Dave Sim, creator of the landmark comicbook series Cerebus the Aardvark, recently started an interesting experiment on the influence of the internet on the real world.
He contacted fellow comic legend Neil Gaiman which resulted in the following message in Neil's online journal with the following news on August 2, 2004:
"Amongst many other things, in Dave Sim's Cerebus (which is a story that took Dave and his partner-in-art Gerhard 300 issues to tell) he did, in the Women storyline, easily the best parody of Sandman anyone's ever done, as various members of the Cerebus cast of characters become Snuff, Swoon and the rest of the Clueless. It was wickedly funny, and had the author of Sandman curling his toes when he read it.
Dave Sim has made an extremely generous offer to readers of this journal (and indeed, to readers not of this journal, but just people who simply hear about his offer elsewhere on the Internet. Memes propagate, after all), which is the kind of offer that I found as interesting as he did. It's this:
If you'd like to read one of the Sandman parody issues of Cerebus, Dave will send you one. He'll send it to you very happily, free of charge. He will sign it for you, too. And he won't charge you a thing. Not even postage.
And if you're wondering what the catch is, it's this: Dave wants to know (as, I have to admit, do I) how many of the people out there in internet-land will actually go and do things that don't involve passively clicking on a link and going somewhere interesting. So what you have to do is write Dave a letter (not an e-mail. Dave doesn't have e-mail) telling him that you read that he'll send you a signed Cerebus, and telling him why you'd like him to send you a copy. It's as easy as that. And, quite possibly as difficult.
The address to write to is:
Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674 Station C
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2
Dave I suspect, thinks he'll get a handful of requests. In my more pessimistic moments, I think he's right, although I'd love it if he got deluged with letters, like those kids in hospitals who don't exist but are still collecting postcards..."
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