Bryan Talbot Vs Dave Sim – The Next Chapter (UPDATE)

Bryan Talbot Vs Dave Sim – The Next Chapter (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Bryan Talbot adds to the article below;

From what I gather, Dave was shown the story about him in The Naked Artist completely out of context and I imagine he's never actually read the book or he wouldn't consider it as a libel. Contrary to how you describe it, Rich, it is not a book of "gossip" but a collection of funny anecdotes – the urban legends of the comic industry. It's not nasty or spiteful. It's not "Comics Babylon". I make it clear several times that the stories aren't supposed to be true. What I said and what IS TRUE is that these stories are told, and told again. So, if Dave is still angry about the silly story, he shouldn't shoot the messenger. In reality, the person I tell most daft stories about in there is myself. There's ONE Dave Sim story out of hundreds. Now, three years later, I make a passing reference to Dave's well documented opinions in one panel out of a whole 96 page graphic novel and it's seen as some sort of vendetta! In the Grandville series I'm pastiching all sorts of famous anthropomorphic characters and I didn't want to leave Cerebus out. I'm a great admirer of Dave's work, if not his opinions, something I also state in The Naked Artist.

This is really a storm in an eggcup.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Back in the day, Dave Sim was a great admirer of Bryan Talbot. He wrote in a review of a book about creating graphic novels;

For me, seeing Bryan Talbot's work on that seminal graphic novel again was worth the price of admission (in my case, authorizing them to use Cerebus in the book) and was definitely one of the gold stars in Ilex's notebook by my reckoning…  Sometimes that's really all you need to get a favourable opinion out of me: playing up somebody who should never be forgotten and Bryan Talbot and his Luther Arkwright are both in that category.

But in The Naked Artist, Bryan Talbot collected a great deal of gossip in and around the comic book industry, which included Jeff Smith's account of a threatened fight with Dave Sim.

In Jeff's original telling, Dave Sim chickened out of his threats, but Dave Sim swiftly countered with his version in which it was Jeff who backed down.

And that was that, until Talbot brought up just Jeff's version in his book. Dave referred to it a number of times in his blog, such as the following, in conversation with Gary Groth;

What depths of psychosis are you collectively willing to stoop to in order to justify that act on the part of Bryan Talbot: criminally libelling someone and not even giving them advance notice, let alone an opportunity to defend themselves? How you people live with yourselves, I don't know, but that's your problem, not mine.

Well, in the upcoming Grandville Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot, we see the scene above, featuring an aardvark called Arthur, a reference to the Arthur cartoon, but with views sterotypically attributed to Dave Sim, the creator of Cerebus The Aardvark, after statements in Cerebus portrayed by many as being misogynistic..

And Porcterre being the French for "earth pig", where the dutch word aardvark comes from, of course.

Grandville Mon Amour will be published in December by Jonathan Cape in the UK, and will launch at the Thought Bubble Festival on November 20th. You can order copies in the US here and in the UK from either Dark Horse or Jonathan Cape.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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