See, to me, drawing and writing Cerebus is the same as sleeping. Sometimes you can sleep and sometimes you can't. When you have insomnia (I think) you are basically afraid to sleep. You don't want to enter Morpheus' realm because you had a dream last night that you've forgotten that told you some very unpleasant truths about yourself. You are exhausted: you want to sleep. Sleeping is one of the most natural things in the world for you, all things being equal. To accomplish it, all that is required is getting out of your own way and it happens all by itself. But suddenly the part of your brain that wants to sleep is dominated by the part that wants to think. All that is going around in your head is useless 'real' world stuff: your relationship, your ex-relationship, family stuff, disturbing conversations you've had with people whose opinion you don't respect. You go in to work and the drawing board seems to be at the wrong end of the telescope. You find a hundred excuses not to work instead of kicking those impediments out the door and telling them to come back later . . . much later. It is the same thing. The part of your brain that wants to write and draw is dominated by the part that wants to do something (anything) else. Writing and drawing requires going inside yourself to your own little world that no one can enter except you. Every friend and loved one that you have is either consciously or unconsciously jealous of that fact and consciously or unconsciously they labour to keep you away from it. Other writers and artists are the worst. If they're afraid to work that day, they will usually try to find another writer or artist (either in person or by phone) to share their misery, their fear of going to their own secret place. 'Hey, if I can't go to my secret place, you can't either.' Stop feeling guilty about your secret place, stop feeling guilty that others can't go there with you. The more time you spend there, the happier you're going to be. Everyone enjoys a good night's sleep and dreaming. As a writer and/or artist, you get to sleep and dream, and then do basically the same thing for a living. Unplug the phone, put a 'do not disturb' sign on the door and then lock it. Then vanish into your secret place, your private world. Dream. Dream.
Cerebus No. 43 (June 1992) - Aardvark Vanaheim - Well, it's almost fifteen years since I bought the first issue of Cerebus. 'High Society' (or should that be 'Slow Society') lurches to a conclusion. Checking my files, I find that this is the third issue to come out this year of this ostensibly 'monthly' title. Once again we are treated to a Note From Everyone's Ex-Husband/Ex-Boyfriend. Let's see, there was the year off after his marriage to 'recover his bearings', the plea for subscriptions when his bank account (Old Dave Hubbard went to the Cupboard . . .) vanished (couldn't be all those trips to sunny climes with the Bimbo du Jour, could it? Nah). Don't get me wrong. I like Cerebus. I'd even go out on a limb and say I LOVE Cerebus. If he ever gets to 'Church & State' (which at this rate should be around 1996) I'm sure I'll LOVE that as well. I just have the awful feeling that someone told Sim to 'get a life' and he, unfortunately, is taking them at their word. I wish him well with his forthcoming marriage but it would be nice to see issue one hundred before I'm old and gray. Two and a half stars. Davey, we hardly knew ye.
Copyright 1993 Dave Sim
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