Monday, 6 August 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (12)

Have your current religious beliefs changed the way you view earlier issues of CEREBUS?  Are there any aspects of the Cerebus storyline that you are now uncomfortable with, and with hindsight, wish you had done differently because of your current beliefs?

No, I'm not a revisionist by nature or inclination.  Obviously, when you embark on a 26-year journey (at least partly) in search of Truth, what you are trying to do is to make as few missteps as possible and blaze a trail for others who choose to follow.  I was quite impressed with John Lennon's assessment of Elvis on the occasion of Elvis' death in 1977 -- the same year Cerebus started -- "Elvis died when he went in the army."  Cruel, but fair. Very John Lennon.  It was watching Elvis at the movies and seeing all the girls swooning around him that led Lennon to observe "THAT looks like a good job."  So, okay, let's be like John Lennon.  Let's not let compassion or human sentiment get in the way of hard truth.  Call it the way you see it.  What I found, personally, was that Elvis and John BOTH died when they signed their recording contracts.  And that led to pretty much everything I've done since.  Elvis OR the Beatles OR the Rolling Stones could have used their clout to change their industry for the better for the artists that came after...and they didn't.  Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll and let the devil take the hindmost.  Which was the record executives.  Who proceeded to destroy the record industry.

In terms of my religious beliefs, I look on my life as pre-December 1996 -- when I started reading the Bible so I could do a good parody of it -- and post-December 1996 when I realized that the Torah, the Gospels and the Koran were the Truth I had been looking for.  They just, in my view, have been read wrong.  So, Cerebus is roughly 216 issues of an atheist trying to follow all of the pertinent threads he sees and playing chess with "whoever or whatever it is that's on the other side of the chessboard" and reporting his best information, hunches, large extrapolations and what-have-you. And then 84 issues of "Oh, okay, kids.  Here we go.  Sorry :) I've been running you around in circles for the last nineteen years.  Many apologies."
Normalroach in Cerebus #139 (October 1990)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
I've been signing a BUNCH of CEREBUS No.139 for the pledge partners.  It's a very popular issue.  What I've been writing on it is:  "This is going to make one @#!& of an audio book".  Will I actually read normalroach's dialogue as is?   Uh, that's not the cliffhanger -- I don't KNOW the answer to that one.  Fortunately, MELMOTH is WAY off in the future of digitalizing.  As Ted Kennedy used to say, "We'll drive off that bridge when we come to it."  Actually, I don't think he actually ever said that, but it makes a good line.  The actual cliffhanger is....?  Eric and Dominick have one.

Are you planning on moving fully away from the print medium?  Are you now going to let the print versions of the CEREBUS "phonebooks" go out of print?  

Is this the end of the trail?  Is the quarter-century of CEREBUS "phonebooks" about to go the way of the dodo without them ever getting to be called graphic novels?  Can the Dynamic Duo do something to help or is the Direct Market as impervious to batarangs as it is to alternative ways of thinking?  Tune in tomorrow -- Same Moment of Cerebus Time, Same Moment of Cerebus Channel!


Joshua Leto said...

If you had 216 issues and 40 years of life to realize you had been wrong, wouldn't you wonder if you were wrong again.

I sure do.

I am now roughly the same age Dave Sim was in 1996. This is a conundrum that I think about regularly.


Eddie said...

I don't think you're alone. It might be where the faith (or Faith) part comes in.