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  1. #1
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    Default glamourpuss Dave Sim

    Hi. I'm Dave Sim. I'm here to promote my new bi-monthly title, glamourpuss. Right now there are about 100 stores in Canada and 200 in the US that have an autographed copy of THE COMICS INDUSTRY PREVIEW EDITION of number one for you to take a look at. All other stores will be getting a copy as part of their Feb 13 Diamond Dateline package.

    Before I check to see if anyone has any questions and/or what they want to talk about, I did want to repeat something I've been saying (in various ways) on the other message boards: late shipping of comic books is really dragging the comic-book field down.

    I hate to harp on that, but with the unfortunate recent demise of COMICS & GAMES RETAILER magazine, we've really lost the only in-print environment that was keeping that issue on the "front burner" where, in my view and in the view of most retailers, it belongs. I'll try make a Reader's Digest case for that:

    1) We aren't movies (most of which can be produced in a few months) and we aren't rock n roll (most albums of which can be produced in a few weeks). Comic book creation is one of the most time consuming entertainment fields there is (short of classic animation). The average page can be read in about 3 to 5 seconds and even our fastest creators are hard-pressed to produce a usable page a day. That's a significant ratio and it means that producing comics is really more than a full-time job. To get noticed in the field it has to be pretty much all that you do.

    2) We are competing with television where people expect their next "fix" once a week. Monthly is about the fastest that a comic book can be done (take a bow, Darwyn Cooke!) and that's really pushing loyalty for most people. But readers do gravitate to books that are produced on time. James Turner has just solicited for issue 11 of REX LIBRIS through Slave Labor and is on a very short list of their on-going periodicals as a result.

    3) retailers have been warning for some time that the "window" is closing. Customers used to buy a book and if they really liked it they would ask about it every couple of weeks for maybe six months. "Did issue two [or three or four or five] come in?" Now they'll ask for a few weeks and most of the time they'll just give up and move onto something else. "Getting over" comics is becoming a job skill among comic store customers because they now know that at least 50% of the books they pick up will only last a few issues and then disappear. Particularly for self-publishers and indy publishers, I really don't think this should be ignored to the extent that it is. And it's also taking hold in the mainstream.

    This isn't a universal consensus in the field on this subject -- Rory Root of COMIC RELIEF in Oakland is a significant dissenting member, saying "A good comic book will sell whenever it comes in" -- but it's about as close to universal as I've seen in thirty years in the business.

    It definitely got drummed into my head reading every issue of COMICS & GAMES RETAILER from cover to cover (well, the "comics" part, anyway) and given that the magazine is now history, I thought I should take advantage ofwhatever number of people might be reading this to try to keep that on the "front burner" as much as possible. I'd strongly recommend not shooting the messenger on this one (me or your local retailer): all they're doing is saying that a fundamental element of equation is changing rapidly and that the field in general (the creator/publisher end) ignores that at its peril.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dave Sim View Post
    Hi. I'm Dave Sim. I'm here to promote my new bi-monthly title, glamourpuss. Right now there are about 100 stores in Canada and 200 in the US that have an autographed copy of THE COMICS INDUSTRY PREVIEW EDITION of number one for you to take a look at. All other stores will be getting a copy as part of their Feb 13 Diamond Dateline package.

    Before I check to see if anyone has any questions and/or what they want to talk about, I did want to repeat something I've been saying (in various ways) on the other message boards: late shipping of comic books is really dragging the comic-book field down.

    I hate to harp on that, but with the unfortunate recent demise of COMICS & GAMES RETAILER magazine, we've really lost the only in-print environment that was keeping that issue on the "front burner" where, in my view and in the view of most retailers, it belongs. I'll try make a Reader's Digest case for that:

    1) We aren't movies (most of which can be produced in a few months) and we aren't rock n roll (most albums of which can be produced in a few weeks). Comic book creation is one of the most time consuming entertainment fields there is (short of classic animation). The average page can be read in about 3 to 5 seconds and even our fastest creators are hard-pressed to produce a usable page a day. That's a significant ratio and it means that producing comics is really more than a full-time job. To get noticed in the field it has to be pretty much all that you do.

    2) We are competing with television where people expect their next "fix" once a week. Monthly is about the fastest that a comic book can be done (take a bow, Darwyn Cooke!) and that's really pushing loyalty for most people. But readers do gravitate to books that are produced on time. James Turner has just solicited for issue 11 of REX LIBRIS through Slave Labor and is on a very short list of their on-going periodicals as a result.

    3) retailers have been warning for some time that the "window" is closing. Customers used to buy a book and if they really liked it they would ask about it every couple of weeks for maybe six months. "Did issue two [or three or four or five] come in?" Now they'll ask for a few weeks and most of the time they'll just give up and move onto something else. "Getting over" comics is becoming a job skill among comic store customers because they now know that at least 50% of the books they pick up will only last a few issues and then disappear. Particularly for self-publishers and indy publishers, I really don't think this should be ignored to the extent that it is. And it's also taking hold in the mainstream.

    This isn't a universal consensus in the field on this subject -- Rory Root of COMIC RELIEF in Oakland is a significant dissenting member, saying "A good comic book will sell whenever it comes in" -- but it's about as close to universal as I've seen in thirty years in the business.

    It definitely got drummed into my head reading every issue of COMICS & GAMES RETAILER from cover to cover (well, the "comics" part, anyway) and given that the magazine is now history, I thought I should take advantage ofwhatever number of people might be reading this to try to keep that on the "front burner" as much as possible. I'd strongly recommend not shooting the messenger on this one (me or your local retailer): all they're doing is saying that a fundamental element of equation is changing rapidly and that the field in general (the creator/publisher end) ignores that at its peril.

    Your Art style for this series looks terrific? Can we expect a run on this title as long as your previous one on Cerebus??

  3. #3
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    I can certainly understand that thinking of a lot of creators, particularly when you find yourself working on a book that has some sudden buzz about it. You want to live up to the reaction, so you start slowing down to try to do better work. It's commendable -- and certainly Rory is right with you on that -- but the fact of the matter is that your orders are going to start dropping much more quickly in 2008 than they did even in 2003. That's the "closing window" that I was talking about.

    It's also the reason that retailers are less inclined to hype a new book: the track record is so bad that they're being left with egg ontheir faces more often than not. Phil Boyle, who REALLY called my attention to this in CR, isn't some narrow-minded "Marvel and DC" only retailer. He has seven stores in the Orlando area and all of them have substantial areas set aside for indy titles. But, as he pointed out in our phone conversation, most of those are #1's, a handful that have made it to issue #3, one out of a hundred that's at issue #10. It's not hard to see why most stores have a "sink or swim" attitude towards their indy sections. If it's actually a WALKING DEAD or a MOUSE GUARD, six months or a year in, the retailer will notice little splashing sounds. Reordered and actually got the books (a miracle in itself), sold them. Reordered again, got some more. But that's definitely in the "one out of 500" category at that point.

  4. #4
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    Default glamourpuss Dave Sim

    Quote Originally Posted by Excelsior View Post
    Your Art style for this series looks terrific? Can we expect a run on this title as long as your previous one on Cerebus??
    Thank you...I really appreciate that. I really, really want to be Al Williamson when I grow up.

    One of the retailers asked me that on the phone.

    [Sorry: interruption: We're having a pool here as to when the new comics are coming in today. John picked 12:40 I picked 2:15 ("I don't wanna TALK to YOU," says John) and Duane picked 3:30. Loser buys the coffee. Stay tuned.]

    One of the retailers asked me that on the phone: "Another 300 issues?" I did the mental math. On a bi-monthly schedule I'd be done at age 103.

    No, it'll be about 20 to 25 issues -- whenever I've said everything I have to say about the Raymond School.

    Thanks for your question.

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    Default glamourpuss Dave Sim

    Of course, one of the elements of working on a book with "buzz" to it I'm going through right now: lots of offers to do signings and conventions and tours. As Bob Burden famously remarked "I've been around the block so many times, I feel as if my turn blinker is stuck."

    I know that the bigger the Con the longer the recovery time when you get back. If you're REALLY new to the gig, you'll agree to do sketches for ten people when you get home, or do fanzine covers, or ink a piece by someone else. Pretty soon there goes your drawing schedule out the window.

    Everyone means well and it sure does make you feel a) famous b) popular and c) well on your way to becoming wealthy...

    ...but that window of "heat" between issue 1 and 2 is closing faster than ever. One good trip around the summer convention circuit and you not only FEEL like toast, a lot of times you ARE toast.

  6. #6
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    Dave, good morning.

    There was a discussion about what the chronological order was for getting your new comics...the best we figured was that glamourpuss #1 would be out in April, Secret Project #1 would be out in May, and then glamourpuss #2 would be out in July. Is this close to accurate?

    Also, for those here, I believe that Rich Johnston will be putting up an interview with Dave in his Lying in the Gutters column sometime next week, so keep an eye out for that!

  7. #7
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    Hi Dave

    though I don't really frequent comic stores nor collect comics in general anymore, I can see your point with the regularity of publishing. The only comic I'm actually collecting through a store now is the Italian edition of Strangehaven, and I've actually given up driving the 15 minutes it takes to get to the store now because of how irregularly it comes out. I might pop in there every 6 months and while having a look around ask for it, but even then it's not a given that a new issue has been released.

    Following on from the short exchange with my son Kevin on yesterday evening's visit to the Newsarama forum. You asked if he is still into Spiderman. He mentioned to me later that he wanted to reply that he has since your visit to our place read a few of the collected volums of Spiderman but that now he enjoys much more the type of comics that make him laugh. Hence his favourite is Asterix which I sometimes find him chuckling to. Haven't you yourself been mentioning recently the fact that as they're called "comics" this should mean that they contain comical or humourous stories, but that most comics now try to be on the serious to tragic end of storytelling? Why do you think that is? Could it be that many comics creators think that they need to be always telling serious stories so that the comics medium can be taken seriously as a form of literature?

    Billy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by talontm View Post
    Dave, good morning.

    There was a discussion about what the chronological order was for getting your new comics...the best we figured was that glamourpuss #1 would be out in April, Secret Project #1 would be out in May, and then glamourpuss #2 would be out in July. Is this close to accurate?

    Also, for those here, I believe that Rich Johnston will be putting up an interview with Dave in his Lying in the Gutters column sometime next week, so keep an eye out for that!
    That's the batting order, all right.

    Yes. The questions came in by fax and it was kind of funny because (I'm paraphrasing here) Rich already had an interview but he realized that I had not only covered that same territory but I was covering it repeatedly on this Internet campaign.

    So, basically what he wants (given the nature of the column) is for me to dish the dirt on myself. Well, you know, there's before-reading-the-Bible Dave Sim (pre-1996) and after-reading-the-Bible Dave Sim (post-1996). So, hey why not? I was already wide awake after shoveling the driveway at 3:30 am.

    DAVE SIM: MY LIFE AS AN ATHEIST WITH NO MORALS. Don't let this happen to you, kids. Read your Bible and/or Koran, pray to God, pay the zakat. You don't want to be like pre-1996 Dave Sim.

    Hope it proves to be "big box office" for Rich next week.

  9. #9
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    Hi Dave, I'm looking forward to Glamourpuss!

    I was wondering if you were aware of John Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren and Stimpy. I was wondering if you'd look over the interview and the articles that he wrote (he has a million of them on his blog). Both you and John have had a huge impact on me and I thought it would be interesting to hear what your thoughts are.

    Here's an interview from about 10 to 12 years ago:
    http://boingboing.net/johnk.html

    http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2007/...vation-vs.html

    http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2007/...s-drawing.html

    And here are most (if not all) of Comic Book online:
    http://talesofwhoa-meat.blogspot.com...co-part-2.html

    Thanks,

    John
    Last edited by John Scroggins; 02-07-2008 at 08:27 AM. Reason: having problems with the links

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatless2slim View Post
    Hi Dave

    Haven't you yourself been mentioning recently the fact that as they're called "comics" this should mean that they contain comical or humourous stories, but that most comics now try to be on the serious to tragic end of storytelling? Why do you think that is? Could it be that many comics creators think that they need to be always telling serious stories so that the comics medium can be taken seriously as a form of literature?

    Billy
    Hi, Billy. Yes, I have been saying that and thinking it. There are a number of things contributing to that, I think. Frank and Alan really thought they were stamping "Put Paid" to super-heroes with DARK KNIGHT and WATCHMEN. So far over the edge that there's nowhere else to go with "grim and gritty". Alan's ABC books were actually an attempt to start a contrary wave to combat the genie he'd let out of the bottle.

    Unh-unh.

    "Grim and Gritty ROKS, DUDE!" Ride that far enough downhill and then 9/11 happens. Even GRIMMER even GRITTIER reaction.

    I've really got to read all the ASTERIX books someday. Best to Kevin and Francesca and Emily (yes, she's six now. Hard to believe).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Scroggins View Post
    Hi Dave, I'm looking forward to Glamourpuss!

    I was wondering if you were aware of John Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren and Stimpy. http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2007/...s-drawing.html

    Thanks,

    John
    Hi, John. Thanks for "tuning in". Because of the structure of these website visits -- veering back and forth between returning tennis volleys with five opponents and Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory -- I'm kind of loathe to "go" anywhere. Can you mail me a copy of one of the interviews and I'll jot some notes on it for you as I'm reading it?

    The first I was aware of him was sixteen years ago now, almost exactly. Second stop on the US Tour in Boston. I'd gotten a very nice write-up in Boston's (then) relatively new indy paper THE PHOENIX. John got a much nicer write-up and (as I recall) Ren and Stimpy in colour on the front cover above the masthead.

    GAH! ANOTHER CARTOONIST BEATING MY TIME IN BOSTON! (Impossible to pronounce last name: I'll beat him on that, maybe)

    Jeff Smith was a huge REN AND STIMPY fan and actually dubbed off a tape for me back in the day. Talk about a great comedic voice, that completely over the top Peter Lorre (why didn't I think of that? Peter Lorre calling Sidney Greenstreet "YOU BLITHEREENG EEDIOT!" in the MALTESE FALCON and then dissolving into tears. That's a natural).

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    By the way, that "THE Dave Sim" designation isn't mine. For some reason that's the user name CBR gave me. I almost used up my "5 tries" getting in until I noticed. Oh: THE Dave Sim. Kind of funny if you know it's their idea.

    Over the top egomaniacal if it's mine.

  13. #13
    Billy eatless2slim's Avatar
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    As you said Emily will turn six in around a month from now, she really likes dressing up so you never know she might one day be the glamourpuss type herself, I'm not looking forward to that, though it could be worse!

    Billy

  14. #14
    I am watching... DaveRothe's Avatar
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    Hey Dave. Nice first name by the way think maybe I'll change mine to that.:) So do you think part of the solution for the small press indy guy/publisher is maybe get one or two issues in the can before they even solicit?

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    Default glamourpuss Dave Sim

    Yi! Just made myself a liar and went and looked at Jeff Tundis' flash animation for the Secret Project One website. My heart is pounding.
    Good thing it's prayer time. Back around 12:40 EDST.

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