|Cerebus #151 (October 1991)|
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(from Comics Interview #107, 1992)
...Gerhard wasn't a comic-book fan and had no background in comic books. He had read Archie and stuff like that when he was ten years old, but that was about the extent of what he knew about comics. There became no point in laying out a really nifty Steranko sequence because there wasn't somebody in the room going, "Wow, that's just like Steranko, or that's one step up from Steranko." It's the difference between working in the studio with Gene Day and working in the studio with Gerhard.
From Gerhard I get the reaction of a person - this is what anyone reading Cerebus would think is pretty cool or funny or whatever. With Gene, there was no question that he had just as much of the comic-book world as his background; it was obviously difficult to tell a lot of the times if we were doing something really innovative or if we were just doing the best Steranko we could do. Ger's also a sounding board and he is there to talk to if I'm unsure about something. He's a great audience, he laughs out loud if it's funny, and it's always easier finishing a page if Ger laughed when he read it - assuming it was intended as a funny part. If it was a serious part and he laughed when he read it, then it's a bitch. But definitely, if I put a joke in, like issue 151 where the judge-like character shows up and tells death that's not death at considerable length and then Death goes, "Well, fuck me" and disappears - the moment Ger read that, he burst out laughing. Then I lost whatever ambivalence I had about this really ponderous character going, "Well, fuck me."
So he's a good audience in that way but, really, we don't comment on each other's work that much. Every once in a while the other guy will say, "It's a piece of shit," and you go, "Fuck, I like it okay." That's about it. If something is really amazing and you say, "Wow, that's really amazing," it has to be pretty amazing. This relationship is going on seven years and we've seen a lot of amazing pages come out of each other. We try to do the best that we can and our theory is if you're not happy with it you've always got another page tomorrow that you can do better on. That's about the extent of our reasoning on the influence of each other's work...