The Wisdom and Influence of Dave Sim

Dave Sim is a genius. How many creators stay on a book for any length of time, let alone do 300 self published issues over the course of 25 years?

I don’t think any other comic book creator knows more about the business of making comics than Dave Sim. While sometimes too outspoken for some people’s tastes, Dave never shied away from telling it like it is, even if it offended other creators or as more often than not, offending the people ruling the Big Two.

Dave was the leader of Self Publishing for several decades. He championed the efforts of the small press and creator’s rights and did whatever was in his power to level the playing field for all. I had the good fortune to meet and befriend him years ago during his ‘Spirits of National Unity Tour’ and his advice was always welcomed.

Ever since I decided to create The Gathering and use Gray Haven Comics as an identity once again for up and comic creators and those who deserve a little more attention I’ve been asking Dave for advice. The market has changed in a number of ways since the days of Cerebus. Since the days that Dave Sim, Jeff Smith, Colleen Doran and James Owen helped bring attention to the ‘other’ side of comics. Cerebus came to its pre planned end several years ago but he’s still self publishing with Glamourpuss a serious that both pokes fun at the gimmie, gimmie nature of society and also offers an important historical lesson in comics and cartoonists.

Dave Sim always gave his best and tried to push others to do the same. To not just put out good comics but to step up and speak out about things that affected the industry in a negative way no matter who didn’t want to hear it.

Dave has been helping me with a ‘secret’ project that will most likely see the light of day sometime in 2012. This isn’t really a comic book project. It’s more along the lines of a new kind of marketplace initiative that Dave is going to help me out with that I think in all honesty will change the very make up of how creators create. It really is too early to say what we have planned with any degree of specifics but I think that it will be an exciting time to be a comic book creator once our plans are in place.

Another minor change will be made to the Gathering comic itself. I’ve been rereading a lot of the Cerebus single issues to look for inspiration in what we’re doing here. The collected volumes are great for fans who want to read the epic story but the single issues are the ones that contain Dave’s ‘Notes from the President’ series in the inside front covers which he would basically use as a pulpit to talk about all things in the comic industry like an editorial page. Then there were the letters pages which were sometimes as long as 15-20 pages. We have no control over how long the letters page will be but another cool thing Dave used Cerebus for was to showcase another small press comic in the back, giving 5 page (or longer) previews to other self published creators or give retailers advice on how to better sell the product.

I’m going to do my best, moving forward to use The Gathering as a springboard to do the same. We’re already trying to give space to creators to have their work printed and distributed but in the future we’re going to just step that up a bit with increased page counts for increased length in individual stories, a spotlight section for other small press books and of course and opinion page where I’ll make all those same creators hate me for the positions I take on how comics ‘should be’.

It’ll be a little bit harder than what I’ve been trying to do over the past year but hopefully the successes and mistakes I’ve made with the comic so far will help make things better in the long run.

One Response to The Wisdom and Influence of Dave Sim

  1. Emil December 6, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    Great Stuff Dru!

    Keep up the great work.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes