Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Bran Mak Mufin

Cerebus #4 (June/July 1978)
Art by Dave Sim
(from Swords Of Cerebus Vol 2, 1981)
This story only has one joke, Cerebus' fur smells bad when it gets wet. Why, you might rightly ask, is this the only joke in the whole issue (barring the phonetic Pigtish pun names)? 


By the time I was finished drawing issue No 4, I was very happy with what was happening with Cerebus. Issue No 4 had humour, panache, charisma, style, wit, grace, charm, radiance, subtlety, balance, depth, richness. Contrast this attitude (my view of No 4 while I was trying to think up something to do in issue No 5) with the one in paragraph five of my introduction to Cerebus No 4 (in the last volume of SWORDS -- being my view of issue No 4 when it was drawn but not yet printed). You see why I'm crazy? Same story, but one minute it's garbage and the next it's a masterpiece. This was very pronounced between issues No 4 and 5. I was starting to get a grasp of the kind of material I thought Cerebus fans were looking for (there even WERE a few Cerebus fans by the time the fourth issue came out), but I was trying to get an idea of how to do a little less and still get away with it, so this issue was to be a lesson to myself; Dave Sim's First Annual Symposium on How to Fudge Twenty-two Pages and Get Away With It...


David Birdsong said...

It's been like old home week at A Moment Of Cerebus these last few entries and seeing these early preview pages next to the recent Dr. Who covers show just how far Dave Sim has come as an artist. Has any comic book creator ever come so far? Barry Windsor-Smith comes to mind and P. Craig Russell, but most artists start out ok, rise in talent and ability and then just settle in on a style. Sim (and Gerhard's) growth on Cerebus is a mind blowing thing to see. Intimidating and inspirational.

Jim Sheridan said...

Dave's growth sure is/was astonishing. I recently bought a used copy of Swords of Cerebus # 3 at a convention, even though I have the phone books, and was marvelling at how the style develops just from issue # 9 to # 11.

In these "rough" early pages, there is still such remarkable stuff going on - the exploration with the different font/lettering, the use of silhouettes with those savages on the frozen slopes there, the ambition involved in the scene with Cerebus in that hall of mirrors. The depiction of Red Sonja there shows that Dave was still working some things out, but the ideas and the ambition are already rolling.

Tony Dunlop said...

I had never seen these pages before. Too bad he didn't put them in "Swords."