Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 30, 2012.

Update #21

Dave Sim 6.16.12

7 comments

Hi! Sorry we're a little short on long-term answers right now -- the dimensions of the overall ALL 16 VOLUMES project keeps expanding and I'm more focussed on staying ahead of the curve on all the signing and drawing I have to do for where we are right now.  

A good example: The first 250 CEREBUS GOLD LOGO #0s came in and I signed most of them and then realized when I was repacking them in boxes that most were in substandard condition.  They were packed improperly at the warehouse 20 years ago so the copies on the top and bottom were severely buckled and copies in the middle had severe "spine roll" where they had shifted out of the stack.  I removed those right away but the others only looked "relatively" good in comparison.  The bottom staple was prone to "dimpling" and creasing and the space between the staples about an inch out from the spine tends towards "waving".  It's my own fault, I'm sure, for the gag on the cover: the kid saying "Gosh Cerebus,  Will this comic be worth a lot of money some day?" and Cerebus saying "Not after I (sic) bend this corner you greedy capitalistic weenie!" That corner is indeed bent on a lot of copies. The White Logo #0s (with different gag: "Gosh Cerebus Were you like way cool back in the olden days?" and Cerebus saying "Why don't you buy a copy and find out, butthead?")...

[The cover is a parody of SUPERBOY #1 from 1948 where kids are asking Superman "Gosh Superman what were you like as a boy?" And Superman turning back the corner of the cover and saying "If you really want to know, look inside!" Story of my life: my best gags all need footnotes for most people] 

...are in much better condition.  Of the 250 Golds, I could only rate 113 as near mint to mint.  Not really an "issue" for most CEREBUS fans who tend to be readers rather than collectors, but having made a point of the Gold 0 value in Overstreet, they really need to be in mint.  

Question now:  Does it make more economic sense to have the books "culled" at the warehouse where they charge $19 and hour for labour...or pay to have twice as many books shipped here by truck with the price of gasoline these days?  

I think you can see why what's going to happen with JAKA'S STORY in 2017 isn't exactly "front of mind" :) 

The short term answer is: I've committed to paying Sandeep to scan full-time through the end of the summer.  The next question is: does he have to double back and RE-scan the original art in colour for POTENTIAL oversized artist edition hardcovers or move ahead with 300 dpi digitizing on all 16 volumes and THEN double back and do colour scans of all the artwork or do both at the same time?  

My inclination at the moment -- and bear in mind I'm more concerned with making sure everyone gets a mint Gold #0 than making "carved in stone" decisions about anything besides HIGH SOCIETY DIGITAL (which is another "kettle of fish": how many formats are we going to offer it in and do we do all of those simultaneously or sequentially?) -- is to pick a LATER volume for oversized artist edition treatment just because it's technically better (although less popular) artwork.  RICK'S STORY, I think would warrant it, although HIGH SOCIETY or CHURCH & STATE would sell better and get more support on Kickstarter, I think.  

The next Kickstarter project will be THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND which I hope is getting close to completion (i.e. a year or two away). John and I have had VERY preliminary discussions, but the way we want to structure it is that the format will be dictated by the level of support (i.e. if we raise $12,000 it would be done as a trade paperback on white newsprint, like the CEREBUS trades. If we raise $20,000 it will be a hardcover.  If we raise $50,000 it will be an oversized hardcover on the same slick paper glamourpuss is printed on, the same size as the original artwork, etc.).  

Just keeping you posted.  Now I have to go write a fax to the warehouse manager who is going to have a very unhappy Monday full of CEREBUS GOLD LOGO 0's that have just been sitting there not bothering anyone for twenty years.

And then at 5 o'clock I start my other full-time job: drawing and writing THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND.  

THANKS FOR PUSHING US UP OVER $40K!  It's presenting a lot of new possibilities to move ALL of this forward in something other than "as I have the cash on hand" baby steps which has been the rule since 2004.  

It's not a matter of having enough to do 3-4 books, really, it's a matter of we can now do this PROPERLY through to the end of the summer and then see what the "logic of the next step" tells us with what remains of the Kickstarter money through to the end of the year and then as far into 2013 as it will take us.  I don't think we can rely on Kickstarter exclusively (you're all INCREDIBLY generous but there are less than a thousand of you, many if not most of whom will be pledging just this once).  Sandeep has starting researching arts foundations that award project grants so we can figure out a decade-long (or so) THOROUGH process and then get financing for three or four month blocks of time for the whole 16-VOLUME sequence.  Roughly 40 grants in "do-able" chunks of $4,000 and $5,000 amounts -- graphic novels aren't big on any arts foundation's radar screens at this point, I don't think, so you don't want to be asking for more than that. (Private foundations -- I don't believe in financing the arts through tax money so that leaves out the Canada Council, Ontario Council, libraries, etc.)

 What the last amazing three weeks HAVE done is to Kickstart me into seeing the dimensions of the project and to realize it isn't possible to do it PROPERLY on a "when I have the cash" basis or even $6,000 at a time (my original plan: if I can get $6K I can do a bare bones HIGH SOCIETY DIGITAL over the course of three or four months and then figure something out after three or four months). 

Look how long this update is JUST giving you a few broad brush strokes!

A lot of the money will go to covering day to day expenses and paying bills and allowing me to PLAN the whole works before starting on anything.

But 30+ years experience in comics tells me definitely the way to do this isn't to see the financing as x number of books but y amount of time.  

THANKS AGAIN! 

         

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator Mike Burton on June 17, 2012

      Thank you for the detailed update, much appreciated :)

    2. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Menachem Luchins on June 17, 2012

      I think the only error here is thinking that a lot of the people pledging here are "one-off" pledges. There is so much back-and-forth on these updates and in the comment section that I just think the idea is patently false.
      Other than that, it all sounds amazing!

    3. Obsidian%20avatar.small

      Creator Sordel on June 16, 2012

      Dave, thanks for such a full update, and for giving us some insight into your thoughts for the future. I imagine that there will be a board range of opinions from your Kickstarter backers, but personally I would like you to consider fine editions and artist editions of your works as definite pledge tiers. I would have loved a fine edition of High Society with a low limitation (my reading copy fell to pieces first time I read it) and my biggest dissatisfaction with my Cerebus library is the paper that it is printed on. Slipcased, casebound, signed copies (maybe with a tipped-in illustration?) would command a definite premium over and above their printing cost.

      What I would suggest (assuming that it is allowed by Kickstarter rules) is that you use the questionnaire to canvas opinion on a subscription system for publication. (You could elicit this information in a different way if you you are prohibited.) You could use this to establish likely price points but, off-hand, I would say that something in the $50-$75 range for artist's editions, $150-200 for fine editions sounds about right for a pre-funded edition.

      You definitely need to leverage the community interest rather than have to start every project from scratch ... do that and you may find that a significant number of your Kickstarter "thousand" will stay the course.

      Oh, and thanks for Cerebus.

      Good luck on these projects.

    4. Tumblr_m0dszavqu01rovlcso1_500.small

      Creator The Amazombie on June 16, 2012

      Keep up the work Dave. We will all worry about the future projects when that time comes.

    5. Kkk.small

      Creator Kairam Ahmed Hamdan on June 16, 2012

      May we reach $100,000 and talk about things after.

      Best!

    6. Avatar%20image.small

      Creator Antonio Garcia on June 16, 2012

      Wow. That was an amazing update to read. You truly are committed to the project, and don't seem to like sending sub-par rewards to all your fans. Kudos for being on top of things. I look forward to supporting your Kickstarter projects for years to come.

    7. Missing_small

      Creator jonbly on June 16, 2012

      Why would you want colour scanning for a work that's famously monochrome?

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