Dave Sim’s Photorealism Exploration ‘The Strange Death of Alex Raymond’ To Be Completed at IDW [SDCC 2013]
Based on the life (and obviously death) of the famous Flash Gordon creator, The Strange Death of Alex Raymond is a work that began in the pages of Dave Sim’s self-published series glamourpuss as what the cartoonist has described as “a metaphysical history of comics photorealism.” It once seemed like the ambitious project would not be completed due to audience attrition, but Strange Death has found a home with IDW Publishing, where it will be “remastered, redrawn and reworked” before being released as an 18-issue series.
Last fall Sim wrote that the low sales of glamourpuss constituted what he called “the end point” in his cartooning career. The series, which appropriated the presentation of women’s fashion magazines, debuted with only 16,000 copies sold and, in keeping with direct market tradition, would only drop from then on. glamourpuss eventually became the narrative “The Strange Death of Alex Raymond.” It’s a work that Sim said could not be finished at the time, saying that economic realities were such that he would only be able to complete 15 to 30 pages if his “career lasted until March of ,” but that the story required “considerably more” than that.
Obviously, Sim’s fortunes changed since then. He’s been working steadily with IDW on a number of cover pieces for various series, and the publisher has been preparing a couple of projects based on Sim’s landmark self-published series Cerebus including a compilation of all its covers in a single volume; a digital/audio edition of Cerebus: High Society. Additionally, IDW will produce The Complete Zootanapuss Artist’s Edition, compiling Sim’s Zatanna parody in the most deluxe format possible — scanned from the original pages and reprinted at actual size.
“The time seemed right to launch a full blown creator-owned title and take our relationship to the next level,” said IDW CEO Ted Adams in a press release.