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Cerebus


Mrdukey
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Though I am no expert myself (I've only read a handful of issues) I would say yes, I'm still in the early "Conan the Barbarian only as an aardvark" stage and I'm told shit gets crazy different down the line. It's not a book I feel the urge to plow through but it's never failed to entertain.

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So far it's been fun, of course I haven't yet reached the 90s so I'm anticipating a great deal of pain in the future.

 

What range of issues have been the best so far? I'm not that familiar with the world of Spiderman though I do remember Black Cat giving me the horn in my teens (the 80's!).

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Short answer: Yes. As a fan of the comic book medium, Cerebus is definitely worth getting into.

 

Cerebus starts as a parody of Conan, with Sim trying very, very hard to draw like Barry Windsor-Smith (and mostly failing).

 

Then, maybe a year or so in, things start to build. The tone changes, the art starts to visibly improve every issue, the pacing improves and the layouts become more complex. Basically, Dave Sim formulates a grand, sweeping plan and he starts to take this shit very seriously, and it shows.

 

There are moments of Cerebus that I can only describe as "Epic". That word gets thrown around a lot on the internet, and it's unfortunate. There are moments that are comically hilarious. There are moments that don't make any fucking sense and are really weird, and then you read a little background, start making a timeline, and realize Dave Sim was probably having a nervous breakdown. But that book still came out.

Jaka's Story crushed me. It's an emotional rollercoaster. The comic book craft that went into that, into every panel and movement of time, even the way it's lettered is grand.

 

Here's the bad part, and full disclosure: I've never finished Cerebus. For a long time, I was delaying the inevitable. But now it's tapering off. These last couple of years just aren't that great. And perhaps that was intentional. He ages in real time, and when pushing towards middle age you're left with this memory of the adventures of youth. I dunno. But the last chunk of books just isn't that compelling, there's a definite peak in the mid 90's.

Dave Sim also went from being an agnostic atheist to a deeply devout...something religious. I think he's some kind of Jew, something Abrahamic. I hate to say it, but it very well may have played a factor in the overall quality.

 

Putting aside the personal politics and/or views of the author, the whole thing is very inspiring to me. He sat there, with barely any money, crude art skills and NO PUBLISHER, and said "I am going to make this comic, every fucking month, for the next 30 years. I will learn to draw. I will learn to letter. I will learn how to properly tell a story within the sequential art medium."

And he did it. Through divorces and near bankruptcy and mental collapse, he did it. And he didn't just become passable at it, through sheer determination he became one of the best. And you can watch it happening in real time.

 

From stuff like this

 

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To stuff like this

 

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With other pages looking pulled from a frame of animation.

 

 

 

Issue #26, the first part of High Society, is free on Comixology. It's a good way of judging if you dig it, I think. Maybe. It's right after the series really starts to cook. All you really need to know going in is this: Cerebus is a mercenary who briefly worked as the Kitchen Staff Supervisor for Lord Julius, the most powerful aristocrat in the world (Julius is also Groucho Marx, but that's neither here nor there), and his fur smells really bad when it's wet.

This issue also has a ton of extra shit at the end that I can't imagine many people would have any interest in. It's like 20 pages of story and 40 pages of invoices and notes. Feel comfortable ignoring it, you aren't missing anything.

 

Anyway...now that we have a thread (although I could have sworn Mort made one years ago), I'll try to scan some non-spoilery stuff that I dig and post it every once in awhile.

 

 

Here's one now.

 

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That's one hell of a recommendation Thrizzle. The fact that the series can inspired you to give such a passionate, elaborate response guarantees that I will read it now.

 

By the way the second picture (full page) bottom left panel looks like Leon Kowalski from Bladerunner. Just saying.

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Made a few crude scans.

Some brief background: Cerebus stumbles across the only woman he's truly loved, but hasn't seen in years. She's happily married to a really nice fellow. Cerebus is sort of a fugitive and she offers to let him stay at her house.

Being a bit of a selfish asshole, Cerebus wants nothing more than their marriage to fail so that he can have "his" woman.

The walls are thin.

 

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