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Review: Latter Days (Cerebus Vol. 15)

September 8, 2009

latter day 1

Sim giving us plenty of funny in the beginning of the volume, ’cause he knows he’s going to hit us with plenty of text later on…

From Wikipedia:

First part of the story-arc Latter Days. After a prodigious leap in time over two issues, Cerebus returns from the north intent on provoking the Cirinists into killing him. Instead, he is captured by a trio of characters based on the Three Stooges, who await a religious revelation from him. While Cerebus was in the north, a religious movement developed out of the teachings of Rick and his writings about Cerebus. Once Cerebus supplies the required revelation, he inspires a successful anti-Cirinist rebellion and a subsequent reordering of society. Much of the second half of this chapter consists of Cerebus giving a highly idiosyncratic analysis of the Torah. Lasting nearly a year (in publishing terms), this section, called “Chasing YHWH” (presumably a reference to the Kevin Smith film Chasing Amy) was presented almost entirely in text format, with minimal art. This story arc is unusual in that disembodied thought balloons give the impression that Cerebus is speaking directly to the reader at times. It is revealed in the last issue of the arc that Cerebus has been talking to a woman reporter who bears a striking resemblance to Jaka. He eventually falls in love with the woman and marries her.

Do I ever tire of making fun of the fact Cerebus has no lower jaw?  No.  No I don’t.

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Our digression de jure – backstory into the Three Stooges.  Interesting enough to make me want to sit down and watch the Curly-era Stooge shorts. (Shemp was the original 3rd Stooge? Get outta here!)

Not to sound redundant, but – this should not have been in the book to begin with.  If you want to give tribute to them, fine, but don’t bore the reader with extraneous (if still interesting on its own) detail.  It’s like sitting down with a Spider-Man comic and half of the issue is taken up with the history of the Daily Bugle leading up to the day J. Jonah takes over publishing: fine detail work there, but not the main even, if you know what I mean…

And look! It only took until the penultimate volume of the series figure out how to do a good long time passed…

latter day 3 

and still more – less-headache inducing text pages…

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And for the Sim Quote of the Day…(referring to European film here)

Of course – as is something of a syndrome for those who become aficionados of international culture – not knowing the language allows you to imagine a much more interesting film than the one you’re watching.

{Manga fans (I would say anime  fans as well – Ed.) are a good example.  If the translations are accurate, there have to be a lot of fans of Japanese comics scratching their heads and going, “That’s what this one was about?” In the same vein, I remember Kevin Eastman admitting that that happens a lot with European material that he purchases and has translated for Heavy Metal magazine – the stories are a lot more interesting to look at than they turn out to be in terms of actual content.}

Dave Sim, Notes on Latter Days, pg. 500

As far as the text bits, analysing the Books of Moshe…if you’re into that kind of thing, go for it.

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