100 Hour Tour: Comicon
What follows are the posts from Dave Sim made to Comicon's message board as part of his "100 Hour Internet Tour".
02-01-2008 11:26 AM: Hello. Sorry I'm late. We're in the middle of a "high end" snow flurries day so I had snow to shovel and then I was dropping off the list of Day Prize finalists at Tomkar Trophies. So I'm here practically when I have to leave again for my noon prayer time.
Once again, I'd like to thank John Brenner of Lookin' For Heroes at 93 Ontario St. S. here in Kitchener for letting me use his office computer. He has a bunch of CEREBUS vol.1 trades and one of each of the other 15 for sale at $25 and I'll be here most of February to sign them for any interested parties.
I'd also like to mention that there are about 300 North American stores that now have an autographed copy of glamourpuss No.1 the Comics Industry Preview Edition (here in Canada) and the Gold VIP Fashion Industry Preview Edition in the US. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere with a lot less snow than we have today in Kitchener, drop by and ask the store owner if you can take a look.
Again, sorry for my tardiness.
02-01-2008 11:38 AM: Lawson: The first retailer I spoke to in my US phone campaign was Brian Hibbs and he recommended that I steer clear of gender issues during this Internet promotion period. His exact words were, "I think you've made your point." I have an enormous amount of respect for Brian even though we're at opposite ends of the political spectrum, so I'm going to follow his advice as much as possible over the next month. Anyone interested in reading a wide selection of my essays, they're available on Margaret L.'s cerebusfangirl website.
I seem to have this in-built nature to do comics that can't be effectively described (the retailers -- and me -- are still looking for a "Reader's Digest" description of CEREBUS). That's why I'm recommending that people go in to their local store and ask to see the Preview edition. How close are you to Atomik Pop in Oklahoma City? I had a nice chat with Matt Chesser there and he should have his Preview copy by now (Canada Post and US Postal Service willing).
By Valentine's Day EVERY store will have a preview copy as part of their Diamond Dateline Feb 13 package.
Thanks for posting.
02-01-2008 11:41 AM: Sorry. You're in Lexington KY...I'm still getting used to this message board thing. I spoke with Doug Adams at Comic Book World in Louisville he should have his autographed copy as well. Hope you're close to that store!
02-01-2008 11:48 AM:: Shoegaze99: The only previous experience I had was on the CEREBUS Yahoo Newsgroup the day that issue 300 hit the stores. That time I had Gerhard as my co-pilot at the Kitchener Library. This time I'm flying solo.
Secret Project One is completely unrelated to glamourpuss. Without addressing the actual contents, one of the things I set out to do was to create a self-contained 48-page comic book that I wasn't going to publish until I was 100 percent happy with every aspect of it. This was a reaction to the monthly deadline pressure of CEREBUS where, for both Ger and myself, it was as good as we could make it in a month.
Glamourpuss is as good as I can make it every two months.
Thanks for your interest. Are you close enough to S.P.A.C.E. in Columbus, Ohio March 1 and 2 to come and see the complete artwork for SP1? I'll also have Preview reading copies. No minors permitted in the art display area unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Hope to see you there, maybe.
02-01-2008 11:51 AM: Okay. I have a prayer time now. If I'm not back by 12:40 EDST send out a St. Bernard with a keg full of Diet Coke.
02-01-2008 12:53 PM: Okay. I'm back. It's really coming down out there, so the fact that I'm going to have some shovelling to do at the house means that this Comicon visit will probably be a little shorter than I intended it to be. The plan is to go to a different message board every day and then circle back to the tcj website and start all over again.
02-01-2008 01:16 PM:: Elliot Kane: glamourpuss will be available in the UK and depending on when the UK stores get their Diamond Dateline Feb 13 package, you should be able to see the complete book in any store serviced by Diamond. It might be a good idea to mention it at your "local" since I can't rule out that x number of stores just throw away their Dateline packages unread if they read the Daily on-line version.
I sent autographed Comic Industry Preview copies to Avalon Comics, Battersea, DeadHead Comics Edinburgh, Forbidden Planet in Belfast, Glasgow, and London and Incognito Comic Shop in Canterbury. Cost to send each was $6.40 so I decided not to phone as well so I have no idea if those stores are still in business. The ones that are should have them right now.
Lawson: I only had the pleasure of knowing John Byrne for the length of time that I was going to Mid-Ohio Con back in the 80s. John made that his exclusive convention venue for a number of years because of his very strong belief in the good work that Roger Price was doing with the March of Dimes. This was at a time when he could have named his own price to be a headline guest anywhere on the planet.
And, of course, I will always owe him big time just for being set up next to me and Deni at the Atlanta Fantasy Fair in '79 so that his line went past our table. He was doing pretty elaborate sketches and paying attention to each fan he met so Deni and I had plenty of time to schmooze people and talk them into buying the issues 1 through 11 we had on the table. I was also doing sketches and had brought coloured markers. Fans started asking if I would colour John's sketches. Enough of them asked -- I always said, "It's not my sketch, it's John's" -- that I turned to John and said, "Can you tell this guy that you don't want your sketches coloured?" He shrugged and said, "If you can make money at it, why not?" So, I did. Make money. Atlanta to this day is a HUGE Cerebus town and most of that is attributable to John Byrne.
I have nothing but good things to say about him. An old school gentleman and a dedicated professional artist and writer.
The IMAGE guys were stricken when he completely lacked interest in throwing in with them. I mean, STRICKEN. Particularly Todd. He was way UP THERE in their Pantheon along with Terry Austin and Art Adams.
Okay let me post this as "our story thus far" while I go on to madget.
02-01-2008 01:34 PM: madget: No, Gerhard isn't involved in SP1 except in terms of doing some photo research for me on the Net before he left in Jan 07 -- which taught me that you can't download photos from the Net and use them for photorealism purposes, the resolution just isn't good enough. I think that will change but not soon.
ChrisW: Hey, Chris! Always a pleasure to host a member of the US Armed Forces, veteran of Baghdad, occupant of one of Saddam's palaces...now that I'm done embarrassing you:
Keeping the early issues of glamourpuss in print is definitely going to add a financial burden to the company (the original reason to only keep the CEREBUS trades in print) but it was something I ended up having to balance off against the needs of the retailers. Marvel has recently "repented" of their no-reprint policy -- although they call them "variants" and not second prints -- and that has done a world of good in the industry. I'm asking the stores to risk capital on the first issue launch -- to extend themselves on behalf of glamourpuss. The last thing they need is to turn around and see me shrugging at them if they manage to actually sell the umpty-ump number of copies they bought. "pass the ammunition, bud." I'm actually thinking of printing up what I guess to be a four-year supply -- based on the initial orders and FOC (Final Order Cut-off numbers) so I don't have to do multiple printings through the four years it will take to finish the book.
Shoegaze 99: I think that the world has become such an expensive place for everyone (Tony was just in picking up all the books in his pull file here in the back room and gasping audibly) particularly the "money's too tight to mention" folks (students paying way too much tuition and for textbooks, young parents trying to make ends meet) that I think it only sensible that there's a "no cost" version of most forms of entertainment for those who absolutely can't afford it. If you can afford to buy the Cerebus trades you sure aren't going to torture yourself scrolling up and down and across and zooming in on 6,000 pages. The only experience I had with trying to "read" an illustrated book on a computer was when Craig Russell sent me his new art book on disk. Enlarging and reducing, zooming in, shifting focus...anyone trying to read CEREBUS that way has my whole-hearted support and sympathy.
stanleylieber (aka genius mini-comics artist you didn't answer my question about when you're gettig back to your magnum opus). I plan to keep adding to the glamourpuss website (www.glamourpusscomic.com)as we go along and as Jeff Tundis has the time. A couple of Saturdays ago, Trevor Grace -- who films my scripture readings -- shot all the footage for "The Making of Glamourpuss (ONE of them anyway)" about my photorealism methods. As soon as it's cut and he has Jeff Tundis' "glamourpuss theme" (which you can hear on the flash animation portion)dubbed on there, it too will be on the website.
02-01-2008 01:50 PM: Alan Coil: No, I don't hate blacks and/or gays, nor do I hate women.
You know, I was at the GraphicLit opening at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge Mass back in the middle of November. when I was getting ready to leave, I pulled out my copy of STUCK RUBBER BABY because Howard Cruse was going to be there and I really wanted to get it autographed. Howard and I had in the past what they describe in the diplomacy game as "a frank exchange of viewpoints" publicly and I had no idea if he was one of those Great Grudge Bearers that seem to make up so much of the comic book environment. Personally, I'm not one of them.
Anyway, Howard, Peter Kuper and I were the three cartoonists who were there for the Press Preview tour, my and Ger's CEREBUS pages were on the wall facing his STUCK RUBBER BABY pages. Stephanie, the Museum's director asked if I wanted to go first and I deferred to Howard. So I was part of the crowd as he described the development of SRB (evidently a Spanish translation is entitled "The Broken Condom"!)and no one was asking a question. So, well, I have a question -- about the size of his pages which are really the old Marvel size that Ditko and Kirby used to use. Did he ever regret working that big? It's a lot of carpet to cover. Now, I had no idea if he was going to just glare at me and pretend I didn't exist or say that he wasn't going to answer a question from a Notorious Gay Hater. He answered the question. Later when he was in the crowd for my discussion of Ger's and my pages, he asked a couple of questions as well.
Later after the great dinner which the Museum had put on for all of us, Howard and I shook hands and I told him about my regret that I hadn't brought my STUCK RUBBER BABY with me and that I was glad we were able to "get along" at the Press Preview. He said something like "Well, yes, we just avoided potentially difficult subjects."
Which is what I'm attempting to do here. So I hope that I don't have to deal with these issues here. I'm here to talk about glamourpuss primarily and about comics secondarily. I will (for obvious reasons) discuss gender issues when I go to the Sequential Tart site either tomorrow or Monday. If there's a gay comics site and they want me to discuss gay issues there, I'll be glad to do it.
I don't hate anyone, Alan, either individual or group.
02-01-2008 02:11 PM: Charles Reece: Actually, the glamourpuss comic is on much glossier stock and has card stock covers. I had Peter Birkemoe pick out a bunch of comics at The Beguiling that 'wear well'. One of the qualities that you need when the lion's share of your business is Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly titles is formats that will stand up to repeated viewings. I sent all the comics to Lebonfon and got quotes for each format. The best value for the best stock ended up being Jaime and Gilbert's LOVE AND ROCKETS.
If you go into your local store and ask to see the Comics Industry Preview Edition around Feb 13 you should see the difference in "upscale" format right away.
I work from photocopied enlargements of photos in the fashion magazines which causes a variety of problems because the photos are in colour and I'm working in black and white. Even on the lightest setting, the photocopy is going to almost completely change the facial expression and look of the model. I trace the image on the light table and try to get it back to looking the way it looked when I first chose it (I'm usually lucky to find 4 usable photos in the average fashion magazine given my preference for the classic Raymond/Williamson look). It's still a presence in the fashion field but it's definitely become a minority presence. I try to trace as exactly as possible but the "fuzzing" that occurs at the photocopying stage means that I'm never going to get anything but a rough approximation. As soon as I turn the light box light out, the pencil image is going to look more like one photorealism guy than another. Whoever it looks like that's who I end up "doing" no matter what I WANT to do. I want it to look like Al Williamson most of thetime but as soon as I turn the light out, I'll go "Oh,Stan Drake" or "Oh, Neal Adams" and that's the look I end up getting.
The bigger the picture, the better the results which I discovered doing the "Siu Ta So Far" strips (see at www.siuta.com under "Siu Ta So Far"). They're 11 x17 pages turned sideways and I just can't get the features right -- particularly Siu's tiny, tiny Oriental features. Compare those to the glamourpuss I did on the website under "glamourpuss events" -- www.glamourpusscomic.com -- for "Glamourpuss at the Victory Cafe". An extreme close-up makes all the difference. Of course Al Williamson is all about full figures done in exquisite tiny lines so that's what I'm trying to teach myself.
Yoram Matzkin, one of my most loyal art buyers brought me his 40 or so Al Williamson SECRET AGENT CORRIGAN daily originals and let me pick one out. It hangs next to the glamourpuss pages as the high water mark I'm trying to hit.
02-01-2008 02:20 PM: Lawson: Well, I guess I'm wrong in that case. I know that John was an early critic of Image and in very harsh terms, so I'm not sure that Erik isn't revising what actually happened in light of the "bad blood" that cropped up pretty quickly.
There's no question that there were only seven partners -- but in using the phrase "throwing in with them" I was thinking of the early '92 period where each of the studios and Image Central were very, very open to having any high profile person do a book for them as can be seen by how quickly the Image line inflated through '92 and '93. I think they were stricken when guys like Peter David and John Byrne not only didn't express interest in doing work for them but went out of their way to denounce the whole Image experiment and its founders from the ground up.
02-01-2008 02:33 PM: Yes, I've been awarding the Howard E. Day Memorial Prize at S.P.A.C.E. since 2003. I'll be announcing this year's recipient on the Sequential Tart message boards either tomorrow or Monday.
He was definitely my primary mentor and the person who most believed in my work from 1973 to 1976 -- including me. Re-reading his letters in the Cerebus Archive (preserved in magazine bags and backing boards)I'm always struck by that level of belief and enthusiasm. Of course it was the same for him. A couple of times he remarked to me that his mother-in-law (then the mother of his girlfriend) believed in his work more than he did and more than Gale did. That's why youshould always tell a young guy how enthusiastic about his work you are if you are. You might be the only one.
I think of Gene as a significant presence inthe field but I have to factor in sentimental attachment, hero worship and the loyalty of a protege. I'd love to see a TwoMorrows book of his work but I don't know how much of his work can still be found. Gale sold it all years ago to a store owner in Barrie, Ontario and I don't know what happened to it from there. Still there has to be enough out there to put a good book together.
One of the problems is that the SHANG CHI material is locked up with the Sax Rohmer Estate because of the Fu Manchu connection. That's one of those things you don't consider at the time, but as I understand it even Marvel can't reprint MASTER OF KUNG FU because the license has lapsed. Between Doug Moench, Gene and Paul Gulacy -- Jim Starlin drew an issue and so did Simonson -- it would make quite a volume. Of course I'd want it in black and white. ESSENTIAL MASTER OF KUNG FU. Ask for it by name in the Legal Department at Marvel.
02-01-2008 02:42 PM: madget: You know I was telling Chester Brown on one of my visits last year that I wish I was in inventor because it seems to me that all of the elements are in place to do photorealism more efficiently. I should be able to take digital images with a digital camera, download them into a combination computer and light table and trace them from there. The problem comes in with the pixilation. The image looks sharp -- as do the photocopies -- until you actually try to trace it and then you find that the contour isn't actually there, it's gradated. And the gradation is broken down into pixels and it's anyone's guess where the actual edge of the shadow is. That's why it takes so long to pencil a photorealistic image. Tracing makes it sound as if it's all there and it's as easy as tracing the Coca Cola logo or something. We are talking about really, really, really nuanced realities being turned into single pen or brush strokes. That's where you see the genius of Williamson. Two pen strokes barely a micron wide but they're the RIGHT two pen strokes. A micron to the left or right and the girl looks as if she has a black eye or a dislocated cheek. Any form of cartooning outside of photorealism there is so much latitude as to where the line goes that it's just about effortless by comparison.
02-01-2008 02:51 PM: Charles Reece: I'd have to say that all of the definitions I've heard of modernism and post modernism suggests that they're both attempts to make file folders big enough to hold just about everyone.
The content of glamourpuss is still evolving -- I'm halfway through the second issue and I don't want to get everything nailed down tight before I can have some fun developing it and trying different things. One of the most interesting things is trying to explain the context of photorealism so that I can explain what I see as the contesting Schools within photorealism. The entire history of comic books started in the "carved in stone" belief that there were three primary schools: Foster, Raymond and Caniff. All three schools still exist but are getting ignored because the thread of the discussion got lost. 1) Who does the most realistic art and 2) who is the best at it?
The Comics Journal's Top 100 putting Hal Foster's PRINCE VALIANT at #100 and PEANUTS at #1 is a good example of extreme inversion of the discussion. I end up spending as much time discussing what happened to the discussion as trying to advance the discussion.
Prayer time. Keep the St. Bernard and the keg of Diet Coke handy.
02-01-2008 04:03 PM: Okay. I'm back. Second time shoveling today. Fortunately it's still light as a feather but, man,there is a lot of it.
I think I may have forgotten a question or two, so I'll go in and check now.
02-01-2008 04:19 PM:Okay.
ChrisW: I've asked Neil for a blurb and he said "Leave it with me for a day" and that was about a week ago. He e-mailed my technical director on SP1 to ask about the exhibit of artwork at S.P.A.C.E. so he might be thinking of mentioning it on his blog. Neil is so far above me in the pop culture pecking order that I just take what I get and accept it. He's actually very good about being a regular guy considering how high up in the pecking order he is.
Erik Larson: Interesting that it was Jim Lee who suggested Byrne. In the same way thatit was interesting that Jim Lee was the first one talking about "how low can the orders go?" when it didn't seem to be an Image priority at least according to THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE. I didn't know that Byrne was claiming that he was offered a spot at Image before it was called Image. Could he be referring to...their name escapes my mind...the publisher that originally did the business side? I wish I was at home, I could look it up in TRTI.
Personally I don't think Byrne's best work was behind him, but I think Terry Austin did such a great job on his pencils that everything got measured against Byrne/Austin. I think he's done some very good stuff in his own rougher inking style. I love Infantino inking himself on Elongated Man but I'll take Infantino inked by Murphy Anderson if forced to choose.
02-01-2008 04:34 PM: madget: I definitely don't have any drafting skills in terms of being able to look at something and get the outlines in the right place whether drawing from life or from a photo. There are dribs and drabs of discussions about it through comics history, including Alex Raymond indicting Stan Drake for tracing photographs and then (at least theoretically) recanting once Drake explained the process to him. The obvious question is: what did he explain and how and did Raymond actually recant his view of tracing or did Drake graft that onto the debate after Raymond was dead?
In my own case, being called a photograph tracer comes very low on the list of negative things that I've been called so (like everything else I've been called) it really doesn't have any impact. It's just an opinion. Everyone besides me seems to be deathly afraid of being accused of tracing anything. After 6,000 pages and 26 years of worrying about things like that, I decided to just do what interested me and that's photorealism. If it's so easy, why isn't the field full of people "banging out" Al Williamson pages at a 5-a-day clip? No, to me translating a photo into a good comic book page or panel is the ultimate highwire act. One slip and bye-bye picture.
02-01-2008 04:44 PM: Ah! The notorious TM Talon whose coming was foretold to me. Yes, I haven't decided what order I'm doing them in but Newsarama, Comics Bulletin, Sequential Tart, Comics Village, Comic Book Resources. Jeff Tundis and I will be doing an episode of Comic Geek Speak on MELMOTH around the middle of the month. If there are any message boards that people think I should include I'll be glad to include them. I'll announce the "next site" when I'm on the "today" site: Sequential Tart is next which I guess is supposed to be a bloodbath, but then TCJ was supposed to be a bloodbath and was anything but...so who knows?
I hope some people will be taking a look at the Comics Industry Preview Edition of glamourpuss No.1 in their local stores. Most of the Canadian stores I asked them to put it up on their back issue wall and show it to anyone who expresses an interest. A lot of stores have special areas or shelves devoted to preview material. John has the Preview edition up on the wall behind the counter.
Say, it's still mid-afternoon on the West Coast. Anyone working at Dark Horse should go and wish Diana Schutz a happy birthday.
02-01-2008 05:03 PM: stanleylieber: Thanks for the update on your activities. Any inclination at all to finish the piece with the material on the Founding Fathers? Or is it one of those "maybe someday" deals?
http://imwan.com has been duly added to the list. Thanks.
Sorry I didn't answer right away. I went looking for The Beat and got lost on my way back. Heidi posted 6 very nice reviews of my Internet debut.
This is a very weird thing to call a day's work, but my Shared Risk, Shared Responsibility, Shared Rewards pact with the retailers includes at least 100 hours on the Internet trying to make coming into their stores to ask to see the first issue of glamourpuss (autographed or regular) seem like a good idea. As with everything else with this "first time" promotion, I'm sure I won't know what effect it'll have even after it's done since there are so many other things that might have been what actually worked.
Anyway, I got the largest order for trade paperbacks from Diamond that I've had in many moons today so phoning the retailers is probably not a one-time thing. Always nice when something I'm actually interested in -- comics retail -- is also good for business I can't believe I just did that.
02-01-2008 05:10 PM: JIM BROCIUS: Oh, hey! I'm looking forward to it, too.
And good "Reader's Digest" on CEREBUS. It's about everything. No wonder it costs so much for the complete thing! It contains everything. It's cheap at twice the price!
Actually I realized today that I'm going to have to miss the Retailer Summit since it falls during Ramadan (Sept 2 to Oct 2). I'll still do the "glamourpuss does VEGAS" benefit piece for Diamond's Charity auction but I'll do some prints for the Alternate Reality/Cosmic Comicssigning maybe in October?
Can someone tell Bill Willingham when they see him.
Say "hi" to Earl for me. Very cool "fill in" guy you have there.
02-01-2008 05:14 PM: Okay. Time for my sunset prayer. Noon to six during the winter it seems as if I just get started on something and it's time to pray again. But it does leave my nights and mornings free.
Because of the late start and the fact that I'm going to have to quit early and go do some more shovelling (and some office work) I figure I'll do another day here in Rick Veitch Land (and thanks for having me, Veitchmonster!) and then will move over to Sequential Tart on Monday.
See you tomorrow!
02-02-2008 10:56 AM: stanleyleiber: Sgt. Claude Flowers found John R. Neal Books for me, as well. I still can't quite get over that the pen nibs Stan Drake used (and Alex Raymond according to Tom Roberts' book! And Neal Adams!) are just a phone call away and 75 cents each. I mention in issue one that I'll be using the Gillot 290 starting in the next issue when I discuss Stan Drake. Halfway through issue 2 I think I'm a good 60 pages away from Stan Drake. Context is very difficult to convey. Issue 2 actually discusses Raymond in light of Milt Caniff far more.
2. I only sold artwork because I had to: the $200 I got for a complete issue in the first couple of years (yes, every page of issues 1 through about 12 sold for $10 each and guys really had to think about it)went to buy macaroni and cheese (at 25 cents a box at Zehrs. Fortunately Deni and I both liked macaroni and cheese).
madget "set aside the time to develop the skill". I really wish I could set aside time for anything besides just keeping up with basic necessities. Four weeks from now the Internet campaign comes to an end and I can start figuring out how this new book is going to work. I'd like to set aside some time to learn drawing from life but I tend to suspect that I can learn the same thing from tracing. The Burberry Prorsum "booties" page in issue 1 contains a traced image and a made up image both of which I was happy with and I think it's a motif I want to use pretty extensively. But that decision making is a good four weeks away right now.
Erik Larsen: Hi Erik! We really have to talk about the Cerebus colour volume once I get done with the glamourpuss promotion if Image is still interested. Jeff Tundis or Margaret L could probably send you a rough version of pretty much all the colour stuff if you're interested.
You know, one of the things that I thought the Internet would be used extensively for would be for annotating flawed books. I realize all the Image partners are busy but, assuming you all have copies of the book, I would think that a website devoted to each guy's "take" would be an extremely useful tool in getting all the various versions of each story on the record. I mean, you could each just re-read the book a few pages at a time and mark each passage with a post-it note with "This is how I remember it."
The history of the 1990's really is the history of Image so I think comics historians would owe a great debt to all of you for any effort you can expend collectively to clarify the record as soon after the events as possible. But what do I know? I don't even have a computer now.
Infantino on Infantino, yeah. But, all I have to do is picture the covers to "Gotham City Line-Up" or,really, any of the early new look Batman Detective covers from 1964 and it's a toss-up. Particularly because they're both in one package!
02-02-2008 11:24 AM: BRING BACK ZOT Well, I've never secnded an Internet alias, but I quite agree with you Bring Back Zot!
1. glamourpuss no.1 ships in April
2. No. From what I understand Ger is devoting most of his time to enhancing (or Enchancing) the house he owns with his wife Rose (which was pretty spectacular as houses go to begin with). And then there's his boat in the summer. Drawing is in a "when I get around to it and when I'm inspired to do something and only for as long as I'm inspired to do something". You can see his "World Without Cerebus" commissions at www.cerebusartcom. He might do prints of them but that comes even further down the list than drawing them!
He also sells some of the pages he has jurisdiction over (we've divided jurisdiction on a "one for you, one for me" basis starting with the pages remaining from issue 65, the one he started with) depending on what you offer him. Details at the same website, www.cerebusart.com.
3. I make all of my money from the Cerebus trades and some from Ger's original art sales (he looks at the page, looks at what he got for it and writes Aardvark-Vanaheim a cheque for whatever he thought my part was worth).
4. I don't plan on touring until October at the earliest. I want to make sure that I get the first three issues out strictly in April, July (a one month delay to give the retailers two weeks selling number one before they have to order issue two)and September. Same thing I did with CEREBUS and for the same reason: "I think the problem here is that guys spend too much time TALKING about doing comics and not enough time actually DOING comics. Regular reliable publication is still at least 75% ofthe key to success in comics.
Also I have to figure out how to pick stores and conventions to do appearances at. It's a really ineffective way to promote, really. On the phone Ican talk to five or ten stores in the same city in the course of an afternoon. It takes several days of travel and a lot of wasted down time in airports and on the 401 to Pearson airport to "target" one store on a Tour. Think of the carbon footprint alone!
stanleylieber No one remains the Absolute Top Guy forever. Neal Adams was, John Byrne was, Alex Ross arguably is. One of the hallmarks is that everyone wants them to do everything. Wow! Neal Adams' Batman -- okay, do Green Arrow now. WOW! OKAY NOW DO THE X-MEN! WOW! OKAY DO THE AVENGERS! WOW! OKAY NOW DO CONAN!
"Mainstream" Matt Hughes - Yes, haven't heard from David W. in a while but he is a phenomenon. His donations ALONE to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region in support of my Scripture readings at the Registry Theatre made the whole enterprise worthwhile.
And thanks for the contact info. I'll send you out one of the Gold VIP Fashion Preview Editions when I get home today (John needs the computer the rest of the day for updating his Upper Deck redemption certificate stuff starting around 2 pm). The only Evansville store I had til now was Jim Jones' COMIC QUEST (which I actually called twice speaking to the charming and delightful Leilani M a'e the second time). You and COMIC QUEST get along okay?
This is as good a spot as any for another plug for LOOKIN' FOR HEROES. 93 Ontario St. S. here in town, right across from the Grand River Transit Terminal. I'm signing copies of the CEREBUS trade and doing a head sketch for all interested parties. Eric this morning who's lived in Kitchener since 2000 and Alfonsos Espinos G. a local cartoonist who moved up from Mexico about a year ago (his website is www.studiocomix.blogspot.com). He bought me an apple juice at Matter of Taste on King the other night in exchange for some pointers.
02-02-2008 11:46 AM: Alan Coil: I'm not avoiding questions that make me uneasy. Questions never make me uneasy. Why would they? I am, however, sticking to my purpose of promoting glamourpuss and discussing comic books on comic book websites. My standing offer is open. If you have a comic book website devoted to, say, shoe fetishism and comic books I'll be glad to go there and discuss shoe fetishism and comic books. But my complete intellectual disinterest in shoe fetishism doesn't compel me to make sure I devote a quarter of all my postings to shoe fetishism in order to keep from being accused of hating shoe fetishists.
ChrisW: Give me a name and address of the NCO and I'll be glad to send him a Gold Logo O with a nice head sketch. You can never have too many friends in the NCO ranks of the US Armed Forces as far as I'm concerned.
Diana Schutz: ...and Bob Schrek's birthday is today. I've been studying.
King of Wisdom I haven't any electrical means of playing anything but it sounds interesting.
The only published Dave Sim Dreams story is "The Zelda Cafe" in Roarin' Rick's Rare Bit Fiends #1, oddly enough featuring Diana Schutz and oddly enough a dream that I had before I knew anything about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda. Impossible but True! I have about 25 mint copies that I've been trying to figure out how to get a) Rick to sign in the presence of a CGC rep and b) get slabbed by CGC.
A couple of obvious problems: I'd be willing to bet the Veitchmonster hates the very idea of CGC slabbing and I'd be willing to bet the nearest CGC rep is probably no closer than Boston. Although I might be wrong. On both counts.
John just came in and we talked a bit about his knowing Ger and the "Out to Lunch Bunch" in years gone by. Bob Rittinger (Boobah), Erik Hanek, Scott Eitel. The first he knew that I knew them was when he saw copies of CEREBUS at Erik and Laurel's shortlived Mr. Cairo's restaurant in Market Village.
John quoted Steven Wright: "It's a small world. But I wouldn't want to paint it."
Okay prayer time. See you back here in about forty minutes.
02-02-2008 01:00 PM: Forgot the Veitchmonster's question about the Raymond/Williamson horniness as motivation and do I think that's what's going on with glamourpuss. Well, no. Not really. I went to the KW Bookstore to look for used fashion magazines when I was first doing the pages that became glamourpuss. They had about four or five COSMOs and I thought, well, okay this is all that I'm going to need. Then I flipped through them and my reaction to virtually all of the pictures was "skank...skank...skank...". Literally every back issue they had, I found one photo that was in the Raymond/Williamson tradition. So then I went to the big rack of new fashion magazines and it was pretty much the same thing. "Skank...skank...skank..." Then I picked up GLAMOUR and there was a whole photo layout that was in the Raymond/Williamson tradition -- and which I decided to use to illustrate the impossibility of doing a narrative from a fashion layout in No.1... and about a half-dozen other photos that were at least usable. Then I found a few more in ELLE and MARIE CLAIRE (the French version), so it's been an education process. And ultimately led to the idea of Skanko, glamourpuss' Evil Twin Sister. One Skanko shot per issue -- and still trying to stay on the side of my own view of decency.
One of the points of it is "not too much flesh showing" which is why I lean toward Rip Kirby and away from Flash Gordon and Williamson's EC Science Fiction stuff. Too much flesh. That's not something you'll hear very often, but you'll hear it from me a lot. I'd rather see a pretty girl with a bit of leg showing wearing a beautifully put together Chanel suit than a pretty girl in thong underwear sprawled out like a dog licking itself. I'd certainly much rather draw it.
But, one of the eye-popping sections of Tom Robert's ALEX RAYMOND book is the section on how he does a Flash Gordon page and there's a nude model for the Dale Arden panels. I understand the THEORY -- if I can see the undraped figure and get that right, I can put the clothes on in pencil and then ink and it's going to look more accurate. Was it necessary? I really doubt it given both Raymond's drafting ability and natural drawing skill. Doing a comic strip with a pretty girl standing three feet away with nothing on but the radio. Well how much is that girl an artistic raw material and how much is she a fringe benefit?
Of course I've never bought the idea that a doctor is really able to examine every square inch of a naked sex-bomb teenager during her annual check-up without really noticing that she's a sex-bomb teenager. Talk about your Impossible Thing to Believe Before Breakfast!
02-02-2008 01:19 PM: nechrotechno: Well, thanks for dropping by. I see myself as attempting to LEARN from the Raymond School, not MASTER it. Even Hal Foster (according to Tom Roberts' book) admitted he could never match Raymond's brush or pen lines and I'm hardly on Hal Foster's plateau.
Shoegaze99: You will occasionally see a copy of the CEREBUS trade or HIGH SOCIETY in Barnes and Noble because they were experimenting with their product mix and bought a couple of hundred copies from Diamond. Bill Schanes, Diamond's VP of Purchasing (and a long-time Friend of Cerebus going back to the Schanes & Schanes days) did ask a while back if I was willing to take back damaged copies if Barnes and Noble took umpty-ump copies. It was tempting but my loyalty is to the brick and mortar comic stores -- Shared Risk, Shared Responsibility, Shared Rewards -- and what I think is in the best interests of the comic-book field. Mind you, there isn't anything near to a consensus. A lot of stores say that Barnes and Noble and the other big chains do such a lousy job with graphic novels (and they really do) that it wouldn't bother them if I sold them CEREBUS -- for a number of them exactly the opposite: Barnes and Noble would have CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY and everyone would have to go to a comic store to get the other 14 volumes. I'm still happier being able to say that I definitely don't sell to mainstream bookstores (or Amazon for that matter). Dance with the one what brung ya. It's just basic good manners and good business sense.
I also agree with ComicsPRO's second position paper: The Carpetbagging Paper -- publishers selling graphic novels at conventions that haven't been generally released yet to the stores. I'll have 500 copies of Secret Project One in time for S.P.A.C.E. but I'm not going to be selling them there. Ken Smith's Black Hole Comixand the Laughing Ogre both sell a lot of CEREBUS trades and the Ogre devotes an entire shelf to them. How would it look if all of their CEREBUS customers came in over the course of three weeks in May saying "Oh, Secret Project One -- I got that MONTHS ago at S.P.A.C.E."?
I tell you how I think it would look: not very good at all.
02-02-2008 01:33 PM: Well, I can't find the guy's post, but there was someone from Newfoundland asking me to reconsider my policy of not offering subscriptions to glamourpuss. I will reconsider but I'm still leaning in that direction. That seems like another way of competing with the stores that I'm supposed to be in partnership with. Maybe a compromise is possible. Maybe I could sell individual issues as soon as they become back issues. Issue two comes out so issue one is now available. No, even there, I'm trying to get the stores to carry back issues.
How about this: you use the ComicShop Locator Service to find the nearest store to you and then send me a photo-copy or print-out of a map showing how far away you are and I'll decide based on the map if you have a case or not.
Remember I'm a crotchety old man. By gum, I used to have to ride the bus an hour and a half to Toronto to go to Memory Lane and I was DAMNED GLAD TO DO IT (by gum). Danged pampered young'uns -- you'll be the death of me yet!
02-02-2008 01:47 PM: Okay. The silence is deafening so I'm going to wrap this up ten minutes early and go deposit my paycheque and pick up some groceries.
Hope to see some of you Monday at the Sequential Tart message boards about 10:30 am EDST!