If you are reading this, I have officially gone off the deep end and am doing this thing about Cerebus. Nothing to do with the subject matter, it’s just that the idea of starting a daily column about any comic (along with wanting to do a daily post about other stuff too) seems insane, especially when I haven’t been writing much lately.
But here it is.
Cerebus, as you may know, is the 300 issue series (technically, 298, he says pedantically) about an aardvark who goes from being a barbarian to running for prime minister, then becoming pope and ascending to the moon before crashing back to earth, which is now run by a matriarchy. To summarize a GREAT deal, and really only cover the first half.
Dave Sim (with Gerhard on background art/environments for 236 issues) worked for 26 years to tell his story, and a certain faction of comics fandom undoubtedly thinks he lost his mind doing so (and that may be the kindest things they say about him). Dave Sim is entirely bound up in his creation, so much so that even now, trying to do something else, he’s still had to come back to the character in his bizarre and amusing Cerebus in Hell? comic strip.
So what I plan to do with this series is to read the series in its entirety (for the first time, actually, as I’ve only read it piecemeal over the years), and examine the series from different angles as they occur to me. I also plan to look at the influence of the series, both artistically and from a business sense. Sim self-published (and was looked at as the “guru” of that movement in the ’90s), and the way that he offered his creation for sale influenced the business of comics (I daresay moreso than the comic influenced comics storytelling). In my mind, Sim should be looked at as one of the most important people in the comics business and medium ever, and I hope to show why that’s so in the course of this column.
Join me, then, as I explore one of the masterworks of the comics medium over the next year, and we’ll see if I have anything interesting to say!