Scanning is really just the start of the process. For a number of years now, the long-term plan has been to make the Cerebus Archive word-searchable which, I infer, is the long-term goal with ALL research materials. That process might be automating itself or coming close to it. Right now, we'd be looking at using software in scanning the "81/2 x 11 and smaller" Archive -- the six filing cabinet drawers -- and the correspondence files that wouldn't just copy the documents as letter-images but as text files (the typewritten ones anyway, which is most of them), word documents.
Which would mean you could search by subject as narrowly or as widely as you wanted.
I think I'm safe in saying that no one knows where or how they specifically "fit in" to the context of their own time and particularly not in the future.
CEREBUS as a comic book, per se -- that's what it was and that's all it ever proved to be -- could (and I think will) prove to be a very limited aspect of its relevance and the need (perceived or actual) to study it in the future. I think the greater relevance will be as a 26-year narrative. What is the effect/result/implication(s)/inference(s) of a narrative extended over that much of a human lifetime?
I mean, you would have to have, I think, a clearer understanding of what narrative IS, the essence of it, before the need (perceived or actual) of study of a dramatically extended form of it would present itself. It's also the only (?) instance of a completely unrestricted narrative of that length. No one told me what to write or draw. I didn't have an editor or a publisher. No part of the storyline was modified to accommodate populist/popular considerations. If (as I think will be the case) we arrive at a future date where an unrestricted narrative is perceived to be an inherent good (and I think that's inevitable, although there's no sign of it right now) then the elements that such narratives have in common could tell us things we have no concept of -- or, right now, words for -- about Reality.
As Eddie could tell you -- as the recipient and sole reader of, roughly, eight pages a day of RIP KIRBY COMMENTARIES of which THE BONE COMMENTARIES were a two-month several-hundred- page-Thank-God-I-never-have-to-subject-myself-to-that-again "tangent" -- I'm having to invent terms for what it is that I THINK Ward Greene was doing in writing RIP KIRBY.
He's about the closest to "unrestricted narrative" historically in the field because a) he was the General Manager of King Features Syndicate as well as the RIP KIRBY writer so he could do things that a writer having to show his stuff to an editor couldn't have done and b) Alex Raymond, while technically having absolute control of the strip, was..."word-narratively"?...illiterate. So Ward Greene could -- and did -- whatever he wanted. The way he wanted. And there were, I think, severe consequences of that.
Only one of which was Raymond's fatal car crash in 1956.
We're far, far, far from a place as a society willing to even consider that as either actual, likely, possible or relevant. I have to make the case for it in SDOAR. I've been working 12 hours a day six days a week on the RIP KIRBY COMMENTARIES for over a year. I need to complete those and then start distilling everything down to script form. And I'm waiting to find out if IDW is willing to finance this research stage. I would doubt it. It's just not in anyone's frame of reference, in comics or out, in 2016.
So, it's just another thing that YOU THE DAVE SIM readers are making happen by providing me with "unrestricted narrative" funding that no one else will. Because there's nowhere else in 2016 where financing for that WOULD happen.
And certainly not anywhere else in a Feminist Theocracy.
So, THANK YOU! in advance for ANY support of "Sandeep's Project" when we launch.