Monday, 4 April 2016

On Sale 7 Years Ago: Cerebus Archive #1

Cerebus Archive #1 (April 2009)
Art by Dave Sim

11 comments:

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I fear that this title may have been doomed in the marketplace from the get-go. This was the early work that failed to break Dave into a comics career at the time; why would it be any more appealing today? The people interested in it would be Dave Sim fans, not even Cerebus fans -- and completist fans at that. Perhaps, if Dave ever has the inclination and (ha!) the time to try this again, it might be more suitable for a digital archive where the expenses are only in preparing it, not in printing and distributing it.

-- Damian

Travis Pelkie said...

I've said a few times now that the complete collection of this series (or individual issues) should be available digitally with the next Kickstarter a la Collected Letters 3. But that's because I don't have to do the work for it ;)

This is from 7 years ago? 2009 is 7 years ago now? Dammit, time, stop moving so quickly!

Anthony Kuchar said...

Seven years, how the time flies. I remember likening "Life Suit" a lot. You could probably sell that as a movie concept on the SPACE channel.

al roney said...

@Travis - Agreed! Digital files of these issues(and Glamourpuss for that matter) would be great to have!

Jp Pollard said...

This was actually my first Cerebus (related) comic I bought off the stands when it came out (not counting Glamourpuss). Wow, I can't believe it's been 7 years.

Sandeep Atwal said...

I think this is the project that Dave should have started as soon as Cerebus ended. Probably could have squeezed at least 100 issues out of this...at least. Unfortunately, this only ran to the the very beginning of when Cerebus started. Plus, his drawing skill was at such a high level that the depiction of events of this time was absolutely top-notch. Not to mention that people are usually very interested in the behind-the-scenes stuff. I still love that Life-Suit story. Plus, the covers were fantastic! One of these days we'll get these online somehow...

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I fear that Sandeep's affection for Dave has affected his objectivity. Dave's drawing skill on Cerebus's early issues was, in his own words, "the work of an enthusiastic amateur"; his earlier work was even less accomplished. His writing was similarly amateurish. One of the interesting things about Cerebus is watching Dave get better as he goes alone.

100 issues? How do you figure? There's no way this title was going to be an economic success in today's comics marketplace, or even the marketplace of 2004. Granted, some people like behind-the-scenes stuff -- but not everybody who buys a video watches the "special features", so you have to figure it would sell below what Cerebus's numbers were at the end. This project was clearly for hard-core fans only.

I'm pleased to hear that Sandeep is determined to make this title available in electronic form. I'd like to see the complete (unitalicized) Cerebus Archive (or Foundation or whatever Dave is calling his "Museum of Me") online, where hard-core fans and scholar-squirrels could access it. I hope Sandeep or someone can convince Dave of the worth of doing so, overcoming his luddite leanings and indulging his paranoia that a university would do ... something? ... to his papers if he donated them. Even if the Cerebus Archive website charged a fee for access to cover the hosting bill, it would be cheaper for some researcher than travelling to Kitchener and hiring a security guard to follow you around the house.

-- Damian

Sandeep Atwal said...

Wrong again, Damian.

I'm talking about Dave's drawing ability when he was actually doing the comic in 2009-2010. For example, his "Hypothetical Cerebus" in issue 12 or his meeting between Dave and Deni in issue 13 (i.e. "depiction of events of this time"). Top-notch, as I say.

Easily 100 issues. That's assuming he could cram three issues of Cerebus into every issue of Cerebus Archive. The notebooks themselves would take up a lot of that, let alone the back story of what was going on at the time, plus all the photos and sketches throughout the years. Following Cerebus proved that there was a LOT more to Cerebus. 100 issues, easily.

Perhaps your antipathy towards Dave is affecting your objectivity?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the book and regretted its jump to a print-on-demand format. This and Glamourpuss continued to lure me to comic shops. Without those magnets, I rarely go to a comic shop anymore, except sporadically when the thought occurs to me, and rarely make a purchase. Did others similarly find their shopping habits broken?

--Claude Flowers

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

If I misunderstood you, Sandeep, then I apologize; I can see what you meant now. You have a record of misunderstanding and misrepresenting other people, so my error is understandable. For example, though I agree that perhaps Dave could have produced 100 issues of content, that isn't what the discussion was about; it was about the economic viability of the title, which was predictably -- and proven by reality -- nonexistent. Also for example, I have no antipathy toward Dave; your Simcophancy prevents you from accepting as legitimate any criticism of your hero at all, so you have to cast me among the "Enemies of Dave" (EoD?) to preserve your worldview.

Not to conclude on a negative note, though! Travis, Al, and I all commented on this very post that we would enjoy and appreciate seeing this title available as a digital download in some format -- a collection, individual issues, a standalone download, a Kickstarter reward. And Sandeep, if you are able to effect such a project, I will thank you with all sincerity.

-- Damian

Bill Ritter said...

Add me to that "we" ("we would enjoy and appreciate seeing this title available as a digital download in some format ")