Erm... not much. I'm slightly hampered as someone has my copy at the moment. Dave parodies Conan quite a bit. Red Sofia and Lord Julius appear, as do Elrod, the Roach and Jaka. The Palnu trilogy is Dave's first multi-part story. Mind Games I takes place. We learn a little about the Pigts and their worship of an earth-pig. Dave announces (in the individual issues) that Cerebus will be 300 issues long and that he will die in the final issue.
Cerebus is engineered to be Prime Minster of Iest by Adam Weisshaupt, Astoria and Bran Mak Muffin, in competition with a donkey which Lord Julius favours. The Regency Elf appears numerous times to Cerebus and reveals hidden things to him about who he is. Cerebus is briefly married to Red Sofia, and rejects Jaka for the second time.
Church & State
In short, Cerebus becomes Pope and ascends to the moon.
In long... there are yet more power struggles and Cerebus competes with the Cirinists to complete a perfect golden globe which will allow him to ascend to the heavens and meet Tarim/Terim. The Cirints are occupying a tower (constructed from some kind of stone heads) which is gradually getting bigger and taller, now dominating Iest. Cerebus sneezes fire for the first time. Thrunk returns, and is possessed by Weisshaupt before being destroyed by Cerebus. Cerebus marries and divorces Astoria (the famous 'rape' sequence that upset Deni so much). Astoria explains the ongoing conflict between Cirinists (Mothers - the feminists who want to 'protect' women from society) and Kevilists (Daughters - the feminists who want liberation for women). Cerebus makes it to the moon (via an encounter with the Flaming Carrot on the way, and later defeating Dave's first He/She/It analogy) where he meets George, who reveals he will die alone, unloved. Gerhard turns up during this. In the comicbook, Dave reveals that he has changed his mind and Cerebus will now end with #200. This has something to do with the death of John Lennon, apparently.
Cerebus is finally reunited with Jaka, to find she is now dancing in a tavern owned by Pud, and is married to Rick. Pud secretly believes Jaka will leave Rick for him, but daydreams about raping her anyway. Oscar Wilde lives next door to the tavern. Cerebus tries to persuade Jaka to leave Rick. Cerebus and Rick attempt to bond. Interspersed through this is a 'Reads' story (comics in Cerebus) written by Oscar which gives lots of information about Jaka's youth, including her abuse at the hands of Lord Julius and humiliation when Astoria is chosen by him in favour of her. Jaka reveals her love and patronage of the arts. The Cirinists storm the tavern, killing Pud, and take away Jaka and Rick. Jaka meets her nursemaid in the next cell, and is forced to reveal to Rick she has had an abortion without his knowledge. They are divorced.
Oscar Wilde dies. In Cerebus news, distraught at the loss of Jaka he clutches her doll, Missy, in front of a bar. Various people he knows pass by but he does not respond.
Mothers and Daughters
This comprises Flight, Women, Reads & Minds , but I'll deal with is as a whole.
Cerebus snaps out of his stupor, and goes on a violent rampage against the Cirinists (aided by PunisherRoach). He encounters the real Cirin, who informs him the person he thinks is Cirin is actually Serna, an aardvark like Cerebus, who has kept her locked away to hide the secret. Astoria, Cerebus and Seneteus Po (the third aardvark) confront the fake Cirin. It is revealed Cerebus is a hermaphrodite, but had an accident with a knife as a child and is infertile. In a climactic fight, the throneroom where Cerebus breaks away and Cerebus and Cirin are cast into space. They go their separate ways and Cerebus ends up on an icy planet where he is told the true nature of things by Dave. He elects to return home.
In Reads , Dave adopts the persona of Viktor Davis and explains his failed flirtation with the mainstream via Dark Horse and Vertigo, while expanding on his theories about male and female behaviour. A lot of readers dropped out at this point, and it's when Dave started attracting the misogynist tag.
Somewhere immediately before #200, Dave points out he was only joking, and Cerebus is going to be 300 issues after all. He says it's to make you see how you would feel if something you loved was taken away before you were ready.
My favourite book, this one. The returned Cerebus lives in a bar run by The Beatles, and drinks with Mick, Keef, Marty Feldman and Bear. Norman Mailer and Eddie Campbell drop by. Cerebus shows his talents at Five Bar Gate (a hockey-like game), and also displays characteristics described as "acting like a chick". The Beatles leave the bar, and Cerebus sobers up and takes it over. Cerebus has an affair with Joanne, during which we are shown an unreal flashback where his affair with Joanne has taken place behind Jaka's back in a different life. Everybody leaves, but Cerebus believes Bear will come back for him. Cerebus feels that he should go to return to his home town. At the very end, Rick arrives leading to...
Cerebus and Rick bond. Rick has an affair with Joanne, but receives a head wound at the bonfire. We first see Cerebus as 'the birdwatcher', who watches couples at it and pleasures himself. Rick's headwound starts to lead to visions with Cerebus as Thee One Trve Cerebus, and Rick starts writing Thee Booke Of Ricke to explain it. Rick leaves on completing it, having trapped Cerebus in the bar with a spell of binding. Dave appears to Cerebus and explains why it always happens to him. Dave returns Jaka to Cerebus as a final gift, and she breaks the spell.
Cerebus and Jaka plan to return to Sand Hills Creek to see Cerebus' parents, but travel part of the way on a boat with F Scott Fitzgerald. Jaka is tempted to leave Cerebus to go to an island of artists. The Cirinists crewing the boat are convinced Cerebus is beating Jaka and plan to murder him on reaching land - Jaka spots this and rescues him. They leave for Sand Hills Creek.
Dave's commentary makes me want to read Scott.
Form & Void
Jaka has to conduct some formal ceremonies as 'Princess Of Palnu' and we discover the Cirinists are routinely executing and dissenters. Heading across country, Cerebus and Jaka meet Ernest and Mary Hemmingway. We discover too much about Ernest and Mary's actual sexual behaviour. Ernest shoots himself. Cerebus and Jaka head out alone across country, hampered by Jaka's insistence on new clothes every day and her spoilt behaviour. Their relationship comes to breaking point in a tent in a blizzard, when all looks lost. Rick appears to Cerebus and tells him how to save himself - they get to a Cirinist lodge. They realise they must get away before their tent can be discovered (for fear of Cirinists finding the gun and framing Cerebus for the murder of Ernest) and take a secret Pigt tunnel to Sand Hills Creek. While passing through it, Jaka learns more of how she will be expected to behave in Sand Hills Creek and doesn't like it one bit. When they arrive, we learn Cerebus' parents have died, around the time in Guys he wanted to go home. He is ostracised by the village for failing to return, and in his grief tells Jaka "Go on. Get Out. Scram!" as Rick(e) foretold he would.
Dave's commentary does not make me want to read Hemmingway, and to shoot Mary.
Distraught, Cerebus starts walking. It later transpires he walks the entire continent. He becomes a shepherd but is chased away by the owner of the sheep for 'birdwatching'. While a shepherd he reads the entirety of the Reads piece, Rabbi. He lives above a tavern in the north, and becomes a permanent 'second' champion at Five Bar Gate (by which I mean he is the runner-up every year). This does, however, make him money. He decides he has had enough, and spends his money on a strip bar, which he hopes the Cirinists will find and destroy, him along with it. He is discovered instead by the Three Wise Fellowes (Three Stooges) who are adherents to the Booke Of Ricke and are searching for Thee One Trve Cerebus. They kidnap him and attach him to a strange machine while awaiting him to say the Trve Word Foretold By Ricke while reciting the Booke Of Ricke at him. Cerebus imagines he can escape as Rabbi. Cerebus breaks his leg. Eventually he says the word, and discovers that Cirinst opposition has risen since he was wandering and he is in the Sanctvary as foretold and described by Ricke. There is a loose collusion of men (hunting lodges) and he attempts to unite them as Spore, reliving many of the events of C&S (including the baby-tossing). He does this, and the Cirinists appear defeated. His adherents die of old age. It is shown to Cerebus that Rabbi was actually a Cirinist plot to drive him mad. Cerebus goes mad. Some time later, he is shocked back to reality with the arrival of Koningsberg, the Not-So-Good Samaritan (Woody Allen). Koningsberg's life story is told, then he leaves. Cerebus tells his story to a young woman, who is obsessed with the idea that Cerebus is only after her because she looks like Joanne. She looks like Jaka. (In the collected edition, the positioning of this is nowhere near as affecting as it was in the issues.) They are married.
The Last Day
Cerebus is old, and virtually bedridden. He wishes to see his son before he dies. We are shown the history, that he is the son of Cerebus and 'The New Joanne' (the Jaka lookalike in the previous issue) and Cerebus is actaully being kept away from him because of an alleged abuse incident. Eventually, She(p)-Shep (the son) arrives and there is a long discussion. Cerebus attempts to tell him that his mother was not like Joanne, but Jaka - but realises he is too late and the Booke Of Ricke contradicts this. She(p)-Shep reveals Cirin is still alive and working with Joanne - they have together created a hybrid lion using She(p)-Shep's DNA with which he intends to rule as a God, which he shows to Cerebus. An enraged Cerebus draws a sword to kill them both, but instead falls out of bed and dies. He ascends into the light, which may or may not be Hell.
Once the final phonebook comes out, I'm going to embark on a re-read. This may be updated at that point.
― aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Thursday, 1 July 2004 12:01 (sixteen years ago) link
My most glaring omission though is from Latter Days. Koningsberg's comes to Cerebus because he has brought Cerebus a book(e) passed down since the days of Rick(e). It is the Torah, the Pentateuch and Cerebus proceeds to interpret it as an argument between God (male) and YHWH (female). Over many pages. Many, many pages. In very small type.
― aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Thursday, 1 July 2004 12:56 (sixteen years ago) link
I would love to read the actual essay / description behind this: "Somewhere immediately before #200, Dave points out he was only joking, and Cerebus is going to be 300 issues after all. He says it's to make you see how you would feel if something you loved was taken away before you were ready." I tried getting into Cerebus back around #151, but can't remember any talk about the series ending at #200.
― David R. (popshots75`), Thursday, 1 July 2004 13:38 (sixteen years ago) link
He says round the time of #200 that he had made the decision I attribute to him to finish early and just hadn't told anybody, but that he had changed his mind.
Bollocks. Will look tonight and try and find the detail.
Flash of inspiration - he may cover this during the Viktor Davis sections in Reads now I think about it. Sorry, I'm trying to do all this from memory, and it's a complicated storyline... will confirm later.
― aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Thursday, 1 July 2004 14:03 (sixteen years ago) link
― Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Thursday, 1 July 2004 14:24 (sixteen years ago) link
― tom west (thomp), Thursday, 1 July 2004 14:49 (sixteen years ago) link
It came up here You'll also note this is a post-C&S question, hence I've been light on all but the main points in pre-#111 accordingly.
Anyway, the full story on the #200 story is indeed in the Viktor Davis bit in Reads.
December 8, 1980, at approximately 11:20pm, Viktor Davis had been sitting at his drawing board, hard at work on the twenty-fourth issue of Cerebus. Less than a year before, he had announced for the first time that the story line would run three hundred issues. He was in the middle of lettering 'Blinky Boar and the Strawberry Patch' and humming 'Strawberry Fields Forever' to himself when the local radio station interrupted its programming for a news bulletin.
'Possibilities for a Beatles reunion were dashed at eleven o'clock tonight when John Lennon was shot to death outside his Manhattan apartment building...'
That night, Viktor Davis decided that Cerebus would not run for three hundred issues. He decided that Cerebus would run for two hundred issues. Viktor Davis decided to keep this a secret, telling no one for fourteen years.
He would not announce it until issue one hundred and eighty-three, a year and five months before the end: November 1995.
Dave then continues for a bit about how the reader takes this news.
'I was just kidding,' he said. 'Cerebus goes to issue three hundred. Just like I've always said. March 2004.'
The reader and Viktor Davis regarded one another for several minutes, without speaking, across the strange, lighted rectangle. Calmly, Viktor Davis withdrew his pack of cigarettes from his hip pocket and selected one. Rasing the lighter in his right hand, he lit the cigarette in a quick, easy motion.
'What's the matter?' he asked, still smiling through a dissipating cloud of smoke.
'Don't you trust me?'
In many ways this is the best and worst of Dave. He has admitted in private conversation to me that it's entirely possible - that the way the final third sits is consistent with Dave having no real plan and having to come up with it as he went along, to a degree.
btw Andrew, Dave turned the Cerebus copyright over to the readers in #300 so this is free for reproduction.
― aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Thursday, 1 July 2004 19:07 (sixteen years ago) link
― Wooden, Sunday, 25 July 2004 11:14 (sixteen years ago) link
― Wooden, Monday, 26 July 2004 02:18 (sixteen years ago) link
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 12:17 (fifteen years ago) link
― Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 12:58 (fifteen years ago) link
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 13:03 (fifteen years ago) link
― Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 13:11 (fifteen years ago) link
"Heheh. Watta maroon." Dave is talking about Cerebus. Or is he? Dave is talking about us. It's our desire to know what happens next that brings Cerebus back to the bar. It's us that choose for him not to die.
This accounts for the jarring jump in story (mainly because there are no outstanding plotlines - everything that needs tying up, has been), and almost retreading of previous work. Old characters are reintroduced, sometimes (as in Mick 'n' Keef) for no real overall plot advancement,and the level of injokery (Seth, Eddie Campbell, Marc Hempel) is possibly even higher. Having said that, by the time Guys is over, the final books are at least roughly plotted - there are pieces very early in Rick's Story that don't pay off till Latter Days, for example.
Despite all this, the Jaka from the later books is entirely consistent with the earlier Jaka, and re-reading Jaka's Story in light of what came later if Dave planned it all from the beginning it's hard to see how it ever became hailed as a feminist epic (it actually reads in exactly the same way as some of the later post-breakdown light/void books).
There are some good essays out there on which chunks you can break the 300 issue plot into (personally, I favour the interpretation which says it's the same 100 issue story told 3 times but with variances in the main themes. 1-100 - Cerebus is manipulated in a male-dominated society, the reader is externalised and voyeuristic, an observer. 101-200 - the transition: Cerebus is manipulated as much as he manipulates others in a society fighting a gender war, the reader is a companion and participatory. 201-300 - Cerebus is stuck trying to manipulate other people to win minor victories in a female-dominated society, the reader is empathic and is Cerebus.), I recommend a good one I read which says the split is in fact at 150, and there's a 'light' half and a 'void' half. Also, Dave's answers to questions on individual books on the Cerebus newsgroup show that there were some constructs he introduced very early on that have very real and far-reaching consequences for much, much later (it can be argued, of course, that this is not necessarily inconsistent with plans for finishing at 200).
― aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 13:12 (fifteen years ago) link
some constructs he introduced very early on that have very real and far-reaching consequences for much, much later
what are these, btw, for the benefit of someone who skimmed the later stuff?
also: acc. to dave, it's definitely hell (I think).
― Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 13:29 (fifteen years ago) link
― chap who would dare to work for the man (chap), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 13:38 (fifteen years ago) link
Personally, I think it works better if it's left open to interpretation, but obv it's hard to stop Dave overexplaining about things.
― Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 13:47 (fifteen years ago) link
To cover some earlier points:
I suspect at 200 Cerebus would just have died on the ice planet. alone, unloved and unmourned.
As to some of the stuff which is introduced very early - I think the most obvious one is in issue #2, where Cerebus goes after the "Eye of Terim" which is protected by a succubus. And what do succubi do? They are the 'void' into which the souls of the male warriors are sucked.
Q1 continued: Also, the female succubus Khem is hiding out in "The Eye of Terim." Terim, of course, is later depicted as the female deity. Was the later use of the name Terim deliberately linked to the earlier use?
DAVE: I can't say with 100% certainty that that was the case. As I recall, the two different spellings of Terim and Tarim were accidental at first, in the same was that I had trouble bearing in mind that Cerebus was supposed to refer to himself in the third person and would later cover for it by saying that he referred to himself as "I" when he had been around the civilized areas too long. I was covering for not remembering how to spell Tarim by making it the masculine version of the deity's name.
Q1 continued: Similarly, is the demon Female (Void) sucking the souls out of the Male warriors, who at the end when released are depicted as Lights flying off into the night an intentional direct parallel to the similar description of the Void and Light that you presented in i186?
DAVE: I went back and reread the section and it seems clear to me in retrospect that this was me unconsciously documenting what would have been, at the time, my overwhelming and all-encompassing connection to the female half of reality which resulted from my first non-familial exposure to it as a result of being in my first boyfriend/girlfriend relationship for about a year by this time.
Certainly all of the central YHWHist female realities are there: the living thing in the middle of the earth that's a bright light, the rarest jewel, blah, blah, blah. And it certainly anticipates the ultimate conclusions I came to about the devouring, ensnaring nature of the light as presented in i's289/290 (is that the plural form?) about which, in my view, men would do well to remain always and centrally vigilant if they intend to shilly-shally on the romantic borderlands or (God forbid) plunge joyously headlong,as I did,into the Alice in Wonderland environs of the members opposite.
[Relative to 186, I think it's safe to say that my best amended perception of Reality is that males and females are both light and void. That is, that masculinity is represented in the light by the Spirit of God which "went in unto the light" and the "true light which lighteth every man that commeth into the world" (John's Gospel). Femininity is represented in the light by the empty facade of radiance (un-true light, if you will). Masculinity is represented in the void by the fact that it is the medium in which God exists.
I mean, that's my best guess,that the void is universally conscious and aware for the most part across untold trillions of light years interrupted here and there by pinpricks of empty facade radiance and that the void also constitutes the space between atoms and molecules. It's all one awareness which allows for the literal definition of God as an omnipresent Being. He is literally everywhere around you and inside of you. Boo!
Femininity is represented in the void as a vaginal nature, desirous of things to ensnare and transform. That is, apart from the facade of radiance, with the seminal light there was, literally (to quote Dorothy Parker) "no 'there' there." One of the descriptions of goddess nature is "everything she touches she changes." Well, true enough. All the Spirit of God wanted was to have a co-equal existence with the light and we see what that's led to. YHWH the transformative tar baby. Enter at your own risk.]
It seems to me that I was telling myself that very basic story as well, even way back at issue 2. Notice that all Cerebus has to do is pick up the Eye of Tarim and walk in a straight line to the exit. The thing is there are no straight lines in the female half of reality. They are,physically, mentally and spiritually,all curves which lead nowhere. Fun house mirrors and roller coasters. I was surprised that no one picked up on the analogous usage of "The path suddenly drops and the aardvark stumblesâ€?" segment and the same trick that Viktor Davis played on the reader in i183, where the path suddenly drops away and then comes back when he announces that Cerebus is going to end at issue 200 instead of 300.
In both case, the one unconscious and the other conscious,I was attempting to demonstrate (first to myself and then to the reader) what reality is like once you enter the opposing camp where everything is made up of curves that lead nowhere. On the way in, it all looks perfectly straightforward. That's the trick.
Of course, this is Dave's retconning in full effect, but there are some interesting examples. You can find the Q&A sessions here.
― aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 14:09 (fifteen years ago) link
― Chris F. (servoret), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 17:53 (fifteen years ago) link
― Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 18:18 (fifteen years ago) link
i really need to read the stuff i haven't, which is mostly mothers and daughters, but also, hum, lots of the rest. well.
― tom west (thomp), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 04:43 (fifteen years ago) link
― kenchen, Wednesday, 18 January 2006 15:36 (fifteen years ago) link
― Douglas (Douglas), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 17:13 (fifteen years ago) link
Urgh, yeah. I finally tried to start following the monthly around the time he was doing the "Chasing YHWH" bit and it was an impossible task. Three months worth of text pieces detailing Dave's highly idiosyncratic, not to say schizoid, reinterpretation of the Bible? Yuck.
Did you flag a bit in carrying out your Cerebus project, tom?
― Chris F. (servoret), Thursday, 19 January 2006 00:48 (fourteen years ago) link
― Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:05 (fourteen years ago) link
Which he believes is the only correct interperatation that has ever been made. And the only reason its not front page news around the world is because of those nasty women and gays keeping it supressed. You really have to laugh. (It's the Torah, BTW)
I would be interested to read that article too.
― chap who would dare to work for the man (chap), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:16 (fourteen years ago) link
― Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:22 (fourteen years ago) link
― Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:29 (fourteen years ago) link
― chap who would dare to work for the man (chap), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:33 (fourteen years ago) link
― Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:55 (fourteen years ago) link
― tom west (thomp), Thursday, 19 January 2006 02:22 (fourteen years ago) link
(And yes, Cerebus farts right before he hits the ground. About 60 pages earlier he'd prayed to God for one good fart. Which is why he thinks "Oh! Thank you God" as he expires...)
― Douglas (Douglas), Thursday, 19 January 2006 04:24 (fourteen years ago) link
― Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Thursday, 19 January 2006 05:16 (fourteen years ago) link
― Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Thursday, 19 January 2006 05:43 (fourteen years ago) link
It's definitely worth checking out Douglas' article in the original, because you get a Charles Burns Cerebus on the cover and a Tony Millionaire spot illo with the article! That said, I wouldn't mind the PDF too, 'cos I didn't want to pay $24 for an 80-page magazine and read it in a bookshop...
― kit brash (kit brash), Thursday, 19 January 2006 07:24 (fourteen years ago) link
― kit brash (kit brash), Thursday, 19 January 2006 09:50 (fourteen years ago) link
I'd love someone to write a book-length analysis of Cerebus one day, but I wouldn't envy the fucker.
― chap who would dare to no longer work for the man (chap), Thursday, 19 January 2006 16:03 (fourteen years ago) link
― mark s (mark s), Thursday, 19 January 2006 16:21 (fourteen years ago) link
― chap who would dare to no longer work for the man (chap), Thursday, 19 January 2006 16:42 (fourteen years ago) link
― Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 19 January 2006 21:16 (fourteen years ago) link
It's rather solipsistic and repetetive, but I don't know how one could write about Cerebus in any depth without this being the case. Anyway, I found it interesting.
― chap who would dare to start Raaatpackin (chap), Saturday, 26 August 2006 01:28 (fourteen years ago) link
Can someone do me a favour and point me to a good - ideally fairly small (like 200-250 pixels max either way) pic of Prince Mick and Prince Keef from Cerebus - my copies of Church and State are in France so I can't scan it. I need it to illustrate a blog post tomorrow (attentive FT readers will be able to work out which).
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 19:02 (fourteen years ago) link
― David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 19:13 (fourteen years ago) link
― Richard Jones (scarne), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 08:00 (fourteen years ago) link
― Tom (Groke), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 08:13 (fourteen years ago) link
I have read huge chunks of this but have some gaps (haven't read anything after Rick's Story, for ex.) I have two random questions:
1) does Astoria ever appear again post-Minds? At the end of the four-way dialogue between Suenteus Po, Cerebus, Cirin, and herself, does she just leave and exit the narrative altogether?2) when Cerebus returns to Estarcion after Minds, how come the Cirinists don't just kill him. Given how much trouble Cerebus caused her, I don't get why Cirin would just let him live out his days.
maybe I should just read Minds...
― hoth as fuck (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 12 November 2009 18:30 (eleven years ago) link
i think the answer to 2) is that she's terrified of him.
― because she looks awesome, like in the face (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 12 November 2009 18:36 (eleven years ago) link
1) Astoria's last appearance is in Reads, except for in hallucinations and possibly flashbacks.
You should check out Latter Days, the first two thirds are surprisingly good fun for late period Cerebus, and you don't really have to have read the generally interminable stuff between it and guys to understand it. The last third of the book is fucking batshit and really boring, natch.
― I am flesh and blood. You are software and circuitry. (chap), Thursday, 12 November 2009 22:46 (eleven years ago) link
good to know... so far I've avoided Reads and I'm conflicted about powering through the entire series, even though I seem to return to the ones I like the most (High Society/Church & State/Guys/Rick's Story) on a regular basis (like, once every couple years). this series is really kinda a tragedy, could've been so much bigger/better...
― the only guy in a feminism lit class called The Women Quest (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 13 November 2009 20:36 (eleven years ago) link
btw, I watched about 45 minutes of Cerebus TV yesterday (I don't know how much content he has up...it runs in a continuous loop), and my only reaction is o_O
― WmC, Friday, 13 November 2009 20:40 (eleven years ago) link
This thing sounds like time cube the comic
― Politically homely (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 21 November 2020 20:34 (one month ago) link
...because it would mean Dave would have to do the first 64 and last 64 issues alone?
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Saturday, 21 November 2020 20:36 (one month ago) link
Does he ever suggest that religious conversion made him realise that thinking of himself as the centre of the universe, to such a degree that The Universe would kill his closest companion for the sake of the issue numbers on a barbarian aardvark comic book, was kinda bonkers?
― huge rant (sic), Saturday, 21 November 2020 21:01 (one month ago) link
No, because it's the feminist conspiracy making you think that.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Saturday, 21 November 2020 21:21 (one month ago) link
fuck! they got me again
― huge rant (sic), Saturday, 21 November 2020 21:24 (one month ago) link
The reason I wanted to separate out The Last Day is that it's actually if not good, then at least worth your while.
Over 50 years from when we last checked in, Cerebus is now at the end of times. The Sanctuary is a prison as those who oppose him have taken over again, by taking his (and Rick's and Moshe's) own words and reinterpreting them to their own ends. Everything is painful, and he can't do anything that gives him any pleasure without suffering afterwards. His memory is shot and death is the only release.
Cerebus' son arrives and is a betrayal of all Cerebus holds true. He has aligned with his mother and formed an incestuous union alongside a revived Cirin to perform genetic experiments - they've created a human/lion hybrid which they intend to make giant - and conquer the world.
Cerebus farts and dies, and seeing all his friends is dragged off into the light. Alone, unmourned and unloved.
Dave's final physical model of Cerebus is a little too cartoony rather than authentically aged, and the staging and backgrounds are very static, but through a combination of visual effects, lettering and text the pain, repetition and excruciatingly slow passage of time at that age are convincingly and realistically portrayed. He also gets to redraw a number of old characters and ages of Cerebus which you'd think brought him pleasure (but doesn't seem to have).
Dave also manages one last great insight/truism - Sheshep, drunk on power, pictures himself taking over only for Cerebus to point out the folly of his argument: "you're not inside it, are you? Can you feel your hands holding you up?" (Yes, this is him referring to his own Torah commentaries here but it's a really good sequence nonetheless.)
Cerebus As Dave is in full effect. Isolated from the real world, which is as disgusted with him as he is in it, and with only a go-between to pass on second hand conversations. His closest allies have betrayed him and he is left alone with just God to talk to. His temple of his past achievements is meaningless to any but him and, having shown his enemies exactly how he does it he has been rendered completely impotent. All that remains is to surrender to God and await the sweet release of death that he might become closer to Him.
In lots of ways this might even be the best book of the final third in that it has a purpose and plot, and some actual (not that funny but take what you can get) jokes.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Sunday, 22 November 2020 13:28 (one month ago) link
oh man iirc the human / lion hybrid stuff came with sleevenotes by Dave explaining that this was literally what scientists were up to now IRL and this is why we can't trust doctors, or something
― huge rant (sic), Sunday, 22 November 2020 13:36 (one month ago) link
Except it's not because of Dave's annotations which, again, I wanted to keep separate from the main book.
They're mainly just Dave explaining why he thought numerous jokes were much funnier than anyone else did, and why, but it's genuinely fascinating to hear how much of the final artwork is down to choices made because of the disintegration of his relationship with Ger and the deal he made to get him to finish. And of course there are some final Dave Doozies.
Dave shuts up, finally. Goodbye goodwill.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Sunday, 22 November 2020 13:51 (one month ago) link
the human / lion hybrid stuff came with sleevenotes by Dave explaining that this was literally what scientists were up to now IRL
Yeah this is one of the other things which is an obvious consequence of agreeing with abortion and this is what Marxist-feminists and scientists are conspiring to do irl.
Also all the hybrids we see in Egyptian art were actually real because they were a degenerate society and something something Alan Moore.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Sunday, 22 November 2020 13:56 (one month ago) link
I don't know if it's worse that I remembered part of it at all, or forgot that Ancient Egypt fell because their DNA scientists got too good at making giant living sphinxes and Anubisesses.
― huge rant (sic), Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:08 (one month ago) link
We do see him in the bastardisation of a Holy Trinity
Haha the Marxist-feminists got to me fourteen years ago near the top of this thread.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:27 (one month ago) link
I want to end on a positive note.
Cerebus 1-300 is a masterpiece of single-minded exploration of a character's life. It is at times hilarious, moving and frightening and contains some excellent cartooning and arguably the greatest lettering in the history of comics. I genuinely commend it to everyone to borrow and read.
Just don't touch any of the bits that are text.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:33 (one month ago) link
I remember some of the text parts in Jaka's Story being good?
Anyway, thanks for doing that Aldo, I enjoyed your analysis. Overall it's probably made me less keen for a re-read of Cerebus - but enforced my feeling that there's a great book waiting to be written one day with Sim/Cerebus as its subject.
― chap, Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:42 (one month ago) link
Sounds like this is a whole hell of a something or other
― is right unfortunately (silby), Sunday, 22 November 2020 17:10 (one month ago) link
i think a comics-only re-read of Cerebus would be reasonably painless but there is zero (0) chance i will ever read Sim's long-form copy ever again.
― the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Monday, 23 November 2020 15:28 (one month ago) link
I will never read this terrible comic, if only to deprive Sim of money.
― Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Tuesday, 24 November 2020 00:01 (one month ago) link
Seeing the recent Dave Sim "humorous" covers make me think he needs to be beaten with a metal bar.
you can't argue with this level of comedy
― huge rant (sic), Friday, 27 November 2020 08:20 (one month ago) link
I can't really begin to parse that.
― chap, Friday, 27 November 2020 09:41 (one month ago) link
I think it got discussed further up but once you relate it back to the source image it just gets (unbelievably) worse.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Friday, 27 November 2020 10:08 (one month ago) link
try parsing this one: per Dave's weekly Bible commentary, the droughts and fires in California are the God's punishment for the malignant and rebellious free will choices made by the citizens there (Dave does not explain why God is madder at the conservative inhabitants of Northern California than the fornicators and homosexualists of West Hollywood), but God's wrath cannot impact upon his female rival YHWH because dirt and stone and rocks and sand are the embodiment of the vagina. In conclusion, this is why John The Baptist had a thin neck.
― huge rant (sic), Friday, 27 November 2020 10:24 (one month ago) link
He explains (or "explains" or Explains) the lack of vegetation associated with YHWH somewhere in the Torah commentary. Something to do with YHWH not actually being able to create (because of her inferior female brane) but just make limited copies of God's ideas and since her useless female brane is filled with making cows (which are fruit, remember) she can't remember to make plants in many places except the Garden.
You can cure this by shouting at the ground, telling it to listen to you and grow plants, alongside the occasional beating with a belt to let it know who's boss.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Friday, 27 November 2020 10:32 (one month ago) link
I can't remember if that last is an actual thing or just a joke about dirt and sand being female, but I do remember that his rule about beating women was that it = wrong if you used a rod thicker than your thumb. So a belt would be right out, probably.
― huge rant (sic), Friday, 27 November 2020 10:46 (one month ago) link
also I assume Sim has never been to a desert nor to a working farm nor to a local economy impacted by drought, and his cartoonist instinct is sketching the most basic Ernie Bushmiller version of dry weather for him: three rocks of different sizes, and... dirt? that's something that's outside, right?
― huge rant (sic), Friday, 27 November 2020 10:50 (one month ago) link
It's all about scale and the earth is much bigger than a woman so a belt is fine.
If you read the pages it seems like it's just a joke but Dave says in the annotations the only joke is shouting "O YOOWHOO BELIEVE!" is a pun on "oh, you who believe" which is a frequent salutation in the Koran. What a ribtickler. Apparently it says in the Torah men are supposed to "subdue the Earth".
Since I went and got Latter Days out for that I should really check why YHWH just has dirt.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Friday, 27 November 2020 11:19 (one month ago) link
Had an initial look, couldn't find it but realised there was no way I was doing any in-depth searching in that mess.
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Friday, 27 November 2020 11:46 (one month ago) link
I like dunking on Dave but think it’s worth distinguishing between Dave Sim (a very unfamous comic book artist with mental health issues, who struggles to even influence even his minuscule devout fan base) and, say, Scott Adams (a genuine asshole with hundreds and thousands of followers who’s been to the White House)
― Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 27 November 2020 15:48 (one month ago) link
Not to whattabout
Dave's greatest achievements may have been hiding his Kaczynski-level issues* from the general public for so long, and maintaining his focus and getting the book to the finish line ~on schedule after his issues* became apparent.
*really would like to use the word "madness" here but not sure it's appropriate
― Motoroller Scampotron (WmC), Friday, 27 November 2020 16:21 (one month ago) link
I would happily consign both sim and adams to the flames
― Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Sunday, 29 November 2020 11:17 (one month ago) link
This was on the outbreak! thread but it's actually a clearer summary than I can give on Dave's theory regarding God, YHWH and The Earth. (Or men, women and every idea ever, if you like)
― pedantly admonishment (aldo), Thursday, 3 December 2020 23:14 (one month ago) link
Dave elaborates on the thinking behind his COVID skepticism:
Everyone else has now been forced to live the ascetic, hermitic life that Dave has lived since 2003. Dave has spent twenty years trying to live in a way that shows he does not deserve to die, or at least to die in excruciating, extended pain. However, every single person who dies in excruciating extended pain from it is suffering by God's choice, therefore it would be defying God for Dave to wear a mask or wash his hands to avoid transmitting the virus. Nowhere in the entire world has had professional sports, concerts, cinemas, restaurants, vacations or airline travel since March - meanwhile Dave has eschewed all of these things for seventeen years because "they're all feminists," not even providing his usual account that when he does fly on airlines or go on vacations, he talks to people about God. In the 12 months of studying the virus and multiple vaccines being developed, nobody has been able to identify the type of virus or observe how it behaves. When a vaccine is found (nb: no explanation of how this will happen when we are yet to even identify it as a novel coronavirus, or why the three vaccines that already exist are imaginary but only Dave can tell), society will tear itself apart because weed will be made legal and people will fornicate.
Also, anyone who stopped reading Cerebus at any point after its sales peak did so because they could tell Dave knew the immutable secrets of the universe, but wouldn't allow themselves to acknowledge it.
― huge rant (sic), Sunday, 27 December 2020 06:28 (three weeks ago) link
Since it's about to come off pre-sale and go on to actual sale, the new slipcase edition of High Society appears not to have sold that well. An edition of 200, and only the most expensive tier (edition of 20) has sold out.
Colour me sceptical, but I'm not that sure there's going to be a sudden influx of customers when it starts getting advertised to... the people who have been getting adverts up to now. And people like, say, me would need convincing that a $60-70 book is worth $200.
It's entirely possible we're down to double digits for people willing to give Dave money.
― Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Friday, 15 January 2021 20:34 (three days ago) link
I guess it’s too late for him to get on Parler
― Canon in Deez (silby), Friday, 15 January 2021 20:47 (three days ago) link
can you post to Parler via fax
― shivers me timber (sic), Friday, 15 January 2021 21:15 (three days ago) link
I bet you could rig that up.
― Canon in Deez (silby), Friday, 15 January 2021 21:17 (three days ago) link
start up the fash machine I have thoughts to share
― new variant (onimo), Friday, 15 January 2021 21:59 (three days ago) link
I can’t see reading 300 issues of cerebus being a very enticing project for a new reader, not just because of the ending but because so much of it depends on 70s/80s superhero comic parodies, which were often oblique even for me, a child who grew up in the eighties reading superhero comics. I dunno, maybe chan board types could dig it
― Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 15 January 2021 23:14 (three days ago) link
I flipped through some recently and really enjoyed the dumb stories in the first volume, and found high society realllly hard work
― Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 15 January 2021 23:15 (three days ago) link
reminder that Sim currently posts to his blogspot by faxing a page or two of bible commentary to a dude who then uploads it as a 600x900px jpg per page
and that he replies to comments on his 31-posts-a-month blog by having the dude fax him some of the comments once a month, then phoning dude on a landline, and reading out the comments and replying to them, as duder puts him on speaker and films the desk with his mobile phone while holding up comics and postcards Dave has sent him, then uploads (eg) a 41 minute 34 second youtube video of Dave plugging upcoming publications, followed by a 12:42 video, a 20:15 video, a 35:48 video, a 41:52 video, a 22:10 video and a 15:28 video of Dave's individual replies to comments
while I'm all for the fa slowing their own communications down to this pace, I dunno that Dave will make much impact on Parl2r even if the blog guy figures out how to cross-post Dave's thought
― shivers me timber (sic), Saturday, 16 January 2021 05:41 (two days ago) link
I listened to a few minutes of the 41:52 answer while typing, which was about an anonymous female donor who sent Dave $10,000 for his work on Strange Death Of Alex Raymond
- (the book Dave abandoned five years ago when he fucked his wrist and refused to get medical advice because he lives in Canada and therefore medicine is communist) (instead he went to the US months later to pay full price for an x-ray, then posted it to the blogspot to ask his fans to diagnose him) (then had a fan draw it in Sim's style for 4.5 years before deciding a few months ago that he wasn't going to finish it or pay the guy) -
to which Dave asked what she wanted him to do to earn the $. She said "no, this is in appreciation of the work you already did." Dave's lawyer
- (who recently retired, and has signed and is selling his complete collection of Aardvark-Vanaheim comics, 1982-2014, at $10 ((+$5 shipping)) each to fund his retirement) -
advised him that this would leave him liable for something or other, so Dave has decided that he has to do 2 or 3 half-days a week or reading through his own extensive typed commentaries on old Rip Kirby strips and rating them out of three, in case his wrist ever heals and he starts cartooning again, so he'll know which ones to re-read again, to point him to Alex Raymond drawings that he should carefully copy with his God-healed hand. Perhaps he explains in the remaining 35 minutes why the taxman will care about this.
― shivers me timber (sic), Saturday, 16 January 2021 05:56 (two days ago) link
At least he’s his own boss
― Canon in Deez (silby), Saturday, 16 January 2021 05:58 (two days ago) link
Meanwhile, the dude who he stiffed on drawing the book is going to self-publish the completed work as a 350-page paperback, including 46 pages of his own comics about how the project fell apart after years of trying to massage Sim's ego and delusions. He believes that the best / most ironic way of marketing it is to buy a cover ad on Diamond's monthly distribution catalogue, for $6000. To raise this, he is auctioning a page of his artwork in the comments section of one day's blog post from a week or three ago. There is currently one bid, of $100, by the founder of IDW Books, who made his first ever internet post in order to place said bid.
― shivers me timber (sic), Saturday, 16 January 2021 06:00 (two days ago) link
Before the pandemic, Dave (from Kitchener, Ontario) was planning on marketing this book by catching Greyhound buses on a road trip to every single comic shop in the California phonebook and giving them a mockup of the first volume. This road trip would end in the offices of IDW, where he would wait until the founder showed up, and give him the last copy of the mockup. Then, per Sim's plan, which he had not told to said founder, the two of them would strategise on how to leverage the enormous internet buzz that Dave would have generated via this comic shop tour into a rush-release.
― shivers me timber (sic), Saturday, 16 January 2021 06:08 (two days ago) link
going to self-publish the un-completed work as a 350-page paperback
― shivers me timber (sic), Saturday, 16 January 2021 06:11 (two days ago) link
Finding myself very compelled by these summaries of recent posts on a strange man’s blog tbqh.
― Canon in Deez (silby), Saturday, 16 January 2021 06:16 (two days ago) link
Trying to think of all of this waves hands makes more or less sense than the Wikipedia summaries of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series I was skimming earlier.
― Canon in Deez (silby), Saturday, 16 January 2021 06:19 (two days ago) link
In 1986, DC spent a year negotiating to buy the publishing rights to Cerebus. Eventually, Dave bent over the contract in P4ul L3vitz' New York office with pen in hand, and asked the publisher to give him a reason not to sign it. L3vitz asked "can you think of an easier way to make $100,000?"
Sim sat back, thought briefly, put the cap back on the pen and flew home to Canada, where he then invented the entire trade paperback comic collection / perennial reprint market from scratch. Single-handedly.
He then spent a decade proselytising and campaigning and marketing (and sometimes financially assisting) for every single comics author to be their own boss via self-publishing. All while writing and co-drawing and publishing and marketing a monthly book, publishing the odd bit of other work, having a major marketplace war with the largest distributor, and smoking weed daily, drinking weekly, "partying" on the road every month or three, pursuing fornication regularly, or being a diligent, communicative, supportive monogamous partner to his long-distance womanfriends. In 1994-95 he even built a network of international author-owned small press arts festivals from scratch, and toured once a month to help found or expand them, all while only making the monthly comic larger, rather than slowing down.
Then he stopped doing drugs or chasing women and started reading the Torah and the bible and the Koran, and consistently reduced his personal worldview, influence and audience for 25 years and counting. makes u think.
― shivers me timber (sic), Saturday, 16 January 2021 06:38 (two days ago) link
the completed work as a 350-page paperback
Not going to lie, I will buy this if it's a reasonable price and not his $300 'limited edition' bullshit.
― Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Saturday, 16 January 2021 12:45 (two days ago) link
(The California promo wasn't printed by Grubagh, and was only limited to 100 copies because the guy that had printed 400 copies for Sim gave Grubagh the last 100 copies (plus was a mere $105 for 132pp).) Finding myself very compelled by these summaries of recent posts on a strange man’s blog tbqh.
A dude who was transcribing Dave's videos a few years back pops up in the comments to say that he's back at it. But instead of, say, condensing salient points in the comments of the latest post, he's still diligently getting every um and uhh and repetition from years-ago videos. Another dude posts to say he'd rather have a printed version of the videos to read, like the old Aardvark Comment, than click and sit through dozens of hours of audio at a computer. The blog dude leaps in to object that if this happened, he would want the comics he draws to accompany each monthly call with Sim to be included, so they would have to either pay for colour printing, or pay him to redraw them in black and white.
Here is an example of one of these.
― shivers me timber (sic), Saturday, 16 January 2021 19:13 (two days ago) link
― Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 16 January 2021 19:49 (two days ago) link