Dave Sim's blogandmail #72 (November 22nd, 2006)
Yes…yes…that's it! Don't be shy. Staroo
isn't going to hurt you…cough cough
Staroo just wants to tell you his
cough cough secret
So I went downstairs to the Off-White House Library and started looking for this English book on comics that James "Baby" Bruno—who used to be part of the drinking buddy circle I hung out with which included Joe Boo, James' sister Beth, John Brent, Warren and a few others—bought me back in the 1990's for Christmas because it had Cerebus in it. He was just so totally flipped out that he had been in a real bookstore and had seen this book on comics and had thought, "I wonder if Cerebus is in there?" and when it was he just had to buy it for me. Anyway, it had a bunch of great reproductions in it…
…Suddenly flashed on my Silver Age book, which is a new fave since a lot of the stuff is shot from the original artwork in that Chip Kidd method where you colour scan it so you get all of the blue pencil and white-outs and stuff. Nope. Only one Doctor Strange page and it isn't one of the better ones.
…then checked my two Overstreet Price Guides but that isn't going to work, Ditko never did very much of the otherworldly stuff on the cover. Yeah, here's the book I was looking for, Comics an Illustrated History. Nope, only one Strange Tales cover, 107, which everyone uses because it's the Human Torch versus the Sub-mariner.
Good thing I'm going to see John next week. He'll probably have all the original issues in duplicate, the Essentials volume and the Marvel Masterworks volumes.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to it. As I told Sean on the phone, I never know what's going to make me go GONG. The last time it happened was at the last Torontocon when a guy asked if I would draw Cerebus with the original Batgirl. Not the original original Batgirl back, like, in the Shelly Moldoff era, but the Batman-TV show era Batgirl, the Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson Batgirl. Boy did I ever want to draw her. But, as I told Sean, if someone just asks me, "What do you want to draw?" none of that comes to mind. So, he just got lucky the way the Batgirl guy did.
Because I've been so impressed with what Jeff's done with that animation effect on the cerebusart.com website, I figure what I'll do is start sketching Dr. Strangeroach upstairs here next to the photocopier on a tracing paper pad and just photocopy every step of the process. If I rough it in and decide to change the arm, I'll photocopy it before I change the arm. And when I've got ten or twenty photocopies done, I'll send them to Jeff and he can scan them in. That way even if I'm jumping around on a dozen different things (which is happening a lot lately) there will at least be a Dr. Strangeroach in progress that Sean and all the Yahoos can be looking at. Depending on how it goes, I'll just make that my new way of doing the commissions or I'll never do it again or I might go a little easier on the number of photocopies. We'll see.
It was kind of "luck of the draw" for Sean. I got that GONG when I read the print-out of his e-mail that Ger brought in and then, maybe a week later, Sandeep dropped by with Steve Ditko's 160-Page Package from 1999 where I was looking at it and aching to do my own version of something Ditko-esque.
Tomorrow: My favourites from Ditko's 160-Page Package which I hope is still available from Robin Snyder at 2284 Yew St. Rd. #B6, Bellingham, WA, 98226-8899 (e-mail RSComics@aol.com)
There's MORE FOR YOU
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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
Looking for a place to purchase Cerebus phonebooks? You can do so online through Win-Mill Productions -- producers of Following Cerebus. Convenient payment with PayPal:
Or, you can check out Mars Import:
Or ask your local retailer to order them for you through Diamond Comics distributors.