Monday, November 27, 2006

Dave Sim's blogandmail #77 (November 27th, 2006)

The Mystery of STAROO Revealed!

STAROO is something that I have a lot of pride in: the fact that of the seventeen volumes Aardvark Vanaheim has on the Diamond Star System, eight of them start with the "Double Zero" designation, STAR 00, because they were early additions to the Star System when Diamond was starting it up in the early 90s (the lowest number is the Cerebus TPb which is designated STAR0070!)

Every once in a while, I'm just going to run all of the Diamond order codes for the Cerebus Trades for an entire week.

If you're a retailer, I hope you'll take it as a friendly reminder during "Listing Week" to take a few minutes to go and check your shelves and see if any of the trades are missing and order them from DIAMOND while you're still thinking about it. The Trades sell a lot better when you have them all in stock than they do when there's just volumes 2, 4, 7, 10, 11 and 16 sitting there.

If you're a potential customer I hope you'll use Listing Week to call the Comic Shop Locator Service



and find out where the comic book stores are in your area

and if they don't have a volume you want in stock, you can give them the Star System order code right over the phone!

VOL.1 CEREBUS…………………….STAR0070



VOL.4 CHURCH & STATE II.........STAR00322

VOL.5 JAKAS STORY………….....STAR00359

VOL.6 MELMOTH…........................STAR00431

VOL.7 FLIGHT……………………..STAR00543

VOL.8 WOMEN…………………….STAR00849

VOL.9 READS………………………STAR01063

VOL.10 MINDS……………………..STAR01916

VOL.11 GUYS………………………STAR06972



VOL.14 FORM & VOID…………..STAR13500




Monday November 27 -

Okay, here I go again making a Blog & Mail just of the things that I got in the mail and haven't answered. Conrad P. Felber sent in a Reuters news clipping from the Toronto Star for October 14 "Superheroes of God" written by Jason Szep about a nice young Muslim fellow whose Kuwait based company is planning to publish a comic book called The 99 which will consist of Muslim super-heroes based on the 99 attributes of God ("This Ramadan The World Has New Heroes") and is also "rolling out" classic U.S. comic books like The Hulk, Spider-man and Archie in the Arabic language.

This one was bizarre, given that depictions of anything divine are prohibited in Islam. No word on any fatwas against him yet. It's worth remembering that Muslim countries like Kuwait do tend to have a more Western spin to them, ideologically speaking. It would be interesting if super-heroes became either a buffer or a lubricant in the Clash of Civilizations. Thanks Conrad…

Tim Corrigan, a totally legendary name in the small press field got the third SPACE Lifetime Achievement Award this year (Ger and I got ours two years ago when Cerebus came to an end) and last year Matt "Cynicalman" Feazell got it. Always looking for somewhere else to do my "photorealism thang" I did a drawing of Matt that Ger scanned in and did a colour version of (the Comics Journal was nice enough to print a photo of us presenting the two versions to Matt in their Newswatch section), so this year we intended to do the same thing for Tim but Bob Corby was only able to find one really terrible photo of Tim on the Internet from 1975 or something. So instead, Ger snapped a photo of him when he came over to say hello and I did the drawing from that after we got home…and I just got in a VERY nice thank you letter from him, typed on an electric typewriter. What a day-brightener—someone who actually makes Dave Sim look modern by comparison. Tim writes:

Dear Dave;

I just wanted to thank you for the extraordinary gift you recently sent me. I was absolutely stunned when I opened the package! Clearly a lot of thought and work went into that piece and I am genuinely moved you would take the time to produce this fine piece of work for me. It is one of my proudest possessions and I shall have it framed.

Sorry I didn't respond sooner. It's a hectic time of year for me. All the sign customers who procrastinated all summer decided they wanted their signs in September, and I painted my fingers off the whole month. It happens every year that way.

I'm always amazed to find that the ol' SMALL PRESS COMICS EXPLOSION magazine was such a pivotal point for someone. For me, the pivotal point came some years earlier. I was 14 when I stumbled across a copy of All in Color For a Dime by Don Thompson. That was the book that galvanized my belief that comics were a direction worth following. So my magazine was where others needed it to be because Don's book was exactly where I needed it to be. Isn't it remarkable and a little magical the way life unfolds and how we brush each other's lives.

So, thank you very much, Dave. You're a huge talent and a heck of a nice guy. I'll always treasure your gift.

See you at SPACE next Spring.


Tim Corrigan

Say, this is probably a good spot to mention that

The Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo


WILL BE HELD APRIL 21 & 22 2007


(it's worth going just to SEE the Aladdin Shrine Complex)



Reserve your table now at

tell Bob & Kathy & Megan that Dave Sim sent you

(I get a substantial kick-back when you do)

Quite a coincidence that I heard from Tim when I did, because I just saw George (Big George) Stasinos out in Salt Lake City and he mentioned how influential and helpful Tim's Small Press Comics Explosion was when he was starting out. I actually came in before Tim, since I remember Don & Maggie Thompson's mimeo zine (find a very, very old person to explain to you what "mimeo" was, young'uns), Newfangles having the same impact on me some time before All in Color for a Dime came out. Don & Maggie were like completely mystical beings because they knew what was going to be happening in comics, sometimes months ahead of time (I still remember the only "Extra" they put out when Jack Kirby left Marvel for DC). I felt as if I was cracking open the secrets of the universe whenever the new issue came in. Don and Maggie KNEW! Don & Maggie would TELL ME what was going to happen long before it did happen and then (GASP) it would actually happen just the way they said it would. Coincidentally, my personal phone directory is sitting here open with Don & Maggie's phone number from the mid-1980s. I was pretty impressed with myself, let me tell you. A mere fifteen years after I had been just another Newfangles subscriber, here I had Don & Maggie's home phone number.

Tim also sent along the PREMIERE ISSUE of Tim Corrigan's Comics and Stories featuring Tim's legendary Mighty Guy character. It's a nifty little 11-page one shot he'll let you have for a sawbuck. As Allen Freeman (Fan-atic Press) wrote about him in the 2006 SPACE program booklet in a Believe It or Not parody: "Tim Corrigan of Houghton, NY was the publisher of Small Press Comics Explosion the first nationally distributed mag about small press comics. He created the ne'er-do-well hero Mighty Guy whose adventures he claims are `The Funniest Comics Known to Man!' He's drawn comics for 50 years and hasn't seen one dime of profit." Probably because he still publishes comics he sells for a buck. Or LESS. And what's even more amazing is that it's turned into a family operation. Last year Tim held down table #108 and his sons Matt Corrigan (South Star) and Nate Corrigan (Gumshoe Comics) split table #109 and between the three of them they had a whole raft of comics for sale. The family that publishes together…uhhh….the family that zines together…uhhh…I've been working on that gag since SPACE 2004 when I first saw the Corrigan & Sons set-up and I still haven't got one. Help me out, someone. The family that staples together….uhhh….

Anyway, you can write to all three of them at POB 25, Houghton, NY, 14744 and send them money if you want a bunch of good funnybooks. However much you send them, they'll make it worth your while. Or maybe you'd like a hand-painted sign. Tim does those too—for a living.

More on SPACE as we get closer to April 21 and 22 (that is, if I'm still doing this by then).

Tomorrow: More catching up on the mail


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
Station C
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:

Win-Mill Productions

Or, you can check out Mars Import:

Mars Import

Or ask your local retailer to order them for you through Diamond Comics distributors.