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CBR News
08-22-2011, 01:58 PM
Tim concludes his look at Dave Sim's infuriating masterpiece "Cerebus" by providing a guide to all 16 volumes. Some of the best comics of all time, and some of the worst as well.


Full article here (http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=33989).

NickFury90
08-22-2011, 02:57 PM
This sounds like the kind of thing I want to read(well, the first 2/3rds of it anyway), but I'm shamefully ignorant of F. Scott Fitzgerald outside "The Great Gatsby" and I think my lack of knowledge on the other literary references might affect my enjoyment.

Domuhde
08-22-2011, 05:12 PM
"Cerebus blames Jaka, for no good reason"?

You really missed something, there...

They are supposed to act as if they are married in Cerebus' home village. People there won't be open about it at all if they are not. Cerebus explains this to Jaka some pages (I don't know how much...) before that. Jaka doesn't take it very seriously and after she loses her mit on page 677, she doesn't put it back on, and mister Morton sees that she has no wedding ring on page 679 (eighth panel). That's why he calls her a "harlot". He thinks that Cerebus was not there for his parents because he was in an illegetimate (in his eyes) relationship with Jaka. He wouldn't have acted like that at all if he thought they were married and would have told Cerebus where his parents are buried. Now he will never know, and it is (in a way, in his eyes) her fault.

That you didn't catch that makes me wonder what else you didn't catch.

I don't agree with Sim either about just about everything, but if you try to make a good review of a work of art like that, you have to read (very) carefully before doing it. I think.

Dominique Uhde

Oliver
08-22-2011, 08:04 PM
Pretty good review considering how quickly you read it.
And you do try to steer clear of projecting too much, but hey you are only human apparantly... You don't recognize that Dave Sim was a liberal and feminist in the beginning of the series and he wrote some of the best and most three dimensional women in comics.
Here's a view of some of his early views on the subject:
http://comicscomicsmag.com/2009/11/dave-sim-versus-jack-kirby.html
However, you were able to note that he did make a 180 when it came to religion -but you make it sound outragous that someone believes "because God willed it so". I'm not religious, but you are the one who will be seen as the out-of-touch-crazy-who-is-in-the-minority by the world at large, which you might have noticed is very religious. Anyway, it was just unnecessary. And then you scoff at how absurd to have a unified theory boil down to gender politics...have you heard of yin and yang philosophy.
I mean i get you had to assure your friends and everyone that you didn't agree, but it would have made the article less tedious towards the end:)

jmyoung
08-22-2011, 11:33 PM
Pretty good review considering how quickly you read it.
And you do try to steer clear of projecting too much, but hey you are only human apparantly... You don't recognize that Dave Sim was a liberal and feminist in the beginning of the series and he wrote some of the best and most three dimensional women in comics.
Here's a view of some of his early views on the subject:
http://comicscomicsmag.com/2009/11/dave-sim-versus-jack-kirby.html
However, you were able to note that he did make a 180 when it came to religion -but you make it sound outragous that someone believes "because God willed it so". I'm not religious, but you are the one who will be seen as the out-of-touch-crazy-who-is-in-the-minority by the world at large, which you might have noticed is very religious. Anyway, it was just unnecessary. And then you scoff at how absurd to have a unified theory boil down to gender politics...have you heard of yin and yang philosophy.
I mean i get you had to assure your friends and everyone that you didn't agree, but it would have made the article less tedious towards the end:)

You seriously do not see the misogyny in High Society or Church and State?

Steve Broome
08-22-2011, 11:46 PM
Re: symbolism and sexism, would a story where all the men on Earth have died except for one be a display of hatred towards men?

Oliver
08-23-2011, 05:05 AM
@jmyoung You are kidding, right?

Roquefort Raider
08-23-2011, 07:10 AM
You seriously do not see the misogyny in High Society or Church and State?

If one is convinced that it is there, it is possible to find sexism, racism, elitism and a dislike for zucchini in pretty much anything.

In High Society and Church & State, the most intelligent, mature and interesting characters are almost always women. Astoria is a great political mind, a clever strategist, and a good role model for would-be politicians (be they male or female). She's brave, strong, imaginative, and capable of great personal sacrifice.

The Countess is wise despite her youth, rising above what she sees as the self-destructive game of politics and ambition. Despite her aloof attitude, she's also a very caring individual.

Jaka is almost the ideal human being, loving, intelligent, brave (she walked out of a cozy palace life to make her own way as a starving artist) and (as we'll see in Jaka's story), quite capable of handling many responsibilities at once when others (all male, coincidentally) neglect them.

Sophia, who started as a joke, is shown to be much deeper than at first suggested; from a sword-swinging animated doll, she becomes a person who will try to put love before everything else, even if it means enduring an insufferable mother and a bad husband. She finally kicks said husband out of her life, though, a decidedly sound thing to do.

Cirin, almost unseen in those volumes, is neither more nor less than a successful political and military leader.

The men, meanwhile? Let's see. Weisshaupt and Lord Julius are shrewd politicians, like Astoria. However, the first one is shown to be extremely egotistical while Astoria is battling for a cause -clearly a nobler attitude. Cerebus himself is an egotistical, drunk, a thief, a rapist and a child murderer. Elrod is insane. The Roach is insane. Silverspoon is stupid. The Claremont thing is an ambitious jerk. The Judge is a plot device, not a person. I can't think of one male character one can look up to in those two storylines (since Suentus Po won't actually show up for another few volumes).

Ergo, if there are more women depicted in a positive light than men, and if the only characters we can look up to are women, I can't see how these two books can be labeled misogynistic.

I think Tim nailed it when he said that Sim doesn't demonstrate misogyny per se, but rather a misunderstanding of what men-women relationship can be. He certainly doesn't seem to think that such a thing can last for long without men becoming castrated in some sense, an opinion with which I most strongly disagree.


They are supposed to act as if they are married in Cerebus' home village. People there won't be open about it at all if they are not. Cerebus explains this to Jaka some pages (I don't know how much...) before that. Jaka doesn't take it very seriously and after she loses her mit on page 677, she doesn't put it back on, and mister Morton sees that she has no wedding ring on page 679 (eighth panel).

Wow! Good catch, Dohmude!!! Even after many readings I had missed that.

Leocomix
08-23-2011, 01:05 PM
Excellent review. I find all attempts to balance the greatness of it with the token "a few parts are not" to be lacking but it could have been much worse since the quasi-totality of reviewers are unable to see past the public image of Sim.
Cerebus remains largely unacknowledged at the comics masterpiece it is and one can hope this review will convince more people not to miss it.

kozmo
08-23-2011, 01:36 PM
just because you have characters acting misogynistic or a misogynistic society doesn't make the work itself misogynistic. those early volumes of Cerebus clearly show the male characters as WRONG in their behavior, to the point of specifically telling Cerebus that he will die alone and unloved and when he curses his fate, to remember his rape of Astoria.

It often seems so simplistic, but I don't think you can ignore the breakup of Dave and Deni's marriage and how it affected the storyline. There are much stronger women and much more condemnation of misogyny in those first 80 or so issues before the divorce.