Saturday, 1 September 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (27)

What happened to your plans (announced in Cerebus #300) to donate the ‘Cerebus Archive’ collection of your papers to a university or museum? Did you have any takers, and if not, do you have any alternative plans for that physical resource?

Yes, interest from Fales Library at New York University and from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.  Another complicated question.  A great deal hinges on how the political climate changes or doesn't change and how long it takes to change if it does change.  Right after CEREBUS was done, I solicited letters -- on letterheads -- from people endorsing the idea of Wilfrid Laurier University accepting the Archive.  A Hail Mary pass.

Wilfrid Laurier University doesn't know me from a hole in the ground.  Even after explaining myself and CEREBUS to them -- my lawyer is an alumni and knew someone highly placed at their Library -- they still didn't know me from a hole in the ground but agreed to accept the documents and artwork in the Archive.  But in the way that you knew they meant, "We'll pile your boxes on top of all the other boxes we get from people we aren't really interested in".

The Fales Library was founded on a collection of someone who literally tried to own a copy of every novel ever written.  So, that's a different basis -- that's acknowledging the graphic novel as an offshoot of the novel and CEREBUS as a significant early example of a graphic novel.  It depends on whether Wilfrid Laurier University "grows up" into something like NYU (but obviously on a smaller scale) and whether they do that before I'm going downhill, physically and mentally.

If I knew I was going to die next week, let's say, it would definitely be NYU.  I'd like to keep CEREBUS close to where it was created and in Canada, but...it's a good way to have CEREBUS be completely forgotten and ignored, I think. It's just the way Canada is. It's a very young and unsophisticated country that REALLY wants to be grown-up and sophisticated and, consequently, tends to do really juvenile things with things it doesn't understand.  And it definitely doesn't understand me or CEREBUS.

Have you got a good cliffhanger question as a follow-up?

Can you describe the size and scale of the Cerebus Archive?  I'm picturing 2 or 3 filing cabinets in the corner of a room, or has it taken over your entire house?

That'll do.  Tune in tomorrow -- Same Moment of Cerebus Time! Same Moment of Cerebus Channel!

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