Wednesday, 1 August 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (9)

Why did you opt to combine the fashion satires and the History of Photorealism in Comics in Glamourpuss? Other than both the discussion of photorealists and the fashion satires being drawn photorealistic style, there doesn't seem to be any link between the two.

I had just finished JUDENHASS.  Which was a debilitating experience, as I had intended it to be.  It seems like my whole life people have tried to make me feel guilty about things that don't make me feel guilty.  I had been looking for a photorealism project and the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz came around -- nine years into my reading the Bible and six years into fasting in Ramadan -- and I realized that this covered both bases.  The images were ideal black and white photorealism subjects and I felt -- and still feel -- incredibly guilty about the Shoah.  Even more so since I've given equal weight in my life to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  My own ancestry is Christian and Christianity has been predominantly anti-Semitic throughout most of its history.
The Shoah was something the goyim did to the Jews and it's something the goyim -- WE goyim -- seem unable to accept the blame for.  So it was my best mea culpa.  Almost literally rubbing my nose in thousands of photographs of Jews killed by MY people, people I'm descended from, in search of just the right photo to convey optimum horror and then to labour to draw it as accurately as possible.  This WAS a person.  This PERSON died for no reason other than the hatred of Jews.  That's the ONLY reason.  Person after person.  Look at what WE did to THEM.  It's not that I'm impervious to guilt, it's that I reserve my feelings of guilt for where they are appropriate.

Like I say, a debilitating three years -- and I deserved to sweat through every minute of it just because of my Christian heritage.
The Girls Of Fruitcake Park (Cerebus #284, November 2002)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
I had promised myself that when I was done I would return to the photorealism style I first worked with on "The Girls of Fruitcake Park".  I remember the day very vividly -- I was going to do something for pure pleasure:  go and buy a fashion magazine and find a picture of an Al Williamson girl, tear out the page, enlarge on the photocopier and trace it and ink it.  So that's what I did. The first one was Sarah Jessica Parker's ad for "Lovely".  Didn't even know who Sarah Jessica Parker was.  Did that one and wanted to do another one.  Referring to my CARTOONISTS SHOWCASE #(?) 12 (?) cover by Al Williamson.  Staring at the car and going, "Heck I want to do the car, too."  But...but...that's COPYING!  Yeah, so?  "Copyist" is probably the nicest thing I've been called in the last fourteen years.  Had a blast doing it.

After I had a few of them done, I started turning them into a comic book.

But, the idea was the pure pleasure of doing the images themselves.  And I was aware "I REALLY, REALLY want to do this for a living."

It didn't work out.  Few things in life do.  I hope I can get back to it someday.  I really miss it -- the fashion.  I ended up having to kill a few hours at Union Station in Toronto waiting for Mike Kitchen to get off work.  On a percentage basis, a city the size of Toronto, roughly 5% to 10% are going to be very pretty AND very well dressed.  Boy, I miss this, I realized.  Not staring, but just sweeping my gaze from side to side.  Oh, THERE's one.  Great shoes, matching purse.  Looks as if she was drawn by Neal Adams.  Here's a Raymond girl in a smart suit and killer hat.  Then I set up next to the ticket line, ostensibly watching CP-24 on the overhead monitor, but actually looking for the one-out-of-twenty, one-out-of-ten.  Nice long line, so it's like my own personal catwalk.  Once they're past you, you can look at their backs as much as you want.

Yeah, I miss it a great deal.  No, you could never explain it to a comic-book person -- let alone sell a comic book based on it.  I did 26 of them.  I count myself lucky.

Okay, back to Tim with today's cliffhanger:

In the past you were a strong supporter of the COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND, famously donating over $100K of royalties from the SPAWN/CEREBUS crossover.  Do you now regret giving away that money, given that you are having to now raise around $100K to fund the CEREBUS DIGITAL 6000 project?

Okay, that's a good question.  "Are Dave Sim's molars getting ground down as he thinks of the $100K he gave away?" Tune in tomorrow (or the next day) Same Moment of Cerebus Time, Same Moment of Cerebus Channel! and see if you hear this sharp, squeaking sound coming from the back of his mouth.  

1 comment:

Dylanio21 said...

I loved the video, really great stuff, also really enjoying the interview series, reading it backwards though, so the cliffhangers are lost upon me.