Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dave Sim's blogandmail #78 (November 28th, 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




Tuesday November 28 -

Another letter from Scott Berwanger that got lost for a spell and I apologize for that. You might remember that he had ditched the idea of trying to do a gallery exhibit of his paintings and his mammoth Anubis graphic novel at the same time. Now he's rethought it again and is guessing that if he alternates one episode of Anubis and one painting, the one will make a nice break from the other. I can see that. He might be kidding himself or he might be right. That's the real nutcracker of trying to be a successful graphic novelist (successful in the sense of getting your graphic novel done and getting good at doing it): you're really the only person in a position to make the call about yourself and your work. Civilians are just going to treat you as a moody Artiste and your peers are too busy either figuring themselves out or lying to themselves (or both) to worry about how you're doing with yourself.

Letter from Margaret Liss (hey, anyone out there ever heard of www.cerebusfangirl.com? She does an amazing job, our Margaret does).

First off — I can't believe the scanning is complete for the notebooks. Secondly, I can't believe the amount of work ahead of me. Well, us I should say, as I've got a couple of volunteers off the Yahoo!Group, Steve B and Jay (all the way from Switzerland) are helping with "cleaning up" the images. As much as I want to dive into scanning the actual Archive itself, I think it would be prudent to at least get a head start, if not complete, the notebook portion of the archiving first before starting the rest of the Archive. So I'll let you know how the progress of the notebook portion goes, and when the time is ready, I'll ask for the rest—if that works for you.

It does indeed. She's also a little worried about any time constraint on the donation of the Cerebus Archive but needn't be. I've just signed my Last Will and Testament and it specifies that the Archiving process continues with or without me, with Sandeep keeping the Off-White House open and the Archive proper heading down to Margaret in Massachusetts and back up here a hundred or so documents at a time until everything has been scanned. The specified institution is the University of Waterloo at the moment, but that could get changed to NYU if I have to raise some money in a hurry at some point (Canadian universities only offer government approved tax credits authorized by the National Archives—no cash—and, not being a socialist I'm not likely to be offered more than nickels and dimes at least until the vast Ottawa bureaucracy finally gives up on Marxism: most unlikely) and I'm sure that Mike Kelly, the proprietor of the Fales Collection at NYU will be more than amenable to working around Margaret and her team's schedule. The first priority is to get everything scanned and made available as commercial DVD packages as well as an Institutional Use package. Only when all of the raw materials have been scanned will the material actually change hands from Aardvark-Vanaheim to the designated institution.

She also notifies me that Daniel, Daniel Parker, King of the Wild Frontier is back involved with the on-going plans for the Online Digital Archive (hi to Dan and his lovely wife Linda, Linda Parker, Queen of the Wild Frontier) by upgrading it to a DSPACE database form. As with everything else Daniel, Daniel Parker, King of the Wild Frontier has to say about computer systems, I'll take his word for it. He's always looking for the widest form of accessibility and the form least likely to get compromised by corporate proprietary interests or other trump cards. If Daniel, Daniel Parker, King of the Wild Frontier says that DSPACE is the way to go, then, by gum, DSPACE is the way to go.

One of the great things about Margaret is that she is so compulsive about Cerebus that she's always checking references to the book on the Internet. She turned up one at http://community.livejournal.com/scansdaily/2466540.html that has the entirety of issue 51 scanned in along with a somewhat patronizing appreciation along the lines of "I don't know where Dave Sim went wrong and ruined his book, but here's one from back when the book was GOOD".

"The `livejournal' that it was posted on is called `Scans Daily,'" Margaret continues, "Which posts large quantities of comics scans. I don't know how they get away with it, but they do." She offers me the choice of reporting them for copyright infringement or linking it to www.cerebusart.com and www.followingcerebus.com. Tentatively, I'm going to say yes to the link and no to the report of copyright infringement. This came up because I had wondered aloud if it made sense to post the first 50 pages of each of the trade paperbacks with a link to the www.followingcerebus.com ordering page. I haven't come to any hard and fast conclusions, yet, to say the least. The last couple of days I've been thinking that what is really needed is to post the Diamond order codes for the trades here at the old Blog & Mail homestead along with the Comic Shop Locator number. That way anyone interested in ordering the books can first try calling their local shop and—if they don't have that specific trade, the caller would have the Star System order code to give the retailer. If the retailer isn't interested in ordering them a copy, then at that point, I think I'm on solid ground steering them to www.followingcerebus.com . I may end up being the last guy on the planet whose primary loyalty is to brick and mortar stores but I think that's The Right Thing To Do since we wouldn't be where we are today without the brick and mortar stores.

She makes a few observations about Oliver's 3D Cerebus Film-in-progress which really amounts to "wait and see" (really the only thing for you Yahoos to be doing at least until there's enough there to start rendering some final verdicts)

Moving right along, Jeff Seiler e-mailed Gerhard that Dave Hutzley of Dave's Comics & Collectibles—which was the Detroit store on the '92 Tour (Hi, Dave!)—and who has been in business for 30 years has closed up his Ann Arbor and Royal Oak stores and moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, home of Hillsdale College and Imprimis magazine which I've plugged before (and which Jeff signed me up for) but will plug again—e-mail imprimis@hillsdale.edu for a free subscription—where he has opened Vintage Advantage located at 42 Union Street. He's quoted in the Hillsdale Collegian as saying he "prefers the small town venue". Folks, you couldn't get Dave Hutzley out of the comic book racket with a crowbar!

Next: more 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.