Joy (cithra) wrote,


When I first got into comics, I heard about Cerebus[*]. I was impressed by the scope of the project, if nothing else. But I was also poor, and things were well underway, and being the peculiar sort of obsessive-compulsive I am, couldn't bring myself to read it without beginning at the beginning, and couldn't afford to do that.

So time passed, as time does. Somewhere along the line I heard that Dave Sims "lost it" - 'it' in this case being variously interpreted along the spectrum from 'his sense of humor' to 'his grip on reality', revealing himself virulently misogynistic in the process. amnotsurly and I had a conversation or two about it, though I never really went and checked the source documentation. I'm entirely too familiar with the stripe of misogyny that disguises itself as revering 'true womanhood' and holding feminism as the root of all evil and the bane of mankind (!=humankind), I don't need the irritation.

So, onward and upward. I mentioned previously picking up a copy of Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman, the 50th birthday tribute in words and pictures to the eponymous. Turns out Mr. Sims has a piece in it. Which I just encountered.

Now, the tone of most of the items included has been archly reverential, occasionally heavy on the in-jokes, and focused, not surprisingly, on the body of Moore's work and the span of his career. A certain tongue-in-cheek attitude reminiscent of the "roast" is present in more than one submission. So, coming across the subtitle "Introduction: dealing with pagans" I suspected perhaps some mildly deprecating remarks about Moore's late-career forays into magic and shamanism.

Nope. What proceeds is a three page screed about how the forces of evil (so hard not to capitalize! but he's apparently completely serious!) variously manifest as feminism, socialism, homosexuality, and paganism have united to keep Cerebus unjustly from... well, from what I'm not so sure, since to the best of my knowledge it continues to be published, stocked in comics shops (whole mess of them down at Zanadu where I got my copy of AM:PoaEG just last weekend) and proceed in general as a going concern. To keep Dave Sims from his rightful fame and fortune? to keep him in infamy and misfortune? Anyhow, it's all about him and although he does manage to remember to tack on a "happy birthday, Alan" it's sort of a begrudging finale, and comes after he's equated himself with Jesus while bald-facedly asserting Moore is possessed by demons, and not in a good way. What I thought was over the top at the beginning - well, on a list of Most Horrible Things I get the distinct idea that incestuous baby-raping trails a distant fifth after the nastiness of paganism, feminism, socialism, and homosexuality in the World According to Sims.

It's like being transported back to another time, when tolerance of diversity meant making sure the lynch mob gave its victims a quick, clean death by snapping the spinal cord instead of a slow strangulation.

It boggles my mind. It rivals my ex-, Corey, for self-absorbed naval-gazingly egocentric universe mapping, and that accusation is not one to be made lightly. The only bright side is said bogglement removes me from my envious despair at Alan Moore's talent and accomplishments compared with my feeble and mostly unrealized creative endeavors. I can't help that I'm not a white male from the UK! (Alan Moore, Iain Banks, Neil Gaiman, sigh.) But thankfully I'm also not a white male from Ontario, Canada either. Whew.

[*] no links - you're on your own, I'm sure a quick google will turn up plenty of references, and I make it a policy not to wander around kicking rabid dogs. The rabid dogs at least have to type their own names into the search engines to track back to me...

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