« Daredevil # 93 | Main | Summertime »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Two comments:

1. There are people out there that have read the entire Cerebus epic, including all the teeny tiny type in Latter Days. I include myself in this small number of people. While you might not run into us in RL, we do exist.

2. There are 16 "phonebooks" or volumes of Cerebus, not 25. Most people start with High Society and later come back to read the first volume.

No, there are actually 25 volumes--9 of which "Margaret" clearly hasn't read.

-Tucker Stone, 2007

I'm missing 9 volumes! Gah! I guess I'll get rid of the "fangirl" designation then. . .

Only 16 collections are listed in the Cerebus wikipedia listing. What are the other 9 you are referring to?

Nice piece on Sim's epic, by the way. You can count me among those who skipped the initial volume in favor of beginning with High Society. I've read through to Flight (which I understood virtually none of, I fear) and have yet to pick up vol. 1. Someday, maybe, but I'm in no hurry to read pages upon pages of an anthropomorphic Conan-type.

Nice quick summary, but I think there are really two issues here that need to be sepperated: What the self motivated reader should read, and what you should suggest to others to do. If you skip the first volume, you might not miss much in terms of the parody laden early stories, or the goofyness of the first few issue's art, but it settles down quickly, and there is a dramatic change and improvement within a short span of issues. The most significant thing you'll miss is Mind Games, probably the most recognizable single issue of the title, but most of the key character intros take place in issues 4-7, truly interesting stuff starts to happen in issue 8, Issue 13 is a single issue gem, and I don't see how you could even claim to get the most out of "High Society" if you havent read the Palnu trilogy (issues 14-16) where all the groundwork is laid. In a way, the entire first trade is colored by peoples impressions of the first 3 issues, which are (I'll admit) pretty useless, except from a art-in-progress standpoint (which I would argue is worth is in and of itself). So, for the interested self motivated reader who has any sense of comittment at all, skiping the first trade is a ludacris idea. BUT (and its a big but) if you are trying to hook someone on the series (who is, thus, not self motivated) the first years worth of issues might be a deal killer. Thus, most people suggest that you read High Sociey then go back later to keep the attrittion rate low, not due to artistic reasons. Oh, and I can't clam to have read the whole thing (I will admitt to skipping areas of the larger text pieces), but I have read the entire COMICS part, and I don't think it is unheard of to find someone whose read the whole thing (I know 2 people who have done it other than Margaret). Thanks.

Add me to the list of read it all. I went seriously off it by the time the rampant mysogony and religious claptrap kicked it, but I'd been reading since the beginning, so I figured best to read it to the end to make an overall judgement.

To be honest I loved Volume 1. Sure, Cerebus is really about the political, social and religious analogies of the later books, but what drew me in were those early, raw stories. A writer/ artist learning his craft, and clearly enjoying himself in the process. A simpler time, and in a way a lot more fun than the wittier, more complex stuff that was to come. As I battled my way through objectionable chunks of Reads, the frankly tedious Latter Days and dollops of reactionary bile in The Last Day, I found myself looking back increasingly fondly on Volume 1.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I read the whole thing. It's great to read something of that complexity and depth over that length of time. Just because I don't agree with a lot of it, or enjoy some of it, doesn't mean I don't admire the achievement overall. It's brought me a great deal of enjoyment over the years, and it's made me think, which is more than the vast majority of stuff I read.

It's just that sometimes I read to not think, and when I do that, enthusiasm and a sense of fun are what I'm after. Volume 1 delivered that in spades, along with an irresistable lead character. Hell, it must have been good, to suck me in all those years ago, and keep me reading through thickm and thin, right up to the end.

Oh, and the 300 issues of Cerebus were (mostly) reprinted in 16 books. Volume 17 will reprint letter responses by Sim, apparently. The extra bits from the 300 issue comic run that were not covered in the graphics (along with new material) appeared in Cerebus Zero, Cerebus Jam and Cerebus World Tour, along with a great Roach appearance in the AARGH anthologuy (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia: Ironic really, in light of Sim's later leanings on the subject).

The 25 book vs 16 book confusion may be over the way Volume 1 was originally reprinted in shorter volumes, before being collected as Volume 1 after High Society came out.

it's pretty fucking cool how cerebus fans have almost no sense of humor about the comic, even though the book itself is hilarious. of course, the people who go out of their way to tell everyone how much they hate it aren't any fun either.

sure, 25 volumes. who cares, right?

i read every bt, loved just about all of it. who cares if i agree with the man or not? i can only assume the importance of agreeing with sim's personal politcs will lessen over time. no one seems to get too mad over the racial shit found in just about every volume of our "golden age of reprints".

cerebus does comics in ways no one has ever attempted, and just about always succeeds. i think that "rick's storyy" is just about the most boring volume, story-wise, but take a look at the layout decisions made in that book. if it doesn't blow your mind, you don't like comics.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo