Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A Blog Post From Another Universe

Cerebus #6 (December 1978)
Art by Dave Sim
(from The Tea-Room Of Despair blog, 2012)
When Dave Sim's epic Cerebus series finished with #350 in October 2003 - three years ahead of schedule after an astonishing late burst of productivity - the Canadian artist revealed one of the great secrets about his series: The utterly human character Cerebus initially started life as a furry animal.

Cerebus has become one of the great iconic characters of modern comics, with his furious visage one of the most recognisable faces in the medium. In the initial issues of Sim’s mega-epic, the character looked exactly like Barry Smith-Windsor's Conan, before later taking on more of an idiosyncratic look. (Sim went on record in 1982, stating that he based Cerebus on Peter Tork from The Monkees, but he was very, very high at the time.)

But in a career-spanning interview with Gary Groth's Newsarama in 2005, Sim revealed this his initial intention was to have a very different lead character.

"At first I thought I had to make something a bit wacky to make it stand out," Sim told Groth, "and I was going to make Cerebus an anteater or antelope or something stupid like that. But then I realised I’d spend the rest of my career being asked 'Why an anteater?', and that would probably have driven me crazy."

It’s interesting to speculate what might have happened if Sim had stuck to his initial idea of Cerebus being a talking animal. It is unlikely the title would have lasted 350 issues, or that most of the last decade of the comic would be totally concerned with the 100-issue Battle For Iest. Sim might never have got to his final, transcendent 50-issue Peace For Iest storyline, which climaxed with the highly emotional #350, with Cerebus on his death bed, surrounded by an entire kingdom who would all gladly give their lives for him.

(On the positive side, it also might not have resulted in the appalling 1987 adaptation of Cerebus, starring Dolph Lungren as the barbarian hero, Brigette Neilsen as Jaka and Bob Hoskins as comedy sidekick Oscar Wilde, but some cinematic atrocities can't be erased that easily.) [Read the full article here...]

(Submitted by Rea Giner-Sorolla. Thanks!)

1 comment:

ChrisW said...


Christopher Woerner