View Full Version : CBR: When Words Collide - Aug 15, 2011
08-15-2011, 11:10 PM
Tim reports on his quicker-than-expected mega-read of Dave Sim's "Cerebus" and talks about antagonistic artists, misguided readings and critical responses.
Full article here (http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=33904).
08-16-2011, 03:34 AM
Good article. I look forward to the second part!
08-16-2011, 04:56 AM
Reading trough Cerebus is fun, but also hard work sometimes. Looking trough Cerebus is pure fun.
I did it, i read every phonebook and enjoyed it. Its a lifes work, very few can accomplish that. I think Erik Larsen is one of them.
08-16-2011, 06:28 AM
Cerebus stands as one of the world's comics masterpieces and it was good that it was acknowledged. But was it necessary to spend half the time saying the ideas are flawed, etc, etc?
Sure there was the risk to be attacked for endorsing the work. But a simple "I endorse the work, not the artist's politics" should be enough.
Sorry sonicx but Erik Larsen doesn't have an ounce of the talent of Sim. That's nothing against Larsen, that's everything against such a comparison. Writing a feature for 30 years isn't new, comic strip artists have done so long before Sim.
But Sim tells a single story, he's great as a writer, penciler and letterer, even as an essayist.
His writing is about the world around us, it's philosophical, it makes one think.
It's also entertaining.
08-16-2011, 07:46 AM
I think Erik Larsen is one of them.
Not sure, but someone like Paul Pope certainly. He's on the way.
I read Cerebus monthly from late in "Church and State" through to the end, and have been meaning ever since to go back an reread the whole thing. Your account makes the prospect seem a little less daunting.
Watching the whole thing unfold in the series and the letter columns/essays, and despite being a "leftist feminist", I stuck with it because of Sim's artistry and his integrity. It was fascinating to see him take on and develop philosophical issues in that format, and whatever you think of his ideas, no one can accuse him of being a sloppy thinker, or failing to take his thoughts to their logical conclusions, in his life and his work. (And no, he never struck me as crazy. Sticking him with that label was a way to criticize without actually engaging with his views.)
Another thing that might be pointed out is his consistent commitment to self-publishing and his ability to turn out 20 pages of beautiful work (not to mention letter columns that were almost as long!) every month without fail for decades. (He may also be the best-ever letterer.) His insistence on sticking to his personal vision and advertising his views couldn't have helped his bank account. Is he the modern Ditko in this sense?
Looking forward to next week's column...
I think it's subjective to set the exact moment when Cerebus becomes unreadable. Obviously, you could stand the sexism(or anti-feminism if you're a fan) and found it vibrating and engaging, but some found those parts to be the moment when they couldn't read anymore.
I did find what you wrote about Will Eisner pretty interesting. Can't say I'm really surprised though.
The link to the interview was the first time I read it and it's pretty hypocritical and cringe-worthy, especially the part(s) where he mentions that he's a thinker not a feeler. Didn't I hear something about him wanting to fight Jeff Smith? Not exactly an intellectual exercise.
08-17-2011, 03:02 PM
Regarding this part:
"Cerebus" is a maximalist, culture-wide autobiography of an artist trying to tell the story of reality. And even as he gets it completely wrong, he pushes the boundaries of comic book art and storytelling farther than almost anyone before or since.
As I said over at the Cerebus Facebook Group -- I really do hate these sorts of reviews where the reviewer says things like "And even as he gets it completely wrong"... rather than a more forensically accurate statement like "And even though I think he gets it completely wrong"...
But that aside, I thought this review was more fair than most.
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