Friday, December 29, 2006

Dave Sim's blogandmail #109 (December 29th, 2006)










Larry Hart just got his first taste of "future vision," getting a print-out of the December 16 Blog & Mail in the first week of December. Now he's about to get a second taste as I answer his answer dated December 6 on December 13 for the December 29 Blog & Mail. Larry writes:

Remember, I sent you the Brin article the day before the election. I also feel like laying off of politics for a while. So does Brin, for that matter.

Well, forgive me for saying this, Larry, but that's just plain silly. I'm laying off politics because my team lost. Your team won. Your team has control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, NOW is when you have to show everyone that you aren't just whiners and complainers, that you actually have workable ideas that will allow you to retain legislative control and take back the White House in 2008. All that it requires is a Democrat consensus and non-stop hard work for two years and you can show George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney how a REAL political party functions. Unless, as I say, you're actually just whiners and complainers.

As to Stacey [the babe he drew as part of his contribution to Cerebus Readers in Crisis #2: he had sent me a photocopy of an early pencil drawing]—no she is not my wife. She's a girl I knew from my neighbourhood in the mid-1970s when we were 15 to 17 years old. In a nutshell, she's the one who got away big-time. I know she moved to New York City some time after high school, and that's pretty much all I know about her now. The gag of using her in the CRIC #2 story is that I've mentioned many times on the Yahoo! List that my idea of heaven would be an endless loop repeat of the year 1977, both for the time spent lusting over Stacey and for the fact that that was the summer of the original Star Wars. I've mentioned the poor girl by name so often that I thought it would be a cute in-joke for the other Yahoos to use her as a character in my own version of the afterlife.

Now I know you think I'm Missing The Point ethically, but I don't want you to think I've concluded that an endless loop repeat of the year 1977 would really be heaven. What I hope to get to in the story is the question of whether such an afterlife would be more like heaven or like hell. And why? And I'm not finished fleshing all that out yet.

On a related subject, I seriously thought you'd get a kick out of this one. I spent last Friday digging out from a 14-inch snowfall, which is not an unusual amount of snow to have on the ground in Chicago, but is unusual to get all at once, especially so early in the season. It did occur to me that both January 1977 and December 1977 were very, cold snowy months where I lived. After years of talking on the Cerebus list about wanting to relive 1977, God (apparently) said "You want 1977? Here's 14 inches of it!" Even I see the humor value in the situation.

Well, whether you're Missing The Point, we'll all have to wait and see when we read the story, Lar…and we'll all have to make our minds up individually. Personally, I'm really looking forward to it and I have to say as well that I can't get over the fact that you would actually see God as possibly having taken an active role in making use of your sentimental attachment to 1977 to send you a message. Even if you just thought of it in a humorous way, hey, at least you thought of it.

I'm impressed.

Jeff Seiler called a little while ago/some weeks back (depending on how you look at it) and I told him that I would be glad to draw a cover for issue two if I can get good photo reference for one of the scenes in one of the stories. I don't know if you have period pictures of you and Stacey (or how Jeff is going to decide which story gets the cover slot) but it's maybe something you can start thinking about. Billy Beach sent me his finished story for Cerebus Readers in Crisis which I'll be getting to when I hit that strata in my pile of mail here.

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Got a Christmas card from Chet who, coincidentally decided to update Steve Ditko's Mr. A strip "It's Either Good or Evil" "starring Santa Claus in multiple roles!" So this is the card that I sent back to him. After I got it done, I thought it might make a good Christmas card for myself to send to people who sent me Christmas cards this year (I am a complete Christmas card reactionary that way—and, yes, the offer has expired), so I spent part of today (December 13) pencilling it. If I actually end up doing it, I'll get Jeff to post one here so you can have a look. If not, this one will remain the one-of-a-kind only-owned-by-Chester-Brown original.

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Every once in a while, I still get a request for one of the autographed Sandman parody issues of Cerebus, the latest one from Isaac, a cadet at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT who writes that he and his dad are both big fans of the book. We're up over 1900 responses at this point, but I'm afraid that I lost the exact count some time ago.

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Tommie Kelly from Co. Louth in Ireland writes

The whole point of this letter is to say that you have inspired me to finally get my finger out and do my comic. So here it is, #1 of The End. I hope you like it, if u have time drop me a line and let me know what you think. My email is included at the bottom, but last I heard you don't use the web.

Hopefully, next year I'll finish my collection of Cerebus. I only have 27 issues left to get out of the 300. Man, do I miss the little gray guy!

Thanks for the comic, Tommie: I've definitely seen worse. Come to think of it, I've definitely DONE worse. I'd have to say the strongest elements you have going for you are composition and design and knowing how to incorporate drawings and computer coloring. I'd have to say the area where you're falling down is in actual execution of the drawings, anatomy and so on. It's always hard to tell if someone has the ability to actually make a go of it, especially early on. I mean, I showed pages to Mike Kaluta back in 1973 that showed roughly this amount of ability and he said, "You're on the right track, keep going." Now, I would assume that he said the same thing over the years to any number of guys who either didn't keep going or who did keep going but didn't get any better or who didn't get good enough or fast enough or both to actually do it for a living. I'm sure he also said it to any number of guys who, if Mike was a betting man, he would not have staked very much money on their actually making a go of it and I'm pretty sure that I was in that category. It was really just too early and there was too much that I needed to fix for him to say much more. The fact that you're posting new episodes of The End every second Monday—particularly if you can stick to that schedule or improve on it—is a good vital sign. Anything that forces you to be productive is going to lead to improvement and anything that leads to improvement is going to give you a shot at the Big Leagues. Interested Cerebus readers can check out Tommie's work at .

I'd also like to give a tip of the hat to who have an ad for their print on demand service on the back cover The End (I assume they were the ones who printed Tommie's book for him—they did a very nice job). They do standard-sized comics, perfect bound trade paperbacks, manga sized digests, ashcans, you name it. 20% off on your first order, no minimum on their print runs, no setup fees. I hate to sound like Cranky Old Grampa, but if I could have found a deal like that back in the early seventies? By gum. Anyway. You can check out some of the books they've printed at


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.