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The Canadian AlternativeCartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels$
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Dominick Grace and Eric Hoffman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496815118

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496815118.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2019

Cerebus the Canadian

Cerebus the Canadian

Frontier Survivalism and Victimhood in Sim and Gerhard’s Epic

Chapter:
(p.129) 9 Cerebus the Canadian
Source:
The Canadian Alternative
Author(s):
Eric Hoffman
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496815118.003.0009

This chapter argues that Cerebus possesses qualities which are specifically Canadian. There is, for example, the outsiderness of its creation – when it first appeared, nearly all of the major comics publishers were United States (US)-based – in addition to its parodying mainstream above ground, non-Canadian comics. Not being part of mainstream American comics culture, or, for that matter, originating within the US, Cerebus was an underdog among underdogs. Moreover, this "Canadianness" also informs Cerebus' content, influencing its imagery, themes, and structure. Closer examination of Cerebus suggests how Sim's magnum opus embodies two major themes in Canadian literature:survival (with regards to Cerebus’ geography) and victimhood (with regards to its politics), as suggested by Northrop Frye's image of the "garrison mentality" in his book The Bush Garden (1971), and in Margaret Atwood's landmark study Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (1972).

Keywords:   Canadianness, Cerebus, Nationalism, Dave Sim, Survival

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