Note From The President Issue #81
Having fun again.
I reached a point that could best be described as a thorough reassessment of w.t.f. was going on. I had managed to narrow the focus of my anxiety to the root of the problem. It was that little box on the front cover, and more particularly the three little letters at the bottome of it. You know.... FEB MAR MAY JUN.
They were the problem.
The company had enough of a financial cushion to survive quite happily for at least four months (if a direct sales comics publishing company doesn't publish it eliminates its greatest expense.... printing, leaving only taxes and salaries). I started feeling like one of those lower life forms who wins a million dollar lottery and tells the local news channel "Hell, no, I ain't quittin' the mines. I wouldn't know what t'do with m'self. Naw me 'n' the misses plan to put it in the bank fer the kids". It was to say the least, a piercing analogy. For eight years i had (a) drawn Cerebus (b) worked my way through three major relationships (c) slept (d) taken two vacations (e) partied (f) promoted Cerebus.
Of these five endeavours I wanted more (e) and (d). I always got enough (c) because I don't get up until I"m fully awake and bored being horizontal. (b) happens when you least expect it, so it's a good policy to expect it at all times, and (a) and (f) were starting to eat everything that wasn't nailed down. Like my sanity, my attention-span and three quarters of my usable cortex.
Proposition: I run A-V. What I say goes. A-V is secure. I want to forget about it until it's time to refill the bank accounts.
Actually, there's enough there for at least five months, Dave.
You won't get all the cheques in on the issue that just came out for another thirty days. That buys you another month.
The Executive Committee ( me, that is) sessions raged for days.
What about issue # 300?
Why can't I just say i'm doing it 'till march 2003?
People aren't as excited by March, 2003 as they are by doing 300 issues. You want the run to finish with # 178 maybe? Leave everybody "what-iffing" you about the missing 122 issues?
So i'll do 300 issues and when they come out they come out.
The way you party, you'll finish 300 when you're 80. You want to do this for another fifty years assuming you last that long?
So i didn't do anything for about three weeks on Cerebus. I puttered around. I did housework. I wrote a few essays for this space that were too dry for the requirements ------ filled about half a legal notepad. It was an enjoyable mix of political speech-writer and essayist. Writing for fun. Not to put somewhere, not to publish, just "watching the wheels" stuff.
I missed doing the book. Gerhard was bored stiff and Karen looked like Lady Order at a Chaos banquet.
So we got two issues done in a little over four weeks. Talked to Gerhard one night after consuming enough beer to wax eloquent on the stuff no one knows about Cerebus but me. I told him the original core of the "Church and State" story-line and mentioned that I was thinking of dropping the whole idea so i can get to the big finish. He persuaded me to leave it in. I had never spoken the dialogue out loud (it came to me three years ago during High Society). Suddenly I can't wait to get to it.
Our Back Cover: Signing an autograph for Spider-man at Mid-Ohio-con. He told me his real ame was Peter something but that I wasn't supposed to to tell anyone. He offered to loan me the tights for Saturday night. "The chicks, man, they love red and blue tights".
Photo by Mike Pincus (hi, Mike).
Spider-man costume copyright Marvel Comics Group
Thanks to the unnamed Cerebus fan who transcribed this to me, thanks "Risingmechanical"!