Wednesday, 29 August 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (24)

Cerebus and your work lately seem to be getting some more attention of late, as attested by the recent essay collection Cerebus the Barbarian Messiah and the forthcoming interview collection Dave Sim: Conversations. Is this part of an emerging recognition of your work?  Do you have any thoughts about the fact that academic presses are interested in Dave Sim?

Well, right now, it's mostly just you guys [Eric Hoffman and Dominck Grace].  But I was interested in the immediate online review of CEREBUS THE BARBARIAN MESSIAH that said "Why so thin [a book]?" I think that's one of those cyberspace questions that makes a lot of sense.  The book as constituted is an Internet raw material for its contributors.  AS a book, there are limitations.  How many pages can you do based on perceived demand?  It's no small question for a University press. You have to move those books around the country at x-number of dollars, you have to offer y-discount for ordering z-number of copies.  But as an e-book version, you can keep adding to it.
Like THE COMICS JOURNAL roundtable on Bob Crumb's BOOK OF GENESIS.  You have the initial pieces and then you have the commentators commenting on each other's commentary.  It gets a little comedically "diffuse" at that point in that case.  They're pretty obviously avoiding talking about the material itself -- the BOOK OF GENESIS -- and are off in their secular humanist comfort zone but as long as (in this case) you, Eric were playing "shepherd" and herding everyone BACK to CEREBUS THE BARBARIAN MESSIAH when they start straying from the subject, I think you could probably start a whole end of the academic press that could "encompass" CEREBUS.  Which is a core academic problem with the material.  How many pages do you have to produce to "encompass" 6,000 pages?  How many pages did Hemingway write and how long did it take to generate, say, a 20:1 ratio of commentary-to-subject? Matthew Bruccoli (God rest his soul) did it pretty much single-handedly with F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Depending on what Fitzgerald would have thought of Bruccoli --  that could be a good thing or a bad thing.
Cerebus #289/290 (April/May 2003)
Art by Gerhard
Speaking personally, I'm most jazzed about the academic in England who asked for permission to reprint the Origin of Everything prologue to THE LAST DAY in a book he's doing about dovetailing science with The Bible -- which I happily gave a couple of years ago.  But, that's obviously a very specialized interest at many levels.  Most people don't think of science and the Bible as existing in the same universe -- even and often especially if they're devout believers.  Fewer of them would think of a comic book as having any application if asked.  Virtually no comic book readers would be even vaguely interested.  Sounds like a challenge.

Okay. The question for tomorrow is:

You and Robert Crumb are notable examples where drug taking seemed to result in a step change in artistic ability and vision. Would you advocate the use of LSD or other drugs by an artist seeking to improve his/her art?

Tune in tomorrow. Same Moment Of Cerebus time, same Moment Of Cerebus channel!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should delete any discussion of use of illegal drugs as it will result in inadmissability for entry across borders, permanently.