Cerebus Survey: “Loose, Baggy Monsters” Can Be Good For Ya!
JW Hastings offers up a brilliant observation–if you want to get the most out of Cerebus, approach it as you would Dickens’ Pickwick Papers … Take what’s there as you find it. React. Don’t try to impose Grecian Urn symmetry upon a delirium epic. Elrod and the Roach always work against/undermine whatever the main thrust of the narrative happens to be–this is not a drawback, it’s a schizophrenic seal of honesty in storytelling!
Tim O’Neil made the whole journey, from #1-300, and he seems to have employed a similar reading strategy:
In a lot of ways, I think it would be impossible to extricate “Cerebus” from Sim. “Cerebus” is Sim’s story, the story of his personal growth and intellectual expansion. Where he ends might not be where you or I would necessarily have gone, but he is never anything less than rigorously honest in his portrayal of his own mind. There’s nothing more you can ask from any cartoonist, or any other artist.
Great review Tim!
Have you tried Melville’s Pierre; or, the Ambiguities–my own candidate for perfect prose analogue of Sim’s series? I think you’d love it!
Okay, enough Cerebus! Time for me to start reading Church & State!
Good day friends!