Sunday, March 2, 2008
Inter-office memo. PictureBox.
RE: SPACE 08 Columbus Ohio
Went to SPACE in Columbus, Ohio. It was okay. Just no traffic really. The only people walking around checking things out were exhibitors. It felt like that until about 2 or 3 o’clock. I passed out some Cold Heat zines while Jim Rugg signed comics for his legions of fans (3 different people brought all their Street Angel comics, from home, to be signed. I’m not kidding! That shit never happens to me!) A little frustrated early on, I looked up to the end of my aisle — and there was Dave Sim. It’s not 1987 or 1995, it’s 2008, and there’s one of the most recognized figures in comics, still on tour, still hawking his vision.
I watched him sign books and look through fans’ artwork a few times, and I mean he really looked at it and gave advice and encouragement. Each time when the exchange was over, he stood up, shook the person’s hand, and thanked them for stopping by. Geez. I don’t care what anyone says about the man, ‘cuz really, he busts his ass and makes it work, whatever it is he does. I went up closer and checked out the exhibit of pages from his new work, Judenhass, which hung unpretentiously behind Sim’s table on wire racks. I was impressed. Like it or not, Sim has made a beautiful photo-realistic pen-and-ink comic book about the Holocaust. I talked to one of Carol Tyler’s students, who had just finished reading the whole book (at a table beside the exhibit set aside for reading it). “It was powerful. I feel sad now,” she said, before walking away. So there it is. I guess he just “reached” someone, right?
I got in line & when I met Mr. Sim (“Call me Dave,” he said), I handed him issue 3 of Comics Comics, and gave him my spiel on my on-going old color printing process series. I told him that I’ve been in touch with Steve Oliff, Kevin Nowlan, Michael T. Gilbert, and — I took a breath here — would it be possible to reprint the section in his Following Cerebus interview with Neal Adams where Neal explained the real reason ’60s DC characters’ skin was pink? (Because DC cut corners at one point and got rid of “tone yellow” when making separations for its books.) “Sure,” said Sim, and then he asked if I’ve been in touch with Richard Corben.
“Corben figured out that he could do full color for the Warren magazines by making his own separations with grey paint,” Sim said. “He did it all by hand, and kept in his head how the seps would overprint to create complementary colors when it was printed.” Did you know this, Dan? I didn’t, and it was like some guarded secret had been revealed to me, production nerd that I am. Sim said that the color articles sound like they are turning into this complicated tangential narrative, that’ll turn into “a book about out-dated color printing processes that no one knows anything about, ha ha!” And I thought, “Hell, YES! That’s my kind of book!”