Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Little Murders

Cerebus #107 (February 1988)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
DAVE SIM:
(from Charles Brownstein's Feature, 1997)

...The whole point of getting Cerebus to the moon to talk to God - or listen to God - was to impart a lot of information in a hurry. If you want a character to impart a lot of information in a hurry, Mel Brookes is not your man. I needed a monologist. I didn't have to think too long before I came up with Lou Jacobi as the Judge in the film adaptation of Jules Feiffer's Little Murders play. It was an interesting process, trying to come up with someone approximating an omniscient figure for the end of Church & State... I must've replayed my videotape of his monologue in Little Murders a hundred times to get the inflection, the rhythm, the phrasing - and then having to add my own dialogue in, using Lou Jacobi's gestures and expressions and Jules Feiffer's run-on sentences...

7 comments:

David Birdsong said...

After all these years I had never seen that. I missed several of the comics that Dave Sim parodied later as well perhaps proving the point that you don't always have to know what exactly he is paying homage to or poking fun at to get Cerebus.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read that Dave now considers the Judge character to be God, when that was not presented as the case upon the story's original publication.

The "imparting a lot of information quickly" bit results in some of the weaker moments in Cerebus as a comic book. Whenever Dave wants to explain his latest revised Theory Of The Way Things Are, he abandons cartooning and simply writes directly at the reader. This method becomes more pronounced as the series progresses, eg. the Judge sequence employs a more comic-book approach than does the "double issue" 289/290.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, abc

Anonymous said...

I never knew what Lou Jacobi sounded like before, so I never imagined the judge's voice that way. I always imagined that the Judge sounded something like Leo McKern, speaking slowly, evenly and deliberately. Jacobi seems to have more inflection, speed, and physical movement than the judge character does on the page.

-Reginald P.

Jeff Seiler said...

David, I agree fully with you. I've never understood the nay-sayers who write that, years or decades from now, readers will not "get" the comic book references or some of the cultural ones. I don't think it matters whether or not they know what comic book or character to which Dave was referring, because he almost invariably made the dialogue and/or action stand-alone funny. Case in point: I have never read one panel of "Too Much Coffee Man", but I completely "got" the coffee cup man talking much too rapidly and in run-on sentences in (was it) Guys. Never been a huge fan of Woody Allen (especially after he was found to be an incestuous pederast), but I fully understood and appreciated the Konigsberg pastiches. Etc.

Anonymous said...

A pederast is a man that has sex with a boy, which Allen never did. He was also not ever proven to be a pedophile. Mia Farrow accused him of it, but it was never proven, so not "found" in any legal sense. Allen's son Ronan does not cite that as a reason that he wants nothing to do with Allen, which you would think he would do if he believed the allegation. Allen's current wife was 19 when they began a romantic relationship. Allen had no legal or biological relationship with her.

- Reginald P.

Anonymous said...

That was great post...thank for sharing

Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

Yeah I asked Dave in 1993 if the Judge was Leo McKern. He even said he'd never heard of him, even when I namedropped THE PRISONER and RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY. But yeah, Anonymous commenter, you're not the only one who thought he was McKern...

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel