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01 February 2011 @ 07:13 pm
Blog: Box Office Aardvark  
Waaaay back in 1995 I went to the Spirit of Independence comics convention in Chicago. As far as I can remember it was the very first show at which I attended as an exhibitor rather than a patron. I'll spare you a most of the embarrassing details, but I was still doing mini-comics at the time, and had been working on Box Office Poison for about a year by that point. I'm pretty sure it was a one day show and I was super excited that I managed to sell something like $50 worth of minis.
The other reason the con sticks in my memory was that the star of the show was Dave Sim, creator of Cerebus and the single biggest influence on my cartooning. I don't know exactly what I was thinking, but I came up with the idea of getting Sim to do a "jam" with me: before I went to the show I would draw my characters (dressed up as his characters) and then I would get him to draw his character(s) at the show. Looking back, I can only shake my head in amusement at the sheer balls I had. Here I was, going to my first show "behind the table" and I was already asking my idol to work on a drawing with me. Kids!
I definitely remember being extrememely nervous asking him to do it. He was a great sport, and played along. I can't speak for Sim, of course, but now that I'm a seasoned (>ahem<) "pro" I would think I'd be amazed if someone did something like this with my own characters, even if they were as big of a nobody as I was then.

My biggest regret was that I drew my half of the drawing with relatively cheap materials, which means that now, fifteen years later the ink is turning brown and fading. Until now I had it hanging proudly on my wall but I think I'm going to have to keep it in a closet from this point on to try and preserve it as long as possible (I didn't even have a computer when I got the drawing, so I couldn't scan it--the pic above was taken with a digital camera through the glass of the frame).

Weirdly, I'm older now than Dave Sim was at the time he did the drawing.
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
Current Music: "Misty" by Sarah Vaughn
Jon C: Cerebusjoncwriter on February 2nd, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
Jane as Lord Julius? FOR THE WIN!! I love that!! :p

Seriously, that's definitely a really cool thing to have in your collection. I met Dave in Boston in 1993 (I think) when he was doing a tour, right about the time of Jaka's Story, and I actually had the nads to do the same thing! Even worse, it wasn't even done in relatively cheap materials--it was quickly drawn in your typical pencil and black Bic pen about ten minutes before I entered the store (Comicopia in Kenmore Square, for the record--the same place I discovered BoP).

And worst? It's on the title page of my copy of the first Cerebus phone book. Now THAT's nads. Or shamelessness. ;)

Damn it, now I want to resurrect Murph from the mothballs of my past and start drawing again. I need a Wacom... :p
Pat Lewislunchbreak_pat on February 2nd, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
That's really great! For all the crap Dave gets about his public persona, I've always known him to be really generous with his fans and anyone starting out.

I know it won't be the same as the original, but have you considered taking that out of the frame, scanning it, adjusting the levels to get it really black, and then having an archival print made? Then you can keep one in the closet, and still have another one to display.
Alex Robinsonalexbot3000 on February 2nd, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, whatever his other flaws Dave Sim always seemed supportive of young cartoonists.
The scanning idea might be a good one. We had it custom framed so I don't think I can get it out without ruining the frame but I suppose it would be worth it.
Jason Hornnewjason on February 5th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
You probably don't remember this but at my first con that I had my minis, I had you draw me. When you asked why, I think I said that your characters were so relatable that I could always see myself living in your comics. And with your drawing I got to see what that would look like. It was an odd request, but you were super cool about it (much like Dave).

That was, like, five or so years ago. Still love that drawing. Thanks again.
Alex Robinsonalexbot3000 on February 5th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
I do remember that, actually! (It was at Wizard World Boston, right?) I almost never break my rule about drawing real people but for whatever reason I made an exception in your case.
Glad it turned out well!
Jason Hornnewjason on February 5th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
Good memory. That was the con! Man...Wizard World shows. Those were the days.

I think if someone asked me to draw them, I'd probably ask them if I could draw batman instead. Then again, I did draw a "midget fireman" carrying a severed leg for someone at BaltimoreCon last year. So...