Re: [mythsoc] Re: Cerebus
- At 08:16 PM 5/8/2003 -0800, Ernest wrote:
>On Thu, 08 May 2003 21:20:43 -0500, "Joan Marie Verba"Sorry, I thought we explained that early on. It should be added, btw, that
> > I've seen Marx Brothers movies, so I know about them, but what the heck
> > is Cerebus? It's been discussed on this list for days without anyone
> > specifying what it is, and everyone seems to presume we all know.
the name Cerebus started out, before the author assigned it to his
barbarian aardvark, as a typo for Cerberus.
>notably the "Roach", a crazy fellow who turned up first as a genericNo, his first incarnation was very specifically a parody of Batman. Sim
said so in commentary, and it's pretty obvious from the details. Batman
took the symbol of the bat to frighten superstitious criminals, and Sim
parodies that cleverly:
Roach (approaching a criminal): "I am ... the Cockroach!"
Criminal: "Yaagh! I hate cockroaches!"
Roach: "That's the whole idea, miscreant!"
Cerebus (watching from the shadows, to himself): "Whole idea? Whole idea of
>The comic at its height, in two extended storylines called "High Society"Prime Minister, not President. Weisshaupt (a reference to the Bavarian
>and "Church and State", was a fairly sophisticated satire on politics and
>religion. Cerebus, a pretty dim bulb who wanted nothing more from life
>than a bottomless supply of beer and a pile of gold to buy the beer with,
>ended up President in the first storyline, and Pope in the second.
Illuminati and latter-day conspiracy theories about the Illuminati and
George Washington) was President. (Yeeks, I remember this too well.) Good
summary of Cerebus's character, though. What made "Church and State" so
interesting was that, after years of being manipulated by everyone around
him, Cerebus, upon becoming Pope, was finally in a position where he could
do exactly what he wanted and nobody could stop him. What he wanted to do
was pretty appalling, and Sim presented it that way; which is why it's so
strange that Sim soon became so appalling himself.
>I don't know if I'd go so far as to call "Cerebus" even at its best Great"Cerebus" can be read without knowing the references. Tolkien also depends
>Art; I have reservations about calling Great any work of art that depends
>so heavily on outside reference.
on outside references.
A more serious problem, especially for beginners, is the internal
references. The first collected volume of "Cerebus", before "High
Society", contains some early work that's pretty hard to slog through, and
there's no continuous storyline. I would have recommended that readers new
to the book begin with "High Society", but there's so much in it, including
the punchline at the end of the saga, that depends on knowing what happened
- David Bratman