(Photo by Eran Studds)DENI LOUBERT:
(from an interview by Terri Brandmueller in Room #39.2, West Coast Feminist Literary Magazine Society, 2016)
...[Dave Sim has] written some weird stuff about women. But you have to remember that I met him when he was about twenty and going through an immense period of creativity. It wasn't until later that the bipolar stuff started showing up. He did too much acid, too much drugs and drank too much and became a totally different person when he did that.
Dave decided as an interesting experiment -- he called it the "Summer Of Acid" -- he would do an acid hit every day and then do a comic book on it. Couple that with the fact we had just gotten a photocopier. So he did an issue where he would draw a picture -- this was truly an acid idea -- blow it up on the photocopier and then cut it into panels. So each panel was a sixteenth of a drawing with dialogue It became a game with the fans. You'd have to but three copies of the book if you were going to do it right. You had to but two copies to fit the big picture together, because the pages were back to front, and then you had a third copy you kept intact. I have met people at Comic-Cons who've fitted the whole thing together and wanted me to authenticate and sign them. He was fucking floating on acid all month. He started losing it and getting angry. By about the second week he was becoming incoherent and hearing voices. Finally one night we had a big fight and he put his fist through the wall. I had to call 911 and have him committed.
Up until then we were living the life we wanted to live, putting a comic book out every month, signing new artists, going on tours. It was a rock-and-roll lifestyle. When you're twenty-five and run a successful comic book business and employ ten other artists, you think you've got the world by the tail. All we did was comic books -- we were one of the few companies outside of Marvel and DC that actually made a living doing it. We had an office and a studio and an apartment in a high-rise. It was the heyday of indie comics, and our numbers went up every month and we thought there was no end to it. We thought it was great, but you can't sustain that. You can't have a relationship based on that.
Truthfully, when I look back on those Cerebus days when it was him and me against the world -- that's how we always used to refer to it -- it was marvelous, it was what I thought love was about. Those were the good years but when the bipolar started to show up and he started to not trust me about stuff, that's when it started to change. I long for that sweet boy who told me he was going to be a millionaire by the time he was thirty by drawing comic books.
I did go on to do my own thing but I have to admit that I live in the shadow of all that. I am known in comics as Dave Sim's ex-wife -- that's just the way it is...
Deni Loubert was Aardvark-Vanaheim's publisher for the first 70 issues of Cerebus. Deni and Dave Sim were married between 1978 and 1983. After their divorce, Deni moved to Los Angeles to start her own comics publishing company, Renegade Press, which closed its doors in 1989. She was inducted into the Joe Shuster Hall of Fame in 2010.