is not Dave Sim: Writing life as parody in Cerebus | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-3232
  • E-ISSN: 2040-3240


In the notes to the penultimate volume of Dave Sim remarks that it's not too much of a stretch to say that fantasy writers are schizophrenic for a living in referring to how a single author must come to inhabit his own fiction if he wishes for it to remain plausibly consistent over decades and thousands of pages. This article, in two parts, examines how Sim uses parodies of autobiographical details from his own life (and denials of the inclusion thereof) to lay bare the poverty of the language of representation; how the comic text an experience rather than merely representing lived events fundamentally alien to it; how the parody and the life are, ironically, relatively independent; and how the two halves of his schizophrenic life relate to rather than represent each other. Part one, Dave is not Dave Sim, focuses on how in Volume 9 () Sim presents himself as Dave, a voice that, for the most part, remains contained solely within Cerebus' own thought bubbles. Part two, Cerebus is not Dave Sim, begins from an obvious presumption that the character Cerebus does not represent him to examine why it is that Cerebus, both the character and comic, are subjected to so many personal events in Sim's life. It becomes clear that autobiography in is a game of seduction in which the denial of autobiography becomes the clearest invitation to see it there.


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