Thursday, 31 March 2016

CEREBUS COVER ART TREASURY:BEHIND THE SCENES

The latest -- and, I've decided, last -- proof for the IDW covers book has arrived clocking in at 350 pages.  As I've written to Justin Eisinger, in light of his decision to override my last three suggestions of what needed to be done with the book, I'm doing a LOT of left-handed typing to explain what I think needs to be changed in the book with no guarantee that anything will be done.

That's fine.

CEREBUS COVER ART TREASURY has been a lot more work on IDW's side than my side and we're now coming up on the fourth anniversary, so at some point, rationally, we have to just say "close enough for government work" and let it go.

It's as much Justin's project as it is mine so it seems sensible to have one more "kick at the can" on my part and then let Justin finish it up.

So, what I've decided to do is to type my last set of recommendations in the form of an AMOC article called CEREBUS COVER ART TREASURY: BEHIND THE SCENES and have Sandeep e-mail it to Tim W at the same time that we send it back to Justin along with the pages that I think "need work". Tim W will hang onto it and post it here when the COVERS book arrives in stores so people can see what was done and what wasn't done.

I don't know how much left-handed typing it's going to be, but just explaining WHAT the image they have for the CEREBUS No.1 cover IS as opposed to what it's SUPPOSED TO BE is...lengthy.  Lengthy, and I think, of interest to long-time CEREBUS fans, which is where I got the idea for "double duty":  hopefully we get a more appropriate image in that space and AMOC viewers get the thorough "cover of No.1 story" that there just isn't going to be room for in the book itself.   Or, if they decide to stick with the image they've got, at least I'll be "on the record" about why I thought it inappropriate. And anyone who buys the book can judge for themselves.

This is, I'm sure, going to be a full-time job at least for the next few days, so I won't be posting here as often over the next week or so.  I really want to get back to THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND full-time as soon as possible.

I WILL do an Impossible Thing #7 post next Wednesday and many thanks to Erick for his patience!

Cerebus vs The Spirit

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

We've looked at Dave Sim's notebook 5 a few times already - most recently two months ago in Sane As It Ever Was. It covers issues 70 to 79 of Cerebus.

The first few pages of the notebook cover the Cerebus vs The Spirit jam that Dave wrote, laid out and drew Cerebus, Gerhard drew the backgrounds, and Will Eisner drew The Spirit and Commissioner Dolan figures. On page 1 of the notebook we see Dave doing some layouts for the first page of the jam story along with his Will Eisner signature.

Notebook 5, page 1
Skipping page 2, which is just some more layouts, we see on page 3 Dave's plot for the first couple pages of the story.

Notebook 5, page 3


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

HEY DAMIAN!

"Howard the Duck", Steve Gerber and Comic Art Metaphysics follow-ups in the Monday, March 28 comments section.

Wednesday's Impossible Thing: #6

Impossible Thing To Believe Before Breakfast #6:
It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.

DAVE SIM:

Hi Erick!

I've decided to do one of these a week: Wednesday!  I'll leave it up to Tim W if he wants to keep "Impossible Things" commentaries from other people going after that.

#6 - I think virtually ALL (i.e. 95% or better) men and women are fine with men meeting with men and women meeting with women absent the other gender; sports clubs exclusively for men and sports clubs exclusively for women, etc. -- and take it as a given that INDIVIDUALS are the ones best suited to choose their personal circumstances for themselves.

I really think feminists are the only people who have a problem with it because of their misandry mind-set.  They infer that the only reason men would want to be together without women being there is because any meeting that doesn't INCLUDE women is directed AGAINST women.  Another instance of the most aggressive women intimidating normal women.

Definitely up until 1970, it was taken as a given that you would have sewing bees for women, lodge meetings for men, etc. etc. Everyone would have found it inconceivable that it could be considered an issue.  Husbands and wives need the time away from each other and time with others of their own gender.

I think the only explanation for thinking otherwise is misandry and paranoia.

On Sale 28 Years Ago: Cerebus #108

Cerebus #108 (March 1988)
Art by Gerhard

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Work vs The Creator

Cerebus Vol 9: Reads (1995)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

DAVE SIM:
(from the Kickstarter Q&A, May 2014)
...I've never been in the situation where I would Not Read someone else's work because of political or personal differences. At least part of that I think is because I've always known the work more than the person, whoever the person was. It would seem really weird to me to have someone's personal or political views get "in the way" of their work. It's either good work and worth looking at or it isn't. If it IS good work, how would you change your mind about it? I think you'd have to be disassociate by nature to be able to do that. To keep various Realities in different compartments in your head. "I liked this work in 1994 but then I had to stop liking it." How do you STOP liking something creative? Gives me the creeps to even think of thinking that way...

Monday, 28 March 2016

On Sale 21 Years Ago: Cerebus #192

Cerebus #192 (March 1995)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Only Demons Lie

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

Another look of Dave Sim's notebook #22 - as requested by Jeff S - which we covered last week in Cerebus is Tired - Aye. Aye. This time we're look at page 40 of the notebook - it covers Cerebus #217 page 15 which is page 363 in the Guys phonebook. In it Cerebus convinces himself Dave is a demon.

On page 33 and 34 of the notebook Dave outlines some dialogue for this page. He then returns to it on page 40 of the notebook.

Notebook #22, page 40
The text matches the finished page pretty well, but the sketch is a bit different. Rather than Joanne laying on Cerebus' right, she is on his left:

Guys, page 363

Cerebus is a bit shocked at the news of Elrod and Red Sophia living together in Iest, and then goes to get a scotch as he is apparently as shocked as I was to hear Red Sophia and Elrod were living together.



Saturday, 26 March 2016

SCROLL DOWN SCROLL DOWN SCROLL DOWN!

I'm sure everyone "gets" this but me -- the link is down at the bottom of today's postings!

UPDATE:
The Total TCOP Package: www.gofundme.com/cerebus 
Individual TCOP Purchases:  www.gumroad.com/cerebusonline
Hi-Rez Image Downloads. 
Always. Available.

THE CEREBUS OVERSIZE PROJECT!

Hi-Rez Cerebus Image Downloads. Always. Available.
Help preserve the longest graphic novel in the English-speaking world, the 6,000-page Cerebus!

Multiple Purchases (Cheap!): www.gofundme.com/cerebus 
Individual Purchases:  www.gumroad.com/cerebusonline

Okay, everyone click on www.gofundme.com/cerebus and take a look at The Total TCOP Package! Remember -- you don't have to buy ALL of them and you don't have to buy them today or next week or a month from now.  They're. Always. Available.  It's not like Kickstarter with a 30-day "window".  ALWAYS means ALWAYS with TCOP. The images are also available INDIVIDUALLY at: www.gumroad.com/cerebusonline.

Every one of those images you're looking at in low resolution is being made available in HIGH RESOLUTION 600 dpi CMYK.  The same resolution that Sean Robinson is using for the CEREBUS Remastering Volumes.  ALL THE DETAIL!  ZOOM IN and just keep clicking.  The image doesn't "fuzz out" it just gets HUUUUGGGE!

Even with these OVERSIZED art pieces, it's possible not only to get them printed out at their ORIGINAL size, it's possible to ENLARGE them 200% with no loss of detail!  The cover original of 187 is roughly 11x17.  The poster behind me is TWO FEET BY THREE FEET!

How much does it cost to get them reproduced at that size?  That depends on what printer you talk to and where you live.  We're encouraging EVERYONE to let people know what they think the ideal size and paper stock is -- and what the best deal is out there in North America, Europe and the UK.  

But, in the meantime, this is the closest you'll EVER get to these CEREBUS ARCHIVE original pieces.  LITERALLY!  It's like downloading a digital guided tour of your favourite CEREBUS art pieces as UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL as it gets. 

Happy hunting!

p.s. MANY, MANY, MANY thanks to Eric Berry for hosting the images at www.CerebusArchive.com where they will ALWAYS be available! And, of course, all 6,000 pages of Cerebus are ALWAYS available at www.CerebusDownloads.com.

LAST MINUTE OF PLAY. LAST MINUTE OF PLAY.

Godspeed TCOP!

TWO MINUTES

Hope you want buy some stuff, too

FOUR MINUTES TO LAUNCH

Margaret Liss just checked in, so it's starting to seem REAL NOW!

FIVE MINUTES TO LAUNCH

Okay, Sandeep's ready with the LINK at 7 pm.

Hope y'all like what you see over there!

10 MINUTES TO LAUNCH

As I say, Tim, we're keeping an open mind about TCOP!  We have to see how it goes before we decide we're going to do any extensive "babysitting" on it.

20 MINUTES TO LAUNCH

I'm just going to post the website address when we hit 7 pm.  Unless Sandeep's still out there and he wants to make it an actual LINK.

40 MINUTES TO LAUNCH

Tick tick tick

60 MINUTES TO LAUNCH

Anybody out there?  Anybody have any questions or comments.  Just post them to the comments section here.

Jeff Seiler - I am reasured, as always, by you're dedication to REEDS and determination to get it write the first time.

90 MINUTES TO TCOP LAUNCH!

Tick Tick Tick.  The Wifi place is open 'til 9 pm, fortunately.

TWO HOURS TO GO UNTIL TCOP LAUNCH!!

Have some stuff I needed to look up on the Internet for STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND.  I'll be checking to see if anyone's posting anything and try to "chime in"!

FOUR AND A HALF HOURS TO TCOP LAUNCH!

Trying to alternate between posting here -- added to a bunch of the comments below! -- and getting "work work" done.  THE FRIDAY PROJECT spilled over into Saturday this week.

Thanks to Tim W, as always, for being such a great host!

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!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

OFF-WHITE HOUSE BULLETIN UPDATE 3/24

The TCOP Launch has been delayed to 7 pm on Saturday March 26.

The Wifi place I use will be closed both Good Friday and Easter Monday, so I'm going to try to make up for that by doing more posts than I planned on Saturday March 26 and Not Easter Tuesday.  :)

Thanks to everyone who's been expressing interest!

OFF-WHITE HOUSE BULLETIN 3/24

Extremely embarrassed to admit that I got the date for Good Friday wrong -- it's tomorrow instead of next week, so the TCOP launch has been bumped by 24 hours to 7 pm Saturday.  Sincere apologies to everyone!

The Cerebus Oversize Project #5: The Duck



I'm not sure I'm even allowed to do this.  It's very weird to be Comics' Greatest Outlaw because the entire field -- very pointedly -- pretends that you don't exist.

Which means that the odds are whoever owns this character for whom I did this piece way back in the 1980s will never find out that I'm selling copies of it.  

Which I'm not. I mean, right NOW, I'm just showing you what it looks like, very publicly.  Publicly enough that if the publisher of this character was to find out that I was THINKING of selling copies of this piece, they could certainly let me know in no uncertain terms that they didn't want me to do this.  And if they let me know that, I would certainly take down this image Pronto.  

[Yes, Kemosabe?]

[Not "Tonto" -- "Pronto".]

[I wrote that line in a movie script on worked on with Lenny Henry a number of years ago and am pleased to steal it back from myself]

So, let's leave it at that.  Doesn't this frontispiece from a certain 1980s magazine version of a nameless comic-book character look cool with the original green painted halftones?  Just thought you'd like to see it. Unless of course I don't hear from anyone in the next couple of weeks, in which case you'll be able to buy it.


Shhh. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Cerebus Oversize Project #4: Cerebus No.130, pg. 6-7



The other big impetus behind TCOP was the double-page spreads that were drawn on oversized sheets of illustration board.  

Seriously. Would you rather see this two-page spread reduced down to the size of an 11x17 Bonus Print?  Or would you like the chance to print out "size as"…OR LARGER?

The other problem, of course, is how do you pick WHICH two-page spreads?  Same deal as SIX DEADLY SINS.  Whichever ones you pick, all you're going to do is stress out the people who wanted you to pick OTHER two-page spreads.

We've opted for what we hope is the widest selection at the most reasonable price. 

If we "stall out" at $75 in total pledges after a few days, then we will have guessed wrong -- AND EVERYONE WILL BE ABLE TO SEE IT IN REAL TIME! GULP!


One of our big priorities was to offer a good deal for quantity while also making sure that people with shallow pockets (which is most of us, nowadays) can not only pick up one or two TCOP Images for an affordable price, but that they can do so on an on-going basis.  With virtually ALL of the Aardvark-Vanaheim cash going towards restoration and scanning these days, I'm definitely in that category: "No, I can't afford to buy them all at once, but -- hmmm -- one or two every payday? Given that as soon as I click it, I've got it?"  

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Cerebus Oversize Project #3: The Six Deadly Sins - "ENVY"



This is the closest I came to achieving the kind of pen-line I wanted to be working in.  Just started inking and got into a "zone" and got all of the pen lines to look pretty much the way they did in my head.  Which almost never happens.  The cobblestones aren't exact (very difficult to do angled cobblestones receding in a natural perspective), but the densities and textures represented by the pen lines are really quite balanced and really quite exact.  


Can I kvetch a little more?  So there I am in my hotel room, first time in California, within shouting distance of the beach, coming into Hour number Three or Four of signing these plates that were supposed to be shipped to me and one of the Schanes Brothers shows up with CAPTAIN VICTORY No.1 by Jack Kirby, hot off the presses.  Pacific Comics' first comic book.  And they're all doing victory laps around my hotel room and now I'm having to not only sign these plates that were supposed to be shipped to me, I'm having to pull and turn them because my portfolio is suddenly WAY down on their list of priorities behind them making comic-book history with CAPTAIN VICTORY No.1. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

The Cerebus Oversize Project #2 - Six Deadly Sins

ALL THIS WEEK, EXCLUSIVELY HERE AT A MOMENT OF CEREBUS AS WE COUNT DOWN TO THE 7 PM FRIDAY MARCH 25 "TCOP" -- THE CEREBUS OVERSIZED PROJECT -- LAUNCH, DAVE SIM WILL BE HIGHLIGHTING AND COMMENTING ON SEVERAL OF THE FEATURED PIECES




I mentioned yesterday that the publishers of the SIX DEADLY SINS PORTFOLIO (the "missing" sin is "Lust" by the way:  it wasn't yet one of Cerebus' "Acquired Tastes", the one that would prove his undoing) dropped a really ugly magenta and electric cyan onto my black and white original cover without mentioning to me that they had decided to do so.  I am pleased, thirty-four years later, to present the cover as it had been originally intended. 

Can I kvetch a little more?  

They had been supposed to mail me the "Sloth" plates which I could sign and number at my leisure at home and then ship back to them in time for the San Diego Con. Instead, they whisked me directly from the plane to my hotel room and had me sign and number all 1750  

It wasn't the best introduction to San Diego, California or Comicon.

I have to say, developing TCOP, one of the problems was "How do we make ALL of these available?"  I mean, I can pick my favourite SIX DEADLY SINS plates, but all that's going to do is stress everyone out as to HOW and WHEN they can get the other four or five or whatever.

We'll be posting another DEADLY SIN as the countdown picks up steam  


I think we came up with a good solution.  

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Publishing Timeline: After Cerebus

Cerebus Publishing Timeline:
#1-100 | #101-200 | #201-300 | After Cerebus
Please report all errors/omissions in the 'Comments' section.

(Idea stolen from CBG #1267, February 1998. Thanks to Michael Cohen!)

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Cerebus Oversize Project: MY Kinko's vs YOUR Kinko's


DAVE SIM:
Okay, as I'm typing this, we are six days and roughly 21 hours away from the actual TCOP launch (see SLEDGEHAMMER below)!

If you have questions or, particularly, suggestions, they're certainly welcome since, so far as we know, this has never been done before and it's certainly something virtually ALL artists and publishers have been leery about:  making high resolution digital files available for sale.  If you want, you can try talking us out of it!  :)

LOTS of tweaking has been done but, as I always say, a good idea can come from anywhere.

It has definite pluses.  As compared with Kickstarter where, four months later, we're still only part of the way through the fulfillment process (John is suggesting that we'll be at the printing and signing point sometime in the next week: I sure hope so! SINCERE apologies!), unless something goes seriously wrong next Friday, if you click on SLEDGEHAMMER and pay for it, you'll get it immediately.

Some allowances will have to be made in some cases for download time -- they are HUGE, HUGE files -- but even then it will be "ALMOST immediately".

I liked Sandeep's comment:  "It's really a question of MY Kinko's versus YOUR Kinko's" if we had gone the route of printing and shipping them.  High resolution files like these you will be able to print anywhere.  Some places will farm them out (the place who did the #187 cover did it and had it back in two or three days), other places can do them "on site".  You can definitely shop for the best price, as well online.

This way also allows you to choose what you want the images printed on if you choose to have them printed.

I wouldn't underrate that as a key "individualizing" point.  "MY Kinko's comes with MY choices and you're stuck with them".  Some people are "glossy" people and same people are "flat" people.  I prefer artwork on glossy paper.

If I was getting SLEDGEHAMMER printed here, as the co-artist, I would go glossy.  However, beyond a certain size -- if I was getting SLEDGEHAMMER printed the same size as the #187 two foot by three foot -- I might go "flat".  My choice would also depend on whether I was getting it framed under glass or getting it laminated or hot-pressed or cold-pressed onto some kind of board.  Those aren't right or wrong ways: it's all personal preference.

But, if I was doing it, you would be stuck with glossy. 

If you're getting all of them printed and storing them in a portfolio or folder, then you can print them to the exact size of the portfolio or wherever it is that you'll be storing them.

Most print shops have examples of their oversized work either on display or available for view.  The average customer isn't going to notice because the average customer isn't getting oversized work done.

The people in the print shop can explain in great detail what the different processes are that they have available and what the different visual effects created by those different processes are.

The Cerebus Oversize Project #1 - Cerebus Sledgehammer

ALL THIS WEEK, EXCLUSIVELY HERE AT A MOMENT OF CEREBUS AS WE COUNT DOWN TO THE 7 PM FRIDAY MARCH 25 "TCOP" -- THE CEREBUS OVERSIZED PROJECT -- LAUNCH, DAVE SIM WILL BE HIGHLIGHTING AND COMMENTING ON SEVERAL OF THE FEATURED PIECES


Cover illustration for CAPITOL CITY INTERNAL CORRESPONDENCE 1995.  DC Comics had, as far as I was concerned, signed Capitol City Distribution's death warrant with their exclusive deal with Diamond Comics.  So, this was an attempt to at least raise Milton and John's spirits by giving them a nice "rah-rah" cover for one of the last issues they would publish.  "It's Not Over, 'Til We SAY It's Over"  

(when you're stealing your "rah-rah" mottos from John Belushi in ANIMAL HOUSE you're really clutching at straws) ("Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" "The Germans?" "Quiet, he's on a roll.")(But, then, that was part of the charm).  

It really wasn't until Gerhard had brushed on the process cyan, process red, process yellow Dr. Martin dyes on the statue fragments of -- uh, whoever that happens to be a statue of -- that I thought, "Mm. This is a little more over-the-top than I had intended it to be."  I thought about getting him to damp down the colour a little bit but then I thought "Eff it. In for a penny in for a pound."  

It was shortly after the cover was published that Christopher Reeve had his horse-jumping accident that left him paralyzed.  I always felt bad about the possible Comic Art Metaphysics inference:  that Cerebus' sledgehammer had been metaphysically to blame.  

Because INTERNAL CORRESPONDENCE was magazine sized, the original artwork qualifies for the OVERSIZED PROJECT. 


THE COUNTDOWN TO THE TCOP THE CEREBUS OVERSIZED PROJECT LAUNCH CONTINUES. 
STAY TUNED FOR MORE UPDATES...

Impossible Thing #5

DAVE SIM:
So the 2+2=4 I would suggest as apparent in #5 hinges on "equal partnership":  Up to 1970, partnership -- marriage -- was a universal constant.  Virtually all woman got lifelong husbands and stable marriages which I think is the societal ideal.  So I think the Natural organizing principle -- men working outside the home and women working inside the home -- proved itself.

The criteria being not just equality -- which we have now -- but universality, which we don't.

This will be my last post on Erick's IMPOSSIBLE THINGS until after the launch of The Cerebus Oversize Project, where I'll pick up with #6. Sincere apologies to you, Erick!  I appreciate your patience. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

IMPOSSIBLE THING 3/18/16

Impossible Things To Believe Before Breakfast:
5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.
DAVE SIM:

Hi Erick!

Been working since 12:30 am with a 2 hr nap this afternoon, so this is going to be extremely truncated.

Two steering wheels, two brakes, etc. sounds like a good idea but I think it's a recipe for disaster in the domestic sphere.  Originating in the fact that men are naturally more hunter-gatherers and women "nesters".  The problem comes in because the average man's standards for domestic work are very low.  The Off-White House is "not filthy" but it is not clean to the point of a woman's standards.  Women do more housework because their standards are much, much higher.  Something that isn't 97% clean for a woman is seen by them as potentially unhealthy. Which it is.

The IDEAL is nice: we'll BOTH do the housework.  For a woman, a man's standards of "not filthy" just look like slacking, not caring, freeloading.  We're supposed to BOTH be doing the housework.  The house is going to look FILTHY to you long before it looks filthy to me so you'll clean it before I do.  And resent it if I don't.

I think we will get back to what worked up to 1970 and which still works in much of the world: women in charge of the domestic environment and men in charge of "resources" or hunting gathering or whatever you want to call it.  If it's how things are done GENERALLY in nature, then you are going to see that in the human sphere.  Unless ideologues take over and decide to make the human sphere different from nature. The Feminist Theocracy wants the natural split eradicated, but that's purely self-interest, I think.  For a "nester" to force herself to NOT be a "nester" and be a hunter-gatherer is cutting off her nose to spite her face.  Which is easy for a masculine woman or a woman who wants to BE masculine.  Better a pure Feminist Theocracy face with no nose on it than an "oppressed, subjugated" nose making a mockery of her Feminist Theocracy face.  Women who accept that a nose and a face go together are going to be happier in the long run, GENERALLY.

"You wait 'til your father gets home".  The other thing that used to exist was masculine discipline and corporal punishment. "A mother's heart contains nothing but love".  I saw that on a sampler once.  Very true!  That's why they're lousy disciplinarians GENERALLY.  They want their children to love them and they want their children to be happy 24/7.  A spanked child is an unhappy child.  Temporary unhappiness is important if an important lesson needs to be learned.   Men are better able to suck it up in that area than women are, GENERALLY.

HOWEVER, because we live in a Feminist Theocracy, husbands and fathers have no rights.  As long as you're zigging when she's zigging and zagging when she's zagging two steering wheels are fine.  If you try to start steering the domestic sphere in a different direction from the one she wants, in how your children are reared, in particular, you are in danger of finding out that your rights got legislated away decades ago in Family Law.  She owns your children, lock, stock and barrel.

I went through the custody battle for Craig Miller's daughter from the sidelines.  I kept trying to tell him, Craig, you're going to lose (I held out a slim hope that because it was a Texas vs. Ohio thing, with Craig in Texas -- well, I mean, okay.  TEXAS.  Father's rights, right? -- No sir).  Take what she gives you because that's ALL you're going to get and be prepared to say goodbye to your daughter permanently.

Getting married and having a child when you don't understand HOW much of a Feminist Theocracy we live in.  Well, I feel for you, in a way (Apart from the fact that I'm not a "feel" kind of guy).  But you should have recognized the nutcracker you were putting yourself into.  A father is going to LOVE his kid(s).  Definite CAPS.  You will be deeply, deeply connected.  But, you will not have a legal leg to stand on. Even when the courts find in your favour, they will not ENFORCE that decision.  A Feminist Theocracy mother is a steamroller and she WILL flatten you if she's decided that you are in the way.  NO court will go toe-to-toe with a mother and TELL her to do something.  SHE will do what she thinks is best.  Period.  And the court WILL get out of her way.

Craig and his wife, like all couples, started out with the best will in the world to have a completely equal "two steering wheel two brake car".  It's nice when it works.  But when it doesn't work, it's a bloodbath.

When I visit the 5K (5 kids) Kitchens, I spend most of my time in the kitchen, because I want to visit with Mike AND Erika.  If I sit in the living room or the dining room, I'll see Erika for 20 seconds until she thinks of something ELSE she needs to do in the kitchen.  I stay out of the way.  But it's wonderful to watch.  It's like a ballet.  A woman who IS just who she is:  a wife and mother, given over wholly to what I'm pretty sure are MOST women's natural interests and enjoyments.

No way of proving that "MOST",  and -- 46 years into the Feminist Theocracy -- I'll never live to see it reassert itself, but I'm pretty sure it will.

Okay.  Prayer time.

Weekly Update #126: The Cerebus Oversize Project


Tired of low-resolution images? Bored of the same-old small file sizes? Introducing The Cerebus Oversize Project! Over the next week, Dave will reveal more details of an exciting new way to obtain VERY hi-resolution images of Cerebus artwork. You won't believe your eyes!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Impossible Things #3 and 4

Impossible Things To Believe Before Breakfast:
3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.
4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.

DAVE SIM:

Hi Erick!

Trying to keep this to a 2+2=4 self-evident level:

2+2=4:  Every baby that has been born, is being born and ever will be born is formed of 23 male-originating chromosomes and 23 female-originating chromosomes.  There is no such thing as a 19-27 or 26-20 baby.  Every baby is a 50-50 proposition between the two genders. No baby can be created, has been created or ever will be created without a FULL 50% contribution from a man.

2+2=4: As per THE LAST DAY [p.32], we know for a fact that a baby constructs ITSELF in the womb past the four-cell division stage.  It is not part of its mother's body.  The best description of it is, as I described it, a Gruesome Parasite.  It knows what it needs from the mother's body to generate its physical self according to its autonomous, "on-board" internal 23-23 roadmap and it TAKES those things.  Its mother doesn't GIVE anything to it.  It TAKES it.  It's programmed to do that.

2+2=4: If it was part of its mother's body the baby would be a replicant.  If there are incidents of a mother reproducing herself in exact form, they are anecdotal anomalies on a cosmological scale.  The fact that every baby that has been born, is being born and ever will be born is NOT a replicant, the fact that every child, ever born, that is being born or ever will be born -- even (or, in this case, I should say ESPECIALLY) to the same parents -- is an entirely UNIQUE being in its physical attributes is proof positive that EVERY baby is a unique 23-23 "program" combining the father's unique one-time-only 23 chromosomes with the mother's unique one-time-only 23 chromosomes.

2+2=4:  If the ACTUAL goal in our society WAS equality between the genders then Equal Reproduction Rights would be foundational and self-evident within our legal system. My unique "one-time-only" 23 chromosomes gives me a 50% stake in THAT SPECIFIC baby if I impregnated you.  Your 23 chromosomes give you a 50% stake in THAT SPECIFIC baby by virtue of it growing out of your egg.  There is no sign of this in our laws in the G7 countries.

[What is required is not only Equal Reproduction Rights but Equal Reproduction Responsibilities.  At the bare minimum medical histories being provided.  It is ludicrous to have even the concept of "an anonymous sperm donor" when the first question any doctor is going to ask you is, "Is there a history of this in your family?" He's not an anonymous sperm donor, he's a father.  Whomever you are discussing he is 50% responsible for that person's existence and any RATIONAL LAW will reflect that.]

[it was a nice Feminist Theocracy fallacy to think that fathers could just be "wished away" through anonymous sperm donorship and adoption.  What we've found instead is that EVERYONE understands the 23-23 construct EXCEPT feminists.  Everyone wants to know who their mother AND father are.  Because they know that's who THEY are: 50-50]

2+2=4: The fact that we don't have Equal Reproduction Rights for the father and mother is what tells us that we are not living in a democracy interested in enshrining Equality between the genders in its laws. We are living in a Feminist Theocracy which will not countenance nor consider nor discuss anything short of absolute ownership and control of babies and reproduction by women.  Period.  Full stop.

That's where we are and that is, in my view, fundamentally, inescapably, self-evidently WRONG.

Cerebus is Tired - Aye. Aye.

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

We've only looked at Dave Sim's notebook #22 once before, back in September 2014 in Thesbian Tavern Tramp Drunk. Notebook #22 covers issues #213 to 241 with 160 pages, only 96 pages scanned, 12 blank pages and 62 pages missing.

On page 24 we see some notes Dave wrote about Rick's Story.

Notebook #22, page 24
We also see some dialogue from Guys of the many voices in Cerebus' head.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A MOMENT OF FEMINISM

DAVE SIM:
Just a quick note that I promised to address Erick on the 15 IMPOSSIBLE THINGS because he actually posted -- according to Tim W, the first one to ever do so -- his 15 replies.

This isn't MY website.  It's Tim W's.  If he wants to do this again:  post Barry Deutsch's 15 RESPONSES and then Damian's 15 RESPONSES and have me reply to them -- and anyone else who wants to post 15 RESPONSES, I have no problem with that.  But, at some point I think he should change the name of the site to A MOMENT OF FEMINISM.

Just saying.

Impossible Thing #2

Impossible Things To Believe Before Breakfast:
2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.

DAVE SIM:
My point here was that government is always the most expensive way to do anything.  There's no such thing as "free" daycare any more than there's "free" healthcare.

The Feminist Theocracy advocates for "free" or heavily subsidized daycare.  Quebec has more experience with that than any jurisdiction in North America.  $7 a day.  Well, it doesn't cost the taxpayer $7 a day.  It's a black hole money pit like "free" health care.  "Free" health care in Ontario absorbs more than 40% of our Gross Domestic Product and Quebec's experience suggests that "subsidized" daycare takes you into those astronomical "unfunded liabilities" areas in a hurry.

I would actually extend this one in a couple of directions:

1)  If you add up what it costs two working parents to keep two cars on the road ("all in" costs) and paying for daycare and compare that to what it would cost them to have one car on the road and to rear their own children at their own expense, I think you would find that the latter in most, if not all, situations makes greater economic sense.  If you're spending all your money on "outside the home" expenses because you just won't look at what it's actually costing, then I think you're being intentionally short-sighted for ideological reasons.

2)  relative to the ORIGINAL POINT:  if you're taking it as a given that this is going to be government funded daycare -- THE most expensive way of doing ANYthing --  a new "Daycare Ministry" and the whole Ministry apparatus that goes into that, top to bottom before you even get to licensing, approvals, leasing, salaries, etc.  it's going to be a lot cheaper and the money will go a lot further if you just divide it up and give it to mothers who are interested.  Provided the stay home and rear their own children.

You could expand that into HABITAT FOR MATERNITY.  "Are you STRICTLY a Mom by nature and inclination?  Are you not remotely interested in having a career?  Do you just want to spend all day with your babies and give them the best start in life that you can?"  Okay, we'll build you a "nothing fancy" house, waive the property taxes, deliver your food to you from the local food bank and basically arrange it so that rearing children is ALL you have to do.

I've read the complaint multiple times from the NATIONAL POST's female writers (and they have a BUNCH of them) that mothers are missing the maternal community that used to exist:  mothers wanting to associate with mothers.  The IT TAKES A VILLAGE that Hillary Clinton was never a part of.

HABITAT FOR MATERNITY would solve that problem.

Yes, the Feminist Theocracy considers ANY woman who just wants to be a mother 24/7 to be psychotic.  They're not.  They're mothers.

They are what virtually ALL women were up until 1970.

I maintain they're still the vast majority.  They've just been intimidated by the Feminist Theocracy into being ashamed of what they are and forced to become something else.

With replacement birth rates dropping, I don't think we can continue to cater to the Feminist Theocracy's idiosyncratic views.  We're going to have to make room for mothers and keep the Feminist Theocracy from harassing them.

READS TYPE

DAVE SIM:
Just a head's up to Jeff S that the text-as-word-document for READS -- and your returned scanned corrections -- should be on the way to you from Sandeep shortly.

I'm going back and forth on the idea of getting Sean to do Notes at the back.  What would he have to say about THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL GRAPHIC NOVEL EVER PUBLISHED!

The fact that that technology exists -- that you can scan text and convert it into a word document -- is pretty amazing.

Is there any chance of getting some volunteers to scan ALL of the text from the back of each issue using that technology?  It seems to me that would be a big leap forward for research capability.  You could do as wide or as narrow a search as you wanted and have an exhaustive list of references to that subject.

The more volunteers, obviously, the better, since you're talking about a mammoth pile of scanning.  Agree ahead of time what issues each volunteer is doing and then pool the results.

Walking On The Moon

Cerebus #108 (March 1988)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Hi Erick! 3/15/16

Fifteen Impossible Things To Believe Before Breakfast:
1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.
DAVE SIM:
Thanks for filling in the blanks of your own experience.  Your mother is definitely to be applauded for what she accomplished.  But I don't think a successful society can model itself on the choices and decision-making and adjustments of those who have had dire circumstances thrust upon them.  Any more than we should all, say, be following the strict medical instructions of someone who just had triple-bypass surgery.

What society chooses to do GENERALLY determines the kind of society that you have.  My points all centre on the fact that society was far more sustainable the way it was GENERALLY conducted up to 1970.  We can do whatever we want in a democracy.  Why not want something that works better, GENERALLY?

The fact that the situation I'm describing hasn't been the norm anywhere in the G7 -- not just the U.S. -- for some time, I don't think refutes my point.  It's like saying "We've been driving the wrong way for the last 50 miles but who wants to turn around and go back?"  If you're on a branch and you're pretending you're still climbing the tree, you're going to run out of branch and you'll have to turn back EVENTUALLY and find out where the tree is and start climbing it again.  That's why I called the essay "Tangent".  Feminism, in my view, is a branch that leads to societal oblivion.

Including women in the workforce is a WONDERFUL idea.  Along the lines of my own "A good idea can come from anywhere, so you don't want to IGNORE anyone".   Stay focussed on IDEAS and you'll recognize a good one when you hear it.  Employing women BECAUSE they're women is the opposite of that.  So it produces negative results.

There is a sensible -- but unknown -- percentage of women that you can have in the workforce before your replacement birth rate plummets to societal suicide levels.  And, in my view, that percentage is substantially below the 86% we have now.

Women are going to have to decide what that percentage is: which women are included and which women aren't included.  It can't ETHICALLY be legislated without intruding on protected free will choices.

The Feminist Theocracy's position on ALL issues is:  we need more feminism, we need more women in the workforce.  So, because we've chosen to BE a Feminist Theocracy, that's where we're going.

But I think I'm safe in saying that the end of the branch is up ahead, somewhere before we hit 100% of women in the workforce.

Jeff S Thanks for the phone message! 3/15/16

DAVE SIM:
Hi Jeff! Thanks for the phone message and for your anecdotal example of how your mother dealt with what the Feminist Theocracy calls the "work-life" balance.  I appreciate your participation.

I'm trying to AVOID the anecdotal trap here, however, since that's largely how the Feminist Theocracy has gotten this far.  "That's not my experience" and "you're generalizing" being deemed all that's necessary to refute any given point.  So, I think we need, as much as possible to stick to 2+2=4 discussion points.

In the case of Impossible Thing #1:  I think it is irrefutably true (98% or higher in terms of probability: 2+2=4) that: Someone Who Does Something From The Time They Get Up In The Morning 'Til The Time They Go To Bed At Night (of which the "stay-at-home Mom" is an example in the category of "child-rearing and homemaking") (a venerable truism used to go: "A man works from sun to sun but a woman's work is never done") Will Do A Better Job Of That Thing Than A "Hobbyist" Who Tries To Do The Same Thing Between The Supper Hour and Bedtime. 

 The reason that I capitalized that and put it in boldface is to indicate that What Is Capitalized And In Boldface is an overarching concept.  The overarching concept has nothing to do with women or mothers SPECIFICALLY.  Child-rearing and homemaking are an EXAMPLE of the truism, but the truism holds true no matter what you're talking about.  If you repair cars in those two time frames, you will do a better job if you do it from the time you get up in the morning until when you go to bed at night than if you do it between the supper hour and bedtime.  You will do MORE of it and you will get BETTER at it.

It isn't 100% true.  The variance can be accounted for by Genius or genius equivalency.  If you're a Genius at repairing cars, you will probably do AS GOOD or BETTER a job in three hours than someone working all day.  I think I'm safe in saying that you won't be as good as YOU would be if you worked all day but that's up to you.  Mental handicap would also factor in.  If you have a learning disability and you work all day, you're probably going to be limited in what you accomplish relative to someone who doesn't have your learning disability.

But COMMON SENSE SHOULD TELL US that someone doing something from the time they get up in the morning until when they go to bed at night is 98 times out of 100 going to do a better job than someone doing that job three hours a day.  Period.  Full Stop.

It is UNPARDONABLY INSULTING to those people who DO SO to suggest otherwise.

Okay, I think that exhausts what I have to say about #1.  On to Erick's #2 tomorrow!

Melmoth: The Wildean Pause In The Cerebus Narrative

Cerebus Vol 6: Melmoth (1991)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
GRAPHIXIA:
(from a review by Brenna Clarke Gray posted at Graphixia, 20 March 2012)

I love Oscar Wilde.

Of course, who doesn't? Announcing an adoration for Wilde is about as controversial as declaring that sunshine is pleasant or cookies are delicious. Are there Oscar haters even out there? I can’t imagine it. But I’ve aways felt a particular affinity for the man, and for a short period in my life considered being a Victorianist exclusively so I could work on Wilde (and then I saw all the other stuff I’d have to read and thought again).

So when we decided we were doing a Cerebus cycle, I knew immediately that I was going to focus on [volume] 6, Melmoth.

By the time Melmoth comes along, Cerebus needs some downtime. He believes Jaka is dead and, basically, he's catatonic. And in his state, he ends up at a cafĂ© near the hotel where Oscar Wilde is living out the last days of his life. "Melmoth" was the alias Wilde lived under in Paris after he was released for Reading Gaol, and that’s where the title of this issue comes from. In Cerebus's monomythic cycle of the hero, I suppose this issue fulfills the role of an apotheosis; Cerebus is resting up for his return to battle (though he doesn't know it in the moment). As a result, we get an exquisitely beautiful and touching interlude about the final days of Oscar Wilde's life.

Dave Sim intersperses excerpts from Robert Ross’s letters about Wilde's declining condition with images of Wilde's suffering body and Cerebus's catatonia. One of the most striking things about this is the way Sim constructs the dying Wilde to be, well, frankly grotesque. Which is, one supposes, as it should be; Wilde is wasting away as he dies slowly and painfully of meningitis. But how often do we see cultural representations of Wilde looking ugly? It's jarring to see a representation of our favourite aesthete brought degraded and low.

This choice to make Wilde look, well, human and fallible in his death is an interesting one, as is the choice to have this story told not by Cerebus (the protagonist of the larger story) or Wilde himself (ever the performance artist and protagonist in the drama of his own life), but by Robert Ross. Ross, a Canadian journalist and critic, was Wilde's companion in his final days (and off-and-on through his life); Ross is a side-kick figure in the historical record, known more for his role as Wilde's literary executor than for any of his own works. I think this is important. With both our protagonists fallen silent for a time, Ross fills in where neither Cerebus nor Wilde is able.

Wilde rendered both silent and ugly is a drastic departure from his cultural role. But it's an important one, given that Sim seems to parallel Wilde's death with Cerebus snapping out of his catatonia. Indeed, it is not until the epilogue that Cerebus finds both voice and action, the very things that Wilde has been robbed of throughout the text.

Why?

When people talk about the resurgence of interest in Oscar Wilde, especially in the 1990s, they often talk in terms of a resurrection; not a biblical one, of course (though imagine!), but a resurrection of reputation. Wilde was great, then brought low, but is now pretty much universally thought of as great again. His death, paradoxically, became the first step towards his reparation. Likewise, Wilde's death becomes a catalyst for Cerebus's own reanimation; not until after Wilde dies is he able to snap out of his disconnected state. In fact, he sits and witnesses the funeral procession but immediately afterwards drifts off to sleep, seemingly for the first time since his arrival. Wilde's death releases Cerebus into sleep; when he awakens, it is to overhear a conversation that jolts him into deadly action and he is back on his own quest. But Wilde's death spurs on that rebirth, much as it spurred on his own.

If you love Oscar Wilde, Melmoth is puzzling and upsetting but ultimately quite moving. Sim forces us to renegotiate some of our ideas about who Wilde was and what his final days were like. There is little of Wilde's wit and whimsy here, and a whole lot of tragedy and sorrow. But it's a choice that both humanizes Wilde and mythologizes Cerebus, allowing them to share in the power of the death of Oscar Wilde.

Graphixia is 'A Conversation About Comics' hosted by Brenna Clarke Gray, Scott Marsden, Peter Wilkins and David N. Wright.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Help! Christopher Woerner! NEW FUN NEEDED!

DAVE SIM:
Okay, I'm going to reply to Erick on the Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast but this is going to get really, really, unhappy, really, really quickly, especially since I'm going to be going one at a time/one per day (my right wrist isn't completely crippled but this is virtually all being typed left-handed.

And this is really all I have to say about them no matter how much the COMMENTS sections fill up with Feminist Theocracy cant.

So, Christopher Woerner -- can you post your NEW FUN blog post from pages 6-10 with the John Byrne/Dave Sim/Todd McFarlane/Canada conspiracy theory?  It would be nice to have SOME. FUN. AROUND. HERE. SOME. WHERE.

And let me just interject that LE BEAVER was the name of the "arch-rival" zine to COMIC ART NEW & REVIEWS back in the early 70s.  How does that affect your theory vis-a-vis the Le Beaver character that appeared in HOWARD THE DUCK?

Reply to Erick 15 IMPOSSIBLE THINGS #1

Fifteen Impossible Things To Believe Before Breakfast:
1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.
DAVE SIM:
No, no.  I'm going back BEFORE feminism in what I'm discussing.  I realize that's difficult for a lot of you to even picture, having been reared in (and by) the Feminist Theocracy, but there was a pre-feminist world.

The idea that we used to have as a universal given -- and which functioned admirably and I think could function admirably again -- is that a home with a stay-at-home mother is a very different thing from a house that a feminist returns to every night and from which she departs every morning.  The FACT of a wife-mother being in residence 24/7 -- except when there's something she needs to do outside of the home -- is the thing that MAKES it a home.  It's the thing that makes her a Homemaker as distinct from a housewife.  A housewife or househusband is a bare subsistence version of what I'm talking about.

There's a centrality to the Homemaker construct that makes it sustainable and allows a family to flourish.  The husband leaves the home every morning to earn a livelihood that finances the home that the homemaker is making.  There are a nearly infinite number of ways to make and then improve a home.  But it requires someone being IN the home to do it.  Yes, if she's just a resentful housewife -- "I'm a wife and I'm in this house and all I do is the same housework over and over and over blah blah blah..." -- well, yeah.  That's a problem, but that's an attitudinal problem, in my view.  This is what "happily ever after" is:  you are the central figure in your life story and your husband's life story and your children's life stories.  Why?  Because the central fact is the home and YOU'RE the one who's there all the time.

A mother bird, to cite an obvious example, can't make her nest and hatch the eggs and take care of her offspring AND go foraging.  The father bird can't either.  It's an either/or thing if it's to be done properly.

The Feminist Theocracy maintains that that's not true.  And I can see that you've bought into that (as most people have): A house that is empty from nine in the morning til six at night is JUST AS MUCH a home as a house that has a homemaker in it during those hours.

To me, that's self-evidently ludicrous.  It certainly wasn't my experience.  Our house was just our house.  It wasn't a HOME because my mother worked outside the house.  My mother was a school secretary but it was pretty obvious that that was who she was.  She slaved like a trojan to create the illusion of being a homemaker but there's a difference between an actual homemaker and a housewife.  I had friends who had homemaker mothers and friends who had housewife mothers.  The difference was obvious.  The homemaker is making the home and making dinner and cleaning and doing laundry ALL DAY, timing it so that there's a "dinner hour" a "family meal".  The housewife arrives like a bat out of hell along with everyone else and tries to do everything the homemaker spent ALL DAY doing into the same four hours everything else needs to be done.

You can call that a home if you want -- and I'm sure you do -- but I don't think it is one.

I visit with the Kitchen families twice a year and have for six years, both with homemaker mothers.  It's very nice to visit a home and see it function as such.  "I thought so".

Ericka always jokes about getting her kids t-shirts that say "Too Good For Daycare".  If she doesn't, I probably will.  It's entirely true.  And her kids are very aware of it, because they have friends with "evening parents" and they know the difference.

I mean, it's INSULTING to actual homemakers to suggest that what they do ALL DAY can be done just as effectively between 6 pm and 10 pm.  THINK about how that would make YOU feel.

But, that's nothing new for the Feminist Theocracy.  A big part of what feminists do is insult, condescend to, patronize, disparage and dismiss Homemakers.

It's necessary for feminists to do that because without stigmatization of 24/7 Motherhood and Homemaking, I'm really pretty sure that would be what MOST women would opt for because I'm pretty sure they're hardwired for it.

I also think if women back in the 1960s could see what feminism has turned into -- the plummeting replacement birth rates, plummeting successful (i.e. lifelong) marriage rates, 86% of women out in the workforce -- I doubt that MOST of them would have "opted in".  Their assumption, I think I'm safe in saying, was that birth rates would remain the same and successful marriage rates would remain the same.  MOST women had lifelong marriages prior to 1970.  A small percentage of "tomboy women" wanted to be like men and were.

But, I think if MOST women were being honest they would trade -- happily -- what they've "achieved" since 1970 for a much higher successful marriage rate.

And a successful marriage needs, I think, that "orbital" quality, with the Homemaker as the central reality.

Marriage as it WAS was more successful than marriage as it IS today.

On Sale 35 Years Ago: Cerebus #25

"This Woman, This Thing"
Cerebus #25 (March 1981)
Art by Dave Sim

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Gerhard: On Tour!

Gerhard's 2016 Convention Itinerary:
March 18-20: Comicon Toronto, ON
April 8-10: Wizard World Madison, WI
June 17-19: Wizard World Sacramento, CA
July-August: Gone Sailing Georgian Bay, ON
September 8-10: Wizard World Nashville, TN
November 4-6: Wizard World Pittsburgh, PA

Aardvark Comment: Creating Comics

Cerebus Guide To Self-Publishing
by Dave Sim
CHRIS WOERNER:
(from a comment posted on AMOC, 11 March 2016)
...The "finished a page" was what mattered to me. I will never be a great comic book creator, but I have done a lot of comics pages, and to me, it always came down to finishing a page. I mostly wrote it in advance, and laid the page out in loose pencils (because my art sucks, so why waste time penciling) but on my last big graphic novel, I realized finishing a page per day was what mattered. I laid out most of the book in pencils, word balloons included, and started finishing it, hoping that my planned ending would work by the time I got there.

Early on, I did a page a day. Ink the letters, then the panel borders, then the page itself. And then, particularly after an easy page, I noticed I had 'gas left in the engine,' so why not get a bit ahead as long as I'm working? Do the lettering for the next couple of pages. And the panel borders, once I start getting ahead. Next page has seven panels, and two of them are easy? Knock them out right now and tomorrow I only have to draw five panels, Or maybe six panels are easy, but one is hard, so if I do the hard one now, tomorrow will be an easy day.

Get far enough ahead, and it really helps. Some days, I didn't feel like doing any drawing, but I did lettering and panel borders for the next 12/15/20 pages. Other days, I didn't finish a page, but I drew eight or ten panels on random pages, so it kind of qualified as a win. Some days, I literally only drew one panel, but it finished a page, so it was more of a win than those 'eight or ten' panel days.

And some days I simply couldn't get anything done. Too busy, too burnt out, couldn't find the interest, whatever, but I drew a 200-page graphic novel in just over five months. Maybe eight months if you count having the initial idea and working out the plot and writing/laying out most of it. I'm quite proud of it, and to this day I still aspire to have enough money to find an artist/letterer that will make it readable.

Dave isn't the only example of a work ethic that I take inspiration from, but his example alone is amazing. [So are the others I take inspiration from.] And I have to admit, he's the guy I take literal inspiration from, like finishing a page a day. Some days you just can't do it. So you have to work extra hard on the other days to make up for your failures.

To prove my point, I've had this 'finishing a page a day' example in my head for over a decade now, and I've always aspired to the day where I could tell Dave Sim just what I thought of his 'do a page a day' example from the "Guide to Self-Publishing." And knowing that he's not going to read these comments, I'd rather write this long post here and now, hopefully getting it out of my system (the post, not the work ethic) just to say I did it. 

Submit your Aardvark Comments to: momentofcerebus [at] gmail [dot] com

Aardvark Comment: "Dave Sim Is Crazy, But..."


WES SMITH:
(from a comment posted on AMOC, 11 March 2016)
...Dave Sim is crazy, but that's not (in this case) a bad thing. Crazy is interesting. Crazy- or to remove the general pejorative nature of that particular word let's call it 'unique thinking' and 'intense dedication'- had a significant role in creating one of the big, important works in all of American comics. And it's sad to me that identity politics and personal invective get in the way of Cerebus being recognized for what it is.

The background radiation of an art-appreciating conservative's life is accepting that the art one consumes is going to hold ideas and messages that are likely abhorrent or at least odious to your beliefs. Naked Lunch is art, and a great book (Dave's dismissal of it notwithstanding), and important regardless of your moral proclivities. Same with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Or V for Vendetta (the comic. That fucking movie was just... ugh). Or a significant portion of Lars von Trier's work, or a couple of Spike Lee's joints (he's kinda hit or miss if we're being honest with ourselves). Guys like Frank Miller, Dave Sim, or Steve Ditko move outside of the political comfort zone, and get effectively booted from polite society, their work dismissed or re-evaluated unfavorably (in Miller's case particularly). I'd argue that Miller has been doing his most honest work recently- his cartooning has become downright morbid, his words distilled and exaggerated into hardboiled high fantasy. But you know, they're the bad kind of crazy (as opposed to Alan Moore's dabbling with Magick and sequestering himself away from the filthy plebs), so fuck them.

What's particularly fascinating (to me, at least) is watching Dave's metamorphosis as an artist and thus Cerebus' evolution as a character over the course of 30 years. Sim began the work as a feminist, drug-using Canadian leftist married to his co-publisher, then a divorced high-functioning alcoholic trying to use his measure of success and popularity to promote independent publishing, then an anti-feminist who finds religion while doing research for his book, to a guy who decides to completely eschew women, casual friends, and drugs altogether and live a spartan lifestyle of work and prayer. More than simply becoming a more proficient artist and writer, this evolved the book in utterally unexpected directions. Moreso than what happens when one creative team hands off a super hero book to the next set of hired hands. And completely different from the 30 years worth of Stan Sakai's ever-steady dedication on Usagi Yojimbo. Unique. Crazy, if you will. Worthwhile. Not the sort of thing one just dismisses because it's not ideologically pure.

Submit your Aardvark Comments to: momentofcerebus [at] gmail [dot] com 

Aardvark Comment: 15 Impossible Things To Believe...


On 8 March 2016 AMOC reader 'Erick' posted a comment on AMOC responding to Dave Sim's 15 Impossible Things To Believe Before Breakfast, which originally appeared in the essay Tangent in Cerebus #265, April 2001:

ERICK:
1. "A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time."

Since you did not specify whether or not the mother in question is married, divorced or not interested in any relationship, I say yes. A single working Mother who loves, feeds, clothes and provides for her child and has a fully vetted non-family member -the stranger(s) watch her child during the daytime, is just as good or better than a Mother who stays at home and has no income other than government largesse. If you want to talk about married women, then let’s be specific.

2. "It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society"

Is that $10 or $10,000? Let’s be generous and say it is $10,000. Raising a child is very expensive. But nowhere near as much as incarcerating someone.
http://money.cnn.com/infographic/economy/education-vs-prison-costs/

3. "A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus."

If the Doctor from his or her experience determines that the woman’s life is in danger from carrying the child, then yes that doctor has a more valid claim than that of the father who does not possess the requisite knowledge.

4. "So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice."

Whose ethics form the baseline assumption?

5. "A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership."

A camel with two humps stores more enriched reserves of nourishment in tissues than a one humped camel.

6. "It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded."

There may be people who argue that, but there are also people who argue the earth is flat. They have a right to an opinion, but you do not have to give it credence, nor do they represent the majority.

7. "Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society."

It is never just in a fair society to unfairly apportion opportunities based upon gender or race.

8. "It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public."

It is important to note that there are physical differences between the sexes. But it is also important to note that no one, male or female should be in a position that they are unfit for, be it physically or mentally.

9. "Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically."

We live in a completely just and fair society where men and women from all walks of life compete on a level playing field. The United States would never embrace anyone who would discriminate based upon race or religion or gender. Would never tolerate such beliefs. Because we have indeed moved into a post racial post gender society that treats everyone as equals. Canada on the other hand…

10. "Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone."

Since no. 6 does not exist in the real world, this point is irrelevant.

11. "Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals."

If the woman is raising the child of the man who earns more than she does then the man should pay the bulk. This has nothing to do with the inherent and absolute equality of the sexes.

12. "An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more."

That depends on the state they reside in. And a simple pre-nup - that any wealthy individual male or female should obtain before marriage can insure that they retain their wealth as affirmed time and time again in divorce court cases.

13. "A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself."

Some women chose artificial insemination, but I digress. Who says that a man’s opinion is invalid on how to raise the child? I just saw that Guy Ritchie was awarded full custody over his multimillionaire wife Madonna. Guess who pays alimony and child support in that one?

14. "Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist."

Just because you typed that statement does not make it so.

15. "Legislature Seats must be allocated to women and women must be allowed to bypass the democratic winnowing process in order to guarantee female representation and, thereby, make democracy fairer."

Perhaps some people might think that, but once again there are folks who believe that the earth is flat. They are entitled to think what they will, but they do not represent the majority.

Submit your Aardvark Comments to: momentofcerebus [at] gmail [dot] com 

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Scanning is just the start...

DAVE SIM:
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.

Just here.

So, THANK YOU! in advance for ANY support of "Sandeep's Project" when we launch.