Note From The President, Cerebus 150, September 1991Copyright 1994 Dave Sim
I have always regarded yourself and Gerhard as being amongst the more subtly humorous American comic practitioners. I take it your recent Editorial wasn't serious, as the letter allegedly by me was obviously bogus? You have the right to hold any opinion you want, of course. That is obviously understood. As for Lord Horror - I regard these comics as being a hundred times more pernicious than Faust. A printed apology would not, in the circumstances, be untoward.
All best -
There is certainly nothing in the world more embarrassing than a situation like this one. I do profusely apologize to Mike Moorcock for the obvious embarrassment a circumstance like this must cause. I apologize for any injury to his professional standing as well as apologizing for impugning his personal integrity.
I will never under any circumstances print another piece of correspondence alleged to have been sent by a member of the professional community without confirming that the item in question did indeed come from them.
Had I reacted as my initial instincts directed me; to shrug philosophically, pitch the venemous thing in the garbage, remove Mr. Moorcock from the freebie list and quietly mourn the loss of a fondly-remembered acquaintance and a respected colleague.
Well. Some things are better left unsaid.
Monique's been gone for almost two full working weeks now. Gerhard and I have been running the business side in addition to doing the words and pictures. It's been an experience, let me tell you. Frankly, there is not enough work to warrant having a full-time person in the office. Monique spent a great deal of time reading books, waiting for the phone to ring. There is probably too much work to handle in addition to writing and drawing, but we're going to try it for a month or so. After that we can figure out what we can get a part-time or piece-work employee to do. As all of the independent companies try to get through these hellish times, they would do well to consider doing more of their own work themselves. I was talking with someone recently who mentioned a new alternative publisher who runs his company out of a one room apartment, doing all of the business side and taking very little money, most of which goes to the artists and writers. What was wrong with that, he wanted to know. I said, there's nothing wrong with that. I've been advocating for years that comic book publishing should be an average paying job; publishers should answer their own phones, keep their own books and keep their costs to an absolute minimum. Someone else then asked, but what if through the publisher's efforts, the company becomes more successful; his titles sell better and he gets more and better titles; shouldn't he be able to improve his standard of living? Get a nicer apartment, or an office separate from his apartment? So long as he is still taking the same percentage of revenues and improving his standard of living, I could see nothing wrong. What bothers me are the small quality companies publishing a handful of really good comics who, during boomtimes, expand their standard of living, both as individuals and as companies. When hard times (like these) come along, instead of scaling back that standard of living they choose instead to publish pornography or moronic adaptations of bad movies, gradually shuffling their quality titles into the background.
A glut of lousy comics is a glut of lousy comics no matter who publishes them. If you produce and/or publish quality material, your circulation will expand for a while, then contract for a while (I speak from nearly fourteen years experience). If you try to expand endlessly, like an accountant's wet-dream you will end up just as repulsive and vulgar as Marvel and DC.
In my opinion, anyway.
Before I forget, I wanted to remind all of you that Now & Then Books (90 Queen St. S. in Kitchener), Canada's oldest surviving comic book store will be celebrating its twentieth (!) anniversary on October 19th of this year. Harry is inviting everyone to come and join in the celebration. I'll be there most of the afternoon and I've even promised not to make snotty comments about all the damn gum cards. Circle the date on your calendar and I hope we'll see you there.
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