Random Ramblings about Things and Whatever

Random Ramblings about Things and Whatever

Friday, June 11, 2010

Random Comics review: Cerebus #25,1981

Cerebus the Aardvark by writer/artist Dave Sim started as a parody of Conan the Barbarian which Sim eventually turned into a long complex meditation on religion,politics,and gender. The earlier issues are more light-hearted and mostly focused on pop-culture and comics spoofs.

This issue is actually light on plot but definitely worth a look. Cerebus is accompanying Professor Charles X Claremont across the countryside with the Prof's apocalypse beast (which looks suspiciously like Marvel's swamp monster). Before he wrecks havok on the world,the Prof intends to steal a castle from an unsuspecting home owner. Of course,the issue ends which the bad guy perishing by his own plan.

The story is very funny. What's notable is that most of the humor steams not from one-liners and random gags,but from the dialogue and interaction between Cerebus,the Prof,and the Castle owner. One nice bit is that the owner is a serious artist whose commentaries on society always involve drawings of big breasts. Another hilarious scene is how the Prof meets his demise when he gets caught between his beast fighting, then copulating with another apocalypse beast (who looks suspiciously like DC's swamp monster).

The artwork is wonderful throughout. Dave's layouts are dynamic and varied. They tell the story in a clear and breezy manner. The pacing, which is everything in humor, is perfect. Dave's figure drawing is kinetic and fun. Another thing,the art is black and white,but marvelous just the way it is. Stark blacks,clear whites,and just the right amount of zip-a-tone and cross-hatching for the grays and mid-tones. Color wouldn't add to the visuals at all. THIS is how you do black and white comic book art.

Cerebus #25 is a funny and well drawn comic that reads well on it's own. If you can find it at your local comics shop,it's definitely worth a look.


  1. I have had the first Cerebus omnibus (which I'm pretty sure goes to this issue) sitting on my bookshelf for about fifteen years, and I've never made it all the way through. One of these days...it was definitely fun to see the rapid progression of Sim's art in those early issues, though. I did read a recent issue of Cerebus Archives. Good stuff. I've recently really gotten into these more "documentary" type comics that show early sketches and recount tales of breaking in.

  2. Right after this issue, Cerebus goes into the 25 issue "book" that was the pinnacle of the comic's run: "High Society". It's hilarious and incredibly well drawn.

    Next came the "Church and State", a larger "book" that was well done but not quite as good as "High Society".

    After that, the series declines, mostly as Dave Sim's misogyny comes to the the forefront. I was a long time fan of the series. I stopped reading about 80 issues from the end, though I continued to buy the comics. I read the last quarter of the saga in one shot, and was really disappointed in how it changed as Sim's personality altered.

    "High Society", though, is still awesome.

  3. Yeah,the first two collections are the most accessible.I know Sims had two divorces...did these women hurt him so bad that that now all females are "voids" who suck men's energy and take your stuff?

  4. I actually think Jaka's Story & Minds are the two best. The idea of him being a misogynist is greatly blown out of proportion. I think it's more that he thinks deep emotionally based relationships eat up people's time to keep them from completing their artistic work. Which I think most people would say is true, but sad.