|Cerebus #190 / #196 (January / July 1995)|
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(from The Idler, Spring 2004)
...The 300-issue structure he had chosen gave Sim the luxury to tell this story as slowly as he pleased, and he was approaching November's 1995's Cerebus 200 by the time he revealed many aspects of his 1979 vision to Cerebus readers. It was not until issue 179, for example, that we learnt a surprising fact about Cerebus' sexuality. We had to wait until issue 190 for Sim to tell us about the "kitchen knife incident" and until 196 to discover that he had reinterpreted Cerebus' early life to place one of the little fella's key decisions in the off-stage moments between issues 3 and 4.
This glacial pace has led many Cerebus readers to abandon the book in frustration, but Sim insists the boring bits are there for a reason. "To me, it's a matter of contrast," he said in 1985. "If nothing happens for three issues, then you know that, in the forth issue, there will be a revelation. There's no question that reading a single issue of Cerebus is not likely to convince someone to buy the book regularly. But let someone read ten issues in a row, and I might as well be pushing heroin."