Friday, 25 March 2016

Weekly Update #127: The Cerebus Oversized Project Launches Tomorrow!


Always wanted a page or pages of Cerebus but knew you could never afford the astronomical prices that a page of original art fetches? Weep no more! On Saturday March 26, THE CEREBUS OVERSIZE PROJECT will make a wide variety of pages, posters, covers, apocrypha and double-page spreads available to all and sundry. Stay tuned for more details!

22 comments:

Tim Gagne said...

Looks like FedEx Office can make oversize prints not just Kinkos. So people know they have options. Imagine Office Max/Depot and Staples also have the ability in the US.

Tony Dunlop said...

Where are you, Tim? Where I live, Fed Ex Office is Kinko's. Or to be more precise, there aren't any Kinko's, as they've all turned into Fed Ex Office, after being called Fed Ex Kinko's for a couple of years.

Glen said...

There are UPS Stores here in Canada that offer printing services.

Dave,

When you mention that Diamond has ordered 99 copies of "Last Days", what does that mean? Do you have to hire a printer to print, bind, and ship 99 volumes of "Last Days" to Diamond? Or do you have them in stock?
You indicated in previous updates that the newly restored Cerebus TPB were printed in Singapore. Is that where you will have these volumes printed if necessary?

Jeff Seiler said...

No, Glen, I'm pretty sure Dave has them in stock, which is why he mentioned that Fisher and Sandeep will be putting the ISBN (?) stickers on them.

Glen said...

@Jeff


You are correct. My fault for not paying closer attention.

Tony again said...

Not all of Christendom calls today Good Friday, Dave - for us Eastern Orthodox, that's not until April 29th.

al roney said...

Ha Ha.

Guys, you can order oversized (or any size you want) prints online in a million places)too.

Relax.

Dave Sim said...

Tim and Tony!

SIX HOURS TO TCOP LAUNCH!

Yes, that was an interesting merger or "merger" or Merger. I think they anticipated a greater level of Synergy than they're actually getting. It's a recurrent theme in the corporate world: we know what information is released publicly but I always have the sense that there's a LOT else going on BEHIND the scenes, depending (in this case) on whether FedEx or Kinko's is bringing more to the table. I infer "FedEx" based on the disappearance of Kinko's name.

One of the things that Sandeep and I discussed was: how much of a problem is it getting copyrighted work printed at FedEx Office these days? How often do they demand proof of the right to copy something and how often do they just let it slide? He thought they'd draw the line at an entire textbook.

We're definitely going to be "here for you" if there's ANY problem. Just have the printer fax me at 519-576-0955 and I'll fax back permission.

I really don't think there's going to be a problem and that's a Brave New World from the situation even five years ago from what I can see.

Dave Sim said...

Glen & Jeff: THE LAST DAY I do have in stock. With the sale of the 99 that brings me down to about 350 from about 450. "Velocity" (Diamond's in-house name for it: how fast a given book sells) is a central consideration. I extrapolate from the order that 99 is going to be their typical order for THE LAST DAY and that means I have "three orders worth of warning" before I absolutely have to reprint the book.

Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.

I THINK for Diamond it's just an algorithm: their in-house computer program tracks the velocity and tells them when -- and how many -- they need to order. A sudden surge is going to skew their numbers and my numbers. A much bigger deal now that a full restoration needs to be done on each book. It's not just "when do we go to print?" It's "which book does Sandeep scan the artwork from and John and Karen scan the negatives from NEXT?" It's easy to guess wrong.

CHURCH & STATE I was printed in Singapore. CEREBUS was printed in California. MARQUIS (formerly Lebonfon) Vald'Or Quebec is running a test signature from C&S I this week and Sean is trying to "up" their game to TWP's (Singapore's) level.

Dave Sim said...

Jeff & Glen - It helps that we have a 100% accurate C&S I printed copy now so Sean can direct their attention to problem areas in their work and show them that someone else did it 100% accurately.

Sean's latest breakthrough (?) was finding a less porous paper that MARQUIS could access from their supplier. That's what they're testing this week. [Sean will be doing a post on this as an FYI for other self-publishers)

Executive Level: I decided I need both a US$ printer and a CA$ printer that I can rely on to deliver the same level of quality. That was more urgent when the CA$ was tanking down around 67 cents US a couple of months ago, a little less urgent now that it's back up around 76 cents US. Depending on where the $ is when it's time to print, that's who we print with. Nerve-wracking but, when you're publishing Big Fat Graphic Novels, what isn't?

Dave Sim said...

Jeff: Actually the labels are BAR CODE stickers. At a specific point, Diamond made it a policy that everything they sold needed to have a bar code. Which meant all of the inventory that I had that was printed before the policy came into effect needed to have a bar code sticker added to it. I incorporated the DIAMOND ORDER CODE and book price as well.

RE: your phone message. It's always a good idea with proofreading to TREAT IT as if you're the last person who gets a kick at the can. In this case, I'll definitely be reading whatever you consider to be the FINISHED READS text -- probably a couple of times -- but PRETEND it's all riding on you! Sharpens you up! :)

Sandeep and I also discussed the possibility of a "medical team" approach: posting the "finished" text somewhere online and inviting people to suggest further/alternate changes.

I don't want to come in until as LATE as possible in the proceedings so that I'm "fresh" on it when the actual final decisions need to be made.

Dave Sim said...

Tony - You're quite right. SINCERE apologies. I will attempt to atone for that, this year, by fasting for 24 hours and reading John 13-19 aloud after my prayer times on April 29th as well!

Anthony Kuchar said...

Hi Dave!

I have a question. I went to a panel at Toronto Comic-Con last week about the history of Canadian comics. Gerhard was on the panel as was Richard Comley as well as one of the founders of the Canadian comic magazine called "Orb". This fellows' name escapes me but he mentioned how you where keenly interested in Orb and how you made note of all of the "learning curve" mistake they made when you original launched Cerebus. (I'm paraphrasing the story a lot.) Ger said you really should have been on the panel, as you are a "walking, talking comics history book."

How was Orb influential to you as a comic writer/artist/publisher?

Jeff Seiler said...

Deve: in RE; the proffreadinng, Ill definitivly treet it as it was in my HANDS. Trist me, your save weth mee. REEDS is im gOod HANDS.

Jeff Seiler said...

Damn! I really shuld read thess things before i post them!

Jeff Seiler said...

D'oh!

Jeff Seiler said...

"Dar....pretty lettering," says Jeff, while he's proofreading Cerebus volumes...

Dave Sim said...

Hi Anthony! Well, we've stalled out again at 702 signatures, but we DID jump from 647 to 702 in the space of a couple of weeks which is unheard of. 1,298 more signatures and I'll certainly CONSIDER going back out in public. Even Toronto! Even Toronto comic conventions.

It would have been NICE if someone would have explained WHY I wasn't at the convention and recommended that people sign the petition but I'm fully aware that that's simply beyond the scope of what people can countenance in 2016. Just "Too bad Dave isn't here." i.e. It's Dave's fault that Dave isn't here. Nothing to be done about it.

That would have been James Waley. James signed the petition. Pretty much as he said, being at ORB as Senior Editor after it had published its last issue and while James was "scrambling for short yardage" to try to keep the whole thing going definitely gave me a "nuts and bolts" awareness of what goes into publishing a comic book. James would be the first to admit the mistakes that he made, but it's definitely not as easy as it looks. It definitely turned me away from anthologies. On an anthology title, you're only as fast as your slowest contributor. Doing it all yourself seems -- and seemed -- counterintuitive until you look at ALL the things that go wrong with multiple contributors. The issue we never got done was the "SF issue" No.7. We had an absolute killer cover, we had "I'm God" which was one of the best things I had written at that age and Fabio had pencilled and inked the story in a couple of weeks. But that was about it. Everything else was "being worked on".

Dave Sim said...

"Why can't everyone just sit down and draw their pages?" Well, ORB didn't pay very much so everyone had to make a living doing other things. Gene wasn't going to stop doing paying work to do ORB work. What I was really doing was posing the question to myself: "Why can't I sit down and draw a comic book?" The answer was: I CAN. I just need to do it.

Avoid doing a colour section. Warren did it so James did it because Warren was a success. It turned out to be a mistake. It boosts the time it takes to do the comic and it doesn't increase sales.

Keep the format and logo the same. Orb went from magazine size to comic-book size and then back to magazine size. I understood BRANDING before there was a word for it because of the ORB experience.

Frequent publication. Monthly if you can manage it. It's what separates a comic book from a fanzine.

Stuff like that there. :)

Anthony Kuchar said...

Thanks Dave!

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Of course, it is Dave's fault that he doesn't attend comics conventions. He could decide to at any point he wishes. If he wants to place conditions on his participating, he is free to do so, but the world it not obliged to agree. He is not being excluded; he is withdrawing himself.

-- Damian

Travis Pelkie said...

It's embarrassing to admit how giddy I got when Dave namechecked me here! Thanks for holding up a piece of original art, Dave! To add to my request (see, I get something and I just want more!), is there any chance of holding a regular size piece of art next to an oversize piece, and also, turn a piece of art sideways, to see how thick the paper is? Y'know, just when you get a chance to comply with all my requests ;) Thanks again, Dave! Who says this isn't the Antic Age of Aardvark-Vanaheim request taking!

Re:Diamond, it's entirely possible that they just erred somehow, somewhere. They're awfully good at that lately. Just in the last day or so, Rich posted a piece on Bleeding Cool about how Diamond lost the orders they got for the Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips Image book Criminal 10th Anniversary special. Lost the orders. That comic book stores sent TO THEM. And my shop seems to have a different book of mine that I've ordered not make it in the shipment almost every week this year. (Yeah, I order a lot, but still...) Monopolies at work!

Glad to hear you're looking into a US and Canadian printer. That will certainly help ship the books faster, hotter off the press! Also, North American pride calls for us to do better than the rest of the world, dang it! ;)

re: the self-publishing lessons Dave learned through the mistakes of others. "On an anthology title, you're only as fast as your slowest contributor." Excellent advice. Dave's notions to stay self-contained are inspirational to me. Now I just have to stop being my own slowest contributor!