During the late Spring/Early Summer of 2010, Jon Mathewson (whose recent book of poetry can be purchased HERE) corresponded with, Cerebus creator, Dave Sim via fax. That interview, which Jon has titled The General in His Labyrinth, is previewed here for your enjoyment. If you’d like to read more, and there is a whole lot more, please support Panel to Panel over at Kickstarter.com and pre-order your copy today. As I write this, there are less than 20 days left in our fundraiser, and we still have a lot of ground to cover. Please take a look at the excellent rewards we are offering, and find the pledge level which best suits your budget. We here at Panel to Panel are eternally grateful for your support.
Jon Mathewson: You are a patient guy. One thing that has always impressed me about you is your ability to see the sweep of time, and your place in it. A the age of, what, twenty-three?, you saw how to turn Cerebus from a series of monthly satires to an epic encompassing politics, religion, and “dangerous philosophy.” You saw Cerebus’ life ahead of you, and spent the next couple of decades telling it.
So: I read Glamourpuss in 2010, and enjoy your examinations of photo-realism and comics’ internecine fights of yore, but I wonder, where do you see Glamourpuss, and where you are now, in the greater sweep of your career?
Do you see any similarities between your pariah status and the way Ezra Pound was treated by the literary establishment of his day?
Dave Sim: Ha Ha.
Oh, sorry, you’re serious. Or pretending to be, anyway. No. Ezra Pound was a Nazi sympathizer and dupe. In the context of our present age, I’m the only one who ISN’T advocating the Marxist-Feminist totalitarian dictatorship, the only one who DOESN’T think that capitulation to the “one right way to think” is the correct course for a civilization. I’m being treated the way I’m being treated because I’m enunciating common sense – the impossible things to believe before breakfast are as impossible now as they were when I came up with them.
In the same way that the good Germans persevered through the 1930s and 1940s, I have persevered through the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century basically living the way they lived: waiting to be arrested for not thinking the right way, hauled before a human rights commission or, basically, waiting for the other shoe to drop on a daily basis.
I do good work. I do the best work that I can, just as if it would be given a fair hearing – which it isn’t since it doesn’t conform to the only way we are allowed to think in the 21st century – that the Marxist-Feminist dictatorship is the only way to think: if you aren’t a Marxist-Feminist you’re a misogynist. I like to think that fifty or a hundred years after I’m dead there might be a restoration of common sense, in which case my hard work will be appreciated. I think it unlikely that it will happen in my lifetime.
I work from the moment I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I pray five times a day. I observe a Sabbath. I fast nine days out of ten. I do Glamourpuss, Cerebus Archive and Cerebus TV.
I have preserved a daily record of the ongoing campaign by Marxist-Feminists to destroy me. On the other side of things, it documents my perseverance in the name of freedom of expression and the wide spectrum of viewpoints which exist in our society in spite of the dictatorship we all labour under.
My best guess is that all traces of my passing will be eliminated at the point of my death, or at least the attempt will be made. It’s all totalitarians are capable of doing, whether you’re talking about Nazis, communists, Marxist-Feminists, al-Qaeda or the Taliban.
Where am I now? I haven’t been destroyed yet, but not for want of trying on the part of those trying to destroy me. That’s the situation I’m in, which is the same situation I’ve been in for sixteen years.