Sunday 14 December 2014

T. Casey Brennan's "Doorway To The Gods"

Cerebus Archive #12 (February 2011)
Art by Dave Sim
(from Cerebus Archive #12, February 2011)
...The story behind Doorway To The Gods is an interesting one. By the summer of 1976, as I say, Casey's career was on the skids to the extent that he sold a script to Jeff Zinger for his fanzine The Comic Report -- which Jeff only agreed to buy for some pittance (five dollars a page?) if I agreed to draw it for an even lesser pittance (two dollars a page?). Having very few prospects in the summer of 1976 and, in the spirit of Gene Day's theory that any work is good work, I agreed.

You can see that I had come some distance in my abilities between 1973 and 1976. Even though I was only getting two dollars a page, I was determined to make the story a showpiece. A resolution I stuck with through page 3, when the weight of my meager page rate and the fact that it would be appearing in a fanzine with about 75 subscribers broke my will and I rushed through the rest of it just to have it done.

Served me right when it turned up a year later as a back-up feature in Fantasy Quarterly No.1 featuring the first appearance of Elfquest. It's the reason you should always give 100% effort to what you're doing. You never know where it might turn up and who might see it -- and, if they like what they see, give you more lucrative work...

Dave Sim discusses the influence of T. Casey Brennan, his first mentor in literary allegory (Barry Windsor-Smith being his first mentor in visual allegory), in Following Cerebus #6 (November 2005), which features "The Many Origins Of Cerebus" and "T. Casey Brennan: The Alan Moore Of The 70s?".

Doorway To The Gods
Fantasy Quarterly No. 1 (February 1978)
Story by T. Casey Brennan, Art by Dave Sim


Adam Ell said...

So, is there any way to acquire Cerebus Archive any more? All I ever see on eBay are the first 3 issues.

Margaret said...

Adam - Hopefully one day Dave will collect the series, as the behind the scenes look at his work prior to Cerebus is interesting. At least to me. :) The only place I know that you can find it - other than daily searches of eBay, is G-Mart Comics. They have issues 5 - 12, and 14. Unfortunately they are supper expensive - $25 a pop. Write Dave and ask him to collect it. The more people that do, that show interest, then perhaps it could be collected.

Anonymous said...

Is it strange that I prefer the last pages, and think the first three are a bit overworked? They all look great though.