|Cerebus #227 (February 1998)|
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(from a letter to Sandeep Atwal, 14 April 2004, Dave Sim's Collected Letters Vol 1)
It was just as important for Cerebus to "get past" his concern with what the people of Sand Hills Creek thought of him as it was for him to "get past" his Jaka addiction. He had to be both disgraced and heartbroken to be able to become who he had to become. What I couldn't put in the story was that even if he had arrived home before his parents died, the reaction to him wouldn't have been altogether different. He didn't just stay home and rot with them, which was the Sand Hills Creek thing to do. I suspect that everyone who thinks they are going to go away and become rich and famous and therefore be loved in the hometown experiences the same thing: the hometown hates that. It's just how hometowns are. It presupposes that people are looking for good reasons to love other people or to admire them enormously. It isn't the case. Wanting to be loved in a general but very intense way by strangers - the usual motivation behind becoming famous - is a really twisted thing to want, so people are justifiably suspicious of people who want it. It's like public masturbation: embarrassingly self-revelatory to everyone but the person revealing him/herself with that motivation. It's unfortunate that I couldn't get that across in the book but the plot about shunning was more important.