Monday, 10 February 2014

Cerebus: In My Life - Nate Taylor

Nate Taylor is an indy book author/illustrator from Pittsburgh, USA

How did you discover Cerebus and how long did you read it for?

I first heard of Cerebus when I was around 6 years old, in Scott McCloud's book Understanding Comics. When the latter book resurfaced last year, my interest in Cerebus was re-ignited. I was visiting a comics shop and asked the owner if he had any Cerebus - he retrieved a large sheaf of issues, consisting of part of Minds and most of Rick's Story. Shortly afterwards I bought most of the phonebooks, which I'm currently reading. I'm really into Women! The book, that is.

How has your own creativity/comics reading been influenced by Cerebus?

I love the way Dave's flowing, linear characters exist inside the tightly-rendered world that Gerhard creates. I've recently borrowed the technique of using an ink brush on characters and doing the backgrounds with lots of little lines in pen; it helps the viewer focus on the story's key players! Dave's ideas are also inspiring. The way he fearlessly lifts icons from pop culture and history has helped me loosen up a lot in my own storytelling.
Cerebus #227 (February 1998)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
What is your favorite scene or sequence from Cerebus?

There's a scene in Rick's Story, issue #227, where Cerebus is drinking; the liquor is swirling around his body and spilling into a black abyss as he contemplates ultimate damnation. The lettering on this page is just beautiful, jumping between voices and giving the audience a crystal-clear image of what's going on in the aardvark's head. It's an amazing scene.

Would you recommend others to read Cerebus, and if so why?

After finishing Melmoth (my favorite so far), I passed it off to my brother. He got through the volume in a half-hour. These are great stories; regardless of your point of entry, the art and writing pulls you in. And by virtue of the storyline's sheer length, we REALLY get to bond with the characters. Cerebus is a monumental work, and an awesome example of comics' true potential.

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