David Victor Sim (born May 17, 1956 in Hamilton, Ontario) is a Canadian cartoonist and publisher, best known for creating the long-running comic book Cerebus the Aardvark, his formal artistic experimentations, his advocacy of self-publishing and creator’s rights, and his controversial political, philosophical and religious beliefs.
Sim dropped out of high school to pursue a career in comics, and rose to prominence after he began Cerebus in December, 1977. Initially simply as a parody of Conan the Barbarian and othersword and sorcery comics, after two years Sim came to conceive of the series as a self-complete work, which would run for 300 issues and be subdivided into “novels“. By the time the 6000-page work was completed in March 2004, Sim had delved into politics, theology, metaphysics, and a particularly controversial examination of feminism and gender issues, while becoming progressively more sophisticated and experimental in his storytelling and artwork. Sim has continued to work on Cerebus Archives since completing Cerebus, as well as producing the comicsGlamourpuss, which examines the history of photorealistic comics, and Judenhass, about the Holocaust.
Sim was co-founder of the small press Aardvark-Vanaheim along with his wife-to-be, Deni Loubert, in 1977, although most of the titles it published moved to Loubert’s Renegade Press after their divorce in the mid-1980s. The publishing company was later co-owned by Sim’s creative partner, Gerhard, who dissolved their partnership and sold his stake in the company to Sim in 2007.
Sim was a pioneer and advocate of self-publishing as an ideal, and was one of the key figures in the creation of the Creator’s Bill of Rights in 1988. His relationship with his readers, colleagues and friends has often been strained, sometimes by the content of his work, and often by his expressed opinions and personal interactions. In particular, some have labeled Sim a misogynist, though he denies the charge and has refused to maintain contact with anyone who will not sign a form letter denying that he is a misogynist. This has resulted in a break with many of his former friends. His idiosyncratic religious conversion in 1996 has distinctly coloured all his work and writing since, including the later Cerebus novels. He has criticized the use of copyright to restrict creators, and has made arrangements for his oeuvre to fall into the public domain following his death.