Published Feb 16, 2007After bringing the life of his beloved comic book hero Cerebus the Aardvark to an end two years ago, writer/artist Dave Sims quest for spiritual fulfilment continues in a most unexpected way. He has begun a semi-regular series of Sunday afternoon scripture readings in his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario, starting with the King James Bible in chronological order, to be continued later with the Torah and the Koran, a project that could last for the next four years. Sim, who boasts no religious affiliation, says he started reading the Bible aloud when mocking religion became integral to the Cerebus storyline. Yet, he now feels compelled to share with others what has become a cornerstone of his existence.
"I had a sense that people would prefer to get their religious observance in this way, Sim says. "To me, the individual has to look at Gods word and see what it says to them personally. Listening to a man read the Old Testament without embellishment for three-hour stretches certainly takes the notion of theatre to a new level. At the same time, Sims practiced intonation makes it a not entirely unpleasant experience, especially when well-known passages emerge in all their glory. "So far its been hardcore Cerebus fans that have shown the most interest in this, just to be completists, but Im hoping to start reaching people beyond that, he says. However, Sim is quick to add, "They shouldnt think that this is light-hearted entertainment though. Reading some of these books is a test of faith, as they were intended. Sims next reading of Joshua takes place on Jan. 7, followed by Judges on Jan. 21 and First Samuel on Jan. 28. All take place The Registry Theatre in downtown Kitchener and are free, although a food bank donation is preferred. For further details, go to www.registrytheatre.com. DVDs of past readings are available on eBay.