Friday, April 5, 2013

New Art Day - Dave Sim Mars Attacks Cerebus variant cover

I had a lot of fun going to the Heritage auction in NYC (Central Park West, ooh lala!) and one of the reasons it was so enjoyable was that Dave Sim was there. Say what you will, and most older comic fans have something to say about Dave one way or the other, but I have always enjoyed Dave Sim's work. I loved Cerebus and started reading it in the 70s or so.  And it was an important part of my courtship of a lovely young college thang, the mater familias missus fedres420. We even went to Washington D.C. and then NYC in 1992 to buy Cerebus pages and see Dave and Gerhard. So seeing Dave at the heritage auction was fun, and he gave me a nice Cerebus head sketch at one point.

Dave was there because Heritage was selling some Cerebus pages, 10 I think, from his personal stash. Dave's lots were among the very last of the auction and as we sat in the small auction room I engaged in cautious surveillance. You see, my mission that day had multiple objectives and bidding on BWS and PMS pieces was the main objective but not the only one. I was there to sandbag Dave Sim as well.

Dave obviously has been falling on hard times cash-wise. Glamourpuss failed despite its' greatness, and Judenhass never had a chance if you ask me. A Kickstarter campaign generated some cash but now takes up huge chucks of Dave's time. He was selling Cerebus pages through Heritage and had entered into a few different deals with IDW comics. One involves some money associated with the digital Cerebus at the heart of the Kickstarter campaign, so that is fairly nebulous at this point. Another deal involves Dave producing covers for IDW comics. By the time of the Heritage auction the first of these had appeared, one of many alternate covers for a Mars Attacks comic. It featured Cerebus in a classic Sim sound effect joke. But this Cerebus is a Mars Attacks alien variation and is drawn in Dave's current style, maniacally cross-hatched and fabulously lush in the brushwork. I loved it right away, and at the auction I waited for my moment and then pounced in the aisle. Would Dave be willing to sell me that cover? I had cash in hand today in the form of hundred dollar bills, which as I learned on Pawn Stars have their own power. Alas, Dave informed me it was part of his Heritage consignment. They had other art but it just was not in this auction. The Mars Attacks cover would be in a Sunday auction in March.

Well, at least I had a fair shot at it. And you know what that usually means.

Mars Attacks variant Cerebus cover Dave Sim (all)

I was really pleased to get this. I am still in the market for some of the Alex Raymond / Stan Drake stuff Dave has done, definitely. But between this, my two Cerebus pages, and my Dr. StrangeRoach commission this itch is almost scratched.

Here are some closeups. First the top of the page. Not as exciting at the rest, but Dave's lettering is always fun and it is worth mentioning this is all on the page with no stats. You can also see the detail on the top of the alien helmet and Cerebus' cerebrum.

This next section is pretty impressive. All the different angles of crosshatching must have been pretty intensive to work out, and dave really impresses with its' use. Look how he delineates between the glass helmet, reflection and shadow on the helmet, and the wounded brain within. Then check out the splatter on the broken glass at the back of the helmet.

Here is the bottom part. I included a full shot from above the eyes becuase it is so impressive. The anatomy, and lack thereof, in Cerebus' mouth is wonderful. Again, all the different types of stroke utilized really make for a strong image.

Here is a closer look at the face. The eyes and mouth show so much thought and then to execute the vision so well really makes this piece stand out to me. Goo, tissue, vitreous and aqueous humour, blood, gore, teeth, gums, this one has it all. In fact that kind of makes it right in line with the classic Sim pieces, the ones that have the artistic execution of a master with content that satirizes society like a precision torch, burning off the refuse and cauterizing the wound so clearly as to reveal the ridiculousness of the underlying structure. Sim's Cerebus out zombies the zombies.


Ben Samuels said...

Great art, congratulations on a wonderful addition to your collection.

crazyyears said...

ConGRABulations! Great piece. I am jealous.
I know how much I treasure the Dave Sim sketches and original art I have. The sketches have so much more detail than Sim had to put in them. The photojournalism Sim I have is a full page unpublished JFK and Caroline from Glamourouss.