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  1.  (3456.1)
    I have recently finished the 300 issue, 6,000 page epic by the creative team of Dave Sim (creator, writer, character artist, inker, letterer & publisher) & Gerhard (amazing background artist). I have to say that even with all the critism that it received for the anit-feminist rants contained within I have become a huge fan of this book. If not only for its amazing page layouts (that until recent books such as promethea for example was unrivaled in my opinion) to its use of lettering to convey the accent and emotion of the character speaking (something that really wasnt duplicated until Neil Gaiman's Sandman). The journey in which i was taken was so extreme that i couldnt pull myself off the couch for days at a time. Now i know alot of people stay away from it because they dont agree with the what Mr. Sim has to say but personally i dont like to only read things which contain ideas that i already agree with. I like to have my ideals challenged which is something that i believe strengthens my resolve. ANNNNYYYYWAAAYYY the point of starting this is to speak to other people who have read Cerebus and what they think of it. Since i think there are alot of like minded people here i figured i would give it a shot. be back later to read some interesting thoughts hopefully.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2008
    Dave Sim is a genius.

    He's also a nice guy.

    Neither of these facts is inconsistent with the fact that he's bug-fuck crazy.

    As for my personal excperience with Cerebus, I quit around issue 140 when the Crazy started out-weighing the Funny.

    Am I the only person who skipped over most of the text pages in Jaka's Story?

    I mean I TRIED to read them but the prose was just so pretentious and self-conscious. Prissy even.
    • CommentAuthorWakefield
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2008
    I stopped around Reads or Minds. Whichever one got him the misogynist creds, I stopped right before, mostly because I wanted to read something else. Haven't come back to it, but I intend to.

    I love his visual storytelling, but you're right, his prose isn't great. It needs severe editing.

    What's fascinating to me about Cerebus is the way it transformed from a pretty straight-forward Conan parody into something much richer. I really like seeing artists evolve on paper--one of the reasons I really dig Adrian Tomine's early work. Though I have to admit: Sim's plots are pretty incomprehensible sometimes.

    I wonder how keenly Sim feels the backlash. It's usually the first thing mentioned when his name comes up, and I'd imagine that's irritating as hell. He seems very approachable in the Panel & Pixel session he had, though I've read other interviews where he's downright abrasive.
  2.  (3456.4)
    Like any comic that does it, I wish it hadn't had text pages. The comic format isn't suited to it, this isn't what I came for. The writer should just do a book or an essay instead of shoe-horning it into a place it doesn't belong.

    I liked Cerebus quite a bit, and am glad Dave Sim finished it. I don't agree with a lot of what he has to say but there are things he's said that he's 100% right about that I hadn't seen anyone else saying, particularly the parts about people who believe what they feel matters as much or more than what they think.
  3.  (3456.5)
    that Onion interviewer needed to ask Sim what crawled up his ass and died. it didn't seem that the interviewer was out to get him, but Sim seem to take it that way every chance he got.
  4.  (3456.6)
    Sim does seem to have a problem with answering the question that is asked of him as opposed to jumping to conclusions. However i did want to say that some of the text portions do move the story along quite well (ie Jaka's Story) and was a lovely way to show the way you what happened your past and the past in which you tell about. I did think that Reads was even good with the whole Form v. Void idea and all. While i can say that i agree with everything he says he does touch on some points that i believe alot of men feel but will not express today. I've never been one for the whole PC thing but Sim does have the ability to make me cringe when he speaks. Still i say Cerebus is an inspiration to me and some people seem to miss hear me as saying "mein Kompf" instead of Cerebus. tho i guess to a feminist its almost as bad. I dont know. i would like to hear more of anyone who read the entire series and actually liked it like i did.
    • CommentAuthormlpeters
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2008
    I read Cerebus through, "Going Home". I liked the more serious bits - -just not when it veered into the anti-feminist stuff or non-fictitious religions... a lot of Dave's meta-fiction (other than the comics related stuff, like Alan Moore, Dandy Don Simpson, Rick Veitch, etc., appearing - -that stuff was cool) didn't work so well for me - -but then I'm not a huge fan of Fitzgerald (though I liked Gatsby, when I read it) or Hemingway.

    @Kosmopolit --
    I thought Jaka's story was a masterpiece and read every word. The only thing about it that really bothered me was Jaka's dancing NEVER seems to have any music behind it. In Cerebus' world, I guess dancing is always unaccompanied by anything to dance to...?

    I thought MINDS was the best "phonebook" of the series -- it doesn't grind your nose in the more objectionable aspects of Sim's beliefs and c'mon, "Cerebus is a BAD flyspeck" -- LOL funny in the truest sense and the next book, GUYS was full of laughs.

    READS was a cool fight scene interspersed with stuff that I hoped was a put-on, but turned out to be... something closer to what Dave actually thinks -- makes it hard to admire what is admirable about his work, but not impossible. I've read the text a couple of times, but last time I reread Cerebus, I skipped/skimmed the text.

    The misogynist stuff was bad enough, but when Dave found religion... and it wasn't some cool sock puppet religion, Chaos Magick, or even a religion open to differing viewpoints...

    Still, we got some great books, with some great laughs, interesting characters and a lot to think about before the rest crowded in. A writer doesn't owe us anything, so be glad for what we got.
  5.  (3456.8)
    I read Cerebus: Guys when I was, I dunno, eleven years old? I had no idea what was going on and had no context except that someone had told me that Cerebus was the pope (or a pope), which just confused me more. Still, I think I loved it even more for the strangeness and confusion than anything else, and that's probably what started my lifelong love of books which have amusing bits throughout and which, on the whole, make no sense to me.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2008
    Never read the whole thing, never had the time or inclination, never saw the point. Sim = genius but genius can be ... prickly. There are moments of Cerebus that schooled the whole damn industry in what comics can be capable of, just as there were moments that showed how sometimes, genius = crazyasafootballbat.

    A buddy of mine used to be a big Cerebus fan because he grew up near Dave Sim and his aunt worked at the plant that printed the phone books. But he lost the plot around the time Dave decided women were evil. He still urges me to read the whole thing but it ain't gonna happen unless I'm in solitary confinement. And I guarantee it won't be in the prison library. 'Too political', the civil servant sniffed.
    • CommentAuthorearl
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2008
    I thought the first phone book of 'High Society' was about the coolest and most unusual comic book I had ever seen. It, the early Swords of Cerebus trades and the first volume of Church & State was some of the few comics that survived me selling off my first comic collection around 1991. I ended up wandering into a comic store a couple of times in the next 15 years or so and read up to Flight book, but by that time Cerebus did not seem to really capture my interest and that was about half way through the run. It was kind of weird reading up on Cerebus a few years ago and looking where it all went in the second half of the book. I'm curious, but haven't been curious enough to get the books and give them a read. Two things I think are true about Cerebus: there really is not any other comic that is like Cerebus out there, especially I considering where it ended up and if you start out to write a comic for 300 issues about an aardvark, you might end up a bit eccentric in the end.
    • CommentAuthormbakunin
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2008
    Dave Sim is one the few true examples of genius in the comics medium. Crazy? Of course he's crazy. Genius often is: Steve Ditko has refused gift compensation for Spider-Man and has some of the most wacked-out ultra-conservative political views on the planet; Alan Moore practices magick in a magical cave under his house; and Ellis is known to launch the occasional inappropriate rant (Heath Ledger, anyone?). We don't get to pick and choose who's going to get zapped by the daemon lightning and be the next Will Eisner; sometimes it's a conventionally nice, personable, "sane" individual like Eisner himself, and sometimes its someone who makes the PC crowd's skin crawl.

    I don't agree with Sim's views on much of anything, but I acknowledge his brilliance and adore his work. One thing that's seldom noted is that it's Sim's text pieces and public comments that have earned him PC pariah status, NOT the actual Cerebus narrative itself. I have no problem with creators holding bat-shit crazy views, as long as the work itself remains worthy and doesn't get obscured and disfigured by those views, i.e., turning the work into mere propaganda. Ditko's Randian politics so permeated and defined his Mr. A stories as to make them virtually unreadable; Sim, on the other hand, never turned Cerebus itself into a vehicle for promulgating his more insane views, instead largely confining them to text pages and letters pages.
    • CommentAuthordkostis
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2008
    I started reading Cerebus when the first issue came out. As the series develops Dave Sim really grows into an outstanding cartoonist and an innovative letterer. He has a real knack for translating voice and sound into print.

    Gerhard’s background illustration on the book is outstanding. He gives the story Cerebus lives in the texture and consistency of a real living place. It’s a shame that he won’t be doing more comics but I hope he’s getting some painting done on his boat.

    The contribution this series made to comics cannot be overstated. There was no graphic novel market when Dave issued his first “phone book” collection. Creator owned was considered vanity press. Comic creators did not go on promotion tours. And while 300 issues is a purely personal accomplishment as opposed to an industry influencing one, it’s still pretty impressive.

    On a personal level I have always liked Dave. He’s a good guy to chat with over a coffee.

    Professionally, Dave and Gerhard helped me out with my store in ways I can never repay.

    I just noticed that I didn’t really comment on the story, but I’ve already gone on long enough. Suffice to say I stuck with it for over twenty years. Some parts I love, some I like and even the parts that didn’t work for me were at least trying to do something new.
    • CommentAuthorMaC
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2008
    All I know of Dave Sim is that he called Breast Cancer the cure for feminism or punishment for suffrage. I forget which.

    Through interviews he always stuck me as seriously out there and I haven't mustered the level of commitment and mental health I feel I would need to tackle Cerebrus. One day, yes.
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2008
    The guy accomplished something huge, and I'll always give him credit for that. But yeah, his descent into misogyny and homophobia was disappointing and more than a little disturbing.

    Personally, I still wish he got more credit for his lettering, which is amazing.
  6.  (3456.15)
    I read the first 4 volumes and heard repeatedly that it goes down hill from there. I did read Women and found it distasteful.

    I had no problems interviewing Dave, but them I saw and spoke with him a few times at conventions prior to asking him for one. He went beyond his 5 question rule for me which was really nice of him.
  7.  (3456.16)
    A friend gave me High Society for my birthday. I just loved it, never quite got to read a comic like it. The satire on political intrigue, corruption and general malfeasance in office it's first rate.The character of Moon Roach made me laugh out loud.I liked most the female characters, poor Jaka, the shrewd Astoria, and the Regency Elf, the most intriguing.

    Giving the insane misoginy of Mr Sim, it's strange how his female characters are much more appealing than the male ones, generally silly or distasteful.
    By the way, I think a world with a single talking antrophomorphic animal to be a bit implausible. If there where a tribe of Aardvarks...and how can a human woman fall in love with a bizarre animal? It would have been fun if Julus' goat had been anthropomophized, too. It would have made for some weird scene.Not that Cerebus' story is lacking weirdness...
  8.  (3456.17)
    Giving the insane misoginy of Mr Sim, it's strange how his female characters are much more appealing than the male charachters

    This is early CEREBUS, though, before he really started on his particular road to Damascus.

    By the way, I think a world with a single talking antrophomorphic animal a bit implausible

    One: CAN YOU EVEN HEAR YOURSELF? Two: that's addressed in future volumes.
      CommentAuthorHEY APATHY!
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2011 edited
    love Cerebus and love the fact that you all were talking about it, this is comics at it's best. Long live that little dead aardvark!
  9.  (3456.19)
    Did Dave Sim actually challenge Jeff Smith to a fight, or is that just an industry myth?
  10.  (3456.20)
    Always liked Gehard's backgrounds. The rest of the comic I was "meh" on. Just couldn't get into it. (And that was before the Author BSOD set in.)