Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Judas Goats

Editorial Cartoon from WAP! (1988)
by Dave Sim
(Click image to enlarge)
(from the Comics Forum interview, 1993)
On a percentage basis, to me, one Jeff Smith is worth a hundred Frank Millers... the companies have realised that they have to elevate someone to an exalted plane to represent the thing that everyone else shoots for. Neil Gaiman is in that position and Alan Moore and Frank Miller were in that position. They've been functioning as Judas Goats, leading twenty-year-old kids to their doom thinking, "I'm going to be the next Neil Gaiman." Well, no, there's only one at a time, and he's up there to persuade you that if you tie your fortunes with them, then you too can be Neil Gaiman.

I like Neil... But I never lose sight of the fact that in my medium, he's... over on the other side of the fence. Frank Miller's making great hay out of introducing Jack Kirby in San Diago and saying, "Go out to the Marvel Comics booth and say two words to them... pay up!" There's a nice standing ovation, and what does Frank do? He goes back and does Daredevil for Marvel.

That's not establishing a lesson. There's no moral center there. That's a career move, an opportunity to be one of the good guys and then go and sign a contract with the enemy. I ignore those people... You don't change multinational corporations from within...

On his My Rant Blog, Steve Bissette details the content and historical context of the 9 issues of WAP!, "the forgotten activist pro-zine", published between 1988-1989, which included contributions from Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Dave Sim and other comics creators.


David Birdsong said...

I have corresponded by mail with Dave Sim since the mid 1980s and he can be the most generous and pleasant man, but there are times when he will pull out a straight razor slice some red meat without giving it a second thought. That is what you get when you give someone honesty and expect it in return. This is an awesome entry to A Moment Of Cerebus. One of my favorites.

David Birdsong

Eric Hoffman said...

This interview is reprinted in DAVE SIM: CONVERSATIONS, out now from University of Mississippi Press, available from amazon.com or any fine brick and mortar.