Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cerebus-300 issues later

Okay, so back in August I mentioned that I was reading through the entire 300-issue, 6000 page run of Cerebus this year. Last night, after roughly one issue per night all year, I finally, finally completed my reading (I read the comics, btw, NOT the giant phone books).

It was interesting, in the next-to-last issue, Sim mentioned that those of us in happy relationships and marriages would likely not enjoy the last, oh, say, 120 issues and long for the days of the earlier, funnier issues.
Yeah, something like that. I found that wading through "Guys", "Form and Void" and "Latter Days" to be a nightmarish, rambling of a bitter man with so little to say and so many words to say it in. I missed the days where he could rip my heart out and stun me with plot twists and character developments, as he did during Jaka's Story, Church & State, and Melmoth and Women. Once Cerebus came back from the Ascension (the climax of the story in my opinion) he just wandered through 120 issues of pathetic, depressing "I am man hear me whine" narrative. The new characters seemed forced, where characters of the past (Elrod, Sophia, Lord Julius and the Roach, to name a few) belonged.
It wasn't that I minded his anti-feminist stand (I agree with him on many points, including his 15 Impossible Things to believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist). I do pity his selfishness and inability to find joy in life with a good woman. They are out there. I got me one.
There were some bright points for sure in the last 10 years' worth, though far fewer and farther between than in the frst 180 issues). Loved the Last Day (although I didn't quite follow the revelations of #299 or where/how exactly SheShep had come along). I was pleased with Jaka's final appearance and Cerebus' final moments. Rick, Joanne, Weisshaupt and Astoria were wonderfully tragic characters. I'm going to miss them. I wonder if Dave does too?
If anyone has not heard of it, Dave has finally announced his new top-secret project, Glamourpuss. Will I pick it up? You betcha.
Anyway, thanks again Dave. You're not at all surprised that I didn't enjoy the entire series, but that should be okay. It doesn't make me ignorant any more than it makes you. You gave me reads that were a heck of a lot better than any superhero book I've read in the past 2 decades for sure. And I've scooped up a bunch of your Guide to Self-Publishing to give out to friends- should be required reading for indy artists.

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