From hbrandt@i... Sun Apr 06 14:28:28 2003
Date: Sun, 06 Apr 2003 17:28:27 -0400
Subject: juicy, gossipy SPACE tidbits [many SPOILERS!!!]

The Morning After...

First of all, it was great to see everyone from the list: Margaret, who
promises a new TWISTED PANTIES soon and who has a great dragon tattoo in
addition to her left arm aardvark, Dan Parker who got the best sketch
(Cerebus/Bacchus) and who promises to scan it for all to see, fellow
Zappa fan Chris W who was disappointed in his choice of entree at
dinner, self-proclaimed aging hippie John L and his "curly dark-haired
wife", the Days Inn Denizens aka the fashionably unshaven Tony Palermo
and his lapsed Catholic 'artbabe' wife Sarah-Fist, brandishing the
Tickle-Me Elmo Cerebus doll (whose weird 'shaking' was so wrong and yet
so right), and my friends Pope Dave and John H from Chicago and Ft.
Wayne, IN respectively (hopefully you will meet them both very soon on
this very list!)

Now the scoops/SPOILERS (first draft from memory):

- Gerhard almost quit the book. He's back but Dave needs to coach him
(he used a baseball analogy: "How's the arm? How's the back? OK? Are you
up for this? Do you want me to help with your parts?") and occasionally
covers for him. Ger tried to quit for good, but Dave "wouldn't let him".
What are Gerhard's "issues"? That's a feminist thing to ask! They have
always been Guys and business partners. They don't try to get into each
others heads.

- CEREBUS #288 just shipped as Dave was leaving for Columbus. (He was
late arriving at SPACE due to weather in Canada and at O'Hare airport in
Chicago). Hitting March 2004 is VERY important to him, but quality first
is equally important. CEREBUS # 289/290 will be a double issue and will
attempt to explain all. When Dave left Kitchener for Columbus, he was
working on page (I forget...) of 289/290, but the cover art for
solicitation is complete up to #298. Issue #300 will be 20 pages, not
double-sized. Two LATTER DAYS phonebooks to come, but still uncertain
when the first will ship. Hardcover collections a possibility. First
ruminations have A-V releasing one HC volume per year with reprints in
rotation, so if you don't get the first one upon its release you'll have
to wait fourteen years for the 2nd printing. Retrospective annotations
likely as bonus features in the HC collections. 

- CBLDF's Charles ("FEATURE") Browenstein wants to write a book on Sim
and CEREBUS but there's nothing definite.

- Dave is somewhat disheartened by the lack of feedback he receives.
Gets a letter maybe once-a-week usually from somebody who is trying to
convert his views. Someone suggested email, but he wasn't into it. I
said a lot of people would probably love to call him, but don't wish to
stop progress on the page he's working on and he said he appreciates
that fact, but still would like feedback. He expected Todd McFarlane to
react to SPORE, but heard nothing. For the record, Charles Browenstein
later told us that he witnessed MacFarlane's reaction (overall positive
and amused), but said Todd didn't want to respond in public. Dave was
hoping Todd would do a SPORE toy. I only saw one SPAWN #10 being
autographed. By the way, there was no Jeff ("BONE") Smith appearance at
the con and Dave left the boxing gloves at home this trip.

- The cover of the SPACE 2003 program offers a preview of an old, aged
aardvark drawn by Sim. Dave says those who find growing old and dying to
be uncomfortable will find the ending of CEREBUS equally uncomfortable -
he hopes it will be amusing to others, however. Cerebus will be in a
diaper, etc. I asked Dave if Cerebus would have an extended dying
sequence (ala Oscar in MELMOTH), but he would say no more. A recent
interview with Dave was also included in the program. Can someone scan
it? If not, I'll try to type it in when I get time. Or at least excerpt
it (see below).

- Rainmandu: Dave absolutely shook his head 'no' when asked about your
Joanne-pregnant-by-Rick theory.

- Dave is the stenographer, "Me".

- Cerebus' biblical interpretation is not parody. It's what Dave himself
sees/believes when he reads the Koran, the Gospels and the Torah. It is
most assuredly NOT a 'joke'. Dave's recent (six years ago) change in
life focus to spirituality/belief in One God hasn't altered the "darned
good" ending to CEREBUS, but has changed the way he is finally
approaching the ending. He senses that God knew all along how this
process would eventually happen. He also senses that he could "very well
be in the midst of saying all that I have to say".

- Dave answered that he "would like to" do some political cartooning
after CEREBUS, but has no real plans. It's all up to God. He'd like some
rest first. He says that he will never revisit CEREBUS. He also repeated
that he would enjoy joining in on this discussion at some point in the
future. He was generous with his time, conversation and
sketches/autographs, even extending his much-anticipated but delayed
(scheduled for 12 noon, commenced at 5pm) Panel Discussion on
Spirituality (more details forthcoming) until well after the con had
ended. This was his last appearance before #300.

- Dave contributed a panel to a 'jam piece' at the con. It had Cerebus
eating a slice of pizza. Word balloon: "Mmm...comics and pizza". (Pizza
was provided by local comics store The Laughing Ogre). Dave took all
exhibitors out for dinner (on him) at Damon's afterward. We 'patrons'
were welcome to join (or at least set in the other room), but sprung for
our own chow (we weren't expecting otherwise).

More to come if you are interested. Everyone else who attended -please
chime in! I'll end this report with an excerpt from the Sim interview
included with the SPACE program (sorry, no extra copies to pass


Q: Here's a challenge: How would you sum up 25 years, 300 issues, of
CEREBUS in a few sentences to someone unfamiliar with your work?

A: In a few sentences? CEREBUS, one man's pyramidal search for truth in
a world made up of lies. Part one: Its "base" (and it is base, indeed)
is a pagan, secular-humanist vaudeville roman a clef romp through
parody, satire and the thematic societal configurations of
Politics/Organized Religion, founded upon the aforementioned one man's
fervent faith that there does exist an eternal apex which can be
reached, one diminishing layer at a time (sales-wise the apex is
reached: 37,000 copies of issue 100). Part two: Love and Marriage,
Mothers and Daughters, the slow rise to the apex, layer by layer and the
dawning realization as a Guy that the pagan, secular-humanist pyramid
only goes up so high and beyond a certain level all that is discussed is
how overrated the idea of an apex is and that a six-sided box, slightly
compressed on one end upon which an infinite number of feminists are
capable of dancing is much to be preferred over a four-sided structure
rising to a single, coterminous point. Part three: the long, slow march
to the summit with Gerhard as his collaborator and business partner and
God, his only companion (sales of 6,000 and dropping by the minute,
Dave) (Steady as she goes, Gerhard. Steady as she goes.)


Again - it was a PLEASURE meeting everyone on this fabulous list.