Note From The President, Cerebus 131, February 1990

Copyright 1990 Dave Sim

Excuse me while I wipe some of this black ink off of my fingers. I've been waiting for this issue for a while as a design exercise (not to mention the contrast between Mystery Achievement and The Poet). When it started becoming obvious that 131 was to be the first issue drawn in the Off-White House (there's even a little Camp David out back) I was getting pretty eager to get started. We moved all of the office stuff out of Room 602-603 at 47 King Street West last Monday while Ger finished issue 130. I got a slow start on 131 Tuesday and Wednesday while Ger packed up the studio in Room 302 at 47 King St. West. It's less than a week later and we've got the cover and most of the first eight pages done, so we're still on schedule for being caught up on our cover-dates by the end of Jaka's Story (we hope).

As for the actual content of Mystery Achievement, I'm pretty happy with it. I can't believe we're here already, though. In a way it feels like I did the Missy and Magic bits yesterday and in a way I feel like I've spent most of my life drawing Oscar Wilde.

I'm really just rambling here because I got a note from Bob 'Boze' Bell today saying that he always reads this stuff and he's always disappointed when I leave it blank so there went my idea of just printing a photo of the old office building in here. Bob sent along an ad for his graphic novel 'The Man Canyon' that's really, really funny and we'll be running it next issue. It features Bob's brilliant creation "Honkeytonk Sue".

Let's see; I've got the text piece done for this issue and the final (I hope) corrections for the letters page. And now I've got this Note done. I promise to try to have something a little more interesting to say next time.

Oh right! Something I've been meaning to mention. A lot of people have been asking what Gerhard does on the book since he was nominated for "best inker" in the Harvey awards last year. Gerhard does all of the backgrounds in pencil and ink on the covers and interior pages. I write the words, letter the balloons (pencil and ink) and pencil and ink all of the characters and all of the characters' clothing. Gerhard puts the mechanical tones on the backgrounds where he sees fit and puts the tones on Cerebus (and the costumes if I indicate it, except for Jaka's skirt on page 12-13 in this issue. I put the tone on that. I don't know why. Just felt like it, I guess).

So, yes Gerhard inks his backgrounds, but he also pencils them and I'd say he's at least as good a background pencil artist as he is a background ink artist but I never vote in the awards so what do I know, right? If I have a specific background or angle in mind, I'll suggest it to him or do a rough sketch on the page. It's up to him if he wants to follow it or do something else. As we pointed out at the Northampton Summit if Gerhard wants to draw the interior of a submarine instead of Pud's tavern, that's up to Gerhard; that's what creative freedom is about. He draws Pud's tavern because he wants the story to work the same as I do. If I ask for advice on what I'm doing he gives it and I take it or leave it. If he asks for advice I give it and he takes it or leaves it. Creative Freedom. Rah rah.

Well, there you go, B.B.B. I promise I'll never leave this space blank again if'n I can help it.

Oh, and Gerhard colours the covers, too with Dr. Martin dyes.

I'm done now, so I'll shut up.

See you next issue.


The Oscar character wishes to apologize for the incorrect usage of the word 'irregardless' in issue 128 and hastens to point out that the composition of the text pieces in Jaka's Story consists in the perfect use of an imperfect comic book writer (who shall remain nameless).

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