Dave Sim's blogandmail #103 (December 23rd, 2006)
THIS IS IT! THE FINAL DAY FOR THE FINAL OFFER
ON THE NEXT COMMISSIONED CEREBUS PIECE
SO IF YOU SLEPT IN AND IT'S AFTER 11 AM
WHEN YOU'RE READING THIS…
…YOU MISSED IT, BUBBAH!
AND EVEN IF YOU GOT UP BRIGHT AND EARLY
AND YOU'RE NOT HUNG OVER AND YOU ATE A HEALTH AND NUTRITIOUS BREAKFAST, THANKS TO THE MIRACLE OF DAVE SIM'S PATENTED
LUDDITE-O TIME-DELAY POSTING™
YOU'RE STILL NOT GOING TO FIND OUT WHAT THE NEXT COMMISSIONED PIECE IS UNTIL THURSDAY!
The Honking Great Box from Salt Lake City arrived at Canada Post on Pandora Street on December 4, having been mailed by Mimi November 17. I think Canada Customs held onto it because the 12 South Park VHS videotapes Mimi and Alan sent Gerhard made for some great lunchtime viewing. They knew already that they weren't going to let us off the hook with the "No Commercial Value" designation—Mimi's "for review" designation suited most of the stuff I was getting, but South Park videotapes? Nah, not a chance. And then there were the two sets of Ye Bookes of Cerebus bookends—one of them still with the "$36.99" price tag on it. Mimi? You have a long way to go to qualify as a criminal mastermind, I'm afraid.
Anyway, a quick rundown of my own loot from the Salt Lake City trip:
Big George Comics #17 – published by George Stasinos, 846 East Uintah Avenue, Tooele, Utah, 84074. I already told you about Big George—one of the guys who Tim Corrigan corrupted into a life in comics through Small Press Comics Explosion. Well, this is his special 20th anniversary issue with the Best of Big George Comics. They really are funny, mostly because they're drawn in a classic underground style but Big George is so unfailingly cheerful and optimistic that you start laughing just because it's so weird to be reading an unfailingly cheerful and optimistic underground comic. If you buy only one Big George comic in your entire life, this should be the one, I think. $2.50
In Utah this week magazine. It's actually just called IN magazine, I think. Kim Burgess, the writer, showed up with copies at the party at the Cottonwood Mall store so this was the first chance that I had had to read her article which was (oddly enough) in the "Living in Utah" section (which I suppose I was for a period of days, anyway…and which I hope to be again for a week or two this summer). A good reconstructed interview (I could hear her typing at the other end of the phone line) with the occasional odd "where did THAT come from?" glitch. i.e. "…he was a high school dropout pouring over Superman and the Hulk at Ottawa's first comic book store." OTTAWA? Other peculiarities include "…making it the longest-running English language comic book by the same creative team, according to Wikipedia." Oho. I guess in an alternative paper you can actually cite Wikipedia as a source. I wonder if that "washes" these days? Oh, Wikipedia. Then it MUST be true! Anyway, nice to have one more article to add to the Cerebus Archive's "Publications/Tabloid" pile which doesn't get many additions these days.
[I have to interrupt myself to say that there's been an even more recent addition—the December 2006-January 2007 issue of Exclaim!. Jason Schneider is an entertainment writer at The Record whom I heard about from my financial advisor at CIBC, Jeff Shalk because Jason is a Cerebus reader (and we all know how astonishing that is to non-Cerebus readers here in Kitchener!), so I gave Jeff an autograph and a head sketch to give him. So, this guy turns up with Sandeep at the Scripture reading a couple of weeks back and tells me he works at The Record. "Oh, you must be the guy I gave Jeff the head-sketch for." And, sure enough, it was. Anyway, he asked if he could do an interview with me about the Scripture readings so we set something up. It's Kitchener, so whatever it is it's going to be a paragraph long and probably spell my name wrong, but what the heck, eh? So we did the interview and he said he was going to show it to The Record which is in the "snowball's chance in hell" category, but then he also mentioned that he had a contact at the Toronto Star (snowball ditto: the People's Republic of Toronto? Yeah, right) and as well was going to do a mention in Exclaim! I've seen Exclaim here and there and just figured it was another Echo—the local weekly paper of record— knock-off. Does anyone actually read these things? So, I'm at the bus station waiting to go down to Toronto for the Ragmop launch and there's this big pile of Exclaim!'s on top of one of the garbage bins. So I look at the cover. Yep, the year-end issue. That's the one he said it would be in. And I just ignore it, because it's going to be bad news, right? It's Kitchener. I'll probably count myself lucky if ALL they do is spell my name wrong. And finally I decide, okay, I'll page through it and see if I can find it. It a) won't be in there b) will be in there but it will be so small I'll never find it c) will be in there but it will be intentionally insulting. And then I change my mind again. I'm going to Toronto. I'm going to see Chet and Rob and Peter Pan and the Beguiling. WHY am I going to let Kitchener even try to ruin my day? All right, I finally decide I'll page through the top copy and if I don't spot the item or if the bus comes first I'll just forget the whole thing. And then there it is: A HUGE photo of me reading Scripture. That's right. Dave Fisher had been taking pictures the same day that Jason was there. And then the little article under it—"Voice of Sim". That wasn't snarky or mean-spirited that I could see. "Voice of Sim". So then I read the little article and there didn't seem to be anything snarky or mean-spirited in it. I grabbed a copy to show Trevor since he's been taping all the readings ("Hey, Trevor! We made the papers!") and figured he'd never see a copy in Toronto. It wasn't until I was reading it on the bus that I realized that it was a national publication, not a Kitchener publication…which explained the lack of snarkiness and mean-spiritedness. In a way, I mean. But in another way, it was also only the third mention in a Canadian publication of Cerebus coming to an end and the first mention since 2004. And it was the first one that wasn't unfavourable or mean-spirited or denigrating. I know because I kept skimming the article looking for those things which had been right there in Saturday Night and Eye magazine. Yep, there's "unfavourable" part, there's the "mean-spirited" part, there's the "denigrating" part. Chet picked up a copy at Peter Pan of his very own. And there it was at Latierri and the bookstore Chet and I went to. Completely bizarre. Dave Sim in the Canadian media. And even more bizarre, it's a magazine almost completely devoted to punk, hip-hop, and bands with names like Fuck You (literally) and pages and pages of concert reviews. I've been trying to figure out what God was up to with this (if anything): Bernard has offered me his nightclub, the Starlight Lounge in Waterloo for free for my scripture readings so I don't know if God was just showing me the juxtaposition to help me make up my mind: "Here, Dave, does this look infected to you?" In a way, but at the same time there's nothing wrong that I can see in taking the fight to the enemy in his own backyard—as long as no one is serving alcohol during the reading, let's say. Anyway, three years after finishing the book it sure was an on-going surprise!]
Tomorrow: Dave Sim's Two Sunday Christmas
THERE'S MORE FOR YOU!
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.