Cerebus the Aardvark

The Man Behind the Aardvark: Dave Sim created an influential and prolific comic book series called Cerebus the Aardvark. “When I started Cerebus in 1977, uppermost in my mind was the thought that i wanted to produce 300 issues if a comic book series the way i thought it should be done; as one continuous story documenting the ups and downs of a character’s life.” Few comic book series ever reach the 300-issue mark, and those that do are usually backed by big publishers, star big-name superheroes, and are written and drawn by scores of different artists over the years. Cerebus, a black & white comic, is written, penciled and inked by Sim (with some help from a friend named Gerhard). Its also self-published, giving him complete control over his creation. In the past few decades, the character of Cerebus has gone from being a barbarian to a politician to a pope. During one story arc, Cerebus became a supporting character; in fact, nearly a year went by in which the title character didn’t appear in his own comic book! These are the sort of things you can do when you have publishing freedom and 300 issues with which to tell a story.

Say what you will about the man’s thoughts or philosophy (he’s regarded as somewhat of an infamous misogynist), but you have to admire the man’s initiative, dedication and resolve. He hasn’t reached the crucial 300th issue just yet (the series is planned to end sometime in 2004), but the final story arc has begun and shows no signs of slowing down.