Friday, 21 September 2012

The Fantagraphics Offer: Update #3

In the final issue of his self-published Glamourpuss, Dave Sim included an essay reflecting on the end of the series, and the possible end of his professional involvement with comics. The reaction online was widespread, and soon turned to a discussion of the future of Sim's earlier work, Cerebus. On a comments thread at, Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson expressed his potential interest in republishing some of Sim's Cerebus material. Sim, arguably the most iconic self-publisher in comics history, responded to that 'open offer' in a lengthy article at, and indicated his willingness to negotiate with Kim on a possible publishing deal for Cerebus, albeit in the public forum of the comments section at the website. Got all that? Now read on for the highlights from yesterday's postings...

Despite my reservations, much of [Form & Void] is dazzling and compelling. I’ve never said Sim wasn’t a great cartoonist. Read the full post here.

...By the way, I never addressed Dave’s concern that we’d be uncomfortable with (what we and nearly everyone else feels to be) the more problematic content of the later part of the series. (Thanks to Tom Spurgeon for reminding me.) The short answer: No. I might at that point incline to include at least a little something addressing and/or framing the controversy, but maybe not even that. Read the full post here.

...The Journal has probably given Sim more space to air his views than any artist we’ve ever interviewed. In fact, I asked Dave if he’d grant us an interview after Cerebus 300 and he declined! In the most recent issue of the Journal [#301], I ran the best critical assessment/appreciation of his work ever written (by Tim Kreider) - which was specifically commissioned by me. The reason Cerebus didn’t make the Journal’s Top 100 list is because none of the critics who participated could agree on what story line qualified. splitting the vote; that said, it’s not “beyond opinion” (inelegantly put, as Mitt would say) that Cerebus belongs in or is even too good to be part of the top 100 comics ever produced; there’s a lot of competition out there. Citizen Kane (or Vertigo) it ain’t. The proposition that the Journal single handily turned the comics world against poor Dave and that Sim’s essays about women and politics or his jeremiads against publishers per se or the disastrous consequences of his self-publishing proselytizing had nothing to do with it is self-serving, scapegoating twaddle... Read the full post here.

...I’ll accept that we were “part of a culture that ostracized” Sim, not that we single-handedly engineered said ostracization. There seems to be a belief among Sim fans that if that wicked, wicked COMICS JOURNAL hadn’t brought all this gender-issue stuff in CEREBUS up and bullied the entire industry, Dave would have retained all his cartoonist friends and ended CEREBUS’s run in triumph and glory. I’d be curious to hear of a single media outlet that was MORE respectful towards CEREBUS than THE COMICS JOURNAL... Read the full post here.

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