Saturday, 31 January 2015

Cerebus in Weird Crime Theatre

Weird Crime Theatre (2015)
The culmination of 12 years of tinkering with writer Kumar Sivasubramanian, this 150-Page Giant is a near-psychotic fever dream collection of the comic book adventures of Granikos “Granny” Kinkade and Melissa the Conqueror – two low-paid subcontractors working for the government to terminate with extreme prejudice: sasquatches, mummies, paramilitary poets, Amelia Earhart, Inca-cursed blow-up dolls, robots, demon gangsters, stoners, Sploochies (don’t ask), fishermen, Glenn Miller, rogue Russian scientists, invisible cats, and decency. 

by Mulele Jarvis
(from The Blog & Mail, 10 October 2006)
...Weird Crime Theater's first two issues which I just got in from Kumar Sivasubramanian (who I'll just be referring to as "Kumar" from now on for obvious reasons) in photocopied form. He called me a while back (a year ago? Year and a half ago?) from Australia where he lives to see if I was willing to let him use Cerebus in his second issue which, at the time, was going to be published by Dan Vado's Slave Labor Graphics (which was one of the reasons that I not only agreed but suggested that I draw Cerebus myself - I've never been published by Dan Vado before!). Kumar writes the book and does the digital lettering and Mulele Jarvis does the art and the digital sound effects.

...Anyway, it's always a fun experience to work on a cross-over cameo (Cerebus is in 14 panels over three pages) and then actually read it for the first time in context months later. As it says on the title page for issue 2: Cerebus pencilled, inked, lettered, adlibbed copyright, appears courtesy of and a very special thanks to Dave Sim. I basically wrote it as if it was a career move on Cerebus' part, alternating the dialogue with Cerebus' internal thoughts about the gig ("It's a minor role. But it's one that the critics and the other publishers are going to notice - you know, like Howard the Duck in Giant Size Man-Thing or John Travolta in Pulp Fiction").

Anyway, I guess Dan's decided to stand pat with what he's publishing right now at least for the time being and told Kumar to resubmit in another six months and feel free to show the project around to other publishers in the meantime. As Kumar writes "So, unfortunately, we're back to the submission - rejection - depression cycle for the time being" - which really seems to add a whole other layer of resonance to the gag. Not only can Cerebus only get a walk-on cameo these days the producers can't even get a distribution deal from a major studio! Makes Cerebus grateful for all his trade paperback royalties. Looks like Melissa will be back to waitressing for the time being.


Jeff Seiler said...

Dear Jarvis (no Avengers comments): How did you know about my invisible cat?

Talk about The Uncanny Felines!!!

I truly believe that I will not, one day (hopefully, long years from now), die from cancer or just old age.

No. I will, one dark night, trip over my invisible, grey cat; I will tumble down to my death.

Daily, I see him staring at me, calculating precisely how he will do it.

I think, even, he somehow can figger out how much meat he will get off my bones before the meat putrifies...

Travis Pelkie said...

Thought you already took a tumble there for a second, Jeff, but now I see the invisible cats reference (also a Calvino work, I believe).

Anyway, when they had their kickstarter a while back that got featured here, I contributed and got the trade in the mail a few months back. Still didn't get the pdf of notes, as far as I know. That's ok, because I haven't gotten around to reading it yet, anyway. Gotta find that and read it. Looked fun.

Steve Peters said...

I think I pointed this out when this was originally posted, but Dave actually HAD been published by Dan Vado before. He did a jam featuring The Judge in my comic Everwinds #2, published by Slave Labor's imprint Amaze Ink.