Saturday, 23 June 2012

Fame

Cerebus #219 (June 1997)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
DAVE SIM:
(from a letter to Peter Crane dated 15, July 2004, reprinted in Dave's Sim's Collected Letters Vol 2)
I just read Bob Uecker's Catcher In The Wry. You're probably not old enough to remember Uecker, but he was a former baseball player with a career batting average of .200 who made quite a good living as a sad sack storyteller/comedian on the Tonight Show With Johnny Carson and other places describing his eminently-forgettable baseball career in a complete deadpan. I found the book in a 50 cent sidewalk sale bin at Casablanca Books here in town, walked away and forgot about it until the next day when we had some unexpected sunshine and I decided to go and buy it to read sitting out in the sun. Very funny. Great baseball stories.

Anyway, he makes the point in his book that it's a lot easier to walk away from the big leagues when you're something of an also-ran than it is when you're a major star. Which is really true. You can't miss what you never had and that includes applause. It's as if my success was tailor-made for me, like Goldilocks or something. Not too famous, not too unknown. Not too rich, not too poor. Just enough people writing so I know Cerebus isn't completely forgotten but not enough that I don't have any time to myself. I wanted so badly to be rich and famous when I started out and now that I'm pushing fifty I realize that privacy is THE irreplaceable commodity. Only God could engineer something as successful as Cerebus that leaves me completely unscathed in a public-figure sense.

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