Saturday, 4 July 2015

Jeff Seiler: Dave Sim & Me

JEFF SEILER:
Eleven years ago, when Cerebus ended, Dave Sim decided to answer all of his back mail. A month or so later, he had his "Jeff Seiler Day" in which he answered multiple letters I had written over the previous year. After I received that letter, I decided to keep writing, and he kept his promise to answer every letter he received. And now, I have a foot-high stack of letters written and received over 10 years or so.

For the last month or so I've been running excerpts from Dave's letters on Twitter, but the 140-character limit is frustrating, so here we go with the reformatted Dave Sim And Me, which will be running on AMOC every Saturday!

From a letter dated 13 November, 2004, from Dave to me:
I’m not really sure if I pioneered the sequential reprinting. That honour probably goes to Russ Cochran with his E.C. Library when he decide to reprint the entire runs of the E.C. titles, including colour covers. I think if you look at most collections of reprints, they include the covers and sometimes the advertisements. I was driving at something else, modeled more on the serialization that used to be done in Dickens’ and Dostoevsky’s time, where the completed serialization was collected into book form. In fact, I’ve taken a lot of flack over the years for not reprinting the Cerebus covers in the trades. Just another example of me swimming upstream against the tide. To me, if you call them graphic novels, they should read sequentially from front to back with no outside material. In fact, I worked very hard to get to the point where it would be difficult if not impossible to tell where one issue ended and another began in the reprintings. That’s the exact opposite from the effect created by reprinting the covers.
Okay, AMOC-ites, check in again next Saturday for another pithy paragraph from the same letter from Dave. We're still in year one, carrying over from Twitter, of the ten years of letters I have in the box...

6 comments:

Paul Slade said...

MUCH better format than the Twitter idea. I'll look forward to following this as a regular AMOC feature.

Anthony Kuchar said...

That's one of the things I like best about the Cerbeus trades. When you read it, it does feel like a complete novel in itself.

That being said, I really do miss seeing the covers. In the monthly format the cover is one of those things that scream "Hey! Look at this. What's happening in this comic?".

Tony Dunlop said...

So Jeff lives in Minneapolis; I live in Minneapolis; maybe some other AMOCers live nearby. How about a meetup sometime this summer? I'll suggest Big Brain Comics, on S. Washington between 10th and 11th avenues; there's a coffee shop a couple doors down, and plenty of bars (not all of them gay) nearby. We can work out the details in these Saturday Jeff Seiler threads.

Jeff Seiler said...

My only demurral toTony's suggestio is that Big Brain is not a big supporter of all things Simian. The college of Comic Book Knowledge is far more supportive and it's just a few blocks south of Uptown. Otherwise, an excellent suggestion, Tony.

Tony again said...

I'm down with CCBK as well. Haven't been there in 15 years or more.

Jeff Seiler said...

Okay, then! Let's get some Twin City Cerebus fans on board. Update next Saturday, right here in the Aardvark) comments.