|Dave Sim & Gerhard, as pictured in Saturday Night magazine (2003)|
Photo by Lorne Bridgman
(from Toronto's Saturday Night magazine, November 2003)
One day, shortly after Sim had been invited to appear at a comics convention in the eastern United States, an acquaintance gave him for or five hits of LSD. As a heavy marijuana smoker, Sim was not uncomfortable with drug use. "I had always done Cerebus stoned," he recalled, years later. "I did everything stoned." Curious about how the acid would affect his work and anxious for a release from the anxiety brought on by the impending public appearance, Sim took the drug. He liked the perspective it gave him. His work seemed effortless. When the acid's effect faded, he swallowed another tab.
That first day on LSD turned into two, then three. His behaviour began to alarm his wife. With the comics convention only weeks away, Loubert heard Sim speaking to people who didn't exist. After days cycling through moods of apoplectic rage and off passivity, Sim found himself in the psychiatric ward of Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital. (It was Loubert who had him hospitalised).
Sim came to realise he had experienced a breakdown brought on by a combination of stress and LSD. When he realised the hospital couldn't hold him against his will, he left. Soon after, the ideas and inspiration generated during the acid trip coalesced into a creative epiphany that spawned his life's work: he would use Cerebus to tell the story of a life.... The story of Cerebus would last 300 issues, he said. And it would finish in March 2004.
(Submitted by Paul Slade. Thanks!)