Then I call Dave Sim at his phone number and leave a message... for which he calls me a little later and we have almost an hour conversation on the phone! ( and Dave if you want to talk again, contact me... and the next time, I'll pay the long distance phone bill... )
Then, I watch episode 101... HOLEY MOLEY! I'm all over the section regarding digital comic book distribution... ( and I forgot to get a shave and a hair cut )... ( here is that section of the TV show )
The Cerebus Digital 6000 Project is well underway at Kickstarter and has just earned $20,000 in funding, over three times its original aim. But how is the actual digitisation happening? And who is doing it?
Why it's Bleeding Cool's own George Peter Gatis, author of our semi-regular It's Not Rocket Science column. We had a chat.
George, how did Dave Sim's plans to take Cerebus digital come to your attention?
- Through the Bleeding Cool Christmas report on Dave's weekly CerebusTV show, where Dave was contemplating going digital.
That's keeping it in the family. So how did you get in touch?
- I left a message on Dave's answering machine and got a call back about a month later. A more detailed overview is on my site which collects the It's Not Rocket Science posts on Bleeding Cool News, with some additional stuff.
What are the difficulties facing a job like this, especially where no digital assets exist?
- Creativity. How do you take static pages and incorporate all the awesome behind the scenes content and make it easy and fun to navigate. In Cerebus (over all other books) everything on the page is integrated and ripping it apart is not an option. And... the pages are being scanned from the original film or the original boards.
How are you being compensated for this work?
- No charge. I was upfront with Dave months ago. I was grateful for his offer of compensation, but I respectfully declined. Yes, right about now someone's brain just exploded, thinking I am crazy insane... which would make me sane... right?
Right... I think. What do you believe a digital Cerebus will offer those familiar with the work - and those who aren't?
- The excitement of Dave's Cerebus Universe, and the exciting content being developed right before our eyes! The Cerebus Movie is looking mighty good. And for those who are not familiar with Cerebus... they are in for one heck of a ride! My generation had to wait over 25 years to get the whole story. This generation will be getting it digitally and a lot quicker less to carry.
What lessons do you believe other publishers and creators should learn from what you are doing with Dave?
- It doesn't take much to jump in and go digital. The options are wide open. The need for someone between the creator and reader has been greatly reduced. But, that doesn't eliminate print or the stores... it just changes the printed product that would be coming out. Books like the Dave Stevens or John Romita Oversized Artist Editions are a prefect example... Books like that, DEMAND to be printed and held... You can't duplicate that experience digitally.
What additional digital-only Cerebus features will you be able to offer?
- All the different content have technical requirements. Audio, Video and Image. Images are already a given, wither it is pages of the comic, letters pages, covers or original artwork. Audio, is a big thing that will be digital-only... The reading of the pages will be enhanced with sound mixing (musical jingles and sound effects). Video is something that is a possibility... All this will be considered and the eventual file size of the digital offering will have an impact on how it is presented. The quality of the images will not be messed with... But the compression of the audio and just how many videos will be included in each offering will be addressed. I certainly don't want to be putting out a 3 gigabyte file like the Thrill Electric. That's just huge! Over the course of all the Cerebus Digital books that will be released, a reasonable file size per offering has to be... reasonable. There is a finite amount of space on the customers drives.
Can you see Dave making digital-only original comics at any point?
- Good question! Personally, I have a wishlist... But, I would like to put that question by Dave the next time I talk to him.
As of this update here the Campaign has raised $30,000! That's 5 times more than what Dave was shooting for! WOOZERS!!!
Here is the part regarding the work I am doing on the project:
Update #8: News from the Horses mouth! GEORGE GATSIS ANSWERS ?'s
Posted 2 days ago
George Gatsis (the man producing the digital High Society has some answers)
Each issue File Size: roughly 35MB (For just the pages with no audio visual effects)
Each Issue File Size: roughly 60-70MB (With all the bells and whistles)
EVERYONE BACKING THE KICKSTARTER PROJECT WILL HAVE THE OPTION TO DOWNLOAD DRM FREE FORMATS!
Options of PDF, CBZ, E-Pub and MP4!
Only Kickstarter backers will be getting both the High resolution scanned (regular-you-read-it-yourself-version) and the Bells and Whistles Special Audio/Visual Edition.
May 30th 2012 By: Andy Khouri
Unorthodox Economic Revenge: Dave Sim to Digitize 'Cerebus' via Kickstarter
One of comics' most startling creative (and physical) achievements, Cerebus is a 6,000-page self-published graphic novel series written and drawn by Dave Sim that the famously outspoken cartoonist has described perhaps unreliably as "the longest sustained narrative in human history." To read all 16 phonebook-sized volumes of Cerebus from beginning to end is to demonstrate a zen-like command of patience and tolerance...
...The initial $6,000 Sim raised via the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform will go towards the high resolution scanning and conversion (from original artwork and photo negatives) of all 500 pages of High Society, including the original color covers and back-matter from the original serialized issues, for digital distribution via comiXology and other platforms (the aim is universality). Most comic book publishers employ people especially for this task, and most of the digital comics available were helped along by the various computer processes involved with producing modern comics, but Cerebus has always been an old school, independent effort. That makes it all the more impressive that should Sim pull this off, he will outdo Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, IDW and virtually every other publisher you can think of.
Beyond the primary hope of opening the industry to new readers, digital has always offered a way of adding unique value to comic book content in the form of supplemental material -- a comic book DVD, in other words...
...Cerebus Digital 6000 comes with endorsements from Neil Gaiman and, curiously, legendary Joy Division and New Order bass player Peter Hook, and has since been hyped on Twitter by creators including Kurt Busiek and Colleen Doran. You can learn more about the project at its Kickstarter fundraising page.
That part in the article I bolded and high-lighted above in red is flattering... No pressure. :)
With $63,000.00 raised on KickStarter... we are off and racing!!!