberge (Lebonfon)
Gerhard draws "Little Nemo In Slumberland"

March:
Cerebus Publishing Timeline #1-300
Dave Sim & IDW's Ted Adams announce 'Ultimate Cerebus' project
Patreon site launches to support production of "Strange Death Of Alex Raymond"

February:
Dave Sim's Essay: "Comic Art Metaphysics II: The Double Helix Prism"
Slabbing Cerebus: The CGC Fumetti

January:
'Bootlegging The Bootleggers' program announced
Dave Sim's fax machine broke
Dave Sim's Essay: Avoyd Fornication
Dave Sim on meeting Steve Ditko

...and 2015 is looking like being another busy year, which should see the release of Cerebus: The Covers, High Society: Digital Audio/Visual Experience, Kickstarter: Cerebus Archive Number Three and the High Society trade paperback. Stay tuned!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Dave and the Direct Market

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

So around the time Cerebus #104 came out in November 1987, Dave was having it out with Diamond Distributors due to the publication and subsequent distribution of the first phonebook: High Society. High Society was first published in 1986, and then Dave followed up with Church & State I in June 1987 and Cerebus in August 1987.

In September 1987 he spent some time in Akumal, Mexico where he wrote the following which would become the Note From The President for issue #104:

Notebook #9 page 21

Notebook #9 page 22

Notebook #9 page 23

The above writings would lead into Dave's thoughts on creator's rights, a line that didn't make it into the finished NFtP: "the fewer middle-men (nay-sayers all) involved in the creator's financial security, the better off that creator is."

Thanks to iestyn for the idea.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Heavy Metal: Virtua

Virtua
by Dave Sim
(Heavy Metal, Fall 1997)

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Hard-Boiled Dick - Part 2

Hot Wacks Quarterly was a magazine devoted to vinyl LP collectors (bootlegs, promos, picture discs, etc). From issue #1 (Winter, 1979) to #8 (Fall, 1981), Dave Sim was listed in the credits under "artwork." The four installments of Dave Sim's Hard-Boiled Dick appeared in issues 3, 4, 5 and 7.

Part 1 | Part 2

(Click images to enlarge) 





Part 1 | Part 2

Monday, 22 December 2014

Hard-Boiled Dick - Part 1

Hot Wacks Quarterly was a magazine devoted to vinyl LP collectors (bootlegs, promos, picture discs, etc). From issue #1 (Winter, 1979) to #8 (Fall, 1981), Dave Sim was listed in the credits under "artwork." The four installments of Dave Sim's Hard-Boiled Dick appeared in issues 3, 4, 5 and 7.

Part 1 | Part 2

(Click images to enlarge)





Part 1 | Part 2

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Cerebus Archive Number Two: Bonus Print Popularity

JOHN FUNK:
(from CANT Kickstarter Update #18, 20 December 2014)
...It goes without saying that the addition of the Bonus Prints was a huge success for this project. There are a total of 1,320 FIRST RELEASE Bonus Prints and they raised approximately $7,000 of the $9,000 total funding increase between CANO ($33k) and CANT ($42k)! Thank you again, for your strong support of that component. If you are wondering how rare or how popular the FIRST RELEASE BP's that you chose are, well, here is the answer in tabulated and bar graph form (don't worry, there will NOT be a test on this, just in case you're already starting into a cold sweat!). If your selections included 1, 2 and 10, then you chose along the lines of many others. But if you were going for the rare ones, then 11, 12 and 16 were the ones that will have the least quantity...

John Balge (1954-2014): Early Canadian Fanzine Pioneer

CANAR #21/22 Double Issue (May/June 1974)
Cover by Gene Day
BRYAN MUNN:
(from Sequential: Canadian Comixs News & Culture, 30 October 2014)
John Balge died September 14 in Kitchener, Ontario. As the founder and publisher of the fanzine Comic Art News and Reviews, also known as CANAR, Balge was a pioneering comics critic and an early patron of Dave Sim, Gene Day, and other Canadian cartoonists in the early 1970s.

Balge published the first issue of CANAR in 1972, after getting to know Dave Sim through Harry Kremer’s Now and Then Books comic shop. Originally intending to serve only as the financial backer of the zine, Balge became responsible for one-third of the content of the initial issues, which were split editorially into three “columns” or sections, along the lines of a classic collated APA-zine. Dave Sim penned "The Back Alley Report", Rick Seiler "Telegraphics", and Balge "The Red Beaver". Initial issues were only seven pages, gradually expanding with additional contributors, illustrations, comics, and letters from readers.

Already a fanzine veteran, having published his own zine at age 15, and previously editor of Kremer’s Now and Then Times, Sim was responsible for the art, layout and production of the initial issues of CANAR, using a typewriter and Letraset until Balge struck a deal with a professional typesetting company. From the beginning, the zine adopted a slightly rebellious critical attitude compared to some of its more polite Canadian contemporaries. The first issue featured Sim's diatribe against Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comics and a statement of principles by Balge:
"This column adheres to the principle that a thriving Canadian culture is essential for the survival of this nation. Any fool can see that clic art has no great tradition in Canada because the comic books and comic strips are totally American. I believe, judging from the large number of comic books sold in stores throughout this country and the many comic strips in most of our newspapers, that there is a place for Canadian comic art, panel art, the graphic story, or whatever one wishes to call it. This column is dedicated to a truly independent and revolutionary comic art culture, hence the title, "The Red Beaver.'"
According to Sim, Balge identified politically as a Trotskyist at the time, accounting in part for the slightly leftist nature of his cultural nationalism. In his initial column, Balge goes on to critique one of the few other Canadian fanzines of the day, the Montreal-based Le Beaver, published by Ralph Alfonso and Clifford Letovsky, for its muddled nationalism, beginning a long-running exchange of letters.

Sim and Balge, along with Now and Then’s Kremer, became inseparable, travelling together to comics conventions in the U.S. and southern Ontario, interviewing many prominent American comics creators along the way. Issues of the zine are a treasure trove of interviews for researchers interested in cartoonists, writers, and editors active in the 1972 to 1976 period, including Will Eisner, Russ Heath, Harvey Kurtzman, Barry Windsor-Smith, Mike Kaluta, Gil Kane, Steve Skeates, Berni Wrightson, Howard Chaykin, and others.

The zine continued its focus on Canadian fandom as well, with a lively letters page, reviews of other zines, and historical articles on 1940s Canadian comics. As well, both Sim and Gene Day contributed many covers, illustrations, strips, and multi-page comic stories. Richard Comely’s early Captain Canuck efforts were profiled and the triple issue #26-27-28 (1974) featured a cover by the Canadian poet/cartoonist bpNichol as well as a rare interior 3 page Nichol comic, “The Revolt of Rover Rawshanks.”

After ceasing publication of CANAR in 1976, Balge seemed to drift away from organized comics fandom, although he continued to collect comics and kept in touch with Sim sporadically.

Balge is survived by five brothers and sisters. A memorial service was held in Kitchener on October 4.