Friday, 30 September 2016

Happy 65th Birthday, Deni Loubert!

Renegade Romance #1
Cover art by Gilbert Hernandez
(Renegade Press, 1987)

Deni Loubert was Aardvark-Vanaheim's publisher for the first 70 issues of Cerebus. Deni and Dave Sim were married between 1978 and 1983. After their divorce, Deni moved to Los Angeles to start her own comics publishing company, Renegade Press, which closed its doors in 1989. She was inducted into the Joe Shuster Hall of Fame in 2010.

Weekly Update #150: Mark & Natasha Torre - In Memoriam


Dave notes the passing of Cerebus Fan Mark Torre and his niece Natasha.

Cerebus In Hell? - Week 14

 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
  CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
  CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
  CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
  CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
  CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
  CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Judge Before He Was The Judge

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.

Dave Sim's notebook #9 has been shown here before. In Dave and the Direct Market back in December 2014, D'King and the Actress in July 2015, Walking on the Moon this past April and Extrusion Intrusion this past June. Notebook #9 covers issues #102 to 111 and while the cover says 200 pages, I only scanned 133 and there were 8 blank pages.

So let's look at the cover:

Notebook 9, front cover
This notebook is well used - just look at the right hand side where it is worn from being handled so much. Dave wrote on the outside of it, something he rarely did: "The more things stay the more they change the sane".

On page 32 we see a listing for issues #105 through #11 and some possible issue titles.

Notebook 9, page 32
The sketch at the bottom? The first sketch - in the notebooks at least - of the character that would become the judge. We see more sketches of him on the next page.

Notebook 9, page 33
It looks like Dave also answered the question of who watches the Watchmen.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

GEORGE & DAN's CEREBUS FIGURE

Previously on AMOC, George & Dan's Cerebus Statue. Now read on...


DAVE SIM:
Hi George & Dan - Sorry I'm just getting to this now.  I really don't want to do any discussions by phone on this.  If you insist on private phone discussions then that's a "deal-breaker" for me, I'm afraid. For these reasons:

1) AMOC is your/our primary customer base, so I think they need to know what's going on and what decisions are being made and why.  Particularly since you posted the video of the figure.  

2)  I think there are two primary markets: a) I really want this plastic figure and b) I'm not really a plastic figure kind of guy but if it brings in some revenue that helps keep the Restoration and Preservation moving forward, I'm willing to kick in SOME bucks.  HOW MANY bucks is a major variable.

I think the b) market is larger than the a) market which means the discussions of price point and quantity need to be conducted openly because the number of b) people who go "I'm out" when they hear what it costs is going to decide if it's do-able.

3) I'm not sure that 2 a) and 2 b) taken together amount to much more than two dozen units or so. And if that's true, then my working on this comes very, very low on my list of priorities because there's just too much work involved for too little return.  I'm better served putting in available time on the Notes for CAN6 with an eye to getting that launched in January

4) I'm not a "figure guy" so I really do need input from "figure guys".  I thought al roney had a very good point about the shield. It's not really associated with Cerebus and I think it really just ends up covering up a good chunk of the figure from most viewing angles.   

5)  I just noticed the tail is the same deal as the ears: it looks as if it's for an action figure and not a statue so I think it needs to be "of a piece" with the figure itself or needs to have the seam all around it sealed.  

We can keep discussing it here and see how many enthusiasts turn up.  I do think that I need to either modify this figure or Version 2 (if that's what you want to do) and I'll be happy to send this one back to you.  There is a strong possibility that we can make the maximum amount of money auctioning each Version as we're working on the replacement.  And that might be as far as it goes. We never arrive at a mass produced Version, but we make whatever we make from each prototype on eBay.

I'll keep mentioning that I need some kind of "Cerebus grey" clay that starts soft and then hardens to modify one of the Versions and to serve as the final prototype.  If an enthusiast finds that for me, I would see that as a major step forward.  There is, at least, one Enthusiast which means there's probably a few enthusiasts and "enthusiasts".

And now!  Your friend and Jasper's Dad!  Sean ROBINNNNSOOONNNNN!

The First Twenty-Five Issues of Cerebus-- Perspectives and Details

Sean Michael Robinson:

Greetings all!

Here's a quick roundup of all the goings-on in Cerebus Restoration Land.

Cerebus In Hell? #0 was delivered to Dave and Sandeep on Thursday evening, and they came back with a quick approval Friday morning, which meant it was soon speeding off to Marquis, where it enters their line for prepress. No word yet on whether Going Home has shipped yet, although it was on press last week. I'm also still waiting on a quote and dimensions for the fully-restored Cerebus Volume One, which has been a year in the making, all told. 

I had a mammoth catching-up post a few months ago, before starting work on Going Home, that summarized the issues I had to tackle in working on the book, and why the process was so long. As I mentioned in the post, with a process so complicated there were sure to be revisions.




 Detail from page 79 of Cerebus Volume One, one version scanned from the sixth edition of the book, the other newly scanned and restored from the original monthly issue four. 




 Detail from page 198 of Cerebus Volume One, one version scanned from the sixth edition of the book, the other newly scanned and restored from the original artwork 

Well, the revisions were not as bad as I had imagined. I put the finishing touches on the book this week, the final changes to the art pages occupying most of my Friday and Monday work time. The only bit left is the essay and the comparison images, which I'll be tackling this week, at which point the back matter will go to Dave for evaluation. And once it's approved, the book will go in the queue, waiting from the word from Diamond that we're ready for the next printing.

And this is where you can help me!

I'm looking for information, for foundational reading on the early period of Cerebus. Raw material that will aid me in writing what will surely be a difficult essay.

Let's break this down into categories, shall we?

The Anecdotal — Did you read Cerebus during its first run of twenty-five issues? I'm interested in your memories of this period of the book. Where you bought it. What else you were buying at the time. What you did between issues (and how patient your wait was!) What other books or cultural items (movies, music, whatever!) you compared it to or thought it had kinship with. Did you write to Dave or Deni at the time? Did you purchase artwork? What kind of relationship did you have with the book?

The Historical — Are there any "must read" materials—interviews, reviews, discussions in fanzines, even retrospectives—about the early period of Cerebus that are critical in your estimation to understanding the historical and social foundations of the book? I have the double-issue Comics Journal interview with Dave and Deni circa issue 34, I've read (and have access to about) half of the Swords introductions.  I have access to original printings of the first 25 issues, letter col and intros and all. What else am I missing, and can you point me toward it?

The Referential Borrowed characters. Borrowed voices and dialects. Parodies of current trends. Barry Smith swipes. The early book is a melange of appropriations and parodies and references. Are there any that are particularly obscure? Others that you've noticed that no one else has? A, say, pre-existing list somewhere? What are the other works that, broadly or specifically, contact Cerebus and shaped it?

Anything Else — This is your chance to have your say on the first twenty-five issues of Cerebus. What should a new reader know about it going in? How does it connect (or not) to the broader series? If I were writing this essay to your order, what exactly would you ask me to write?

Comment below, or if you prefer, you can email me at cerebusarthunt at gmail dot com! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and perspectives.


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

On Sale 35 Years Ago: Cerebus #30

Cerebus #30 (September 1981)
Art by Dave Sim


Diamond Order Code: OCT140536

Monday, 26 September 2016

Carson Grubaugh's Re-Read Challenge: Cerebus Vol 9 - Reads

CARSON GRUBAUGH: 
(from Carson's Re-Read Blog, August 2016)
...Does the world really need any more words about Reads? Absolutely. In fact, that is what the book is all about. Gossip. Words leading to words leading to more words until eventually the words about words take on their own life. Once a rumor has a life of it's own? Well, it ain't gonna die easily.
"Guess what I heard? Dave Sim is a misogynist."

"Oh, yeah. Total nut-job, that one. A delusional schizophrenic or something."
It is a really odd thing to do, to start a rumor about yourself, but that is exactly what Dave Sim does in Reads. And boy does he do a good job of it... [Read the full review here...]

CARSON GRUBAUGH'S
CEREBUS RE-READ CHALLENGE:
Cerebus Vol 10: Minds
Cerebus Vol 11: Guys
Cerebus Vol 12: Rick's Story
Cerebus Vol 13: Going Home
Cerebus Vol 14: Form & Void
Cerebus Vol 15: Latter Days
Cerebus Vol 16: The Last Day

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Gerhard's Recreated Scenes From Cerebus

New prints just added to Gerhard's Store:
All prints available in two sizes:
Small (11" x 17") - US $20 plus p&p
Large (17" x 22") - US $40 plus p&p
All are printed on fine art paper and signed by Gerhard.


Previous prints still available from Gerhard's Store:
The Regency, Church & State and Melmoth
All prints available in two sizes:
Small (11" x 17") - US $20 plus p&p
Large (17" x 22") - US $40 plus p&p
All are printed on fine art paper and signed by Gerhard.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

"Seriously Deluded As To The Nature Of Self-Evident Reality"

JEFF SEILER:
Continuing the discussion of marketing glamourpuss, this week’s letter was Dave responding to me when I wrote to him about a kerfuffle at the old Cerebus Yahoo Newsgroup (chat group), in which someone named Mike B. decided to have a go at me personally because I supported Dave in his views about women. When Mike did that, I decided (since there had been a lot of such people doing that at that time), to respond, and it quickly devolved into a “flame war”. I decided to tell Dave about the “flame war” and asked him what he thought about it. What follows is his response.

22 July 08

Hi Jeff -

What I think:

  1. I don’t know if this is common on the Internet, but someone “going postal” like that demonstrates to me that these environments are a waste of time for thinking people. However, given that there are people who fundamentally disagree with that (and given that you appear to be one of them):
  2. The best thing to do is to return to foundational premises, since the person isn’t actually “going postal” but is just covering for their own inconsistency/ies by using the literary equivalent of automatic weapons fire, counting on the fact that you will tire even in contemplating refuting half of the scattershot insults and accusations and, therefore, they win the argument by attrition:
  3. Ask: “Mike? How many female cops do you think there would be if females had to meet the same high standards that men have to? I’ll answer your various calumnies against Dave if you’ll give me a simple range ratio of minimum and maximum numerical percentages. But, let’s face facts: If your number is anything less than 50%, then you agree with Dave and I that feminism is a foundationally fallacious premise and if your number is anything more than 3%, then you have to accept that you are, by any logical standard, seriously deluded as to the nature of self-evident reality... and your histrionics here serve to reinforce rather than refute that fact.”
  4. Followed by: “To anyone reading this far who considers themselves a fan/supporter of Dave and his work, there is a program of people, gpv’s -- glamourpuss volunteers -- who are posting advance artwork for the series to as many comic book websites as possible. We have nine days in which to reach as many people as possible with preview artwork of issue 3 before the solicitation period for issue 3 comes to an end. Right now, we have very few volunteers and very many websites to ‘hit’. We aren’t doing this because we are Dave’s worshippers or Dave’s robots or Dave’s sycophants. We are Dave’s fans. When did ‘fan’ turn into such a pejorative as to validate using commentary you couldn’t justify use against a dog here on the Internet? I don’t know. I don’t think that Mike B’s commentary falls anywhere close to being a fan of Dave Sim and, so, I would respectfully suggest that Mike B. is in the wrong message board destination. Instead of wasting his time slagging Dave here, why doesn’t he go to some message board where there is a creator whose work he is interested in supporting and do something positive there?”
  5. “In conclusion, let me say that I don’t see anything positive happening in this environment soon and I would like to apologize for letting my sentimental attachment to what the Newsgroup USED to be blind me to what the Newsgroup has BECOME. Dave told me that he understood that my holding down two jobs over the summer would make it difficult for me to find time to serve as a volunteer. Having taken a good, hard look at my own situation, if I have enough time to waste engaging in a discussion with someone who is just going to ‘go postal’ on me, I can certainly find five or ten minutes to download images from gp #3 and post them to one of the many websites that hasn’t been ‘hit’ in the nine days that remain to do so.”
  6. [Parenthetically, let me add that, in doing so, I resolve to monitor whatever commentary surrounds that posting and will address whatever commentary surrounds that posting and will address any basic informational questions... but that I also resolve not to get into any ‘discussions’ there about Dave Sim personally, since I don’t know Dave Sim personally, having spent maybe a grand total of five hours in his company over a period of years -- and I sure wouldn’t want anyone claiming to know me who had spent that pitifully limited amount of time in my company at a series of public events. And, I further resolve to answer any questions about Dave Sim’s ‘misogyny’ with the female cop question... and then leave it at that.]
  7. I’ll also continue to read posts here as time permits but unless and until the Newsgroup goes way, way, way, way back to what it used to be and stops being what it has become, those posts will be very few and very far between.

That’s what I think.

Dave

====================

I noted that the fax from Dave was time-stamped as having been sent at 03:25--3:25 in the morning. Thus, I noted on my copy, at the bottom, “Wow! Late at night, you get really cranky, DON’T YOU!?!” I don’t recall whether or not I actually sent that response to him, but later that day, at 9:22 a.m., Dave sent the following by fax, amending his earlier fax. He but an asterisk just after the penultimate sentence, “very few and very far between.*

*...and concerned primarily if not exclusively with correcting misinformation such as Mike B. was spreading in this forum suggesting that the gap of three months between issue 1 and 2 of glamourpuss wasn’t intentional and wasn’t done to give the retailers time to assess their first issue orders before ordering the second issue.

I don’t THINK this will or would work, but that’s the reason that I don’t have Internet access and why I haven’t looked at what’s going on on the Yahoo Newsgroup since before SPACE.

====================

This letter from Dave left me nearly completely nonplussed. I had been trying to keep him updated as to what was going on but he, in a fit of pique, decided to hold me to the fire for not being more proactive in doing what he wanted his volunteers to do. At the time, I had very, very limited Internet access, as well as extremely limited knowledge of comic book stores and their web addresses, so participating in the “hitting” of various comic store websites, let alone downloading images to them (something that, to this day, I don’t really know how to do -- and that’s eight years on, when it’s actually easy), was beyond my purview.

I should add that I’m pretty sure that I did not send the above words to Mike B., as I would have then, and now, taken exception to allowing someone else to put words in my mouth. I may have paraphrased some of it and posted that, but I honestly don’t recall. If anyone who has access to the old Cerebus Yahoo Newsgroup Archives wants to look it up, knock yourself out.

Also, I was just a little bit (well, slightly more than a little bit) put off by Dave’s point number six, as I have never considered myself to be a “friend” of Dave’s. I may have written that I knew him personally, which is true, since I have met him in person and had corresponded regularly with him, at that point, for four years, but that doesn’t mean that I knew or know him “personally” in the sense that Gerhard or Sandeep Atwal or Dave Fisher or Deni (whatever her last name now is) do or did.

All I’m doing here is reprinting the correspondence, as it occurred, as accurately as I can, with a few typographical errors fixed along the way.

‘Cause that’s what I does.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Birthdays and Goodbyes

From the Aardvark Vanaheim fax machine:

Happy Birthday, Dan Day! 
Happy Birthday, Mike (SPY GUY) Kitchen 

RIP Gene Day (1982) 



Weekly Update #149: Cerebus Archive Number 5 Gets Signed


Dave gets a phone call from Jimmy Gownley and signs 3,000 CAN5 prints in one day!
Also, the Melmoth negatives get prepared for scanning.

Cerebus In Hell? - Week 13

 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com
 CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 shipping soon!
(Diamond Order Code: JUL161105)
Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at CerebusDownloads.com

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Listening to Dead Cirinists

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're looked at Dave Sim's final Cerebus notebook, notebook #33, previously in The Final Notebook, Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk and in Fred Hammer Wins the Jakirbee Cup.

We still haven't seen the cover, another Hilroy in a long list of Hilroy notebooks used for Cerebus. The beginnings of the crease near the right hand side from holding / being opened. Other than a few blue pen marks, nothing else appears on notebook's cover.

The Cover for Notebook #33
One of the few pages with thumbnails - only 3 pages out of 58 scanned - is page 28:

Notebook #33, page 28
So while the cut out piece of paper in the upper left hand corner says 275 the thumbnails are for issue #274 pages 11 - 13 (if you're following along with the phonebooks, it is pages 171 - 173 of Latter Days). If you look closely, there is a note that says 274 with the page numbers circled.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

GEORGE AND DAN'S CEREBUS... STATUE?

DAVE SIM:
I've added some comments on the statue to the COMMENTS section of George and Dan's post for September 12 now that I've actually handled the prototype and had it around for a few days.

And now!  GUSTAVE DORE IN HELL & SEAN ROBINSON UNDER THE GUN!

Gustave Dore in Hell?

Sean Michael Robinson:

Greetings!


On Monday afternoon I received a very special package from Dan Malan, the world's foremost expert on Gustave Dore, and, as far as I know, his only English-language biographer in a century or so (1995's Adrift on Dreams of Splendor) Dan and I (and Dan and Dave!) have been talking periodically about our various overlapping projects and interests, and when I called him last week to talk about the image quality of the various editions of Inferno out there, Dan turned around and made an extremely generous offer that made my search unnecessary. He packed up and mailed to me all 75 illustrated plates from a "parts" edition of the very best printing of Inferno that's ever been.

Parts editions were versions of books sold chapter by chapter, unbound except for a single thread to keep the pages in place. As you can imagine, scanning 75 flat unbound plates is an awful lot easier than attempting to do the same to 75 plates that have been bound in an oversized book that you're trying your hardest not to damage. Other than wearing gloves while I scan to keep from adding skin oils to the paper, this is now a pretty straightforward scanning job. 

I spent the first bit of yesterday morning sorting the images, and scanning the ones I'd be needing first. And ever since then I've been working on the actual production work for Cerebus in Hell? #0, getting it ready as quickly as I'm able so we can get it printed and into your hands. And it looks like, all things remaining the same, I'll be able to get it out sometime tomorrow.

Hence the late post here! Hence the short post.

So rather than taking up any more time here, I'll be updating this post through the day with any closeups of the images I think are particularly striking.

These are truly some amazing images, and it makes the work, tight as the timetable is, a real pleasure.



Until Dore's work, this technique was associated almost exlusively with steel engraving, not wood engraving. But the technology of wood finally made this sharp edge tapered hatching possible, using different types of boxwood that had a harder surface and could maintain detail over a longer run of impressions.



Above—a multiple-generation low-res scan, below replaced by a scan from the page Dan sent me. Notice there appears to be some kind of patch or alteration on the foliage below the roots. The invention of electrotyping gave publishers the ability to reproduce their printing blocks infinitely, ensuring that worn blocks wouldn't have to stay in service. But the lack of international copyright agreements meant that piracy was rampant, and so popular illustrations would often be transferred and re-engraved completely to meet the reading demands of another continent (or in the case of his Bible illustrations, the religious needs of other sects or countries. The blocks could be copied and then the offending details touched out of the surface)


Talk about drawing deep into the page. The head is less than a centimeter across. This is from the first plate of the book (second if you could the portrait of Dante)




Is this not the most metal image that's ever existed? Why exactly has this not been an album cover?



Want a 20th century woodcut style? Magnify a portion of a Dore woodcut a few hundred percent.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Carson Grubaugh's Reread Challenge: Women

CARSON GRUBAUGH: 
(from Carson's Re-Read Blog, August 2016)
...Flight and Women, the first two volumes of the four-volume Mothers & Daughters bleed together in my mind, both being about the new matriarchal, Cirinist, state. As with the two volumes of Church & State, and to a lesser extent Jaka's Story and Melmoth, I do not see a huge change in Sim's persona; more an escalation of what started in the previous volume... [Read the full review here...]

CARSON GRUBAUGH'S
CEREBUS RE-READ CHALLENGE:
Cerebus Vol 9: Reads
Cerebus Vol 10: Minds
Cerebus Vol 11: Guys
Cerebus Vol 12: Rick's Story
Cerebus Vol 13: Going Home
Cerebus Vol 14: Form & Void
Cerebus Vol 15: Latter Days
Cerebus Vol 16: The Last Day

Monday, 19 September 2016

GOING HOME on press at Marquis right now!

Sean Michael Robinson:

This just in from Karine at Marquis—Going Home is on press at the Marquis facilities right now!

If you want the full experience, imagine a jet engine combined with No-wave era Swans at full volume.

Thanks Karine, Patrick, Jean-Francois, Lisa, Annick, and all the Marquis staff for all of your careful work on this book!

More as it comes in...