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Author Topic: Whats everyone reading?  (Read 700719 times)

Apestrife

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6735 on: 02 August, 2020, 02:13:34 PM »
Cerebus: Jaka's Story I quite liked this book. A weirdly engrossing and surpisingly mature story about a woman Jaka, who's a waitress and dancer a pub. One day she get's a social visit by an old friend, a very angry sword carrying aardvark named Cerebus. While this is happening Jaka's husband is gossiping details of her early life to writer "Oscar" (who's basically Oscar Wilde) who's penning a story (inside the story) out of it. Felt like equal parts Don Rosa's Scrooge McDuck and Ingmar Bergman. Hard to explain, but hard not to recommend.



I've read some reviews and such on the rest of the Cerebus series, but Jaka's story feels like sweet spot for me. Especially given how well it reads as stand alone, and how off the rails the later books went.

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6736 on: 02 August, 2020, 08:24:19 PM »
It's kinda odd thinking of someone coming at Jaka's Story as it's own self contained story.  Probably a better way of reading Cerebus.  You might like Melmoth as well.  Some people liked Going Home.  I didn't, but some people did.

I loved Cerebus when I was a kid, but it is problematic and does get more and more tedious (and problematic) as it goes on.  I have the whole collection in trades, but I haven't read them all (couldn't get through the last two).  Nevertheless I still have a soft spot for High Society and the "Swords of Cerebus" stories.




Colin YNWA

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6737 on: 02 August, 2020, 09:19:01 PM »
Yeah the idea of approaching 'Jaka's Story' as a stand alone work is fascinating. I've been so immersed in Cerebus since my late teens that opportunity has long since passed me. Dave Sim for all his significent issues and clear mental health problems, over the years is a master of the form.

I love the first 200 issues of Cerebus as body of work, even as the thoughts and ideas of the creator where becoming increasingly problematic towards the end of that run. I really can't enjoy 'Guys' and the materials after that, I've read significent chunks, its too entwined with his misogynistic world view and I can't engage in it anymore. I quickly abandoned Cerebus in Hell after a foolish daliance to see if Dave Sim's views had changed to make his work more approachable. Alas they hadn't and after a closer reading of issue 3 (I think its was) I realised I couldn't support his work anymore.

However Cerebus as a body of work, certainly from issue 14ish - 200 is quite unequaled. I do worry how I will react to it if I read it again now, but I loved it when I read it last 10 years(ish) ago. Its well worth delving further into, at least the first 200, though with a warning that care needs to be taken towards the end of that run.

Some old thoughts on this here

https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=34683.msg635507#msg635507

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6738 on: 03 August, 2020, 12:28:01 AM »
I'd personally be careful recommending Cerebus beyond issues 150.  That is when Sim really started alienating his audience.  It's kinda funny (in a not funny way), considering that the main character is shown committing rape and killing babies before that point.  Church and State also doesn't really go anywhere or have much of a point.  A lot of things happen to Cerebus and he states to lose his own agency in his story around that point. I know people who have said Going Home is not that bad, but I just couldn't be doing with it.

There is a lot to celebrate about Sims work, but there is a lot he gets so wrong.  An example would be turning the comic 360 degrees whilst reading.  He did nothing within the story itself to reflect on why he is putting the reader through such an inconvenience and in the end that's all it ends up being, an inconvenience.  I also don't think that a comic is the place for pages of just text.  You want to do that, write a novel.  His story telling has massive flaws in it.  Plot threads and characters dropped out of disinterest and important things happening out of panel.  He just moved on to what was his latest passion and some of that turned out to be utter garbage.  Especially the later stuff.  Honestly, I think the best we can say about Sim as a creator is he was hit and miss and then just miss.  With one exception.  Speech bubbles.  For which he was master of... until Cerebus in Hell, which is lazy and shit.

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6739 on: 03 August, 2020, 12:33:45 AM »
I should probably clarify.  I have deep and conflicting opinions on it as a body of work and I still try to reconcile it with the creator.  Usually it is easy for me to know whether I can separate the art from the artist, but I have a hard time figuring out my feelings when it comes to Cerebus.  I don't even know why.  I am really not that precious about the things I loved as a kid.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6740 on: 03 August, 2020, 06:06:06 AM »
With one exception.  Speech bubbles.  For which he was master of... until Cerebus in Hell, which is lazy and shit.

To be Sim to Sim Cerebus in Hell was borne of necessity as he'd lost the ability to draw due to hand surgery. Doesn't stop it being rubbish but lazy might be unfair.

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6741 on: 03 August, 2020, 09:16:35 AM »
To be Sim to Sim Cerebus in Hell was borne of necessity as he'd lost the ability to draw due to hand surgery. Doesn't stop it being rubbish but lazy might be unfair.

Maybe it's unfair to say that because he couldn't draw, but he certainly could collage and there are definitely more inventive ways of doing that than what he did, so maybe not.  It doesn't look like he tried very hard to make something visually interesting, regardless of his impairment... but maybe he simply didn't have the creativity any more.  Nevertheless, I'm not sure the man really deserves the consideration of whether it's fair or unfair to call a garbage looking work of his lazy or not.  Others mileage may vary.

Apestrife

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6742 on: 03 August, 2020, 10:39:06 AM »
Yep, a lot of ins and outs when it comes to Dave Sim. As is with a lot of writers. But in his case I choose to separate him from his work to the fullest (especially since he groomed an underage girl), as well as Jaka's story from the rest of Cerebus. Which I think her story lends itself very well to. Read it as a Alice in Wonderland-sque little tale (Couldn't help it but to think of Thatcher as the queen of hearts) about a woman with a very beautiful and powerful presence and her desire to dance: how those things affects those around her.

But from what I understand Sim built her up soley to ruin her for the reader in the later volumes, and I don't care much for that. Especially not since it seems very forced, at a dire expence of her character and for some ill-fated nonsense. I also think her and Cerebus relationship is made more than clear in Jaka's story, when he asks for forgivness and asks her to come with him.

Regarding Cerebus as a whole, I can see why people dig it, and I don't have a problem with that at all. I could see a good chunk sticking to #1-150/200, and others the whole lot since he actually finished what he started. Perhaps even the idea that Cerebus would "Die alone unmourned and unloved".