Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Dave & Deni: First Date

Cerebus Archive #14 (June 2011)
Art by Dave Sim
(from Cerebus Archive #13, April 2011)
In our last joint interview (published exactly seven years later in issue 31 of Toronto's Shade magazine) I said that I had "fallen madly in love" while Deni had said "I was looking for an artist and Dave was looking for a girlfriend." Both are partially true. Actually I was looking a) to get laid and b) to get married. I basically did everything Gene [Day] did. Gene was married so I wanted to be married. And I definitely didn't want to die a virgin so that was (with apologies to the Ford Motor company) "Job One". (It's the wrong way around. But this was just at the beginning of the steep plummet in successful marriages which is now below 40% and projected to hit 0% sometime around 2028). I had had my own place for two weeks. It was time to lose my virginity. Made perfect sense to me at the time...

Deni ended up making a preemptive strike, coming back to the store the next night after work and asking if I'd like to come over for dinner the next night, Saturday... (saying later, "I thought to myself, who am I? Mary Tyler Moore? I don't cook!"). I think the answer to that was that she needed something to trade, given that she didn't have an office to impress me with or a magazine in raw -- let alone prototype -- form. And she, like me, had just paid first and last month's rent so she was in no position to pay for anything... By rights, I should have just given Deni a flyer that I had done up with my price list: $10 for an illustration -- and left it at that. Instead? Why yes, I'd love to come over for dinner.

She said she would come and get me the next night when I was done work. 6pm. Which she did. Was she suddenly self-conscious about offering to make me dinner when we had just met and exchanged only a few words, all of which were -- at least ostensibly -- on a business level?... figuring the walk over to her place would 'give us time to get somewhat acquainted? Was she perhaps worried that I wouldn't show up? Was coming and getting me a way of making sure that if sh was going to make me dinner (already an 'over the top' thing to do especially in those early years of feminism) she was going to make darn sure I was there to eat it? Or was it as simple as the fact that there were four front entrances to her apartment building and she wanted to make sure I picked the right one? Whatever the reason, she was there promptly at 6pm and we walked three blocks north on Queen and two blocks west on Weber...

Deni Loubert was Aardvark-Vanaheim's publisher for the first 70 issues of Cerebus. Deni and Dave Sim were married from October 1978 to August 1983. After their divorce, Deni moved to Los Angeles to start her own comics publishing company, Renegade Press, which closed its doors in 1989. She was inducted into the Joe Shuster Hall of Fame in 2010.

1 comment:

Max Southall said...

I don't know if Dave has published it elsewhere, but the self conscious awkwardness inherent in this relating can be explained by, what Dave told me was due to having learned everything he knew before that about dating and marriage from the Seymour Kneitel Popeye cartoons on TV - especially the one where Olive Oyl runs a matchmaking agency. Obviously this initial stunted development did not prevent him from later morphing into comics' first "rock star lifestyle" personality!