Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

September 11, 2012

Bundled Update: Kim Thompson And Eric Reynolds Basically Make An Open Offer To Publish Dave Sim

imageLike most things that involve dramatic comics personalities the thought of providing contextual material on the following is enough to make me not want to do the article at all but, basically, Dave Sim wrote an editorial that said he was ending Glamourpuss and that he was essentially preparing in one way or another to leave comics altogether. Since that editorial, Sim suffered a setback in the production of Kickstarter-driven High Society. For me it was an editorial worth noting because Sim's an intriguing figure, important in modern comics history and to me his situation may serve to refocus some of our attention on the potential situation facing a lot of indie/alt cartoonists prominent from 1975 to 1995.

Anyway, if you start here and work your way back through the links, you notice something interesting: Fantagraphics co-owner Kim Thompson and Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds essentially say flat-out they'd publish select portions of Dave Sim's existing library of work. Thompson endorses re-doing the Cerebus material for a bookstore audience. Reynolds says he'd love to publish the current Alex Raymond-related serial.

I've talked to a lot of people about Sim's editorial and I agree with just about everyone I talked on one thing. While Sim's personality as we've come to understand it would lead us to think he's in a pretty intractable situation right this moment, he actually has a lot of material that could be published and that could conceivably make money for him and bring an audience his way. That includes:
* the forthcoming Alex Raymond book.
* re-packaging of significant portions if not the entirety of the Cerebus saga.
* digital re-packaging of his content in some form or another.
* an oversized book shot from original art (PetuniaCon, say, or the Palnu Trilogy, or Mind Games).
* a color album consisting of what color Cerebus work there is, perhaps augmented with the collaborative material from Swords Of Cerebus (a Barry Windsor-Smith image from a back cover to which above).
That seems like a lot to me. In fact, if all indie/alt cartoonists had this much of a resource available to them, I would probably sleep much better at night.

Sim working with a Fantagraphics or an IDW or similar house would be news in terms of Sim's one-time major, wholehearted, pointed resistance to working with any kind of publisher at all. If there's anything the comics culture loves more than pin-ups of costumed characters, it's judging people and positions based on an unrealistic expectation they stay unrelenting over several decades, the whole world shifting underneath that position's feet be damned. I suspect that this may be a position Sim has that has softened a little bit over the years, but who knows? If it hasn't, maybe there's even an intermediate step available to the cartoonist, like working with the kind of team that such a publisher might provide as opposed to working with people in one's inner circle.
posted 9:55 am PST | Permalink

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