Friday, 6 December 2013

Gerhard's Subconscious

Cerebus #119 (February 1989)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
This one I always thought was interesting 'after the fact' realization.

From Gerhard's Interview in 'Feature Magazine' (Winter 1997):
Dave has in the past mentioned that Cerebus' environment is a reflection of his mental state, so how do you go about creating an environment to achieve such an effect?

I try not to do it too consciously. The environment is a device for portraying time and place and setting the mood. Because I'm aware of what's going on in the story, there's a certain amount that comes through just on a subconscious level. There's one panel in Jaka's Story - it's one of those single illustrations with the text running down the side - of Jaka leaning in the doorway of the forbidden room and there's a skylight above her. Somebody had written in saying that the whole skylight and archway above the door looks like the head of the young Cerebus from the Epic stories. And it really does. I look at it and go "Yep, that's a young Cerebus up there", but I had no conscious idea I was doing anything like that.

What do you attribute those storytelling coincidences to?

Just operating on a subconscious level. Dave has said when you're working on a story, you're working on it on a level or a certain number of levels. When you go back and read it years later you find that it works on a completely different level that you didn't realize at the time.

1 comment:

Jeff Seiler said...

There's a panel (or two) in The Last Day, where Cerebus is climbing the steps that go to nowhere, where the wallpaper looks like the demon heads and skulls from The Tower in Church and State. I asked Dave about it and he replied in a manner that indicated, clearly, that he thought I was crazy. A few years later, I asked Gerhard about it at SPACE and he thought for a bit and then remembered that. I think he said he did that because he was bored and wanted to see if Dave would notice. Subconscious? Dunno.