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  1. #136
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    I've read this thread and the one on Sequential Tart with Dave Sim.

    I'm not all that familiar with Sim's views, but I must ask, either Sim himself or his supporters:

    Why does a man, who speaks so highly of reason, intellect, and his own knowledge, seem incapable of making any type of a logical defense of his positions?

    Is this normal Sim tactics? I've heard so much about the genius of Cerebrus, and Sim's intelligence, and yet he seemed incapable of answering even one of Gail Simone's question with anything resembling a well thought out answer.

    Two closing questions:Has Dave backed off from those positions, and does not want to bring them back up?

    Has Dave Sim ever given cold, uncolored facts, studies, and statistics to back up his gut feelings and unscientific observations regarding feminism and religion?

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadyv View Post
    I've read this thread and the one on Sequential Tart with Dave Sim.

    I'm not all that familiar with Sim's views, but I must ask, either Sim himself or his supporters:

    Why does a man, who speaks so highly of reason, intellect, and his own knowledge, seem incapable of making any type of a logical defense of his positions?

    Is this normal Sim tactics? I've heard so much about the genius of Cerebrus, and Sim's intelligence, and yet he seemed incapable of answering even one of Gail Simone's question with anything resembling a well thought out answer.

    Two closing questions:Has Dave backed off from those positions, and does not want to bring them back up?

    Has Dave Sim ever given cold, uncolored facts, studies, and statistics to back up his gut feelings and unscientific observations regarding feminism and religion?
    I assume that when Dave starts posting here tomorrow, Sadyv, he'll respond to your question regarding his use of statistics, his positions et al. I'm going to respond only to your statement re: "the genius of Cerebus," which in my view lies not so much in whether Dave is right in his view of the world but in the way he poses his philosophical positions within the text of his work.

    Over on the BEAT I posted the following about the significance of Dave's work in terms of philosophical discourse in the comics medium:

    "Dave Sim (to answer Steve Taylor’s question about Sim’s relevance) is not the worst philosopher ever born– though he’s not very good overall– but one of his significant acts for comics was to open the medium to this kind of discourse. As bad as his reasoning sometimes is, I put it leagues ahead of almost every indie comics-creator out there, simply because he understands the form that philosophical discourse must take."

    And in a later post, in response to a question:

    "I’m not thinking of the rants and other prose as a “new discourse” but of the way that his philosophical views are integrated into the structure of the comics-pages. Sometimes Dave did compensate for the limitations of the comics-page by shoving in huge sections of text, so it wasn’t always a perfect marriage. But when it worked, it really worked.

    "An example would be his attack on Hemingway. I’ve read little of the critical literature on Hemingway, so I’m no authority on whether or not Dave’s take on EH– which is made not personally, but in terms of his relevance as a cultural figure– is feasible. Evidently Dave did read extensively in the EH literature, but it’s possible that his take on the marriage of Ernest and Mary has no relevance to any reality but the one in Dave’s head. But Dave’s argument as to EH’s deleterious effects on manhood is still fine comics, if only because it’s so unorthodox (”what, Papa H. was really P-whipped? Say what?”)"

    So as a Sim-supporter, the short version of the above is that I feel that Sim's important whether he succeeds in adhering to facts and statistics or not. Has he got some stuff wrong? Assuredly. Does that make his art unimportant? Certainly not.

    And just to turn this back to the subject of Glamourpuss-- I will say that I don't expect it to be as big on heavy philosophy as CEREBUS became, but I wonder, Dave, if you think any philosophical musings will find their way into it?



    "

  3. #138
    Unapologetic Trade-Buyer sparky828's Avatar
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    Hi Dave,

    I'm hoping that this question will find it's way to your attention as you scan through the backlog (or "afterlog" as the case may be). Is Secret Project One going to be actually called "Secret Project One," or is that name a placeholder for a more specific title to be named in (hang on, I need to check the countdown clock) 5 days 19 hours and 41 minutes?

    Or will it turn out that the "Secret Project One" is a specific title and has a direct connection to the content?
    Last edited by sparky828; 02-23-2008 at 05:27 AM. Reason: Added the last possibility -- it came to me in a dream! No, it didn't.

  4. #139
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    Hi Paul. I don't share your assumptions -- I'm not even sure I understand them so...uh...maybe I do share your assumptions after all! The job for me is to get the illustrations as close to a) real and b) Raymond School as I can. To me it's the best comic book School of art.

    Just differences in people, I guess.

    Thanks for posting and sorry I'm so long getting back to you.

  5. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Smooth View Post
    ******* chocolate bars.
    You know, rev, I allow myself a chocolate bar so seldom these days that it feels as self-destructive as smoking used to. The caffeine gets the heart pounding and the cocoa burns on the way down.

  6. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKCarrier View Post
    It may not be universally true, but it does seem like the graphic novels that have broken through to the mainstream in a big way -- stuff like Maus, Fun Home, Persepolis, et. al. -- tend to be pretty cartoony/stylized. Even something like Watchmen, which is fairly representational, has the advantage of that strict 9-panel grid to help ease the novice reader along.
    Okay, sorry. I'm having a lot of trouble here again. The computer won't let me advance to the next pages. I'm trying to find my way back to where I left off a couple of weeks ago. Please bear with me.

  7. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve MacIsaac View Post
    But aren't those two things at odd with each other? If you're bringing something to it, you're altering what is there. If you're not bringing anything to it, then you have the original, which already exists. It would be like a note for note cover of an existing song, rather than an interpretation.

    When I look at Williamson, or Foster, or Raymond or any of the guys who're up there in this type of work, I don't see any vestige of the original work. I don't look at their stuff and see "Oh, this is from a photo, this obviously isn't. The source material is gone: they've integrated it, digested it, transformed it, turned it into something else.

    I think your rendering of fabric and texture and surface in these things is pretty phenomenol. I think your figures are coming out too stiff, though, especially compared to the guys you're working towards. That's not an insult -- there's very few people working who've EVER managed to be both organic and Photorealistic. I think you'd benefit from a bit less literal translation and more about capturing essence and personality --which have always been two of your greatest strengths as a cartoonist -- even if it means the drawing is technically wrong.
    Well, yes, but in my own defence what I'm attempting to do is to LEARN the Raymond school methods. The last thing I would try to suggest is that I HAVE LEARNED them. I hope to get better as I go along and I think I've done a not-half-bad job for someone 34 pages into a projected 400 or 500 page project. I think I'm further along in the Raymond school right now, as an example, than I was in "doing" Barry Windsor-Smith halfway through issue 2 of CEREBUS.

    And I'm pretty much taking it as a given that there are limits to what I'm going to be able to achieve. A lot of what gives Raymond and Williamson and Drake and Prentice's work its fluidity is the relentless pressure of the six daily strips a week schedule. It's a lot like the Beatles in Hamburg in 1962. They were untutored musicians but they were playing something like five shows a day seven days a week -- "Mak Show, BEATLES!" -- for weeks on end. George Harrison was very up front that they were never as good again playing live. I said the same thing to Gerhard the last year working on CEREBUS: we'll never be able to draw at this level again. There's a quality that you get producing twenty pages a month twelve months a year that you're never going to recapture.

    That's one of the big reasons I'm looking forward to the later volumes of MARY PERKINS ON STAGE and why I tend to look at volume one of my RIP KIRBY Spanish reprints the least. You have to get rocking and rolling.

    And with the three month "time out" for this big promotional push, I'll be starting over again at square one March 4.

  8. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Smooth View Post
    Reversing expressions may be of help-- curve the lips in the opposite way of a frown without the smile movements, or don't narrow the eyes when offering intense emotions.

    If what you're thinking of is what I'm thinking of, the bottom of the eyes do not narrow as they would with anger or with a smile, though the top lid might be slightly lowered-- otherwise the shape of the eye gets minimised. Anger should ideally widen the eye. The mouth's curve is slightly pouted and remains neutral; the corners may curve slightly up or down but there's no unbecoming flattening or widening. The brow won't slant down much with emotion and the model may tighten and pull back the muscles of her face to lift the brow without arching it.

    Heck, flipping the image over and drawing it that way can help. It can force the artist to break their own mental map and make the image come out more faithfully to the source.
    Changing expressions in a drawing, to me, is much further along in the learning process. It seems to me the danger there is in saying "I don't like this expression so I'm going to change it" instead of the more accurate "I can't capture this expression so I'm going to change it". I think you have to work on the ability to translate a photo image into a Raymond school comics image as accurately as possible and get as close as you can to that. Once your success rate at capturing an expression is much higher, then you can start using the accumulated knowledge to say, "Okay let's not make exact likeness such a fetish -- let's see how much we know about the photorealism face to 'play' with the underlying elements a bit."

    I was discussing the face I used in the Victory Cafe ad on the website (www.glamourpusscomic.com/glamourpuss EVENTS) yesterday. It was such a sweet photo...

    (and for a variety of reasons: not the least being that it was part of a photo-feature on girls going "short short" with their hair. The model had hair just off her shoulders before that. So what you're getting is a photo of someone putting on her best "drop dead" model look while obviously thinking inside "Oh, God PLEASE tell me it doesn't look horrible" -- which I think is going to be present anytime a girl or woman does that extreme a cut. "It'll grow out" has been said by many a female through a long night of wretched, pitiful tears.)

    ...that I said: if I can even get 60% of this it should be a knockout. I ended up getting about 75 to 80% but the 20% I was missing was that "Oh God PLEASE tell me it doesn't look horrible" vulnerability. She looks cute and she looks hot, but she doesn't look vulnerable.

    Live and learn.

  9. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed2ward View Post
    That's nifty! I'd never seen the chart before!

    Yeah - I've never given much thought to the Uncanny Valley element with comics art. Any conversations that I've had regarding it have been primarily focused on Computer Animation, with occasional side-trips to audioanimatronic creations, but I'm going to have to give that some thought.
    I'd certainly agree that it is food for thought. I think there's a big difference, though, in rolling the "uncanny valley" around in your mind as an intellectual exercise and attempting to do some "uncanny valley" strip-mining in public as I'm doing with glamourpuss. The last few posts could be said to be another way of saying, "You're digging in the wrong spot!"

    Can't deny the possibility but it's my pick-axe, my shovel, my sweat and my elbow-grease. I think dis here is de spot. We'll see if I'm right.

  10. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlcm View Post
    I don't really have a specific political or gender-issue question for you, Dave, considering that both Reverend Smooth and Gail Simone were asking all the really great questions thoughtfully and eloquently. (Thanks to both of you, by the way)

    Really I wanted to say two things.

    First, I love your art and your realistic style that's not photorealism or whatever - I don't want an art debate because I'm not educated enough about art to discuss. I admire Cerebus for its artistic merits and its style innovations, especially in the lettering. Thanks to Todd Klein and you, Dave, I wanted to get into lettering but my sense of design isn't strong enough I suppose.

    Secondly, I wanted to say that I admire your ambition to stay independent and do all the work yourself. And you're a Canadian, too (like me!) which leads me to my next question.

    Where do you see Canada (itself, the idea, the people, etc) in the realm of comics? By that I mean, with movies and television, there's distinctly Canadian and American art being consumed by us north of the border. But with comics, there's a whole ton of massive (DC, Marvel), big (IDW, Avatar) and small (sort of like you but American) publishers in the US, and a bunch of small publishers in Canada (like you). Do you think Canada will ever have a medium sized publisher that puts out a bunch of monthlies and that will carry some weight?

    I guess my jumbled question is asking simply, does Canada have the drive or the skill to make its own comics industry like we have with film?
    Thanks for posting, MLCM!

    I certainly HOPE that Canada can DEVELOP the drive and the skill to make its own comics industry. I think the closest we came to that in recent years was Pat Lee's Dreamwave Productions when they had THE TRANSFORMERS -- and then the G.I. JOE -- license. It didn't last very long -- a year or two? It's a real balancing act and I think Pat succumbed to the temptation to expand too quickly, a temptation that's always going to be there. The problem there is that if people are going crazy for Pat Lee art and that's what's driving the success, you're taking an awful chance by bringing in guys who (obviously) aren't Pat Lee in order to get the number of titles up and ride the gravy train, make hay while the sun shines.

    We're all fanboys at heart and in the mainstream, the urge is always going to be to recreate Marvel in the early 1960s. That tends to fall down because there's only been one Jack Kirby in comics history with a completely unique "skill set".

    Unless you have a top flight guy that different people can ink without diluting the basic "look" that the fans are buying and who can pencil or lay out five books a month, you don't want to be putting out five books a month. But, if Marvel in the early 60s is your Publishing Ideal (and it is for most mainstream guys) you're going to put five books out a month.

    Same thing happened with Image in a lot of ways. You have a hit book you want to turn it into a franchise. What gets missed is that turning books into franchises is something you need really deep pockets for. DC and Marvel do it for the same reason Crest makes twelve different flavours of toothpaste. You occupy most of the display space, there's no room for competition. But each new "toothpaste" cannibalizes the sales on the other flavours. Total sales go up, but so do the costs per unit and individual flavour sales take a hit. Sales will be down on each individual SPIDEY title now that it's a weekly, but total sales are up. If you can sell someone four SPIDER-MAN titles a month instead of one a month, that's three comic books he isn't buying from someone else.

    And you get in and you get out. DC and Marvel expand their franchises in gravy times and watch for the "point of diminishing returns" where it costs more to produce five Spider-man and Batman titles than you're actually taking in. Sales numbers dictate when you do what. For Image, since they were actually concerned about their franchises as creative properties, they were still looking for good writers and good artists to fill out the franchise and ignoring the fact that the "point of diminishing returns" had been passed months ago.

    Okay, let me post this part and then I'll explain where I see this applying to Canada, specifically.

  11. #146
    New Member Silent Phantom's Avatar
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    Hello Dave,

    I've never read your work (except for parts of the glamourpuss preview), but I have definitely heard of you. I'll be buying glamourpuss because something about it draws me in. I'm also planning on buying some of the Cerebus phonebooks.

    A few questions if you don't mind answering:
    1. Would you like glamourpuss to reach the same amount of admiration as Cerebus?
    2. Did you have any difficulties in creating/working on glamourpuss?
    3. Is the regular edition of glamourpuss going to be the same size as the preview edition? If so, any special reason for the choice of paper dimensions?
    4. I've noticed that comic books have been hovering around the $2.99 price recently. Is there any reason for pricing glamourpuss at $3.00 besides making it a round number?

  12. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlcm View Post
    Where do you see Canada (itself, the idea, the people, etc) in the realm of comics? By that I mean, with movies and television, there's distinctly Canadian and American art being consumed by us north of the border. But with comics, there's a whole ton of massive (DC, Marvel), big (IDW, Avatar) and small (sort of like you but American) publishers in the US, and a bunch of small publishers in Canada (like you). Do you think Canada will ever have a medium sized publisher that puts out a bunch of monthlies and that will carry some weight?

    I guess my jumbled question is asking simply, does Canada have the drive or the skill to make its own comics industry like we have with film?
    So, the short answer to how all this applies to Canada is that anyone who has a hit book with wide mainstream appeal (like TRANSFORMERS or GI JOE) is going to be coming from the Marvel and DC tradition and is likely to believe that expansion of each franchise is what you have to do. That takes a lot of cash. Even if each of your books is a hit or semi-successful, you get into having to keep monthly books coming out while also publishing "collected versions" and keeping those in stock permanently.

    See, I don't come from that side of things: I come from the indie side of things so, even if glamourpuss becomes a monster hit on, say, the indie scale of MOUSE GUARD, the last thing I'm thinking of is putting out four glamourpuss titles. Why? Because the name of the game is quality and reliability. I can't draw four glamourpuss titles and even supervising three and drawing one, the quality of my work is going to go downhill. In the stores the response goes from "WOW! THE NEW GLAMOURPUSS! GIMME GIMME!" to "NEW GLAMOURPUSS! Oh wait a second. Is this the GOOD glamourpuss or is this the SUCKY glamourpuss?" Flip flip flip. "SUCKY glamourpuss".

    It's far easier in a business sense to keep myself alive and pay myself a small salary than to have a payroll with twenty artists, ten inkers, five colorists, ten computer guys. Starting out, that's how you have to start out and you have to make sure you have the quality to deliver and that means keeping the same artist and writer. Theoretically Chris Oliveiros could hire a Legion of Substitute Seths to draw PALOOKAVILLE. But people buy PALOOKAVILLE for Seth. It would be like having a fill-in artist on PEANUTS.

    But it means you start small and tend to stay small. Chris is still in business because there's him and a couple of full-time employees and that's it. He -- and his artists -- also get Canada Council grants.

    I've got a prayer time now, but when I get back, I'll talk about that a little bit.

  13. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlcm View Post
    I guess my jumbled question is asking simply, does Canada have the drive or the skill to make its own comics industry like we have with film?
    I think the problem with grants - ANY kind of grant -- is that it tends to conceal the viable vs. non-viable core question. "The government gave me $15K so I paid my pencillers and inkers and my printer and myself." Well, now the money is gone and if your overhead exceeds your income, all you've done is postpone your problem.

    The KEY point in the comic-book field -- and the retailers have been telling the creators and publishers this for years and creators and publishers have mostly been ignoring it for years -- is getting your work out on time and as frequently as possible while maintaining the quality. That really has to come before everything else.

    If you have $15K given to you, the tendency will be to make it last as long as possible and not produce anything until the last minute. If it's YOUR $15K or your maxed out credit cards or your parents' line of credit or a mortgage on your house, you're going to treat it with a lot more respect and care than you will from a bushel basket you got from the Magic Government Money Tree.

    Umpty-ump thousand dollars for a booth in San Diego, a grand for hotel, flight and meals. Someone wants to hand that to me, wow, sure, let's go. If it's coming out of my pocket? Uhhh. Howzabout I put in 100 hours in the back room at LOOKIN FOR HEROES? I think I've got money in the budget for that.

    I would maintain that if the Image guys had just each put out one book and kept the quality up and came out on time -- forget the toys, forgets the animated cartoon, forget the movies, forget the franchise expansion, forget taking on new books -- then I think the whole thing would have sustained itself a lot longer. Now that comic books are sold almost exclusively in comic-book stores, I think that's even more of a hard and fast rule than it's ever been before. People want a good comics title and the creator or creative team that attracted them to it in the first place.

    Anything that doesn't have that as its central guiding principle is just asking to get marginalized and forgotten.

    That's true whether you're in Canada, the UK, the US, or Bosnia. Do a good book, keep the same team on it, put it out as often as you can and on time and always work to improve the work and the fans will stick with you.

    One of my better decisions was to get Gerhard pencilling and inking the backgrounds on the book. It meant increased overhead but it improved the quality on the book exponentially so it was a good choice. If I had just hired an inker to save me time and it didn't look as good as my own inks I would have taken a hit in sales and I would have deserved to.

    You have to play straight with the marketplace. If you try to get cute to reduce your workload, everyone is going to know that's what you're doing and they'll stay away in droves.

  14. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Bardawill View Post
    With or without the assistance of the Federal/Provincial grant system?

    Interesting question though.

    Chester Brown did his Reil book with a bit of Gov. assistance, I believe, and Troy Little published a short book run of Chiaroscruro and found a publisher willing to back him in San diego, I think. IDW Publishing.Com

    There are grants for artists, but the funding would tend to go to more history/literary work.

    If, like Dave, other Canadian comic artists want to selfpublish, or even start their own studio or various projects, then it's still a matter of pitching Diamond on the idea(s). I know Blind Ferret couldn't get them interesting in distibuting BRAMAN (leasticoulddo.com) but they were keen to distribute Looking for Group.

    Diamond, as I understand it, is the key to getting distributed, and therefore becoming part of the industry. Whether Canadian comic artists have the drive or not, appealing to Diamond is the major roadblock to gaining a toehold in the comic shops unless you can somehow distribute your book another way.
    Yes, definitely -- at least for the forseeable future Diamond Comic Distributors is the only game in town. I've seen way too many completely unexpected changes in the field over the last 30 years to say that that's carved in stone which is why I would never sign an exclusive deal with Diamond. Just because no one viable has shown up doesn't mean that no one ever will.

    And, having seen a lot of the stuff that Diamond gets in and actually gives serious consideration to through their in-house selection process, I'd have to say that they are still erring on the side of generosity rather than demanding strict professional standards. Which is very nice of them, but doesn't tend to earn them any brownie points in the indy ranks. "You carry c--p like THIS and you won't carry MY book?"

    Word to the wise: never measure yourself against the skinniest puppy in the litter. It's a dog-eat-dog world. In the comic book field it's a good news bad news thing. The good news?: only in comics can you compete head-to-head with the best in the same catalogue. The bad news? You have to compete head-to-head with the best in the same catalogue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Shantz View Post
    Where Woman has vague, unconscious ideas, she actually expects, desires, and demands to see in Man's speech the structuring of thought, which she regards as a (tertiary) male sexual characteristic and which affects her in that way. ... [A] woman feels it to be a criterion of masculinity that a man should also be her intellectual superior, and why she is powerfully attracted to a man who impresses her with his thought, and at the same time, without realizing it, delivers that decisive vote against all theories of equality.

    -Otto Weininger, Sex and Character (Ladislaus Löb translation)
    You know, Greg, that may be either true, "true" or True but it's certainly something that is guaranteed to elicit a negative reaction from women, particularly in this case where you're attempting to take Weininger's intellectual argument -- "this is Largely or Mostly True when discussing women" -- and apply to Rev Smooth who pretty obviously sees herself as being in a completely separate category.

    What Rev Smooth was doing, as far as I can see, was attempting to jam me into her own construct: the genders are interchangeable, some people are smarter than others but it has nothing to do with gender, hey, Dave Sim you seem pretty smart let's see if you can metaphorically "tear me a new one" in intellectual debate. Convince me of your point of view.

    I think it's pretty common (to the point of being virtually universal) on the leftist feminist side of things. I don't see things that way. I don't see intellectual debate as a contact sport particularly and particularly not in this condensed an environment. As I told Gail Simone, I think all we can really do is just define the differences between us. You could make the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama into a contact sport -- put them on the Internet with a laptop each and tell them they can't leave the room until they come to an absolute conclusion about WHO IS RIGHT and WHO IS WRONG. Somebody has to beat somebody else so we can at last say that Hillary OR Obama is right.

    That just seems extremely unlikely to the extent of complete impossibility, to me.

    I'm happy to tell you what I think and I'm happy to tell you where my thinking varies from yours.

    But I am here to promote glamourpuss -- not to try to convince anyone to think like me about anything. Even in promoting glamourpuss, all I'm asking is that people go into the stores and look at it and/or read it. I'm not telling them what to think of it even when they ask me directly "How can you sell me on this book?"

    I just don't think that way. I would never intrude on anyone's space like that. You take a look and make up your own mind.

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