Friday, 27 February 2015

Weekly Update #72: Sticking My Foot In It

Cerebus Archive Number Three
Signed Limited Edition Prints From 'Church & State I'
Kickstarter Ends Saturday 21st March 2015

DAVE SIM:
Hello, everyone!

Well, when I stick my foot in it, I really stick my foot in it:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.  Sincere and abject apologies to all of our U.K. and European pledge partners who missed out on the TRAUMA ONE and TRAUMA TWO pages on Wednesday.  No excuses.

2. Sincere and abject apologies to the owners of the original pages who made them available for restoration.  You should have been asked for permission to use your page whether you perceive it to be "your page" or Your! Page!  Your Page: your perception.

3.  Off-White House Copies have been moved from the basement to Camp David and two work stations are being developed for processing them

4.  Scanning of the Cerebus Archive original pages hits a -- hopefully - temporary wall but has now been accomplished up through page 3 of issue 142

1.  To be honest, I thought, if anything, we'd be facing the opposite problem:  a backlash because of the price point on the TRAUMA ONE and TRAUMA TWO pages.  I was really bending my mental slide rule almost double in response to a fax from Sean explaining why the hourly rate for scanning had ballooned over the previous week and asking if something could be done about his and Mara's hourly rate on those pages.  It seemed to me a "shortest distance between two points" situation:  if we could get sponsorship for TRAUMA pages, we wouldn't have to recalculate the CHURCH & STATE package deal (which should be covered with the remaining funds from CANT or -- at worst -- a dip into the CAN3 funds).  

Then Funkmaster brought up the "economies of scale" problem -- another sharp bend in the slide rule -- having to do single prints is more time-consuming for him.  All his calculations are based on 10 pages/roughly 300 copies.  The Bonus Prints -- once they get down around 20 or so as with the Barack Obama Zombie Cover -- is really pushing his numbers the wrong way.

By the time we had crunched the numbers, I thought "This is going to be Sticker Shock Squared" and I assumed that would hold for -- however long -- a few days?  A week?  Worst case scenario:  the end of this Kickstarter.  In which case we would just roll the TRAUMA pages over into the next campaign.

Funkmaster faxed me at 12:30 am and I was already asleep so I didn't get the fax until 4:30 am when I got up.

"Oh, boy."  Well, in one sense it was GREAT news:  sold out in 90 minutes!  In the other it was TERRIBLE news: unfilled demand.  So that was what I attempted to solve:  could we contact the people who had purchased the 1/1 prints and see if any -- or all -- of them would agree to have TRAUMA ONE and TRAUMA TWO FUNDRAISER prints done?  Clearly separate from what they had, with them getting "remarqued" Cerebus drawings on their 1/1's and the #1/20 of the subordinate prints for their trouble.

This isn't completely "off the table" but it ran afoul of another problem:


2.  This runs into a Wave vs. Particle angle of perception.

Wave Perception of CEREBUS original pages is that the person who bought the original page owns that page and has absolute control over it and its use.

Particle Perception is that Dave Sim owns the artwork in any meaningful sense.  It isn't possible for Dave Sim to steal or misappropriate CEREBUS artwork.

There's no right answer. Either answer is right for the people who hold that answer to be right.

So, if you have a Wave Perception then please let me know what compensation you would like for my theft of your personal property. I'll be happy to work it out with you in complete privacy. Likewise if you don't want your -- or "your" -- original art used in any way besides restoration purposes.  I can't close the door on the TRAUMA ONE and TRAUMA TWO pages already offered, but I can create a firewall wherever you want it created.

I don't think anyone would just -- perversely -- hold Wave Perception. For them, it's sincerely arrived at and intellectually honest.  I am not prepared to argue Particle Perception with that for one second.

If you have a Particle Perception, as I say, the idea of making a subordinate batch of prints available for the UK and European pledge partners is not "off the table". But it is getting there.  :)

I'm not saying that in that sense that I Own Your Artwork and I'll Do What I Want.  I'm saying that in the sense that the reason that we did this was to try to raise money to take pressure off of Sean and Mara on the TRAUMA pages so they don't have to rush through them and to take pressure off of the Kickstarter funds so we don't get these "bulges" in the budget.

The Particle Perception is really two different Particle Perceptions as well:  the person who owns the actual page and the person who bought the 1/1 BEFORE and AFTER TRAUMA prints.

My first instinct in the aftermath is just to -- as I've done -- apologize sincerely and abjectly to all concerned and Just Leave Bad Enough Alone.

There is always pressure in crowd-source funding to keep coming up with new pledge items.  That's what everyone who is successful at it recommends.  I don't know if that's true, but I also get a certain amount of static from people who are saying "You're SCREWING UP, Dude!  Follow up with MORE STUFF!" and then citing what other people who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars are doing.

Again, there's no easy answer.

But, I am sorry that this turned into such a fiasco...and such a pressure cooker for Sean.

In future, we'll try to introduce the idea of pledge items at least a week ahead of time and if there's ANY static in any way from anyone, to just back off.  "We'll try again with something else and we'll only do pledge items that cause ZERO STATIC."

3.  Dave Fisher and Rolly S. got a lot of work done on Tuesday getting ALL of the Off-White House Inventory out of the basement and into Camp David.

I have to admit that it's a little disorienting now that I'm down to sorting of the last few items still downstairs.  A big plus there was the discovery of a cache of Letratone I didn't know I had -- including several full sheets of LT3 and LT10.  If I'd have known they were down there, Dede Gardner and Brad Pitt wouldn't be getting albino and cross-hatched aardvarks respectively! :)

I've made up a FedEx box for Sean of all the specialty tones (textures, mostly -- great relief for Sean that he knows he has vintage Thrunk tone on the way).  Different sizes of scraps.  The idea being that the actual physical sheet of tone -- no matter how fragmentary -- is going to be better than any scan that we could shoot of it here.  And he's going to be the best judge of what is going to work the best by scanning it himself and then comparing the different sheets for discolouration, fading and other things that aren't going to be readily apparent to the naked eye.  There's a large chunk of LT 936 and then multiple pages of scraps.  It could turn out that one 1" by 1/2" piece could have all the best original elements, clarity, lack of discolouration, etc.

I'm sure Sean will be posting some of the tone for you to look at as he sorts through it.

There are also mechanical tones in the microscopic range that Gerhard used prolifically on GOING HOME which -- hey! If you're patching those pages, that's what you're going to need.

Disorienting though.

I thought: well I can just throw away the Letraset, the transfer lettering itself.  Then I thought, Well I have no idea where we used some of it.  These are the sharpest clearest copies we have of the letters.

Ooops interruption.  Going to post this and then hopefully continue.

Back shortly I hope!

=============================

Okay. That hasn't happened before.  I didn't know if I was going to lose all my typing so I published it and now I'm back -- so if you want to read the start of this Update, you'll have to scroll down.  TimW, I'm sure will fix it when he gets home from work.  Sorry, Tim!

[Now fixed! ~ Tim. W]

Where was I?

Oh, right -- getting the last few things out of the basement preparatory to the complete basement "redo" -- God willing -- starting in the Spring.

Moral questions:  I have a long box of PUMA BLUES and a long box of JOURNEY back issues.  We haven't checked them for grading.  I THINK I'm okay offering them for sale.  I did publish them at one time.  Should I autograph them?  As the publisher?  I can autograph the last issue of THE PUMA BLUES that A-V One did:  I did a pin-up in that one.  But, what about the others?  At least there was no question about moving them back to Camp David.

Should I offer them to Stephen and Michael and Bill Loebs?  Should I autograph them and make them into Off-White House copies before I send them?  Does anyone know where I would send them?  I'll make give Stephen a phone call.  Weird stuff.  Like the giant pile of "Michael and Stephen" photo PUMA BLUES posters.  I asked their editor at Dover if he wants them to promote the forthcoming book collection.  "I mean, if you don't, don't say you do.  They weigh a ton and they're going to be expensive to package, so it's really pointless to be polite about it if you're just going to throw them out.  Think about, 'Well, okay, what can WE do with them?'"

I seem to spend a lot of my life in these kinds of situations.  No idea what to do and no one I talk to about it knows what to do.  And they've all heard these horror stories about Dave Sim.  DON'T UPSET HIM! HE'S CRAZY, YOU KNOW!!

LOL. Well,  no. I'm not upset and I'm not crazy.  I've just got all these we're unsolvable problems.  At least soon none of them will be in my basement anymore!

I can't really say that about the three boxes of letters and weird little gifts, cheques, stickers, etc. that I got from Neil Gaiman's fans when I offered to send a free copy of an issue of the SANDMAN parody autographed to anyone who wrote me a physical letter.

Uh.  Do I REALLY want to hang onto these?  I mean, it was definitely a TRIP at the time and it certainly dwarfed by quantum levels of magnitude the response to, say, issue 300 coming out (so at least I got the one-time experience of literally getting boxes of mail).

They're a little bulky, but yes, I think I do want to hang onto them.  Even if no one ever actually looks at them, they'd probably make a nice free-form sculpture "Letters and gifts from Neil's Fans: 2004".

And then one of the last boxes that was sitting there, I opened up and it was a box of issue 164, second printing, which was the last one I had sent up from Leamington after I had already mailed out, I think, all of the 165's and 164 first printings and a box of 164 second printings. Hundreds of free comic books.  And then the letters dropped off to nothing.  Although I still get the occasional letter from people who are reading Neil's "back issues" and wonder if the offer is still good.  So, for those of you with higher numbers on Kickstarter, the odds are pretty good that you WILL get a #164 second printing Off-White House copy.

I forget what number I was on but...

Spoke to Tim L at Diamond the other day and the VERY good news is that they got orders for 850 of the signed and numbered 30th ANNIVERSARY GOLD LOGO SIGNED AND NUMBERED EDITION of HIGH SOCIETY.  That's about three times what I thought we'd sell after re-listing and cancelling and re-listing three times. So thank you to all the stores that kept ordering those books and all the CEREBUS fans who have booked them.  Sean is all ready to head up to Valencia to supervise the printing as soon as we have our final price quote.

We've been here so many times before I'm not sure even "God willing" is a good idea to bring up...but, God willing we should have the books on their way to the Star System warehouse in Mississippi before the end of March.

As I told Tim, after this many years of the book being out of print, I feel as if I should bake it a cake!

Nothing much to report on CEREBUS: FRACTURED DESTINY, but then I didn't think there would be for a Long, Long, Long While.  "TT" reports that he's "terribly excited" but that HAS to be tempered with "How AM I going to do this?"  That is, approaching Dede Gardner. What do you say?

Oliver is being very kind and saying that the drawings will be an "honour"  (er -- "honor").  But, man, I don't know.  LOL. Speaking as someone who does really detailed scratchy ink line drawings 12 hours a day, they don't really...register...with people. At All.  They're from a completely different planet from computer animation which is really all the average person sees these days that would be called "cartooning".  I mean, literally, maybe one in ten people coming to the house will say "You're a cartoonist?"  with the SDOAR pages there on the wall.  Nine out of ten, I can see by looking at them, it just doesn't fit their radar screen which is cellphone-sized and computer-sized and television-sized.  But pieces of white cardboard (which is what they would see) are obviously not cellphones or computers or televisions, so they don't register as VISUAL ANYTHING. "This guy has white cardboard on his wall for some reason.  Well, okay, the office knows where I am if it's something Really Weird.  He doesn't look scary or anything.  Just old."

People used to "register artwork", way, way back in the early 90s.

I mean, it doesn't bother me.  The same way it doesn't bother me that I'm almost 60 and not 40 anymore.  Here and now is here and now.  Back then is back then.  I really like what I'm doing.  I didn't like it back in the 90s because it registered with people and I don't NOT like it now because it doesn't register with people.  It's more a rhetorical question I won't get any kind of answer to: "What are they going to see when they look at this?"  I could as fruitfully ask, What would Martians think if they could see me?  It's one of the reasons that I thought the pieces should be framed.  "Oh, okay. A FRAME! This must be ART of some kind."

Okay.  Sorry for the inopportune break and the fractured Executive Summary.

Hope to see all of you next week.

And THANK YOU to all of the pledge partners who have made CAN3 so successful so far despite my bungling!

Have to finish answer the mail on hand and then go and get groceries and more mail and drop off a few things at the accountants' office.  Tax time, you know!

30 comments:

Jake Capps said...

Surprise Friday morning Sim blog post!

Anonymous said...

Dave may not own the art itself, but as the publisher, he DOES own the rights to publish/print it in any way he choses. That is the only way it was ever possible for Marvel and DC to seriously begin returning art back in the day. As long as the publisher still 'owned' the past and future of a page, the person that owned the physical page had its present. As an art collector myself, I have no issue with this as art collectors are NOTHING more than the custodians of a page and its present existence.
If I had any Cerebus pages, I would feel obligated to allow their use from a legal if not moral POV, and just as obligated to sell them or in some other way pass them on to someone else when I was no longer holding them. It is not like I will have what I own cremated with me. I own only the current existence of the art. the rest is someone else' issue.
-Taylor R

George Peter Gatsis said...

CAN3 is not working for me.

1) the CAN3 pages are not varied out like the previous CAN's. Come on... make an exception. I don't see having 90% of the same looking pages and one different in appearance is appealing in any way.

2) offering a 1/1 is wrong on so many levels. The purpose of the Kickstarter is to support Dave as a group... having a 1/1 offs based on first come first serve is weak idea... especially when it seems it took 3 minds to come up with it. AND ESPECIALLY WHEN the 1/1's are the more exciting/dynamic pages compared against the main offering... and to mention the actual owners of some of the 1/1 pages seeing someone else get a signed cleaned up version... This idea should be cancelled.

3) regarding the restoration... it seems that now it's sinking in that it is a time consuming, detailed job that has no push button solutions... well DUH! Stick with the cost that was initially thought of... I've seen too many companies/people cut their estimates on what it would take to do a job, based on ignorance or just plain low-balling... AND THEN, they ask to raise their pricing. NOT A GOOD BUSINESS MODEL.

These are my thoughts.

GPG

Anonymous said...

ditto

Regards Michael

Sean R said...

George--

As to your third point--

It's not the pricing that's changed. It's the goal posts that have changed.

The current goal--making the best books possible.

The previous goal-- getting the books back in print, while having them look as good as they did before.

If Dave wants the books to look the same as they did before, everything identical, we have the procedure to do that in place. He'd need to scan every currently existing negative (itself very costly, by the way), and I'd run a script on the result. It's possible, it would look good, as good as the books did before.

As you know, rebuilding things from the ground-up, using all of the available materials, is a drastically different proposition.

If we use all the original art available, ensuring that we wring as much detail as possible from every page, then there will inevitably be pages where there's an absurd amount of cleanup time. It's just how it is.


jonbly said...

So, having established that Dave doesn't know how much we'll pay for stuff, can we re-open the question of hardback phonebooks? Because WANT.

George Peter Gatsis said...

Sean,

I love you and Mara for what you are doing... The goal post changing is not reflected in your pricing.

In the near future, you are going to ask for another higher amount... I know this is going to happen. I've seen it for 25 years.

What upsets me is you are too low in your pricing.

Realistically you should be at $200 to $250 per page... $350 for really bad pages.

Price your time out properly... THAT I can support. Because then you are actually working on a time/money ratio that is respectful of the quality of work you are doing.

Kill the 1/1 offering. Say "MY BAD." and re-price your time properly so you and Mara are not working in the red.

Prutty please. :)

GPG

Anonymous said...

I have to say this is an interesting topic. I do have some concerns about the idea of making prints from the original art scans people have provided.

As someone who has provided scans, I completely believe that Dave owns the right to the art and that he can do with it as he pleases. That being said, I'm not entirely sure how the value of my original art might change based on the creation of prints.

With that in mind, I'm not sure I would have provided scans of my art had I known the option of creating prints from them existed. I did provide the art solely for the purpose of restoration and the idea that a short-term attempt to gain money for that restoration might damage my rather steep investment is very concerning.

Sean M R said...

Just in case there's any confusion- on C and S, we've given Dave a per page rate that's nowhere near that amount. This breaks down to almost half for adjustment and any exposure changes (all by me) and half the money for cleanup (either Mara or me, depending on need), and an extra bit per page for whomever does the layout. There's additional money for work on the cover, text pages, and to me for writing and laying out an afterward.

This is all dependent on the materials being relatively consistent, scanned on the same scanners so I can use roughly the same procedures.

What it doesn't account for is in th wild pages we get that are in bad shape, or th rare page in Dave's possession in bad shape. When you're counting on twenty minute average cleanup per page, a page that needs two hours really messes things up. If we hadn't done his fundraiser, I would have asked Dave to scan the negs for those pages instead. I actually used the negs instead of original art on a few pages of HS because thre was little difference other than the tone damage. On these pages, however, there is a difference, and they will be better for the work :)



I don't anticipate anything changing as we go forward, especially as the artwork gets younger and younger. Ie the tone is in better condition.

Just FYI! :)

Jeff Seiler said...

Anonymous: Original art is just that--one of a kind. A 1-of-1 print (really, though, two-of-one, being, as they are described, before and after) is *still* a COPY of the true one-of-a-kind original art page. I can't imagine that being devalued thereby.

Sean and George: I've sensed some underlying animosity between the two of you, going back months. But, I think you're both right. George is right that you should be pricing your time and effort more fairly (to you and Mara) up front, and Sean is (theoretically) correct that the work will become increasingly less labor-intensive as time (and each phonebook) goes by. And, thereby, less costly.

Dave having found the cache of Letratone should help too.

Frankly, Sean, I would have paid twice as much for those one-of-ones. But, George, lay off, man. Every little bit helps and variety is the spice of life and the lifeblood of funding. Espcially crowd-sourced funding.

My two-cents' worth.

Dean R said...

I was worried I was being foolish when I sent my concerns to Sean on the day of the Trauma sales (two of my pages are in the Trauma mix).

I'm sure some people will think it is silly but the truth is Anonymous is correct, there is a feeling that, had I known this might occur would I have contributed everything I have paid a considerable amount for, how would I have contributed the piece, would I have provided the entire page or just the image area, would I have sent the Epic "Selling Insurance" Splash page (that is not in the graphic novel but is part of the history).

It made me think.

I don't believe "in the wild" pages should be on the table in any form. I would love a copy of the Baby Throwing Page or a copy of First Impressions and the follow-up page of Mrs. Tynsdale-Clyde’s Tea - CLASSICS! But the reality is I won't own it (trust me, I've asked about the Baby Throwing page and the price is too high for me), I will jut have to be content with looking at the pages I don't own in their respective books.

A 1/1 print, personalized to the print owner with full acknowledgment in the book (for paying $70 or $90 depending on the Trauma level) diminishes the contribution of the original art owner. In my opinion.

There are other things that can be offered as bonus/incentive rewards to generate more money that won't jeopardize the "in the wild" pages. I know I would pay handsomely for a high end print of that Bill Sienkiewicz cover to Cerebus Jam. For example.

I may be in the minority with this opinion. But as the great Grouch Marx said: Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well I have others.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I basically agree with you in regards to 1-of-1 prints. The likelihood of one of them devaluing my art is pretty minimal. The bigger risk, though, would come if a page I had scanned were used as a print for purchase on the Kickstarter.

On that area, I'd have huge misgivings about having made my art available for this project. Maybe that was Brian's point of view when he chose not to include his art... that being said, hopefully it's not an issue. Thus far, no original Cerebus pages have been used for the add-on prints and I will hope that won't change (or, at least, that it would be limited to pages that are still in Dave's collection).

Jeff Seiler said...

Fair enough, Anon. But, a one-of-a-kind original art page is, in the truest sense of the word, UNIQUE.

Andrew Lariviere said...

In regards to what Dave mentioned about getting the opinion of the Trauma pledge supporters, I'm perfectly fine with allowing for more prints of these pages for other supporters. I've never seen the Cerebus Archive project as an "investment", but rather as an opportunity to pay back an artist that I have long respected and admired. Having purchased back issues and trades second hand when I was younger, I was always aware of the fact that I was never really able to contribute directly to the artist.

It's been such a wonderful ride so far, I hate to see this "hot button" create a chasm where people lose sight of why we are here and what we are doing.

Sean R said...

Anonymous-

Thank you, deeply, for your contribution to the restoration efforts. None of us working on this had any inkling it might make anyone upset, let alone the contributors to the hunt. There wasn't a conspiracy to hurt anyone's feelings-- it literally did not occur to either of us that it would be a problem.

Thank you again for your contributions, and your comments here.

Anonymous said...

Sean,

Don't worry about that! At this time, my feelings certainly haven't been hurt and I absolutely don't believe anyone had anything but the best intentions about this project. That being said, it occurred to me that further decisions down the line related to Kickstarter bonus prints might be more upsetting, so I thought I should express those concerns now before any issues had arisen.

Again, as I've stated from the start, it is my complete belief that Dave entirely owns the right to any art and can do anything he wants with the images. I just hope consideration is taken into the often huge investment costs (such as the Dave Sim Heritage High Society auctions a few years ago) when making decisions about how best to use the images in ways that don't potentially devalue the originals.

Thanks for everything that you're doing, Sean!

Anonymous said...

Do reproductions actually devalue the original source work of art? Can anyone point to an instance of where this has happened, either in comic book art or fine art or some other analogous situation?

If anything, it seems like the greater the notoriety an image has, the greater value the original has.

Really, the Cerebus Archives should include the best pages from each volume. Had the "Trauma" pages been offered as CAN3, I think it's a good bet that you'd get more sales.

- Reginald P.

Jeff Seiler said...

I agree, Reggie, and that was my point above. Prints made from an original art page should not, and in my opinion, do not devalue the original art.

On the other hand, as I've noted before, reissuing previously numbered X of X prints *does* devalue the original "limited edition" prints.

Jake Capps said...

Original art owners have nothing to do with the restoration unless they have provided scans or other material towards the restoration. Just because some of them complain doesn't mean the team needs to alter course. People will always complain.

Even though I know all CAs contain the 10 earliest pages it was very disappointing to see what those were for CAN3.

Anonymous said...

Jake,

If you're working on a project and ask people to go out of their way to help you, there's something to be said for showing respect to those people for the effort and time they put in. Sean and Dave so far have done so. As best as I can tell from your comment, you wouldn't. I guess I'm glad they're in charge instead of you.

George Peter Gatsis said...

JEFF SEILER SAID: Sean and George: I've sensed some underlying animosity between the two of you, going back months. But, I think you're both right. George is right that you should be pricing your time and effort more fairly (to you and Mara) up front, and Sean is (theoretically) correct that the work will become increasingly less labor-intensive as time (and each phonebook) goes by. And, thereby, less costly.

If the pricing can be up to where I mentioned... THEN, as Sean and Mara progress further down the volumes and the artwork is less of a challenge... THEN, the option that the cost can reduce would be a less stressful situation, than having to work in the red at the front.

No underlying anything... Sean taking over the restoration is awesome! I even asked for a signed Sean & Mara edition of High Society... I know what he is doing to a "T"... and I am trying to STRONGLY suggest as a verbal kick to the head to price out the work properly... That way the KickStarter event(s) money will no be under-estimated like the HIGH SOCIETY AUDIO/VIDEO was... and you end up in the red again.

HEART, HEART, WINK and POINT!
(now who can figure out where that is referenced from?)

GPG

Jeff Seiler said...

From the (Cerebus) Rabbi?

Max West said...

Whoa, Dave. Your challenges pale in comparison to mine. Good luck with wrapping them up.

David Philpott said...

Hi Dave

If you need contact info for Bill Loebs I can provide a phone number or address. Give me a call if needed.

Dave Philpott

Anonymous said...

A day or two ago, I praised Gerhard for not signing Cerebus material he didn't work on. To be consistent, I would say that Dave should not sign Journey or Puma Blues material he didn't work on. "Signed by the publisher"? Who cares? Dick Simon and Max Schuster don't sign books. Assuming that Aardvark-Vanaheim the publisher owns the physical copies, Dave can sell them as anyone can sell back issues.

As for the "Trauma" pages: Legally Dave is in the clear, and do whatever he wants with the images. He sold the physical artwork, not the copyright. This is a well-established legal principle.

Ethically, we can do better. The owners supplied their pages to be used for a new printing of the Cerebus phonebooks. That was the offer made and accepted. To unilaterally add this other use is insulting.

Always interesting to discuss practical applications of ethics.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, emt

Michael Grabowski said...

Seems to me the TRAUMA prints should be more of an ebay thing than a Kickstarter thing. I also think If Dave paid for the scanning of any feral page, he also ought to be able to market prints of that scanned page however he likes. It will never affect the uniqueness of the original page and it's value.

I would love to buy an Off-White House copy of Journey at a collectable-valued rate if half the money went back to Bill Loebs. No Dave Sim autograph, though.

Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

>> I would love to buy an Off-White House copy of Journey at a collectable-valued rate if half the money went back to Bill Loebs. No Dave Sim autograph, though.

YES. Same with the PUMA BLUES issues to Stephen/Michael, too.

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel

Jeff Seiler said...

I concur with Michael and Geoffrey, especially as it applies to Bill, who's had it kinda tough over the years.

Tony Dunlop said...

Children, children, listen to yourselves!

1. Supposedly the reason we're all here is that we like, even love, and admire the comics art of Dave Sim, and want his work to be preserved for posterity. That was the point of the recent fundraising effort, and more generally of the Kickstarter campaigns. Perhaps future individual-page restoration fundraising can and should be done differently, but isn't the important thing that the restoration work will receive the necessary funding? All these cries of "But I didn't get MYYYY stuff!" is, well, disheartening, given the context.

2. Everybody knew, from day one, that the Cerebus Archive series was going to be high quality prints of those original pages which (a) nobody ever bought, or (b) Dave has, for whatever reason, never put up for sale. If someone is disappointed with the particuar pages in a particular offering, well, don't buy that round. It should surprise nobody that some of the best-known and most-admired pages will not be in the Archive, because, well, someone's bought it. I happen to love the first few issues of C&S, but that's just me.

Travis Pelkie said...

Don't confuse the issue with logic, Tony ;)

As to Journey and the Puma Blues, I'd say that, unless Dave thinks he has some huge overriding right to ownership as publisher (and I think that's probably not the case), the issues should probably be returned to the respective comics creators. It's certainly possible that they aren't even aware that the copies exist. I would say Dave should contact Stephen and Michael and Bill first, tell them what he's got, and give them a few options of what to do -- depending on what Dave's willing to do with them (sell them from Camp David, ship them all to the respective creators and let them deal with them -- heck, could you even ship them to Diamond and offer them through Previews still?)

I wouldn't think that Stephen and Michael would want a batch of the original issues flooding the market prior to the release of the Puma Blues collection. On the other hand, as Tim found out from the Dover people, the jam issue won't be included, so that issue, after the release of the collection, should actually be an interesting collector item.

As to Journey, I don't know Bill's situation still, but I do know he got help from the Hero Initiative -- perhaps he'd want to do something through them to sell the Journey issues to raise money for HI?

I'm just spitballing here, but overall, I'd say that Dave shouldn't do anything until he hears from the creators. (Also, I do think he should be keeping some copies for the Off White House Archive.)