My first impulse was to ask really bland questions like “What inspires you?” and “Gee, how did you get so talented?” But then I changed my mind.
After all, this is Gerhard I’m talking to: a miracle worker of pen and ink. He’s created roughly 5,000 pages of meticulously-detailed backgrounds as a collaborator on the Cerebus books. No one can render a scene like he can. And he’s open to answer any question at all.
Gerhard & Dave Sim, Cerebus Tradeback Covers
So I want to know what he would do on a desert island.
Me: Imagine you’re stranded in a place where there are no people and no contact with the outside world. What would the ideal “desert island” be, for you?
Gerhard: The location in “Cast Away” or maybe “Lost” would work just fine for me. I would prefer a deserted island rather than a desert island; not a lot of food or water in a desert. I am actually fairly close to having my own deserted island life right now. Minus the tropical weather and palm trees, of course. But I do live out in the country, away from everything, in a very small attic apartment in a century stone farm house. The main source of heat is the woodstove. The main source of wood is what is lying around the property. There’s no cable or satellite TV, no radio, and internet access is limited. If I could grow my own food, brew my own beer, ditch the phone and the computer, I would be pretty much there. Palm trees would be nice, though.
Gerhard & Dave Sim, Rick’s Story, Issue 228, 2000
If you could make a hundred clones of yourself (ethical dilemmas aside), what would you set yourself to work on?
Hmmmm… hundreds of clones, eh? My first reaction would be to set them all to work completing all of the unfinished projects that have stalled. It would also be great to be able to hand off a drawing once I’ve done all the “fun stuff” and have my Legion of Substitute Gerhards ink all of those tiny little lines. A couple of them could cut, split and stack wood. But then I got to thinking that there are probably much better uses for the manpower. I volunteer at Pride Stables assisting with the therapeutic horseback riding programs and they can always use more help with the horses and riders, or with fundraising. There are a lot of worthwhile charities and causes that could use a couple of hundred helping hands. It’d be nice to keep one of them, though, for chores around here and to have him make me a sandwich.
Gerhard & Dave Sim, Mothers & Daughters, Issue 186, 1994
Gerhard & Dave Sim, Going Home, Issue 234, 2000
Imagine a dictator rises to power and begins destroying works of art. If you had to pick a single piece of your work that would be preserved through the ages, which would it be, and why?
The single piece of my work that I would like to see be preserved through the ages hasn’t been created yet. I hope to be able to get to that before I die. Hmmm… those clones would come in handy.
For prints of Gerhard’s work and further info, visit his website at gerhardart.com
Visit his blog for updates on current projects!