Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Chasing Mulu Chasing Viktor Davis

(From the introduction to Cerebus Volume 8: Women)
'Mothers & Daughters' continues in this, the second volume of the four volume series. As I write these words, I am edging closer and closer to the core of Cerebus story-line. Books three and four, (if I am able to do the central idea justice) will come as close anything I have written to expressing reality as I see it. I am edging around my concept, encircling it, containing it with a loose network of ideas and concepts. There is a recoil effect in writing these things: a psychic backlash which I anticipated and which I am unable to escape. the laws governing action and reaction seem to be universal even (maybe especially) in the realm of creativity

I always wondered at the time Dave wrote that what kind of 'recoil effect' he might have been talking about. It wasn't until after Reads and Minds came out and realizing the extent of just how high and overarching his literary ambitions were (basically all the way up to and beyond capital 'R' Reality, and addressing those who may inhabit those upper levels), that I think I began to see an example of how such a 'psychic backlash' might manifest shortly afterwards.

Which turned out to be (in all places) in a 90s music video for 'Be My Pusscat' by British trip hop band Mulu:

Maybe it's just me, but doesn’t that look like some kind of a metaphysical response to Reads? I mean, from the fact the central character in the video looks like Dave (or is that Victor Reid? or Viktor Davis? It's probably one of the legions of Viktors, just like the legions of Oscar Wildes in the story) to the fact that there are scenes that are exact visual depictions from Reads (the part about male house pets) to the fact the singer (albeit in different forms and guises) is constantly stalking the protagonist and he has to disguise himself as Sylvester the Cat from Looney Tunes to get away.

Guy from Mulu video circa 1997 (left); Dave Sim circa 1994 (right)
And then there’s the fact that 'Mulu' (Mooloo?) sounds a lot like 'Yoowhoo'. And don't get me started on the lyrics connecting with the later Torah commentaries.

Or maybe the director for the video was just a big Cerebus fan and said to the record company "All right, now for this video, I have a vision. We are going to go out and cast an actor who looks like the self-publisher of a relatively unknown black-white comic book and shoot scenes that are exact references to issues #175-#186 of his 300 issue comic book where the lead singer of the band is a proxy for an overarching metaphysical female force that has ensnared other men and is now attempting to do the same to our central character, only he manages to escape her by disguising himself as Sylvester the Cat from the old Warner Bros cartoons. It’s called an homage."

But somehow, I don't think so.

Anyone else have any Cerebus or Dave sightings?


Stu West said...

I'm currently at the office so I can't watch the video, but I'm pretty certain the Dave Sim like-a-look in that still is actor Paul Reynolds (British readers of a certain age will remember him as Colin from Press Gang).

J. Robinson Wheeler said...

It heartens me, that Dave Sim is getting work, and busting it out, and doing it very well indeed. 30 or 37 years of experience getting into it, going there, exploring and improving on the craft. Of draughtsmanship, of craft and care.

And then, there's the rest of Dave Sim to get into.

Before Dave Sim was painted with a wide brush as a misogynist, he was widely praised for the realistic depth and dimensions of his female characters. Astoria, Jaka -- compared with Alan Moore, who was praised way beyond Dave Sim -- Dave Sim's women characters were four-dimensional, realistic, believable, intelligent, emotional, rounded, well-thought-out; Alan Moore's women were 1 or 2 dimensional at best, and Dave Sim had it all over Alan Moore, in terms of female, deep characters.

Then Dave started writing essays, and everyone changed their mind, and branded him as a misogynist, an evil guy, who didn't care about women. Focused on his divorce from Deni Sim, his ex-wife, with whom he founded Aardvark-Vanaheim, his publishing company -- which, without Deni, he kept going, self-publishing, until the completion of his 300-issue, 30-year comics project, unrivaled as of yet, by any comics creator, let alone completing the project on time (in March 2004), as a professional would do.

I recently learned of a blog of a dave/cerebus fan, keeping alive the semi-offical blog of dave/cerebus fans, and I read 3 back-years of it eagerly, wanting to know how Dave was doing.

A couple years ago, the microfilm of his first great graphic novel, which he'd been keeping and preserving for nearly 30 years, burned up in a fire. A fire at the house of the guy he entrusted the Cerebus-High Society microfilm to.

He gave me a call, on the weekend of that tragedy, when I tried to call him to give him my emotional condolences. Dave Sim was the only comics creator, out of 5 that I asked, who responded to my offering of THE QMAN: ANTIGENESIS, my second graphic novel (after AcX: ACADEMY X, which I drew from Adam Cadre's original ideas, art direction, and script).

Dave Sim has always been supportive of younger comics artists/creators, and I myself were no exception. I will never fail to defend Dave Sim against the slings and arrows directed against him, because he has supported me unfailingly.

I have an answer to the charges that he is a misogynist; that he is an empathetic defender of women, females, the feminine sex. And it comes from reading his articles/essays on the blog that still semi-officially supports him, which I read with eager enthusiasm, about a month ago. And which I've been saving Tabs for, ever since.

Don't discount Dave Sim's artwork, nor his writerly ambition, nor his open, expansive, gentle soul, that nobody is willing to open to, and understand, of late. He's one of the good ones, one of the Good Guys. He's painted as the opposite, but I want to tell people, that that's wrong, he's awarded a chance, to prove himself the opposite.


J. Robinson Wheeler said...

It weirds me out a little bit, that Dave said in Aardvark Comment, how he was looking forward to rendering the old-Groucho, old Lord Julius without the fake mustache, with a real one. And then, after Like-A-Looks, Lord Julius never appeared again.
In Fall and the River, there were like-a-looks, but the next we heard about Palnu, it was The Latter Days, and Palnu was flooded and destroyed, and Dave never included in Cerebus the old-Lord-Julius-without-mustache, the old Groucho.

I always felt let down by that. Because he practically promised he'd do it.

Can Dave find some venue to do the late-Groucho late-Lord_Julius?


The Q-Man guy

Anonymous said...

I too would have loved to see Dave do later-life Groucho. And I seem to remember Robert Fiore suggested that Dave might have made a project of biographising The Three Stooges. I even really liked his two-panel encapsulation of Uncle Miltie. Perhaps when Dave is done "The Strange Death of Alex Raymond", he could tackle "The Strange Lives of Vaudeville Comedians". I know I'd buy it.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, mls

David Birdsong said...

That video is both eerie and insulting to my senses while also making a firm impact on the brain that convinces me of its odd connection to the work of one Dave Sim. My nomination for "Not Quite A Coincidence Czar Emeritus" is Eddie Khanna. No contest.

dave Philpott said...

I have thought about getting Dave to do the old Groucho and Baskin running the last distillery. It's number two on my list of things I hope I can get Dave to do after he is done with Strange Death.

Tony Dunlop said...

OK, so this is probably sexist, and inappropriate since I'm married, but...Man! She's gorgeous.

jlroberson said...

"I seem to remember Robert Fiore suggested that Dave might have made a project of biographising The Three Stooges"

Yes, but then Drew Friedman showed up with some guys and said not to pinch on his territory. "THE THREE STOOGES ARE MINE" ;)