Dave Sim's blogandmail #35 (October 16th, 2006)
ALL THIS WEEK THE BLOG & MAIL IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY
MYSTERIOUS SEALED ENVELOPES CONTAINING
FRIENDS OF CEREBUS FAN CLUB STUFF
FROM 1983 AND 1984
THAT WAS RETURNED BY THE POST OFFICE
AS UNDELIVERABLE EH? WHAT'S THAT? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME?
A MYSTERY UNVEILED! ONE OF THE LARGE SIZE ENVELOPES… ADDRESSED TO JOHN BUNTIN, JR…. IS OPEN! SHH! QUIET, YOU FOOL. PLEASE STAND BY AS WE…YES…YES…THAT'S IT…CAREFUL NOW
WELL WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT!
IT'S THE 1985 FRIENDS OF CERBUS WALL CERTIFICATE! AND—BLESS MY SOUL—IT HAS A PICTURE OF CEREBUS AS THE POPE ON IT!
I THINK I CAN READ IT. HOLD THE LANTERN A LITTLE HIGHER. YES. YES. IT SAYS…IT SAYS…"THIS DOCUMENT CERTIFIES THAT…JOHN BUNTIN JR. HAS HAD THEIR NAME LETTERED HEREON BY DAVE SIM AND NOW OWE HIM UNDYING LOYALTY" [THAT'S FUNCTIONALLY ILLITERATE, BUT LET IT GO—IT WAS THE 80'S AND I WAS SMOKING A LOT OF POT] AND PRINTED ON THE BOTTOM ARE SIGNATURES OF DAVE SIM, KAREN MCKIEL AND GERHARD…
WHY! IF YOUR NAME IS JOHN BUNTIN JR..OR…OR IF YOU WERE WILLING TO CHANGE YOUR NAME TO JOHN BUNTIN JR. WELL, THIS DOCUMENT COULD BE WORTH A SMALL FORTUNE!
WAIT! IT ALSO CONTAINS A FORM LETTER HAND DATED APRIL 8, 1986 AND HAND ADDRESSED TO JOHN BY KAREN MCKIEL TELLING HIM THAT THE FAN CLUB HAS DISBANDED! AND TELLING HIM THERE'S A CHEQUE ENCLOSED FOR $2.50 FOR THE NEVER PUBLISHED NEWSLETTER #14…AND WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT! THERE'S NO CHEQUE IN HERE AT ALL. FAN CLUB GRAVE ROBBERS, OBVIOUSLY. BUT THERE IS A…SMALL…CARD OF SOME KIND. Gasp IT'S THE ULTRA RARE 1985 FRIENDS OF CEREBUS MEMBERSHIP CARD WITH NO NAME ON IT. WHY I COULD WRITE ANYONE'S IN THE BLANK AND…AND…NO ONE WOULD BE THE WISER…
HAND ME THAT PEN.. NO, I'M SERIOUS. THE FIRST PERSON TO ORDER THE TWO VOLUMES OF CHURCH & STATE IS GOING TO HAVE FORGED EVIDENCE THAT THEY…THAT THEY HAVE BEEN CEREBUS FANS FOR TWENTY YEARS…AND THAT THEIR ALIAS AT THE TIME WAS JOHN BUNTIN, JR! www.followingcerebus.com shhhhhh.
A Day in the Blog & Mail Life
12:30 pm - Phone call from James Turner, gentleman cartoonist, computer graphics genius, Chester Brown's "across the hall" neighbour who was most recently Blog & Mailed as a nominee for a Doug Wright Award for his book Nil, A Land Beyond Belief —if you haven't had a chance, check out his book Rex Libris from Dan Vado's Slave Labor Graphics. I got a box from him this week in the mail. A Box from James Turner? What is up with that? Very nice, reasonably long letter on top which I will be sharing with you soon (this time I got permission) and inside, the new Rex Libris statue. That's right. The book is a big enough hit to have its own statue—based on the cover image from Rex Libris number one. In the course of the letter he mentions that Slave Labor is getting ready to do a trade paperback collection of the first five issues and he was wondering if I would write the introduction. So I left a message last night saying I would be glad to and asking him to call me back with shipping details and so on. So that's why he was calling back. He should know in the next day or so. No offence against Yahoo attention spans but I told him I thought that a plug would probably work better the same week that the Previews catalogue comes out with the solicitation for the trade paperback so I can tell all you Yahoos and retailer Yahoos (especially) that it's time to order the Rex Libris collection IN BUNCHES! RIGHT NOW! (PLEASE!). So I'm saving his letter for that so as to make up an even bigger Blog & Mail entry. I can tell you that he has issue 7 done and is a little late on issue 8 (he has a dynamic Toronto-based commercial art business as well as doing Nil and Rex). He said that I did manage to get across to him how important it is to come out frequently and to be on time, so, short of Cerebus coming back from the grave, this is about the closest you're going to get to a regularly published black and white humour title in this world. Rex Libris. See about getting yourself an issue 6 in the next couple of months and signed up for issue 7 on at your local store and when the trade comes out you'll be all caught up.
12:50 pm – As I told James on the phone—he had complimented me on the Siu Ta (so far) strip, which a lot of people are these days (and thank you for that)—in addition to trying to get the entire week's Blog & Mail done in one day, I'm also torn most days as a monotheist as to what it is that I should be doing for God. Most days, I'm trying to get at least an hour or two in on my commentaries on Mark's Gospel and I think my secret project might be in that category although I start tapping my foot mentally when things like the Cerebus 3D Movie and other non-faith digressions start taking up that time (that was why I was a little hacked off at myself for losing a whole hour yesterday looking for the correspondence from the film coordinator—I can write commentaries on two or three verses in an hour). If I can get these entries done in time, I'll be doing today backwards, ending on the commentaries instead of starting the day on them. So, as a way of making up for it, I took my Zuhr (noon) prayer break about ten minutes earlier than I ordinarily would have and was able to read aloud all of Sura 24 "The Believers" and half of Sura 25 "Light" aloud.
1:11:00 pm – start Zuhr prayer (again, see inside back cover of Cerebus 300)
1:21:48 pm – end Zuhr prayer. I really am getting old. I used to do my prayer in ten minutes flat. I'm now hitting closer to eleven minutes.
2 pm – I've adopted Winston Churchill's mid-afternoon nap as a habit. A quick hour on the couch and I've got my second wind for the rest of the day.
3: 17 pm – My "quick hour" has been running about seventeen minutes over the last few weeks. I really am getting old.
3:50 pm – caught up on my chronological documentation of my "Day in the Life" for the second time today, it's now time to double back and finish the Sunday entry.
6:25 pm - Just back from Sunday's entry and the silliness lead-in for Monday. Hard to believe that took two hours almost. For the two hours out of my life it should be a heck of a lot funnier, nu?
Something I forgot to mention last week and which is now up on the wall and if I can just keep barrelling ahead here I might be able to work on it tomorrow. Another jam strip, this time from Karl Kressbach of Michigan's Mental Note Press, one of the Short List nominees for the first Day Prize we handed out at SPACE. I'm really not sure if our styles are compatible enough to do a jam strip so what I really pitched to him was that I would basically Dave-ize whatever he sent me. His work is very "over the edge" so what I pictured doing was taking his "over the edge" work and pulling back to this side of the edge and then send it back to him and see what he would make of it. My job is to try to make Karl Kressbach's work as relatively normal as I can while he would turn it back into "over the edge" Karl Kressbach material. Because I suspect he can't help himself.
6:45 pm - Trying very hard to get all these entries done before lights-out tonight. I have gradually had to give up the idea that I might get a chance to work on my commentaries on Mark tonight. I don't even get downstairs in time to do much more than read 14 minutes of "Al Furkan". Yes, these are the sorts of things that concern me. Am I supposed to be working harder and faster and just "fitting in" my prayer times or am I supposed to allow more time for reading from the Koran before my prayer time?
I also broke my pattern Monday of just reading from the Koran during Ramadan, having read in the paper over the weekend that Judaism was observing Yom Kippur that day. What the heck IS Yom Kippur (aside from an excuse for Arabs to attack observant Jews in 1973)? So, I looked it up in the dictionary. Turns out that it's the observance described in Leviticus 16, with the one goat slaughtered and the other released into the wilderness (where the term "scapegoat" comes from). So Monday I read Leviticus 16 out loud. It seems very YHWH-heavy when compared with the Koran. Was it wrong to read it aloud during Ramadan?
No idea. I'll find out on Judgement Day and I have pretty much a whole year before I have to decide whether I'm doing it again.
6:57:00 pm – Begin Maghrib (sunset) prayer.
7:07:20 pm – End Maghrib prayer. Pretty close to ten minutes. It's very odd. I have no conscious awareness of reciting my prayer either faster or slower and yet it varies a good twenty seconds.
7:25 pm - Anyway, Karl writes, "It is difficult for me to figure out the best way to approach the concept of a Jam in the environment that I have created. I have studied similar methods that jazz and improvisational musicians have used in the past. One such method is John Zorn's Game pieces where he made diagrams and charts using cue cards and index cards in order for musicians to battle or play in a game. These systems were not too constraining and do not transfer well to the visual arts because music is completely abstract and comics involve a narrative structure…
"I find that most Jams have no grounding (i.e. old Zaps) and tend to go in odd directions because there is no steady environment for the characters to exist in. I want the characters to be based on real people (but this is optional): crazies that people have encountered or `normal' people (if this is possible). The characters should enter the coffee shop or already be established in the shop. Things shouldn't be outlandish like blowing up the coffee shop at the end…
"I don't want to make too many `rules' because they will hinder the artist."
The problem I see is that this, indeed, is Karl's environment that he created, so there's always the danger of going right off the rails immediately because it just isn't my environment. So, I'm going to try to err on the side of caution and basically just ink his figures rather than, say, re-pencilling them ( this might not be practical: his pencils are a lot like Marshall Rogers' layouts for the Diamondback story and there I ended up having to re-pencil just to have a frame of reference I understood). I think I'll drag Ger in on this one and get him to actually do a coffee shop and give Karl a rough layout of how he pictures it. We've been talking for a while about Ger just pencilling backgrounds and me inking them (the pencilling stage is far more interesting to him than the inking stage), so this might be a chance to experiment with that—find a balance between layout backgrounds and pencilled backgrounds and see what it's like when someone else inks it.
Of course I still have to get through tomorrow's Blog & Mail if I'm going to have a chance to get back to my commentaries on Mark's Gospel and the drawing board tomorrow and the clock is ticking down to my Isha (night) prayer.
Check out www.mentalnotepress.com if you get the chance.
REPLIES POSTED ON THE CEREBUS YAHOO! GROUP
If you wish to contact Dave Sim, you can mail a letter (he does NOT receive emails) to:
Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2
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