Dave Sim & Cary Nord interview (June 2004)

June 18, 2004 | Interviews


Kitchener’s Dave Sim is the creator of Cerebus, one of the most ambitious comic book projects in the history of the genre.
He began working on the independently published series, the life story of an occasionally sword-wielding aardvark, in 1977 and finished it in March of this year. In all, he wrote and illustrated all 300 issues and has become a cult icon in the comic industry.
Too bad so few people in his home and native land seem to know who he is, especially in his own neighbourhood.
“I’m completely anonymous,” Sim said. “Nobody has any idea that I’m even theoretically somebody.”
There are more Canadians working at the pinnacle of the comic book industry than ever before, but these creators rarely get the credit they’re due.
Sim’s work, for example, has gotten so sought after, that a top-quality copy of the first issue of Cerebus, at auction for charity on eBay as part of this weekend’s Toronto Comicon, has reached early bids of $4,875.
This is a bit of vindication for the creator.
“I remember being fed up at a show in Toronto with a stack of Cerebus No. 1s and a stack of Cerebus No. 2s and people were just coming up and dumping their jackets on them so they could look through the Marvel Two-In-One boxes,” Sim said. “There’s a part of me that went ‘you’re going to regret that someday.’”
While the Comicon, at the Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place from Friday to Sunday, will feature a great list of Canadian talent, such as Sim, former Torontonian and current Haligonian Steve McNiven, Calgary’s Cary Nord and many others, event organizer Peter Dixon said bringing in this many domestic products was not something deliberate.
“Obviously we’re proud of the Canadian content, but this just happened,” Dixon said.
“It just seems there’s more and more Canadians out there that are doing more high profile things.”
Nord, who is the artist on Dark Horse Comics’ new series of Conan (the barbarian) comics, says while many people may not know who the Canucks in the comic industry are, their fellow Great White Northers do.
“I know all the Canadian guys and I’m always watching out for them and congratulating them when things are going good,” said Nord, who cites Vancouver’s Kaare Andrews and Toronto’s Stuart Immonen as a couple of his favourite Canadian artists.
Nord says there’s no really big difference’s between Canadian and American comic creators.
Well, maybe one.
“The only time I ever noticed a difference was at a convention in Portland, Ore., a couple of years ago when the Canadians were taking on the Americans for the gold medal in hockey. All the Canadians were going nuts when we won, but they didn’t even say a word about it in the States,” Nord said with a laugh.

Will Eisner – comic industry legend, creator of The Spirit
Dave Sim – writer/illustrator of Cerebus
Bill Sienkiwicz – artist of Elektra: Assassin, Stray Toasters
Greg Horn – cover artist for Elektra, Emma Frost
Roy Thomas – former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, writer of such titles as Avengers, Conan The Barbarian and Uncanny X-Men
Cary Nord – artist on new Conan series
Steve McNiven – artist on Marvel Knights 4, former artist of Meridian
Jimmy Palmiotti – new writer of Hawkman, former Daredevil inker
Amanda Conner – artist of The Pro
Cameron Stewart – artist of Seaguy
Paul Ryan – former Avengers, Flash artist
Tom Grummett – former Superman, Superboy and New Titans artist
Terry Austin – inker on Uncanny X-Men and dozens of other titles
Mike Kaluta_– former artist of The Shadow
Dale Keown – former Hulk and Darkness artists
Dave Ross – current artist of The Inhumans
J. Torres – writer of Teen Titans Go!
Ty Templeton – writer of Human Defense League and writer/artist behind Bigg Time
Rob Van Dam – pro wrestler

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