Cerebus the Barbarian Messiah: Essays on the Epic Graphic Satire of Dave Sim and Gerhard
In December 1977, struggling Canadian comic book artist Dave Sim self-published the first issue of Cerebus the Aardvark, a Conan the Barbarian satire featuring a foul-tempered, sword-wielding creature trapped in a human world. Over the next 26 years, Sim, and later collaborator Gerhard, produced an epic 6,000-page graphic novel, the longest-running English language comic series by a single creative team. They revolutionized the comics medium by showing other artists that they too could forgo major publishers, paving the way for such successes as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Bone. This work, the first collection of critical essays on Cerebus, provides a multifaceted approach to Sim and Gerhard’s complex and entertaining oeuvre, including their innovative use of the comic medium, storytelling and satiric techniques, technical and visual sophistication, and Sim’s use of the comic as commentary on gender and religion.