Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Top 5 Enigmatic Comic Creators

(from Top 5 Enigmatic Comic Creators by Josh Flanagan, 5 July 2011)
No. 3: Dave Sim
No one did what Dave Sim did. He started a comic book on his own, Cerebus, ostensibly about a barbarian aardvark, self-published it, declared it would go for 300 issues, and followed through. Along the way, he became known as one of the most talented cartoonists working, creating a massive volume of critically acclaimed work, and then things got a bit odd. At a certain point, Sim's oddly anachronistic views on women, politics, religion, and more took over. To people who came along later, Sim became a bit of a one note joke, but the story is much more interesting than than, and discounts what is a monumental acheivement in comic book creation. These days, Sim is back to self publishing the singularly enigmatic series, Glamourpuss. Since it's hard to even give adequate context in this space, I recommend you read this if you want to know more.


Anonymous said...

Pretty solid list (of course Ditko would be numero uno- no arguments here, but the list pretty much seems like an excuse to rank Steve number one in something). Although I wonder if 'enigmatic' is really the right word (outside of Ditko and Cole) for the list, since Dave has written a metric ton of commentary explaining as much of himself and his ideas as is humanly possible (and his last girlfriend is about to publish a bunch of his personal letters, and you can find Deni's comments about her ex in another book, etc)- Alan Moore is also a rather straightforward fellow about his own experiences and ideas, and explains them rather well (though usually in a very, very longwinded manner). There have been times reading both Alan and Dave's rants when I just stop, roll my eyes back rub my forehead and think "JESUS this guy loves to hear himself talk..." (then of course I go right back to reading and a solid 9 and 1/2 times out of 10 don't regret reading their ramblings).

Sort-of on topic (given the number five and two people on that list): Anyone else read Alan Moore's incredible literary super-slam of Grant Morrison recently? Sweet Christ, that hurt ME and I don't even care about Grant outside of really enjoying All-Star Superman and being Animal Man-curious. It did confirm something about Grant's work that I suspected (that he wants to be Alan Moore, but only a cartoonish alternate universe version [Bizarro-Moore?] where Alan kept working for DC Comics after getting bent over a table on the Watchmen books).

-Wesley Smith

Tony Dunlop said...

I agree with Wesley on this point: Eccentric? You bet. Enigmatic? Not even close. Dave is an open book.

Anonymous said...

I think the above comments are true, but I'd still say that Dave is enigmatic.

True, there's no mystery about WHAT Dave thinks and not much mystery as to his personal history. But there is some mystery as to HOW he could have changed that much, WHEN this change happened, WHAT caused it exactly, and HOW he arrived at his somewhat esoteric views.

Dave's also confounding. Charming and affable and yet also polarizing and antagonistic. Critical of women who anthropomorphize animals and yet...Cerebus. Believes he deals in facts and evidence and yet his view of scriptures is completely esoteric and totally detached from scholarly opinion. Complains he's almost broke and then openly toys with Fantagraphics when they express interest in doing business.

You have to wonder what makes a guy like that tick, and, despite what we know, there's no clear answer.

- Reginald P.