Saturday, 4 February 2017

Aardvark Comics No.1 & Strange Cerebus No.1


Hi Sandeep!

Thanks for dropping off AARDVARK COMICS #1 and STRANGE CEREBUS #1.  I figure we might as well edit them here on AMOC, so if you can post the covers here...?

Really good! Except they both need to be 24 pages.  We can drop back to 16 pages or double up if they start to tank.  "The Scream" in the foreground on the AC #1 cover is a VERY FUNNY idea, but needs to be about twice the size (don't worry about covering up the running figure in the bg): almost up to Cerebus' word balloon.  Cerebus needs to be about 85% of the size that you have him.  Word balloons need to be MUCH closer to normal-sized and the cars referred to in the balloons need to be '38 models (whatever those are: any '38 models will do).

The STRANGE CEREBUS #1 cover is fine just the way it is.  Great piece of work.  I REALLY like your IFC idea, but instead of "Property of Aardvark-Vanaheim"  I think it should say "Aardvark-Vanaheim Cover Conference (and then whatever the date is that you write it)" and then have the back-and-forth between Cerebus and whoever is on the cover that month.  i.e. On the BATVARK #1 IFC a conversation between Cerebus and the Robin-wannabe.  "You want to be paid HOW MUCH? You're not even an actual character!  You're a two-strip sight gag!"

Instead of "CEREBUS IS DEAD! LONG LIVE CEREBUS" let's do "Aardvark-Vanaheim presents

Apart from that these are fine -- I'll do four ACTION #1 themed strips and four "Varkternity" strips next Friday to flesh them out.

Tell Alfonso the CEREBUS STAMP #2 is fine.  


Jeff Seiler said...

Well! Isn't *that* a nice tease?

Sandeep Atwal said...

Sounds good...I'll add the four pages to each and make the changes noted above. I like the idea of every IFC beinga transcript of a cover discussion.

Sandeep Atwal said...

...and the Aardvark Comics #1 should say '37, not '57.

Gary Boyarski said...

This sounds exciting. A continuation of the printed editions of Cerebus in Hell?...?

Travis Pelkie said...

I think so. And new #1s with parody/homage covers each time? Yessirree!

One of my favorite covers, in the vein of the ifc ideas, is the one where Cerebus was on the phone with someone, on the cover of a financial magazine, and he's shouting at the cover copy person for calling him a barbarian or whatever, and he threatens to sue. For "character definition".

If you ever do bonus prints again, I'd love to have that piece. So funny!

Carson Grubaugh said...

LOL! What a wonderful troll of the industry. I hope this is real.

eric fennessey said...

Feeling dim today, IFC is?

Q) on the portfolios, is Dave no longer signing the fronts? My 1-4 were signed, but not 5 and 6.

Travis Pelkie said...

IFC is inside front cover, Eric.

Also that movie and TV channel with Portlandia. A show that was asked to stop filming in a feminist bookstore because Fred Armisen wears women's clothing when he portrays certain characters. Also, the humor section just...isn't there ;)

Travis Pelkie said...

Oh man, I can't wait!

eric fennessey said...

Up to speed now, thanks.

Dave Sim said...

Sandeep - Can you post the variation AARDVARK COMICS No.1 cover you did with the flames background as part of this post? I'd like to look at them side by side. We'd lose a little of the authentic ACTION No.1 quality, but it has a nice "surreal dystopia" element to it.

eric fennessey - I sign the front of the Diamond editions but not the Kickstarter editions. I thought. Let me know if I'm having a "senior's moment" on this.

Travis - that was THE GLOBE & MAIL REPORT ON BUSINESS. "That's definition of character!" I stole that line from Archie Bunker on ALL IN THE FAMILY. Shame on me. It was supposed to be an "infinity cover": Cerebus is holding the magazine that he's appearing on the cover of. With a little cover inserted in there as well and another little cover inserted in that one. The GLOBE & MAIL just didn't "get it" and ran it blank. Gerhard did a mock-up of it in Photoshop years later.

Gary - Yes. Most of the issue will be reprints of the online strips with three or four new strips related to the cover in some way.

Dave Sim said...

It'll be interesting to see what "jumping around the LCS racks" will do to sales. AARDVARK COMICS No.1 at one end of the store and, the following month, STRANGE CEREBUS No.1 at the other end of the store.

Travis Pelkie said...

Noticed a typo (I believe) on the Aardvark/Action one -- I believe the front of a car is the "grille", not "grill".

Yeah, dictionary dot com is agreeing. Although oddly enough, the pertinent definition under "grille" says it covers "grillwork". Ah, the English language!

eric fennessey said...


My portfolios are all from the Kickstarters (#132) and the first four ARE signed. I guess age is slowly withering all of us!


Travis Pelkie said...

Well, Rich read this post, because he featured it in a Bleeding Cool post. Don't have a link right now, sorry.

Dominick Grace said...

I don't care about where it will be placed in the store. I just want to know what to ask for for my pull file.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Channelling my inner Jeff Seiler (I didn't even know I had an inner Jeff Seiler), I suggest an alteration to the "But mostly f#$%ing reprints" line. I think the "$" looks so much like an "S" that the resemblance to "fucking" is harmed (my eye wants to read it as "fashing"). Using a "¢", which resembled the "c", or an entirely different character that doesn't so closely resemble a letter, would eliminate the problem.

-- Damian

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Oops! Apparently my inner Jeff Seiler tires easily. That should be "resembles the 'c'".

-- Damian

Travis Pelkie said...

You know it's absurd when Damian is copy editing the grawlix!

Dave Sim said...

That's hilarious. The hell painting as a backdrop. I knew I wanted to see that again. My other suggestion was to find a public domain photo of a '37 DeSoto and a '37 Ford grille and (dealer's choice) tire from one of them and Photoshop them in.

Anyone else think that's a good idea or is it "gilding the illy"?

I usually use @#$% to replace a four-letter word to make sure that none of the characters actually correspond to a real four-letter word. @#$%ing. They're the four characters over the 2,3,4 and 5 which makes it easy to remember.

Dave Sim said...

Thanks to Rich J. for "covering" this. Hey, Rich! Are you going to update the covers as Sandeep "tweaks" them?

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave: Well, it's your comic of course, and I know it's just a cash-grab to fund other, more consequential projects. But I think that "easy for you to remember" is less important than "easy for the reader to interpret", especially on a project intended to bring maximum return for minimum effort.

-- Damian

Dave Sim said...

Damian - You know, I think it would help the general cause of communications if you (and AMOC readers generally) could get into the habit of saying "as I see it" or "in my opinion" when you're offering an opinion like "maximum return for minimum effort" or "is less important". There are facts and there are opinions. Stating an opinion as if it's a fact is pretty much, in my view, guaranteed to -- rather pointlessly -- rub people the wrong way.

Likewise "I know it's just a cash-grab". You don't KNOW anything of the sort. It's your opinion which always seems to default to a negative interpretation of my motivations. I have no problem with that. AS an opinion and offered as such. I do have a problem with you posing it as a fact.

The four characters, in my opinion, work because they don't translate into any swear-word analogue. It seems to me that that's the purpose of @#$% is to convey a) the "unprintableness" of the four-letter word and b) that it's four letters long. Instead of going hunting for definitively non-analogue iconic symbols every time I need a four-letter-word substitute, I hit on the upper case 2,3,4,5 and filed it away as "what I do in that situation."

I don't really see why you would think that "easy for me to remember" would necessarily mean it's at the expense of "easy for the reader to interpret". Or, why you would think that @#$% isn't easy to interpret as a four-letter word. What ELSE would you think it was?

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave: Once again you demonstrate petulance when confronted with someone whose opinion and facts differ from what you think they should be. It's usually you conservatives who decry "tone policing" as unwarranted "political correctness", but if you prefer that I preface what I said with the note that it's an opinion, very well -- but it's not my opinion, it's yours. You said that (you think) the restoration of Cerebus the work and your "Museum of Me" (tm) are important projects. You said that you would privilege those projects that generated the most return. You said that CiH was intended as a project to drum up money.

And please try to stick to the facts of a conversation (real facts, not the "alternative facts" you've been know to employ). You may indeed think that "@#$%" looks like a four-letter word. But that wasn't what we were talking about. The word I thought could be improved was "F#$%ing". As I said originally, the "$" in third place looks so close to an "S" that it confuses the meaning; perhaps you disagree.

-- Damian

Dave Sim said...

Damian - You'd have to take the spelling of "F#$%ing" up with Sandeep. It's his cover. I can't say that I looked at his spelling and thought that it could be improved or I would have said something when I asked him to post the image.

Aardvark-Vanaheim is a business so, at one level or another, everything is done with an eye to making money. But, it has to be a meeting place of making money and giving readers/fans what -- in my opinion, since I'm the guy running the joint -- is a) creatively interesting to me and b) worth the money that I'm asking them to pay for it. There are a lot of ideas that get floated around by me and others that don't, in my opinion, fit those two criteria, so I tend not to pursue them. Or, rather, I "back-burner" them until I can figure out a way to make them more creatively interesting or more worth the money I'd have to charge for them.

CEREBUS IN HELL? fit both of those criteria from the git-go when I came up with it last January. And continues to fit those two criteria.

Hopefully, we can maintain the $4 24 pg. price point because I'm not sure where the price point/page count ratio is where b) would no longer apply. And guessing at it -- if it comes to that (and that seems likely) -- isn't going to be a lot of fun.

chudleycannonfodder said...

Is this the first time Strange Cerebus/Aardvark Comics/Batvark has been publicly discussed? Is there any other info available on these comics?