Monday, 2 March 2015

Dave Gibbons

(Photograph: Harry Borden)

(from a letter to Dave Gibbons dated March 2004 - Reprinted in Dave Sim's Collected Letters 2004)

Dear Dave,

Thanks for your letter and "Cerebus Archive testimonial" of 5 March. Coincidentally, they arrived the same day that issue 300 of Cerebus was hitting the stores.

I can't think of a better way to have celebrated the (at least) physical conclusion of the series than with such fulsome praise from the brilliant artist of Watchmen. In my own eyes, you have flattered me out of all proportion - both because of your own well-deserved prominence in the field (I remember a retailer telling me a while ago of Paul Levitz gob-smacked astonishment at a DC retailer meeting - and this years ago! - when it became obvious that yet another printing of Watchmen was required to meet the unrelenting demand almost two decades after the initial success story: 'Who are you guys selling these things to?') and because of my own modest and marginal standing in this field.

It was very generous of you and meant more to me than I can ever express.

Thank you again


Tony Dunlop said...

Maoist/Stalinist Self-Criticism time: I've never read Watchmen.

iestyn said...

I have - I didn't enjoy it - is that worse?

V for Vendetta was better, but I really prefer Halo Jones, to be honest.

JLH said...

When I finished reading Watchmen (similar to when I finished reading From Hell and especially Cerebus), I was spoiled against reading any other comics for a while. Nothing else I was reading was that good and could compare. Of course, comics don't have to be that good all the time, but they are certainly books that scorched my mental Earth for a little while.

Anonymous said...

Watchmen is really good, but depending on how many comics you read and what kind, a lot of what Alan and Dave did has become recycled and internalized into the DNA of DC comics since then. Similarly, Dark Knight Returns has practically been destroyed by time and appropriation. It doesn't even register as unique to people who've grown up with the Nolan Batman.

Don't watch the movie. Seriously, don't.

And yeah, I think V for Vendetta is better than Watchmen, since it was playing with bigger ideas and loftier goals than deconstructing superheroes.


I hope DC sent Dave Gibbons all those DC Archive Editions, because man, those things ain't cheap. And, you know, they kind of owe him and Alan for as long as they live, given the fact that no matter how many copies of Watchmen get printed, they always end up selling through even nearly 30 years later.

-Wes Smith