Note From The President, Cerebus 110, May 1988Copyright 1988 Dave Sim
This is probably as close as I will ever come to the cliche "Mm. What will I write about this month?" note. You know the one I mean... for a while at DC it was something of a fixture in their books. Editors admitting outright they had nothing to say, a few cute paragraphs on what they considered writing about and a sheepish closing where they promised next time they would say something (of course they never did, but that's another story). My thoughts this time out are not that fatuous (I hope), but, still and all, we are at least nodding in that direction (if not nodding off altogether).
The Note from the President is something of a strain. Or, at least has been since I've moved from the public service announcement format ("Attention, shoppers... Cerebus will be appearing with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in issue 8 of TMNT. We repeat...") to something remotely approximately a short essay. It seems that I'm always thinking of something in the course of the day and remarking to whomever is close at hand (usually myself) "Mm. Might make a good Note from the President". Alas, when it comes time to actually compose one, there's usually not an idea to be found - or writing exhaustively on a given subject I find it fills two or three lines. The temptation to write a Note from the President is usually greatest when I'm in the worst imaginable mood. The old nothing-matters-and-what-if-it did, mad-at-the-world, doom-and-gloom funk. At those times I'll grab a pen and write "You want to know what it's like to be Dave Sim? Huh? Listen up, you fuckheads, and I'll tell you."
The thing that keeps me from actually running one of those (aside from space limitations - they usually run fifteen-or-so single-spaced pages) is that I am very persuasive in arguing a viewpoint (oh, you'd noticed). Once I get really wound up on the subject of how shitty everything is, you'd be hard-pressed to see any value to going on living. And considering that most of the readership of Cerebus (at least judging by the ones I meet at cons and whatnot) is like me... anti-social, manic-depressive loners with delusions of grandeur (and a side order of borderline schizophrenia; hold the perspective for good measure)... I'd be afraid of a rash of suicides occurring over a two or three week period.
Would that be wild?
"Yessir, officer. He kept to himself mostly. A quiet boy. We found this comic book with most of the front cover bit off. Yessir, he read it all the time. Almost religiously."
Me, flying all over the country. Two thousand subpoenas to appear at two thousand inquests into two thousand suicides.
"Now, Mr. Sim. This character of yours. This Siberius. I understand that he is a (shuffling through papers)... an aardvark... Pope. Is that correct?"
Screaming mothers and family members.
"That's the one! THAT'S HIM! HE TOOK MY BAAABEEE! HIM and that that CERBERNUS!!"
"But, surely, Mr. Sim you must have known that all these young people would kill themselves. Surely."
"Oh. Well. I wouldn't...
"... Hold that thought, Mr. Sim. We have to pause for this message. We'll be right back."
TIME: "Degenerate Sparks Comic Book Related Deaths" NEWSWEEK: "Comics No Longer for Kids... Comics for Suicide."
So, you see, that's why I always try to keep the Note from the President sort of low-key.
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