Thursday, 23 November 2017

A Message From A Moment Of Cerebus

 Hi Everybody,

To all of our American readers: Happy Thanksgiving!
And to all our readers from everywhere else: Happy Thursday!

From the A Moment Of Cerebus team.

What I want to tell Cerebus

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

We will be taking one  week off from Mick and Keef, and will return next week to the duo who married the Buttock sisters so their father the king would make bail for them. This week is a bit something different. Other than pages from the notebook, how about some pictures of the notebooks themselves? When I started scanning them in 2005 my camera was a . . .potato? I can't remember, all I know is I took only a few pictures of the notebooks themselves, instead just focusing on scanning all those pages.

First up is a picture of notebook 3, albatross 4 and albatross 5:

Three Notebooks
Dave would often send a couple notebooks at a time, just in case something happened to them while in transit, only a couple would be . . .damaged or . . .lost.

Notebook 20
On the top is a small post-it on which Dave would write down which issues he thought the notebook had info on. Most of the time he was correct. Sometimes however, there was a little bit of overlap. I'd get 10 pages into the notebook and find some info on an issue that was in a previous notebook. Or twenty pages before the end of a notebook, there'd be a page or two on an issue that was to be in the next notebook.

Notebooks 23 to 25
The above picture has a bit better resolution in the potato I was previously using to take pictures.  The small post-it notes that Dave put on each notebook cover are easier to see in the above picture.
I also took a couple of pictures of the pages of the notebooks, as it just fascinated me how these pages were full with almost completed comic book pages - add some Gerhard backgrounds and presto:

Interior pages: page 6 and 7 of Notebook #29 (click picture for a larger view)
Notebook #29's page six was already featured in an installment, Fall and the River. One of the few times I just opened the notebook pages and stared in wonder at it. I was like: no way! I had to get the actual issues and compare them.

Interior page: page 201 of Notebook #29
And the last notebooks which Dave sent to me:

The Last Notebooks I Received
Those notebooks are: Notebook #30 "Mind Rehearsal" or "What I want to tell Cerebus" (small green), notebook #31 (small red), notebook #32 and notebook #33 (school notebooks). For some reason that escapes me (and my quick search through our correspondence), Dave sent those notebooks to me last, instead of the actual last notebook, notebook #36.


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Watchvark #1-- Optimistic Opportunism, the Last Wednesday of Every Month!

Order at your Local Comics Shop now! Diamond Order Code: NOV171094

Larger-Than-Life-Sized

Sean Michael Robinson:


Greetings all!

First off, I wanted to point you towards the Cerebus Archive Number Seven (FLIGHT) Kickstarter, which has ten days left to go, including more "Crazy Deals" (which, uh, have been truly crazy). Seriously, check out what's gone in the past few days:

CRAZY DEAL OF THE DAY - DAY#7
DAVE SIM (via fax relay): "On the SEVENTH Day of CRAZY-DAY DEAL OF THE DAY, Dave Sim gave to meee: SEVEN COPIES OF THE DIGITALLY REMASTERED CEREBUS TRADE PAPERBACK AUTOGRAPHED AND/OR PERSONALIZED ( BUT PROBABLY NOT ALL SEVEN PERSONALIZED TO ME BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE A LITTLE WEIRD ALSO) FOR SEVEN BUUUCKS!"

CRAZY DEAL OF THE DAY - DAY#8
DAVE SIM (via fax relay): "On the EIGHTH Day of CRAZY-DAY DEAL OF THE DAY, Dave Sim gave to meee: EIGHT AUTOGRAPHED AND/OR PERSONALIZED IDW DAVE SIM VARIANT COVERS THAT DAVE SIM WILL BAG AND BOARD HIMSELF FOR EIGHT BUUUCKS!"


CRAZY DEAL OF THE DAY - DAY#9
DAVE SIM (via fax relay): "On the NINTH Day of CRAZY-DAY DEAL OF THE DAY, Dave Sim gave to meee: NINE HALF-HOUR PHONE CONVERSATIONS ON HIS NICKEL (WITH ME OR ANYONE I WANT HIM TO TALK TO) for NINE BUUUCKS!"

CRAZY DEAL OF THE DAY - DAY#10
DAVE SIM (via fax relay): "On the TENTH Day of CRAZY-DAY DEAL OF THE DAY, Dave Sim gave to meee: TEN AUTOGRAPHED CEREBUS COMIC BOOKS OF HIS CHOOSING FROM THE AARDVARK-VANAHEIM ARCHIVES FOR TEN BUUUCKS!
CRAZY DEAL OF THE DAY - DAY#11
DAVE SIM (via fax relay): "On the ELEVENTH Day of CRAZY-DAY DEAL OF THE DAY, Dave Sim gave to meee: ELEVEN AUTOGRAPHED AND OR PERSONALIZED STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND TRACING PAPER DRAWINGS FOR ELEVEN BUUUCKS!"

CRAZY DEAL OF THE DAY - DAY#12
DAVE SIM (via fax relay): "On the TWELFTH Day of CRAZY-DAY DEAL OF THE DAY, Dave Sim gave to meee: TWELVE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND OUTTAKE PAGES OF ORIGINAL ARTWORK FOR TWELVE BUUUCKS"


***

Speaking of "Crazy Deal"s... I had an interesting task last week. The great actor Owen Kline, who made his debut in 2005's incredible The Squid and the Whale, is directing a new film called Two Against Nature. A scene takes place in a comic store, and for the scene he's asked Dave if he could include a five-foot-tall "Cerebus as Charlie Brown" figure. 

("Crazy Deal" connection—one of the remaining "Crazy Deal"s is the chance to be an extra in the film!)

But of course, someone has to ready a figure for print!

I started by pulling out my copy of Cerebus #275, the issue where the figure appears in color on the cover.

Here's a scan of the relevant portion of the cover.


Unfortunately the image would need to be descreened in order to work with it, to prevent moire from the original screen overlapping with the new color screen.

Here'd a close-up of the original to give you an idea of what the line screen is looking like.


So I would have to descreen the image if I were to work with this as a source.

I got to work, using the same techniques that I used on last year's Going Home restoration—some judicious use of oversampling, Median filter and Gaussian blur.

Here's the result.



But the resulting image was not really anything to write home about. There was some kind of low-level noise, even visible in the original on careful examination, that would look blotchy and streaky when enlarged. If this sucker was going to look good, or at least reasonable, blown up twenty times larger than it originally appeared, it would have to be approached in a different way.

My first thought was to strip out all but the color and then recreate the color layers with some vector tools, but fortunately, there was no need. Dave dug his original hand-done color separations out of storage and Fedexed them to me to take a look.

Aha—jackpot!

Inside the package were six sheets of paper, each one with a cyan-only printout of Cerebus, with black ink drawings atop them and instructions to the side. Each of these sheets represented a color (or two) that would be added by Chris Verhoeven at ScanColour, the organization that worked with Dave on the Latter Days covers. (Chris is credited as "color technician" in the interior front cover of the issue).

On some of the sheets Dave calls out the color by CMYK percentages. On others it's more approximate, allowing some judgment based on the appearance of the other colors.





And then at the very bottom of the stack, on what I initially assumed was just a backing board included to keep the loose sheets from bending, was the original line art, drawn on a small piece of chopped-up Bainbridge art board.

I scanned all of these elements at 2400 ppi, the highest effective optical resolution of my scanner, and then dropped them into the same Photoshop document as their own layers. Then I used the Edit-> Auto-align Layers function to align the layers, then did the last bit of alignment using my own eyeballs.

Then I used the Image -> Adjustments -> Black and White feature to knock out the cyan out of each layer, leaving only the black ink drawing. Two more  adjustment-- a little bit of sharpening and then Image --> Threshold, and I was done—left only with the drawn portions of each layer.

If this were intended to be reproduced with each color having its own printing plate, on, let's say, a t-shirt or a CD or a milk carton, then this would be the stage where you'd export each line art layer as its own 1-bit image and then add them back together in either Illustrator or InDesign, which allow you to save PDFs with multiple bitmaps all indicating their own color. But because this would end up as a single flat color image over a line art layer, I took a different approach and built up the color in Photoshop.

I adjusted each layer using the Hue And Saturation feature with the Colorize box checked, each layer set on Multiply. Here's the image with the first four colors added.


For each color I added I consulted the printed copy as well as Dave's detailed notes, sometimes making slightly different choices than were made on the original. When every layer had been added, I did just a bit more cleanup to some of the color layers, flattened the color, and then exported the line art and the color separately, recombining them into an Indesign document, the line art as a 600 ppi 1-bit bitmap, the color as a 8-bit color 300 ppi TIFF.

And here's the result, ready to be 60" tall!



If you're an illustrator who's never tried your hand at hand-colored separations of this type, I'd heartily recommend it both as a stimulating design exercise, and as a practical way to get the most out of certain types of printing. Especially designing for CDs or other surfaces where traditional screens don't do justice to full-color work, this is an incredibly powerful technique.

Two of my own more recent examples, with much more minimal color, one for a poster and one for a t-shirt. The poster color overlays were done digitally, but the shirt overlays were drawn directly to tracing paper and then scanned and digitally combined.




Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Fighting Censorship

Swoon Commission (2004)
Art by Dave Sim

JAMES GUARNOTTA:
(from Comic Art Fans, 2010)
Commisioned piece for CBLDF auction. The design was to be used for t-shirts but something went wrong. Doubtful it will ever be used at this point.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Tribute Art Round-Up #16

Inktober 2017
Art by Tim McEwen
"Inktober Day 21 is Dave Sim, as I continue inking over the pencils of some of my all-time favourite comic artists... If I had to choose a single comics creator that was the single biggest influence on my own work it would surely be Dave Sim. I discovered his epic comic Cerebus at just the time I was starting to absorb material outside of the mainstream, and it stuck with a vengeance. He’s definitely my all time favourite comics creator and Cerebus is my all time favourite comic. With that in mind I approached this sketch with a little trepidation. It was an absolute ball to do though, and by the end of it I was pretty comfortable adding in a few of my own stylistic touches as opposed to what is so obviously Dave’s style. I think in the end it’s a good amalgamation. This one took me just under 30 minutes as it’s a reasonably simple sketch to begin with. I’ll be digging around for some humans that Dave’s drawn so that I can have a crack at those as well. I think that’s where there’s the most to learn for my own practice."

Cerebus The Barbarian (2017)

Cerebus x3 (2017)
"I am gifting my entire cerebus trade collection to a new cerebite in Cali, so I have had the ol aardvark on the brain when drawing the past couple days... Two reasons, 1. To spread the magic 2. to get the remasters."

Cerebus Commission drawn at Forest City Comicon 2017

Lego Cerebus (2017)
by Greg Hyland

Modern-Day Cerebus
by Tyler Boss

Sunday, 19 November 2017

AMOC amuck: Behind the scenes of your favorite blog...PART TWO!!!

Hi Everybody!

When last we left our intrepid Interim Editor Matt Dow, he was about to respond to Dave Sim's response to his fax to Dave about becoming our intrepid Interim Editor (THIRD BASE!).

And that went...THUSLY: 
11/15/17
Hi again Dave,
At your request (via Sean,) I’ve posted my message and your response on AMOC (or rather, it’s scheduled to be posted sometime tonight, or tomorrow morning. Ah, the wonders of the internet…)
Anyway, I’ve posted the announcement of the Editorial take-over to AMOC. Here it is for your amusement: 
And then I inserted the announcement post.   I continued:
Anyway again, regarding your fax of 14 November:
It’s not so much “stressing”, it’s more of a mental coping mechanism I’ve developed. If I assume the worst, I can be pleasantly surprised when things don’t go wrong.
A.      Yeah, I’ve kinda assumed the arm’s length part. It IS my show now, but it’s a show that defers to the President of A-V. I’ve been trying to come up with a better analogy, but nothing seems to fit. (Batman/Commissioner Gordon?) But as Tim told me, the mandate is: to celebrate Cerebus and Hopefully drive some money to A-V.  (I can’t find the direct quote right this second…)
B.      No Dave! You’re doing it wrong! It’s SUPPOSED to go: “Oh Man! NOT Matt! Anybody but MATT!!!” Digression: Back in the early 2000s, right before Grant Morrison took over writing one of the X-Men books, I sent in a pitch to Marvel (along with a box of cookies), when I told my Dad about it, he said, “The worst they can do is say ‘no’” to which I replied, “No, the worst they can do is say ‘yes’. Then I’d have to write the damn thing!”
C.      I’m gonna shout “FEED THE BEAST!” every time I hit the “post” button now… And I know they’re finite. Technically EVERYTHING is finite. But when a feature reaches its natural conclusion, I’ll (hopefully) have a new feature. (Or quit. Ya know, just keeping my options open…)
                                 I.    So, that’s a “NO” on me using them? Just asking for clarification. Also, what about the Blog and Mail? Is that stuff “fair game” or should I hold off on raiding it? (I’m mostly thinking of the Mr. Meaty drawing…)
                               II.   I dunno about a “wiki,” but I can start organizing that stuff on my computer and either burn it to disc, or copy it to a flash drive and sent it “up Nort’ “ when it’s full/needed. (I plan to start this whatever your response. It’s too good an idea.)
                             III.   
[redacted by the "None of your damn business" Police. For further inquiries on this matter, please direct all communications to momentofcerebus {at} gmail {dot} com. We apologize for the inconvenience.  We here at A Moment Of Cerebus know you have a many options for daily doses of Cerebus the Aardvark related conten...wait a minute, no you don't. We're it. Ha ha suckers!]
D.      1. That’s ME: “Matt Dow: Problem Maker!”
                     I.  And that’s when that feature ends. Also, that’s two-years-from-now-Matt’s headache…
                   II. Well, not really. I kinda assumed you had copies of them somewhere in the Archive. I mean, it’s The Beavers. Not IDW’s Rip Kirby reprints. Nobody is gonna bitch about them not being in Hi-Def 1080p super deluxe awesomeness (or at least, I’M not gonna CARE if they do. It’s like they taught Janis in Pre-school, “You get what you get, and you DON’T throw a fit.”) (Also, while I totally understand where you’re coming from and absolutely don’t question your position on this, I kinda wanna press the point just because I find the idea of “The Great Dave Sim Beaver Hunt” hilarious. I can see the online article headlines now: “Dave Sim Searches For Beaver!” “Dave Sim Wants Your Beavers! Only High Quality Images!” “Help Dave Sim Find Beaver!” Heh.)
D. 2. “Blight”? Okay. It was an idea. To paraphrase Groucho Marx: “These are my ideas, if you don’t like them I have others.”
“Welcome to the Jungle”? Wait, you DO know the next line in the song is “You’re gonna die!!!!” (okay, near the end of the song, but still…)
Paula, Janis, and Rocky all say, “Hi” (Well, not really. Paula’s at work, Janis is doing homework, and Natasha just says, “Phbbt.” and “credibles” (she’s into The Incredibles right now.))
I’ll put George on the list of helpers.
Thanks for the wishes, good luck with the Kickstarter,
Matt Dow
And now Dave Sim's response (via Sean R.) to the above:


17 November 17
Hi Matt!
I'd describe it as "less extreme" than Batman and Commissioner Gordon, but that's not a bad analogy: the Commissioner of Police working secretly with a masked vigilante is "not on" in any conventional real-world sense. And Dave Sim, non-feminist, is "not on" in our society as constituted. Which leaves you, as Commissioner Gordon, with an unenviable balancing act.
Which I don't participate in. I'm not a feminist and the 15 Impossible Things To Believe Before Breakfast are among the reasons why I'm not a feminist. Which, in 2017, makes me the metaphysical equivalent of a masked vigilante outlaw. And I'm as fine with that in 2017 as I've been with that since 1994; Completely fine;
It makes my life very straightforward. Everyone else is a feminist and I'm not and neither of those things is going to change in our lifetimes so there's really nothing more to be said.
All I really want to do is get STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND finished and A-V's entire history preserved. I'm assuming I die "in harness", the only question is "when". And then everything keeps going exactly as it's going now except I won't be here, Which leads to:
A greater AMOC emphasis under your editorial administration on "drive some money to A-V" would be nice. Not to the point of the PTL CLUB when that ship was sinking but a kind of on-going "reality check": this is really about one societal outlaw hoping to preserve 40 years -- and counting -- of his outlaw history and the history of his outlaw intellectual properties.
(It's not a "monument to myself'' as the naysayers on AMOC keep saying, it's the whole enchilada of the chrysalis I'm leaving behind when I blow this pop stand somewhere up ahead. "Me" is leaving. This is the "not me" I left behind. Anything in physical form in any way related to Dave Sim is all there in one tiny little Off-White House. Make of it what you will, future generations. I did the best I could to preserve it as close to intact as possible.)
As the old joke went, "don't applaud, throw money". Patreon, Kickstarter, the donation button at cerebusdownloads, cerebus downloads itself, going to the comic store the last Wednesday of every month and buying the new CEREBUS IN HELL? #1. It's been a completely unlikely fan-driven, fan-financed 40 years and that part never gets easier. We're within 1 ,400 copies of dropping to the sales of CEREBUS #1 in 1977.
Apart from that, the best advice I can give you is the advice the aliens gave to Woody Allen, "Tell funnier jokes."
Anything YOU can find ANYWHERE or someone else can find for you is "fair game" in Feeding The Daily Beast. I have never stopped anyone from publishing anything of mine and I can't picture a situation where I would. Since you know where all of the BLOG & MAIL is stored that makes it "fair game". Likewise THE BEAVERS: whatever you can find on your own or someone finds for you, you're welcome to print. 

Well, except without the links, I put those there...

And now, our intrepid Interim Editor responds to that:

Hi Dave,

Of course YOU would wanna be Batman...

(I kid. It's like the T-Shirt says, "Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman. Then be Batman".)

Well, more money to A-V means more A-V, which means more A-V product available to me to shamelessly swipe and put on the internet, which (hopefully) leads to more money to A-V...(talk about your snake eating its own tail...) So, ya know: THAT'S the plan.

"Anything YOU can find ANYWHERE" is "fair game"? Really, anything? ANYTHING? Even that photo of you with my smiley-face umbrella doing "Gene Kelly" at SPACE that one time?

REALLY?!?

Dave Sim with my smiley-face umbrella doing "Gene Kelly" at SPACE that one time.

Heh.

Well, feel free to respond to this on the weekly update, or not at all. I'm pretty sure "deal with Matt Dow and his inanity" is on your "to-do" list right below, "restore The Beavers".

Take care,
Matt Dow
PS: I already posted this to AMOC with your response to my response to your last response (third base.)

Next time: Dave Sim responds! Or not. Or he does! Or doesn't. Ya know what, I don't know what happens next, and neither do you...

Saturday, 18 November 2017

SNORT

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

In last week's column, When Your Life Flashes Behind Your Back, we started looking at Dave Sim's 9th notebook pages for Mick and Keef from Cerebus #85. Skipping forward a few pages - that had very little to no Mick and Keef, we get to page 90 of the notebook.

Notebook #9, page 90
The entire  thumbnail doesn't appear to be a page from Cerebus #86, but the bottom panel looks like page one of Cerebus #86. The dialogue on the top of the page is from page 2 of issue #86.  The text along the bottom half of the page is Bunky Roach, Elrod that is, but isn't part of the issue. For instead of going from 'audio visual that is...' to 'well barbecue mah kneecaps an call me gimpy', Bunky roach goes into the Secret Sacred Wars.

On page 91 of the notebook, we see a couple scenes from issue #86: Keef inhaling the stash and also Mick with Cerebus on one leg and Keef being dragged by Mick on the other side.

Notebook #9, page 91
Cerebus #86, page 5 panel
Along the right of the page Dave wrote a quick synopsis of some points he wanted to touch upon in the issue. There is more Bunky Roach dialogue along the bottom of the page.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

AMOC amuck...Behind the scenes of your favorite blog...

We interrupt your regularly scheduled A Moment Of Cerebus to bring you...this:


Hi Everybody!

Your friendly neighborhood Interim Editor Matt here. It's supposed to be Margaret with a couple of pages from Dave Sim's notebooks (I BELIEVE it's the ones where Dave goes into intricate detail about Sir Gerrick and all the conspiracies and secret societies of Estarcion. Or his grocery list from Mid-April 1987, it's kind of a crap-shoot...)

Anyway, Dave asked me to post this. So I'ma doing it NOW. 

Cause I can...
"It's GOOD to be the King!"-Mel Brooks, History of the World, Part 1

When our esteemed Editor Emeritus Tim W. chose me to be his replacement, I sent Dave a fax to let him know what was up:
Dear Dave,


Hey how’s it going?


So, I don’t know if Tim W. has alerted you yet, but I guess I’m taking over A Moment Of Cerebus, as Interim Editor. (I refuse to be Editor-In-Chief as that sounds like too much responsibility.) Tim is going to become Editor Emeritus.
And the whole crap-shoot is gonna go down in flames (probably.)
Anyway, I’m sending you this fax to:
A.      Let you know what’s up.
B.      Let you object as strenuously as possible.
C.      Let you know my plans for AMOC. Which is basically to fill four days’ worth of posts a week (as Tim says you and Margaret and Sean Robinson take care of the other three.) Which I think I can handle between a series of “Cerebus in My Life” posts detailing my history with the character, the book, and you and Ger (strangely going back to 1982 when I was four…). "Hey, I know that Aardvark!" Showing Cerebus appearances in other books. (And hopefully, I can get the creators of those works to comment on why they used Cerebus.) "Kevin Reads Cerebus" my friend just got into the book big time, and he’s gonna blog issue by issue (he's been buying singles to get a run), which should run for three hundred weeks. And your answers to the “Five” questions we asked during the Great Cerebus Re-Read on the Yahoo group (L nny and Margaret said I could run those.)
D.      And to ask about a couple of ideas I had for AMOC. Two regular features for Sundays. 1. “Sunday Funnies” where I’d like to run The Beavers strips. Or 2. Dave’s Gospel commentaries. I’d need copies of both, if you think there’d be interest/value in running either.
So, that’s what’s up. I don’t know if Tim wants to announce the switch over yet or not (you’d have to check with him,) so I don’t know if you can talk about this on the Weekly Update or not. (I don’t even pretend that I’m in charge.) But if he does and you want to, I say, “go with it!” It’s not like I can stop ya.


Here’s to failing spectacularly upward!
Matt Dow
(I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into, but it’s either gonna be titanic or like the Titanic…)
And Dave responded (through Sean R.):
14 November 17 
Hi Matt:
I don't think the "whole crap-shoot is gonna go down in flames". The worst that happens is you have a short tenure as Interim Editor and "pass the baton" in a lot shorter a period of time than Tim W's six years. So, I recommend that you not stress about that.
A. Thanks for that courtesy on your part, although my own policy has always been to maintain an arm's-length relationship to AMOC. My political and social views are too much at variance with the general population for that, I think, to be otherwise. The closest analogy I can think of is President Trump and the New York Times. Like "Love and Marriage" " ... you can't have one without/the other".
B. So, no objection on my part. I think AMOC is Tim W's to dispose of as he wishes and if he's chosen you as his successor then I will respect that as I would imagine President Trump would respect any decision to change the editorial leadership at the New York Times.
C. All very good suggestions and I hope you'll follow through on them. They're also finite suggestions so I would warn you, personally, that a daily blog like this devours material like a California brush fire -- the name of the online news site, The Daily Beast, sums it up nicely. Ask TimW here at the end of his three hundred weeks and I'm sure he'll tell you that 300 weeks is a lot more like an eye blink and lot less like "forever" that it seems at the outset.
i. I had forgotten the Five Questions during the Re-Reads. I'm going to suggest that those be organized as post-mortem "Notes" for my successor as Aardvark-Vanaheim president in future CEREBUS ARCHIVE PORTFOLIOS after I'm dead.
ii. This illustrates the distinction between the AMOC editor and the· president of Aardvark-Vanaheim. A central concern of the latter is always going to be What can we sell to the core A-V readership in order to maintain Aardvark-Vanaheim in perpetuity? The central concern of the former is always going to be What can we use to feed The Daily Beast?
It would be very helpful -- speaking current president to current editor -- if some sort of "hidden Wiki" could be developed into which my observations, trade paperback by trade paperback, could be "dumped'', engineered in such a way that if the observations already exist on the site, the "dumper" is notified when they attempt a "dump" -- "We already have these" or "We didn't have these until you 'dumped' them, so thank you for that".
The prime source would be period letters and period introductions and period AARDVARK COMMENTS and Notes from the President.
If an inventory of this material could be made available that would mean that after my death the CEREBUS ARCHIVE PORTFOLIO series could continue with whatever-the-next-trade was that I would have been commenting on and instead of "the next ten pages in sequence" it could be "any ten pages that best relate to the Notes on hand". Making the job of my successor in the office of president that much easier.
iii) In terms of "feeding the Daily Beast", a snake eating its tail is always going to be the best solution so I would suggest AMOC's own history: begin reprinting the AMOC posts from the beginning on the -- I think, safe •• assumption that no one remembers 1/10th of them and none of them with any specificity. Which means each post effectively fulfills both its "then mandate" -- here"s an interesting Moment from the History of CEREBUS -- as well as a binary "now mandate" •• here"s an interesting Moment from the History of AMOC. Particularly if TimW is willing to comment from time to time about whatever he remembers going on when he did that post.
D 1. A couple of problems with running THE BEAVERS strips:
i) there's only 104 of them so that's two years and two years will go by in an eye blink and you have nothing to replace them with.
ii) they would require scanning and restoration by Sean and a parallel BEAVERS ART HUNT program trying to track down the original artwork 'and (the president of Aardvark-Vanaheim speaking here) there's no money in it Sean's aptitudes -- scanning, restoration and pre-press-· really need to be allocated to (in descending order of importance) a) CEREBUS IN HELL? b) STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND and c) other stuff with THE BEAVERS at or near the bottom of the list.
2. I'd be hesitant to run my Ton:ih/Gospel commentaries as a Sunday feature since I think commentaries  at the expense of Scripture is one of the great blights upon our worldwide civilization and I don't really want to contribute to that.
As an alternative, I could rustle up my readings of the Torah, starting from Genesis 1 and provide you with those. The question that raises is:
a) What is a sensible amount of Scripture for AMOC to run on any given Sunday? I originally did 10 chapters -- what I actually read in my own Sunday observance -- but that's up around two hours. chapter? Ten verses? I think it would have to be along the lines of "A Moment" so it aligns with the spirit of AMOC and the modern attention span.
b) I would be willing to read and record John's Gospel and Revelation and Suras from the Koran if you want to do a "rotation" -- again, mirroring my own Sunday observance where I read the Torah in the morning, John's Gospel or Revelation at noon and the Koran at night. Rinse and repeat.
c) I think you would have determine how much this encroaches on the largely secular AMOC audience, But, that would be your call as Interim Editor to make: "this is the compromise position between representing Dave Sim and what I picture AMOC as being!'
Welcome to the jungle, Matt!
Best wishes to Paula, Janis Pearl and Bullwinkle.
PS: I had a phone message from George Gatsis, offering his services in running AMOC. I'd suggest that he would be a very good technical advisor for you -· here's what's POSSIBLE in the technical side of AMOC -- and a content provider and sounding board. But, just as there's only one president of Aardvark-Vanaheim at a time, there's only one AMOC editor at a time. I'm sure he'll be happy to give you his advice, as I'm happy to give you my advice, but at the end.of the day, the decisions are yours to make.
Good luck!
So, here we are.

Will Matt take Dave's advice? Will Matt just say, "F--- this noise! I'm Audi 5000!"? Will there even BE A Moment Of Cerebus this time next week?!? What the Heck does, "Audi 5000" EVEN mean?!?!?!?!?

Find out next time on SOA...er, when Dave responds to my response to his message...

(Probably some time next week...)

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Ghastly Christmas Glamour

Sean Michael Robinson:

Well howdy everyone...

And a special greeting to new A Moment of Cerebus Editor-in-Chief/Wrangler/Domain Master/Legally-Responsible-Party Matt Dow! I for one can't thank you enough for stepping into the wide gulf left by founding AMOC blogger Tim W's departure. Truly, thanks to both of you for making this happen, and for such a quick and graceful hand-off.

Okay, to the business at hand!
I've spent most of my Cerebus-related work time the past two weeks on getting more Cerebus in Hell? issues in the can and in the solicitation queue, work that I'll continue once this post is complete...all the while pitching in just a bit on the ongoing FLIGHT Kickstarter.

Right before launch, Dave sent a fax to myself and fellow Cerebus in Hell? stevedore Benjamin Hobbs, detailing plans for, what else? A Christmas in Hell? card, to be completed in time for the Kickstarter launch.

I thought you all might enjoy a peek at the process, as it's pretty close to our work flow for Cerebus in Hell? For those of you wondering how the book gets put together, read on...

Here are the faxes for the exterior of the card, as they came through the fax machine. (I won't picture the interior of the card here, because, spoilers, eh?)



And Benjamin went to work! Here's what he sent me a day later:



The background of the image is a segment of the unbelievable Cerebus in Hell? crowd scene Benjamin created specifically for Cerebus Woman #1, coming soon(!) in, uh, May 2019. Dave also requested flames on the image, a la Cerebus in Hell? #1. After some back and forth, he clarified:

"Flames should be covering the line art. If you can do some Photoshop tricks to make them look like they're IN the flames, so much the better."

I started by grabbing a few images of all-encompassing flames from Google Images, knowing that the result would be so obliterated in the finished version that there would be no legal issues with working with someone else's photo. 

I popped one of the flames on top of the whole shebang and started playing with the different blending modes.

But because the line art is mono, the different blending modes that would normally be go-to for this kind of task were not really very useful. Just a bit of time later I settled on "Lighten" as the blending mode, with a lowered opacity.
Here's how it looks--


Well, isn't that lovely? I think what it loses in clarity, it makes up for with a certain... ghastly... Christmas glamour.

Or something!

Want a personalized Christmas Card in Hell? all of your own? Check out the FLIGHT Kickstarter, live right now!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

No Vacancy...AMOC Editor-in-Chief -- Position filled!


MEET THE NEW BOSS, SAME AS THE OLD BOSS
Matt Dow:

When Tim announced his egress from managing A Moment Of Cerebus, I threw my small metal helmet into the ring and said, "If nobody else steps up, I'll do it." Which was apparently all he needed to throw the keys at me and say, "Sure, sure that's fine." And jump into his 1956 Corvette and drive off into the sunset at high speed.

It was all a bit like the part in The Money Pit when Tom Hanks and Shelley Long buy the dilapidated house...

But I Digress...

Is somebody else's column. Anyway, I'm Matt Dow, the new Interim Editor of A Moment Of Cerebus. Tim's title has changed from Editor-In-Chief, to Editor Emeritus. And I'm supposed to be running this show...

So, 
All About Me:
I was born in the wagon of a travelin' show, Mama was a dancer for the money they'd throw, Papa would do whatever he could... Wait, that's somebody else.

I'm just a humble Cerebite who's gonna try and do my best to entertain you rabble with the best Cerebus/Dave Sim/Gerhard/glamourpuss/Judenhass/Strange Death of Alex Raymond/You Don't Know Jack!/Cerebus In Hell?/whatever related content I can find.

Yeehaw! are you excited or what?

Yeah? Well I didn't go looking for you guys...

So stay tuned for Really Exciting Things...about an Aardvark. Who's been dead since 2004. But has a new book coming out next month!

For Auction:

Matt Dow:
So awhile back, I set up an alert through Heritage Auctions about any Dave Sim related auctions they have. This is the latest one: 
Fantasy Quarterly #1 (Independent Publishers Syndicate, 1978) CGC NM+ 9.6 Off-white to white pages. First appearance of Elfquest. Wendy and Richard Pini story. Wendy Pini art. Backup story with art by Dave Sim. Overstreet 2017 NM- 9.2 value = $150. CGC census 11/17: 56 in 9.6, 49 higher. 

Link here
Bidding ends this Sunday, November 19th

Cerebus Archive Number 7: FLIGHT (issue #12)

CEREBUS No.162 (September, 1992)
FLIGHT issue #12

"Reality as we perceive it
is more of a product of our minds
than it is of our bodies, although
the physical seems to us more real
than the mental."
 ~ Dave Sim


IT FALLS TO CEREBUS FANS TO PRESERVE CEREBUS.
AND, WITH EACH PASSING DAY, THERE ARE FEWER AND FEWER CEREBUS FANS.
YOU CAN ASSIST PRESERVATION BY PLEDGING OR DONATING ON KICKSTARTER.

CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER 7: FLIGHT

KICKSTARTER COMPLAINTS:
call Dave Sim at 519-576-0610

Monday, 13 November 2017

Cerebus Archive Number 7: FLIGHT (issue #11)

CEREBUS No.161 (August, 1992)
FLIGHT issue #11

"Bran Mak Mufin -- the tadpole
who feared becoming a frog. An astute
observation on Suenteus Po's part (although
I think his belief in successive transmigrations of
human souls was delusional)."
 ~ Dave Sim


IT FALLS TO CEREBUS FANS TO PRESERVE CEREBUS.
AND, WITH EACH PASSING DAY, THERE ARE FEWER AND FEWER CEREBUS FANS.
YOU CAN ASSIST PRESERVATION BY PLEDGING OR DONATING ON KICKSTARTER.

CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER 7: FLIGHT

KICKSTARTER COMPLAINTS:
call Dave Sim at 519-576-0610

Sunday, 12 November 2017

My Visit To Escape Pod Comics

302 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743

MICHAEL RAGIEL:
On Friday, September 29 I was able to visit Escape Pod Comics comics store for the first time. If it wasn't for Dave or Gerhard mentioning the store I would have never even thought about coming here. It also happened to be by chance. We live in Pennsylvania. My wife and I were going to a wedding in Huntington, Long Island, New York.

It was discussed that she would go shopping and I would go visit. It worked out perfectly. It was about 20 minutes from the hotel we were staying. When I arrived at the shop, I took a few photos outside and went in. I recognized Menachem immediately. I flubbed my introduction trying to explain who I was and why I came. I think he sorta recognized me. If you go to Gerhard's Blog and search at the end of April/May when Gerhard visited Escape Pod Comics and his trip to the East Coast Comic Con, I was the one with a beard with Gerhard.

The store is small and we walked around a couple of times focusing on the Cerebus wall. Even though the store is small, it is super packed and has something for everyone. Even children. It was hard for me to focus on everything. Menachem is extremely knowledgeable on all things comics, books of comics, creators of comics and even comic book stores. He knew about some of the comic book stores where I'm from in Pennsylvania.

Despite our pleasant and rapid conversations and me possibly interrupting Menachem constantly. Sorry Menachem. I don't always get a chance to speak with someone about Dave/Gerhard/Cerebus. Menachem did give me a brief history how Dave came became involved with Escape Pod comics.

I couldn't stay as long as I would have like, but I am grateful that I did have the opportunity to go. If anybody does get a chance to go, do it. You won’t be disappointed. There really is something for everyone.


Does your local comics store go that 'extra mile' to support Cerebus?
Get it featured on 'A Moment Of Cerebus' by sending your photos/text to:
momentofcerebus [at] gmail [dot] com