Brian Coppola, long time Cerebus fan, collector of original comics pages, patron of the arts and all round great guy, came up with a simple and elegant idea: “…to feature Gerhard drawings that bring to the foreground the settings, circumstances, episodes and ideas that live in the background of the original series.”
According to Brian, “WWC - The World Without Cerebus - even without the main characters, the literal context in which they lived *IS* an independent and fully realized creative work. I have been suggesting the scenario (mainly the episode), and then Ger runs with it with some small, meager comments from me every now and then. As an homage to Dave Sim, and following the tradition of Hirschfeld and his incorporation of his daughter's name (Nina) into his drawings, Dave's initials (DVS) are integrated into the WWC pieces.” Click here to view my complete gallery including the WWC series.
Never one to rush into anything, I dabbled with a few of the ideas and scenes he proposed. Working on “Cerebus” again was difficult as I had wanted to put that piece of my life journey behind me. Still, I could feel a tapping on my shoulder. The Gerhard Dreams piece I did for him features both Brian and I inserted into the nightmare.
The tapping turned into a tapestry. Brian became enchanted with this form of art and asked if I would create something for him using his favourite quote, “Vaille Que Vaille Lors se Verras” which translates to “One goes as one goes and then one shall see.”
I finished both of these pieces for him while he was in China. Isn’t email grand? I was able to complete these pieces for him while he tapped and tapped from another part of the world.
We arranged a meeting halfway between Ann Arbor and Kitchener. The actual halfway point turns out to be smack dab in the middle of nowhere. Just northwest of nowhere is the city of Chatham. We met at the Coffee Culture in the heart of town and had a great visit and a surprisingly good food. We talked about WWC projects, a certain tapestry, China, teaching, Texas, deep vein thrombosis and how surprisingly good the food was. Brian had to hit the road in order to get to the museum in Detroit to continue his obsession with this tapestry. More on that later…
Happy Birthday Clay!
This piece was commissioned as a present for a long-time fan, Clay, by his long-time friend, Jason. The letters I received are what keep me going back to the drawing board.
I got the Cabin piece today, it's awesome! I can't wait to give it to my friend, so I'm going over tonight to surprise him with it. I can't wait to see his reaction! Thanks again, you have made my friend's year with this.
My friend Jason gave me your drawing of my Mom's cabin a couple days ago as an early birthday present. I just wanted to send you an email to let you know my thoughts on your amazing work!
First of all, I need to let you know that the cabin is an extremely special place for me. My mother loved it dearly, as does everyone in my family. My mother fell in love with the place at an early age, as it has been in our family since my great great great grandfather built it after returning from The Civil War. When my mother died in a car accident in 2001, my grandparents bought it from my great uncle and had it restored so that our family can continue to enjoy it for generations to come.
Jason had shown me the illustration you did of his Pearl Park bridge here in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was blown away. When Jason presented your drawing of the cabin to me, I was speechless. I honestly didn't know what to say. I look upon it now with the same incredulity, with awe even. You've managed to capture the place perfectly, as if you have been there. The wonderfully simple rendering of the lilies of the valley in the foreground only improve the piece, as they were my mother's favorite. I choked back tears as I looked upon your beautiful work for the first time. I will cherish it always!
Your drawing has layers of meaning for me. It is from my friend Jason, who has been one of my best and most loyal friends as long as I've known him. It is of my mother's favorite place in the world, and since I have lost her is now so important for me to keep in mind. The flowers in the drawing being her favorite only accentuate that. On top of all of this, it is from one of my favorite artists whose work I have enjoyed for over half of my life.
I cannot thank you enough for your stunning, fantastic work. I appreciate it so much, and so has everyone who has seen it so far. I hope this email finds you well, and I wish you many productive and wonderful years to come.
I had a bit of fun doing a short interview with Julinda Morrow at Sequential Highway for her 15 Questions segment.
You see the article here: http://sequentialhighway.com/?p=334
These are the commissions I did for Margaret a.k.a. CerebusFanGirl - check out her site!
This image shows the picture of Marg on her bike that I inserted into the Ger's Dream piece.
... this is how it progessed
... and then
... and finally
She requested the coloured "Pride" prints as well. Proceeds from these two go to Pride Stables!
Welcome to the continuing story of Brian's obsession with this tapestry.
(You can find out more about it on his blog: http://cerebusart.blogspot.com/)
As some of you already know, Brian has used the phrase "Vaille Que Vaille Lors se Verras" from this tapestry as his motto. He contacted the museum where he had first seen this and they sent him a (fairly) high resolution pic of the piece. He wants to have this re-created in silk at close to full size (around 4 foot square). The people he has contacted to perform this task have asked to have a sort of "blueprint" made to help distinguish the more obscure parts of the image.
This is where I come in. Brian wants me to try tracing the image to assist in the re-creation. I had tried printing out sections on my printer at home with very dissapointing results. So I went to my local quick-print place and had them print it out as large as they could (about 40 inches square). The lady at the the printer thinks that both Brian and I are nuts; Brian for having this done in silk and me for tracing it. I'm pretty sure that she's right.