This is the thread where I try and summarise Cerebus

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Cerebus

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.

High Society

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.

Jaka's Story

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.

Melmoth

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.

Guys

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...

Rick's Story

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.

Going Home

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.

Latter Days

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 (nineteen years ago) link

It's been pointed out to me by an ILC lurker that I may have Jaka's reliance on fresh clothes in the wrong book, and it may be shown in Going Home. Also in Going Home, while on the boat Cerebus has a vision of Ricke baptising people in the river.

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.

Thanks Dave.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Thursday, 1 July 2004 12:56 (nineteen years ago) link

Bless you, Aldo.

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 (nineteen years ago) link

Actually, thinking about it maybe I've misremembered the history here as well. Now I think about it, he doesn't say beforehand that he's going to finish Cerebus at #200.

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 (nineteen years ago) link

Yes, that's exactly what I remember.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Thursday, 1 July 2004 14:24 (nineteen years ago) link

..what's this for? i think the religious struggle side of things in the first half needs to be covered more to make any kind of sense of the thing, but eh..

tom west (thomp), Thursday, 1 July 2004 14:49 (nineteen years ago) link

..what's this for?

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 (nineteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Summary of Cerebus: Dave Sim, technical genius and complete raving loon, tells lots of very funny jokes, produces one of the best graphic novels ever (Jaka's Story), then disappears up own arse.

Wooden, Sunday, 25 July 2004 11:14 (nineteen years ago) link

Although I really liked 'Minds' as well.

Wooden, Monday, 26 July 2004 02:18 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
How much of a plan did Dave have at various times, Aldo? (or rather - how much of a plan did you think he had?)

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 12:17 (eighteen years ago) link

He claimed to me in *cough* a fax interview last year that he'd *always* planned it to run like this -- even the dopey meta stuff at the end of Mothers and Daughters (I asked him if he minded that Grant Morrison beat him to the punch, and he was like, "yeah, Morrison stole it from Chuck Jones anyway, so boo."). Incidentally, I think introducing himself as a character was the biggest mistake of the series, and probably heralds the start of the "I'll just make this shit up as I go along, plot resolutions are for voids" era of Cerebus -- altho' as Aldo sez, Guys is still quite fun.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 12:58 (eighteen years ago) link

The meeting himself thing is one of the bits that I honestly think he DID plan all along, because it's exactly the kind of thing that a 1979 semi-underground comix guy on acid would come up with.

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 13:03 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah -- to clarify, he told me he'd always (since High Society or abouts) planned to introduce himself as a characer. But after that is, I think, obviously much more extemporised.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 13:11 (eighteen years ago) link

I think the version as it appears in Reads is very, very close to the truth. I think Dave did decide it would be 200 issues, and plotted for that. But, at some point not long before #200 (probably just before he started writing all the ice planet stuff in Minds), he changed his mind back.

"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 (eighteen years ago) link

I wonder how he would have "killed him off" at 200.

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 (eighteen years ago) link

My initial interperatation was that it was heaven, and Cerebus' resistance was a last example of his self-destructive 'not knowing what's good for him' nature - just like the little grey bastard to be dragged kicking and screaming to his own salvation. Dave Sim knows better than me, however.

chap who would dare to work for the man (chap), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 13:38 (eighteen years ago) link

At the time, Dave said he thought he'd "failed" if readers thought the ending was open to interpretation -- his point being that if Julius and Astoria, etc, were there, then it probably wasn't heaven.

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 (eighteen years ago) link

Dave has said that Cerebus realises it's not Heaven as soon he realises Rick isn't there, because Rick is the one person he knows would be in Heaven. We do see him in the bastardisation of a Holy Trinity (but with Woman (Jaka), Man [who turns out to be girly-boy] (Ham) and Girly-boy [who turns out to be man] (Rick), but Cerebus may be hallucinating by this point.

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 stumbles�" 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 (eighteen years ago) link

God for Dave exists in empty space itself? I guess the "right" interpretation of the ending would be obvious then. Doesn't Cerebus get devoured by the light (lights, voids-- as long as it's acting "female", it's bad)? (Although this makes me think of parallels to Sim getting devoured by his own brane.)

Chris F. (servoret), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 17:53 (eighteen years ago) link

I would forgive Dave almost everything if he'd answered one of those questions "Dude, do you know how much drugs I was doing back then?"

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 18:18 (eighteen years ago) link

i reread up to end of melmoth lately - isn't the end of church and state the notably 'feminist' bit, with the creation myth and "just remember your second wedding"?

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 (eighteen years ago) link

I've only read the first volume or two and the occasional issue I'd buy when it was still coming out. My impression was that it seemed innovative and alive in its formalistic details (particularly the lettering), but the story reminded me of those young adult fantasy Myth books (with corny dad joke titles like "Myth-education", etc.)--sort of precious and cheeky. But I've always felt like I should read the whole thing out of some misguided notion of responsibility. What do you think?

kenchen, Wednesday, 18 January 2006 15:36 (eighteen years ago) link

After the first few volumes, anything but "precious and cheeky." Favorite book is Church & State II for its incredible energy and formal innovation, but in some respects it keeps getting better as it goes along. Despite the totally unreadable parts of the last two volumes and ongoing curdling of tone. I wrote a very long article in The Believer last year about wrestling with Cerebus in its entirety, and dealing with the hateful-wingnut aspects of it as well as its glories...

Douglas (Douglas), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 17:13 (eighteen years ago) link

Despite the totally unreadable parts of the last two volumes

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 (eighteen years ago) link

Is there a link anywheres outside The Believer to yr article, Douglas?

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:05 (eighteen years ago) link

Three months worth of text pieces detailing Dave's highly idiosyncratic, not to say schizoid, reinterpretation of the Bible?

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 (eighteen years ago) link

He's quite sane-seeming in person. I mean, he's a big, weird nerd, but I've seen worse in the Michael Turner "Drawing Babes" class at the comiccon.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:22 (eighteen years ago) link

Laura really needs to read Cerebus. At least some of it.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:29 (eighteen years ago) link

Having said that the first two thirds of Latter Days are pretty good. There's some really funny stuff in there, and some plot actually happens.

chap who would dare to work for the man (chap), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:33 (eighteen years ago) link

I've never been sure if Cerebus farts after he falls off his bed and dies. There are worlds in a single Dave Sim sound effect.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Chris (F) - i got to the point where i'd have to buy more of'em and i didn't have any money to buy'em with, is what happened

tom west (thomp), Thursday, 19 January 2006 02:22 (eighteen years ago) link

Unfortunately I don't have a plaintext version of the article in its final form--I kept tinkering with it after I started getting proofs in PDF. But I emailed a PDF to both Joe and Chuck; anyone who wants one can email me.

(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 (eighteen years ago) link

does anyone know what dave sim's relationship with psychedelic drugs is/was?

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Thursday, 19 January 2006 05:16 (eighteen years ago) link

also, douglas, if you can send me a pdf of your article i'd be grateful. i've been corresponding with my grandfather about comics as art (as he is someone who remembers them as kids today regard cartoons.) i'd like to forward it to him; i remember reading it at the barnes & noble where I worked when that issue came out and I was like "oh, cerebus, how tempted I am to go buy the next volume of you..." but then whenever I would hold the trades in my hand at forbidden planet it was just like "$25??? are youfukin kidding???!" i dunno..that's really not that much money, i guess. but it's almost always in conjunction with like another $10-$15 worth of comics. fuckinay.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Thursday, 19 January 2006 05:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Sim liked acid when he was in his early 20s, stopped using after a bad trip that led to his wife and mother having him sectioned (he now thinks that this was because he was speaking THE TRUTH and they couldn't handle it, but happily agrees with the hospital psychiatrist's diagnosis of him as schizophrenic ["borderline schizophrenic" at the time, but he assumes that the condition didn't lessen afterwards, as he never did anything about it]). Had a coke/party lifestyle in the '80s, because it was the '80s. Smoked weed from sun-up to sundown from his teens to the '90s, when he started periodically attempting to give up, resulting in him cutting down drastically. Doesn't even drink alcohol in the 21st century.

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 (eighteen years ago) link

(and so I read it in...)

kit brash (kit brash), Thursday, 19 January 2006 09:50 (eighteen years ago) link

Douglas, that's a truly excellent article - it's helped me sort out my own rather muddled feelings about the series.

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 (eighteen years ago) link

i hope they bill it as the only correct interperatation that has ever been made

mark s (mark s), Thursday, 19 January 2006 16:21 (eighteen years ago) link

Arrghh, my appalling spelling comes back to haunt me.

chap who would dare to no longer work for the man (chap), Thursday, 19 January 2006 16:42 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh pooh, that's not a real email. My normal one is, er, paulisaacs at gmail, if anyone would like to e-mail me! (Much appreciated. I usually buy the Beleiever but they don't sell it in the UK!)

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 19 January 2006 21:16 (eighteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
Has anyone else read this 60,000 word monster yet?

http://briancotts.tripod.com/cottsweb/thirty/thirtyep73w.html

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 (seventeen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
HI DERE

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 (seventeen years ago) link

my copies of Church and State are in France

How chi-chi!

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 19:13 (seventeen years ago) link

http://www.cereb.us/wiki/images/a/a6/Keef.jpg

Richard Jones (scarne), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 08:00 (seventeen years ago) link

EXCELLENT. Thankyou.

Tom (Groke), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 08:13 (seventeen years ago) link

three years pass...

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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen years ago) link

starting to think there may be reason to be concerned about dave sim’s mental well-being tbh

you are like a scampicane, there's calm in your fries (bizarro gazzara), Sunday, 21 February 2021 13:05 (three years ago) link

"dave sic" press submit

mark s, Sunday, 21 February 2021 13:58 (three years ago) link

Sim had a sexual relationship with a 14 year old girl when he was 29? Or am I reading that wrong.

*phones research assistant*

covidsbundlertanze op. 6 (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 21 February 2021 15:37 (three years ago) link

*checks voicemail*

They only met a few times in those seven years, rarely corresponded, didn't have sex until a few days before her 21st birthday, and have not seen each other since three months after her 22nd. Sim regards the association as unequivocally morally wrong, legally criminal, and the handful of days they spent in each others' company as the only times he has ever experienced happiness in his life.

stilt in the wings (sic), Sunday, 21 February 2021 20:45 (three years ago) link

I checked back and Dave has faxed another 18 pages of daily commentary on the New Mutants movie in the last week

grab bag cum trash bag (sic), Wednesday, 3 March 2021 11:39 (two years ago) link

I really need a fax machine

Canon in Deez (silby), Wednesday, 3 March 2021 15:01 (two years ago) link

it's the internet of paper

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 3 March 2021 22:48 (two years ago) link

Dave believes that the concept of teenagers making out in a cemetery is something that The New Mutants movie invented as gay propaganda to undermine religion, and not something that teenagers have been doing since approx. 12 hours after cemeteries were invented.

https://i.imgur.com/qFe8s13.jpg



Dave believes that Marvel Movies, which he has not seen, developed a recognisable template, that this film, not made by Marvel Studios, deviates from. He also believes that 20th Century Fox delayed its release five times because of poor audience reaction when it was released three years later.

https://i.imgur.com/Od875KL.jpg

Also, he thinks it's a bad movie because it's bad, but the audience thought it was bad because they are too dumb to appreciate that it is interesting and creative.

Also, a global pandemic forcing cinemas closed in most of the planet, and nearly all of North America, had no impact on the box office in 2020.




Dave Sim, who has been self-employed since 1977, is very familiar with HR Departments, and how feminists infiltrating the otherwise sensible institution of HR departments created the COVID hoax.

https://i.imgur.com/AfI3dyq.jpg



If any span of time between two events in Dave Sim's life can be measured between two events in other people's lives, or in world events, then it means that the Sim span of time influenced or outright controlled the other events.

https://i.imgur.com/zgcpcRX.jpg

Any genuinely open-minded person reading Sim's anti-feminist essay from 1994 will conclude that this time-span theory is correct. If they don't? QED, they are not genuinely open-minded.


McCarthyism was bad because he made people paranoid about communists in the US State Department, but the US State Department really was and is permeated with communists, and that's bad.

https://i.imgur.com/hMF0LTS.jpg


God is prolonging the COVID-19 pandemic because people have not learnt enough from their suffering so far, and still want to have sex. New Zealand's feminist and socialist Prime Minister, whose partner stays home to raise their child, absolutely did not halt the pandemic, and everyone in New Zealand died a year ago.

https://i.imgur.com/tw3aiWK.jpg

grab bag cum trash bag (sic), Thursday, 4 March 2021 00:04 (two years ago) link

you could also not pay attention to this drivel though

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 4 March 2021 00:09 (two years ago) link

I think you're missing that it has been 26 years and three months since Cerebus #191 came out, including a preview of Jason Lutes' Jar Of Fools. Metaphysics thus dictate that we are all fools, and only by scrying these runes do we have any hope of escaping the jar. Thus, until my free will can affect my actions, I am bound to continue.

grab bag cum trash bag (sic), Thursday, 4 March 2021 00:27 (two years ago) link

better you than me man; it seems somewhere between a waste of your time and a sort of unhealthy interest in a clearly damaged man from out here

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 4 March 2021 02:17 (two years ago) link

and i say that as a marked obsessive with clearly unhealthy interests, so i know whereof i speak!

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 4 March 2021 02:18 (two years ago) link

If any span of time between two events in Dave Sim's life can be measured between two events in other people's lives, or in world events, then it means that the Sim span of time influenced or outright controlled the other events.

I'm just going to speak generally here but I've typically found that when these lines are crossed (or inverted perhaps?) there's an effect on yourself that's kind of like a psychic second law of thermodynamics in that you don't get out without losing a little bit of yourself.

*removes bookmark from thread*

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 4 March 2021 03:35 (two years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Pretty glad now I didn't drop $$$ on SDoAR.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Thursday, 1 April 2021 07:51 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

How’s this guy doing

G. D’Arcy Cheesewright (silby), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 02:07 (one year ago) link

Ew.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 02:30 (one year ago) link

he's got his finger on the pulse

more crankable (sic), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 03:31 (one year ago) link

lmao

G. D’Arcy Cheesewright (silby), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 04:09 (one year ago) link

yikes

Can’t someone just put him down, for fuck’s sake?

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 09:52 (one year ago) link

I got given the Alex Raymond book for Christmas. Wish me luck.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Sunday, 25 December 2022 20:13 (one year ago) link

it's a good thing he has a posse of younger people mostly writing and drawing these for him, or he might accidentally come off vaguely out of touch

more crankable (sic), Wednesday, 28 December 2022 23:00 (one year ago) link

On top of everything else what is going on with those fonts

G. D’Arcy Cheesewright (silby), Thursday, 29 December 2022 00:00 (one year ago) link

I guess you set off to do 300 issues of a comic book about a barabarian aardvark, there is a pretty decent chance you are going to lose your f'n mind.

earlnash, Thursday, 29 December 2022 21:56 (one year ago) link

I was a steady reader of Cerebus from High Society onward to somewhere in the 140s when there was more text than art and seeing this all go down in real time is something. I seem to recall that Deni Loubert saying something to that effect: 300 issues about an aardvark in the wilds of Kitchner will drive him mad.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 29 December 2022 22:07 (one year ago) link

I was given a self-drawn comic this Christmas by someone who appeared as a character in Cerebus many years ago.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 30 December 2022 16:01 (one year ago) link

Hempel?

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Friday, 30 December 2022 17:00 (one year ago) link

it's just such a fucking insult how good this guy is at page & panel design, and such a blessing that he's so far over the bend that nobody'll ever put his talents to use for, like, viable political candidates who'd make things even worse

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Friday, 30 December 2022 17:10 (one year ago) link

As an equally epic, well-drawn and well-written comic without the baggage of its creator, let me humbly sugggest Finder by Carla Speed McNeil.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Friday, 30 December 2022 17:41 (one year ago) link

I'm about halfway through the Sim content of SDOAR and it's... something.

I hadn't realised until I read Eddie Campbell's intro that Sim had abandoned completely all the work he had included in glamourpuss (for, frankly, Sim-based reasons) and instead appears to be creating a revenge narrative where Alex Raymond is the only true artist and Caniff had him killed so the extent of his rip-off wasn't exposed.

Of course, Dave being Dave, this is only revealed when you compare King Features published funny pages vs the original art and they are in on the conspiracy. And in an even more Dave move, this is a multi-dimensional conspiracy achieved using an as-yet undiscovered school of metaphysics revealed to (possibly only) him.

The most ridiculous part so far though is obliquely comparing Rob Liefeld to Alex Raymond. Even the staunchest defenders have to acknowledge that's fucking crazy talk.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Monday, 2 January 2023 17:19 (one year ago) link

I might have to find my glamourpusses after this because I recognise NONE of this.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Monday, 2 January 2023 17:21 (one year ago) link

Is it an interesting something or a “go away Dave” something (or both!)

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 00:40 (one year ago) link

It's both, to be honest.

At the moment it's all mystic visionary Dave and very little sexual politics Dave - he touches on it once and backs the fuck away VERY quickly - and if it was anybody else (e.g. Scott McCloud) it'd be getting discussed very seriously.

Even if you don't agree with his central premise (and I'm not sure who else does apart from Dave) some of his Tangents are really engaging no matter how implausible (for example, Raymond's affair physically manifested a parallel Earth in another dimension which Oskar Lebeck had his ideas for Twin Earths psychically beamed from which is why they're so technologically accurate to the modern day).

Also Dave's art is, for the first 100 pages or so, absolutely undiminished and his layouts are great. Lettering sucks though.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Tuesday, 3 January 2023 07:28 (one year ago) link

I'm at about page 150 and Dave's last is 209 before it becomes nearly all Carson.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Tuesday, 3 January 2023 07:29 (one year ago) link

it's hard to think of someone else in this field whose skills have remained so high and who have stayed so prolific and yet i have no interest in anything they're making

Xpost
What is SDOAR?

realistic pillow (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 3 January 2023 17:47 (one year ago) link

Strange Death Of Alex Raymond

more crankable (sic), Tuesday, 3 January 2023 18:15 (one year ago) link

whose skills have remained so high and who have stayed so prolific

His past skills at comedy, dialogue, pacing, design and lettering are not at all evidenced by the work he is prolifically publishing

more crankable (sic), Tuesday, 3 January 2023 18:17 (one year ago) link

Can't disagree.

The Dave stuff in SDoAR is somewhere between 15 and 8 years old, depending on reuse. Haven't got to him just doing layouts yet.

I can't remember how I got them (might have been the Diamondback deck reprint?) but I have some of the early Swords of CiH and they're pretty much as bad as you think they are.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Tuesday, 3 January 2023 20:00 (one year ago) link

I obviously meant his visual skills, which seem pretty strong yet.

Got to the end of Dave's art life and it's losing its way a bit, meandering around the Margaret Mitchell revelation it promised earlier without actually getting anywhere near revealing.

Scott and Zelda turn up about now so I can see Dave folding himself into the metaphysics soon.

And in other cosmic alignment, a GoFundMe was launched while I've been reading to put online the TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY pages Dave has done outlines for since he stopped interacting with Carson Grubaugh (obviously including the Dave versions of the blue pages in SDOAR).

I am resisting, even at the $5 entry level, and looks like I'm not alone as two weeks in there are only 34 donations.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Saturday, 14 January 2023 16:26 (one year ago) link

I obviously meant his visual skills, which seem pretty strong yet.

The work he is prolifically publishing is three older existing drawings of cerebus, cut-and-pasted by other people onto a 140-year-dead guy’s drawings! He’s only just started doing some variant covers again in the last year, after …seven years? of not drawing for publication, and mostly copying photos for about as many before that. It’s possible that the SDOAR 3.0 which aldo is resisting gofunding show that he still has a facility for original composition, page structure and visual storytelling, but it’s also possible it shows a significant deterioration — and I dunno that sketching layouts for one patron’s commission can be judged as prolific without seeing any of them.

more crankable (sic), Saturday, 14 January 2023 17:20 (one year ago) link

ie yes one might argue his drawing has not deteriorated to the same degree as his comedy, dialogue, pacing, design and lettering; however, he is prolifically publishing all of those, and his drawings are published a couple of times a year, usually via POD to an audience of …dozens?

more crankable (sic), Sunday, 15 January 2023 00:13 (one year ago) link

I am referring to what I have seen of strange death, which seems cleanly and well executed. Glamorpuss, the Dore stuff and Judenhass are varying levels of embarrassing, yes

With only 34 in for SDOAR3.0 dozens feels accurate at this point.

It's hard to tell just how far Dave's drawing has deteriorated from the limited stuff I've seen because once he moved to the tracing paper technique the 'good' is introduced at the inking stage and the trace drawing is quite literally a bit sketchy. So because all we see now is really the pencil we should be comparing it to something that looks unfinished - and if we do that then it looks fairly sustained. But the point is kind of moot because imo there's no way Dave will ever produce finished art again (not least because that would mean not falling out with a collaborator).

It's also fair to say though that going down the SDOAR route and reproducing other people's work, plus the reproducing photos stuff, has ruined his creative art abilities.

Based on SDOAR2.0 layouts are the only real strength he has at Cerebus levels but I haven't seen any of the SDOAR3.0 stuff and the SDOAR2.1 layouts are a drop off from the rest of the book.

CiH is absolutely dreadful.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Sunday, 15 January 2023 10:09 (one year ago) link

Had a dig through the cereblog:

This is the sole image used to advertise the SDOAR 3.0 GoFundMe, that you can subscribe to see more of - I couldn't figure out how much more or for how much.

This is a recent actual drawing, which I couldn't figure out whether it's a cover printed like this or drawn on a "blank" cover.

These are the only art he is publishing regularly at the moment, and afaict the only time he has published art serially in about eight years?

more crankable (sic), Monday, 23 January 2023 00:50 (one year ago) link

Someone should tell him about the “cool S”

G. D’Arcy Cheesewright (silby), Monday, 23 January 2023 00:52 (one year ago) link

all the actual car crash stuff i've seen from sdoar is quite nice imo but it seems i am not keeping pace with his output and that's because i don't have much interest in him anymore

POLIZISTEN VERSINKEN IM SCHLAMM (forksclovetofu), Monday, 23 January 2023 03:41 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Kickstarter for Remastered TMNT #8, with 24 variant covers* at $20-$100 each, a behind-the-scenes book (collecting material from two previous BTS books promoting this Kickstarter, plus new material - presumably the two complete BTS books will also be offered as stretch goals) for $30, a comic book of TMNT/Cerebus convention sketches by unnamed artists, a collection of the 75 promo sketches by Sim^ for $30, a trading card set of the promo sketches for $95 and a trading card set of the variant covers for $20, an enamel pin of Cerebus' face, another enamel pin of Cerebus'face wearing a TMNT mask ($15 each or $25 for two), three variant cover versions of a November ashcan promoting this project (regular cover $100, green foil cover $150, platinum foil $300), and new editions of previously-kickstartered remasters of Cerebus #1 and #2 at $15 each, and a Dave Sim cover variant of a previously-kickstartered remaster of Spawn #10 for $50.

$45k raised from 308 backers so far, five days in. I think the cheapest you can get everything (via bundles) for is $1230

*(artists range from Simon Bisley and Brandon Graham to original Mirage artists Michael Dooney and Jim Lawson, to one of the guys that writes & photoshops Cerebus In Hell.)

least said, sergio mendes (sic), Monday, 6 March 2023 00:57 (eleven months ago) link

Man, the Eastman/Sim combo is an unpleasant moneygrubbing two-headed monster.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 6 March 2023 03:37 (eleven months ago) link


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