In November, Diamond Digital, the digital comics program of Diamond Comic Distributors, began releasing all 25 chapters of Cerebus: High Society, the second volume of Dave Sim’s (and artist Gerhard’s) groundbreaking self-published graphic novel series, on a weekly basis that will continue through March 2013. This is the latest of several publishing moves around Sim and the Cerebus series and includes a successful Kickstarter campaign; a deal with IDW to release a new print edition of High Society, as well as an offer from Fantagraphics Books to bring the series back into print.
These are the latest in a series of recent developments aimed at bringing Sim’s 6,000-page saga into the digital age, where it may find new life after years of diminishing sales in print. Along with it may come a renewed interest in the series from a new generation of readers likely to be unfamiliar with the work and its significance, or have perhaps found it unapproachable because of the series’ formidable size.
Published monthly from 1977 to 2004 by Sim’s own Aardvark-Vanaheim publishing venture, Cerebus began as a Conan the Barbarian parody starring Cerebus, an ornery aardvark warrior who advances to the level of pope. The series often espoused Sim’s own polemical commentary on a range of subjects including art, politics, feminism and religion, while also satirizing figures from history and literature like Oscar Wilde and Margaret Thatcher. Like the ascension of its titular character, Cerebus grew in its narrative and artistic purview, building a loyal following of readers and earning the industry’s top honors. Unfortunately, towards the end of its run, Sim’s writing became increasingly erratic and controversial, scarring his reputation and much of the series’ accomplishments. Despite this, the series still represents an unprecedented triumph in self-publishing and is one of the earliest examples of independent publishing success, planting the seeds for the current wave of creator-owned independent and self-published comics.
Read the complete article here: Dave Sim Brings Cerebus into the Digital Age