jonesenstein

Jonesenstein
2001-07-17 02:27:08 (UTC)

12-28-00


Thursday, December 28, 2000
I know, I know, it’s been while. A long while
actually. I’m not even sure why, I think just because I’ve
been so busy trying to tie up end-of-the-year loose ends.
Christmas came and went without event. I take that
back, it came and went with a few events, nothing I think
you’d be too interested in (like I got a VCR from Santa. I
already have a VCR. I got it for my 19th birthday from AKA
Santa).
I also figured I am in a crossroads right now. My
friends matter a lot to me, it just that we don’t matter
that much to me anymore. I have a life now, separate from
them, just as they do.

“It’s hard to start things over. I can feel the
fire around us.’
--Alice in Chains

Enough about that. Let’s talk about some other things,
like how Dave Sim has gone completely out of his ever-
loving mind.
I got his new book, Going Home, and I thought it would be
pretty good. I mean, it’s basically about Cerebus and Jaka
(his one true) walking across Estarción (their continent,
it’s kinda like Europe) to Cerebus’ childhood home. I
thought it’d be good. I mean, even though Jaka was not
supposed to be in the book anymore (Dave showed Cerebus
that he would never be happy with Jaka and that they could
never stay together), I thought it would be a pretty damn
fine example of Sim’s ability to write a book based soley
on character interaction. Little did I know how far Sim
has fallen.
Like I said before, I think Sim is one of the best writers
ever, regardless of medium or time. However, it appears
that he thinks so too. He has, so far (I’m only about half
way through the first half), compared himself to F. Scott
Fitzgerald, and had a character based on Fitzgerald comment
that Sim is merely misunderstood.
If one reads the entire Cerebus collection, up to number
200 (which is the end of Mothers & Daughters), the story is
amazing (with the exception of Melmoth). I mean, it is
funny and touching while being witty and cynical. It is
really, really good. Dave said that he has everything in
the Cerebus storyline written out in meticulous detail in
his notebooks. I seriously doubt that.
What seems to be going on is that when Dave decided to do
300 issues of a comic chronicling the day-to-day life of
the main character (he decided somewhere around issue 11, I
think, don’t quote me, I haven’t read anything about it in
a long time) I think he only really decided to do 200
issues (he actually joked about something like that in
Reads, another amazing, yet misogynistic, book) and
thought, “Hell, this is 15 years down the road, I’m sure
I’ll come up with somethin by then.” Which, sadly, he
hasn’t.
After Mothers & Daughters, the story just kind of stopped.
I mean, up until that point, the book had been a satire of
lots of different, important things: church, government,
politics, even love and death. It’s like a modern day
Gulliver’s Travels or Tales of Narnia. Afterwards, it just
seemed to be. After Mothers & Daughters, there was Guys,
and I’m not so sure why it was written. I think it was
written because Dave needed Cerebus to catch up to him in
age (they were both the same age when the comic started in
1977) and it was an opportunity to include some humor in an
otherwise humorless plot. Cerebus started out as a parody,
and it was funny. Over the years it lost a lot of that and
I think this was the perfect opportunity to catch up, as it
were.
After that, there was Rick’s Story, which was OK. It kind
of tied up a loose end, that really didn’t matter all that
much (it tells about what happened to Rick, Jaka’s husband,
after they divorced). I never really cared what happened
to Rick. I mean, he was a good character and everything,
but I just didn’t care what happened to him after Jaka.
I think this was the beginning of the 2nd part of the
Cerebus storyline. See, Cerebus met someone named Joanne
in Guys and she returned again in Rick’s Story. It
showcased a lot of what one sees in a relationship: the
jealousy, the usage of others, the thoughts of what might
be to come, the internal conversations, etc. The only
problem was that is was ineffective. Again, I just didn’t
care enough about Joanne to worry about whether or not she
was hurt by Cerebus. In all of the other books (Church &
State, High Society) whenever a character was introduced, I
loved them instantly, even in if it was just a minor
character (like Blossom, or Mick ‘n Keef, of Posey). Now
it’s just like I read it because I know the story so well.
Another reason I think Dave has no idea where he is going
with this is that at the very end of Rick’s Story, he (Dave
himself) walks into the pub where Cerebus is staying and
gives him Missy (Jaka’s doll) just as Jaka walks in the
door. He pretty much said that Cerebus would never be
happy with her, and yet, when given a choice between his
friends and her, he picks her.
Maybe it’s to show that Cerebus, like Dave, never really
learns anything.
…or maybe…
Could it be that Dave is satirizing love? I mean,
seriously. He is the only guy I know of that hates
everything about relationships. He likes the sex and that
is it (pretty selfish, I know. For some reason, I am not
happy until I am giving something to someone. Whenever I’m
selfish, my life sucks). Maybe he’s trying to show why?
Maybe he’s staying in the general satire theme? I think
that would be the most logical conclusion. Dave’s always
been a stickler for congruity.
That makes a lot of sense, actually. I mean, other than
backgrounds and entire scenes not making any sense (and I
do mean any) I only feel sorry for Cerebus and Jaka. There
was a time when I thought, “That’d be great for Cerebus if
they got together.” Yes, I think of Cerebus as a real
person. Now I just feel bad because Cerebus has to act
nice all the time (which he isn’t) and Jaka feels trapped.
Maybe this last part if just a satire of Dave and what he
thinks. How he could be wrong, or how he doesn’t really
think that way at all and was just fooling everyone.
Or maybe, like Cerebus said, the entire book is the simple
message of, “You can get what you want and still not be
very happy. Your welcome.”
Either way, after I’m done reading every word, in March
2004, I am going to only think of Cerebus as #25-200.
I think I think way too much about a comic book.
I also got Strangers in Paradise TPBs. High School! and
Sanctuary to be exact. Wow, are those good. Terry Moore
doesn’t go as deep as Sim, but damn, is this a good book.
I won’t go into it anymore than that though. I’m getting
pretty tired and I have to wade through more of Dave’s crap
before I go to bed.