Sunday, 15 July 2018

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part eleven

Hi, Everybody!

1 April 18

Hi Matt!

You must be running out of my Biblical commentaries along about now. So…

6 April 14
 Hi Troy and Mia!
 Okay, getting back to chapter three.  When Mr. Ross writes
 However we must at all times remember  that we remain limited in our knowledge and understanding, so our interpretations will continually fall short of perfection.  Thus, we must always be willing to adjust and fine-tune. Conclusions can never become rigidly fixed I definitely agree with him.  However, my own view is that the limited nature of our knowledge is too extensive and too fundamental so that falling short of perfection dramatically understates our situation.  A willingness to "adjust and fine-tune" is certainly beneficial, but only if adjustment and fine-tuning is all that's required -- we're close to The Truth and just need a few tweaks to get there.  To cite the obvious example: if God and the YHWH are two different beings that's definitely going to throw pretty much all suppositions and "evidence" into doubt which are based on the idea that God and YHWH are just two different names for the same being.
 It's rather -- it seems to me -- like the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change).  They've been predicting an ecological dystopia for decades now and a dramatic hockey stick curve in rising temperatures that will leave all coastal areas flooded and the polar ice cap melted and the evidence just isn't there to support it after 1998.
 But the adherence to their fallacy is not under discussion as far as they are concerned just as I'm the only monotheist who sees merit in the idea that God and YHWH are two separate beings.
 It seems to me a self-evident fact attached to the scientific method that -- given a choice between evidence-based conclusions and adherence to ideology in defiance of evidence -- human beings, scientists and laypeople alike will always opt for the latter.
 "Conclusions can never become rigidly fixed".  Conclusions SHOULD never become rigidly fixed but conclusions USUALLY become rigidly fixed, whatever the subject under discussion, in my experience.  Few people adhere to my own view that -- once you get outside of Newton's Laws of General Motion and how they apply ONLY to our unique circumstance as physically incarnated beings here in planet earth -- pretty much all views need to come with "as I see it" and "in my opinion" attached but seldom do.
 Mr. Ross goes on: "For this reason the scientific method is best practiced repetitively".  Well, yes, it certainly is but, again, to cite the IPCC as the most public face of science in our present age, if you don't revisit FOUNDATIONAL precepts -- like exponential warming -- as givens based on new evidence which refute your precept then it seems to me you aren't actually practicing science or the scientific method. What you are doing is repeating past errors by putting ideological blinders on.
 And well, here we are in 2014.  We believe, as a civilization, in man-made global warming even though the evidence doesn't support it and hasn't supported it for some time.
 My own view is that this is a general condition.  We mistake cause for effect in any situation where the data will support either one -- even in those situations where the data points in a more likely direction -- if we don't favour that "most likely" conclusion and have to fudge our "experiments" to maintain our scientific mythology: the ideology we -- and the government funding for that theory -- favours. 
 The problem (in my IPCC example) isn't climate, in my view, the problem is weather which is always unpredictable.  No matter the extent of our scientific advances, we still know close to zilch about the fundamentals of weather prediction, but we behave as if we are never wrong about predicting weather…or climate.
 This time of year in Canada, the record high temperature and the record low temperature on any given date will be 30 degrees celsius apart.  You can assert -- and the IPCC has asserted and does assert  -- that this indicates that man is causing wide fluctuations in general temperatures by polluting the environment.  That doesn't alter the fact that what they are doing is looking at evidence which supports the conclusion:  "weather varies widely" and changing that to "man-made changes to the earth are causing dramatic climate change which will destroy life on this planet as we know it.".   Two very different conclusions calling for two very different responses.
 Returning to Chapter Three:
 This is a good example of what I'm talking about right here.  Mr. Ross has Genesis 1:2 as
 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters while the KJV has it as
 And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters See, in my opinion, the punctuation in the KJV is wrong -- which is what's led whoever has done the translation for Mr. Ross' Bible to basically rewrite the text.  We have, collectively, since 1611 chosen to put form and void together to describe the earth and we seem to be stuck with that interpretation in perpetuity.  In my view, the earth wasn't void, but the earth was without form.
 That's the reason that I called my book of Hemingway's misapprehensions FORM AND VOID.  I don't think "form" and "void" belong together.  It makes more sense -- or, rather, supports my own interpretation, a "non-void earth" -- if the concept expressed is:  "the earth was without form" which is then supplemented by "and void and darkness were upon the face of the deep".
 My inference is that this explanation is directed at human beings, but mostly directed at the earth, the YHWH.  God, represented by the "void and darkness" remembers when the YHWH was "without form", before he/she/it was a planet and was just a swirling mass of oxygen-rich, hydrogen-rich raw materials and that's what God is expressing here, it seems to me:  His pre-existence.  He remembers creating the earth and this is how the earth was created.
 In Genesis 2 and 3, the earth gets his/her/its chance to do the same thing: to explain how YHWH created the earth.  Needless to say it doesn't have the same plausible structure that Genesis 1 does.
 Back to Genesis 1:2 to explain what I see:
 There are two "faces" here, which I think is critically important to understanding the text.  Which you can't do with Mr. Ross' Bible because the two faces have disappeared.
 "The face of the deep" and "the face of the waters".  Are "the deep" and "the waters" the same thing?  Well, yes and no, would be my guess.  They're analogous, so the answer is yes.  They're very different so the answer is no.  As fundamental a schism as the difference between male and female, the earth and the seas, grass and trees, the similar-but-different-dichtomies-yet-to-be.
 The "faces" prefigure "the waters above the firmament" and "the waters under the firmament" of 1:7.  "The face of the deep" is, I think, the Face of God. Void and darkness.  God is pure spirit, so there is nothing, physically, to see.  Physically, God is "not there" anywhere you look.
 "The face of the waters" is the face of God's creation, the face of the proto-earth which already exists -- that is, has physically incarnated into its own context which is not God's "void and darkness" context -- but is presently (quite literally!) underwater at this point in the narrative.  God has a face. The earth has a face. Human beings have faces.  That doesn't mean that human beings or the earth are God.
 God himself doesn't (I don't think) "move upon the face of the waters", God's spirit does, just as the text says.  This is, I believe, the Christian "Father". 
 (the capitalization in the KJV could be blasphemous -- if there is only one God, His spirit is just his spirit, not His Spirit. If you capitalize it, you Deify it.  On the other hand, if the Synoptic Jesus is right and this is the Holy Spirit of the Christian trinity -- or, as Christians would have it, Trinity -- then it is is blasphemous to suggest that the Spirit should not be capitalized.  Of just so many perilous dichotomies is monotheism composed.)  

With our severely limited understanding -- at the time that the story was revealed to us -- there would be no real point in addressing the fact that the narrative is billions of years old and was first enacted at the Big Bang.
 Not even the earth, I would suggest, was aware that it was just this unexceptional little chunk of water-covered rock way out in the cosmological boonies.  The earth thought it was God, as, I suspect, every little pile of raw materials in the universe -- suns, galaxies, solar systems, asteroids -- thinks that it is God.
 "Break it to them gently" is the idea behind Genesis 1, I would theorize, once a sufficient number of epochs have enacted themselves on the earth and we have finally arrived at an epoch whose inhabitants, starting with A Dam and Chauah, is sufficiently lucid to bother explaining it to them:
 Here's how creation actually took place/takes place.  "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth".  In the larger context which is not addressed: "This is what happened before the Big Bang which led directly to the Big Bang.  It keeps getting repeated with the same basic structure over and over so that's how it is being explained to you, YHWH.  Here is how you came to be, structurally."
 With those qualifications, I can accept pretty much the balance of what Mr. Ross is saying in Chapter Three:
 The six days of creation (as opposed to Creation:  I don't believe the universe or any part of it is a Deity, it's just the universe) are not necessarily six 24-hour periods, although I would guess that there is probably a subatomic and near-atomic or quasi-atomic context in which that is true.  That is, that "the face of the waters" and the "face of the deep" exist also in "extreme microcosm" just as the creation of the earth is a microcosm of the creation of the sun and the creation of the sun is a microcosm of the creation of the solar system and the creation of the solar system is a microcosm of the creation of the Milky Way and so on, back to the seminal Giant Stars and back from there to the Big Bang and down through every enactment of the Big Bang we see around us -- and can't see around us because it's enacting itself at subatomic, non-physical levels of reality.
 The Koran refers to "a day whose length is fifty-thousand years as you reckon them".  If you think about it, what we think of as a "day" is a single pirouette of the earth in space, so a Biblical day, I would infer, is a single pirouette of -- something.  How long it takes the sun to orbit the point that it's orbiting within the Milky Way?  Or perhaps a more esoteric pirouette in the realm of spirit of which we're not aware?
 I would infer, at any rate, that the "days" as cited in Genesis 1 are universal constants.  In any context in which the enactment of life begins to take place -- where the raw material "waters" of the context-to-be are "without form" and "void and darkness are upon the face of the deep" and "the spirit of God moves upon the waters", I suspect -- from the seminal giant stars after the Big Bang to subatomic levels inaccessible to us -- the six days enact themselves in comparable fashion.
 And that this is happening constantly at a subatomic level in our own context -- an entire microcosmic God and YHWH context coming into being in the length of a work week and then enacting itself over the course of a decade or so before expiring in a comparable fashion to the way we will ultimately expire billions of years from now.  So that the enactment has the appearance of a rehearsal of the events which will transpire in the larger context.
 It would seem to me not to make sense for it to be otherwise.  If you were God, and particularly if you were the YHWH, you wouldn't want any available context for enactment to go to waste given that our context -- where water is able to exist naturally in solid, liquid and gaseous form -- is, quite possibly, exceptional in the context of the universe.
 I'll start on the balance of Mr. Ross' Biblical citations for Chapter Three next week.  There's a BUNCH of them so it might take me a couple of weeks to address them all.

Next Time: Ditko and Dave's letters? (What!?!)

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Dirty Laundry

Hi,  Everybody!

First, today is Gerhard's "Moments of Cerebus" art auction.


If you know the words, SING ALONG!

So, 'emember the post where I listed the comiclink auctions, and all sorts of other fun stuff you guys could buy, including Tim P's eBay auctions, including his Counterfeit #1? Yeah, that one.

In the comments, Jeff Seiler said:
That's DEFINITELY a counterfeit #1. The Overstreet Guide used to list the counterfeit #1 as being worth exactly $0.00. Now, as of the 2017 issue, it just lists a brief description. Regardless, I think it is a crime that Tim should make any part of the (current) bid of £149 from selling it. Furthermore, Tim most certainly could (and should) have done his due diligence and discovered for himself that his copy is counterfeit. That he did not speaks volumes about him as a seller. He should strongly consider removing the listing, if that is possible.
 To which I replied:
Hey Jeff,

How's the weather up there on your high horse?

(Tim DID say he didn't know if it was legit or not, and I had three people compare it to the photos on Margaret's website, and WE all thought it was real...)
Well, I got an email from Everybody's friend, Sean Michael Robinson, which had a fax from the reason we're all here, Dave Sim:

There's a lot to unpack here, but let me start with the most germane part:

That Rat Bastard Seiler ratted me out!!! There's a REASON I call him "Shecky McAssrape"!

 I WAS going to post this fax ASAP, but then Ditko died, and I was working, and I needed to respond to Sean, who offered to make up a simple "how to" guide to tell real copies from the fakes.

Then "Shecky" sent me this:
Hi, Matt!  Hope you and yours are all well.  I was just wondering:  It's been a week since I last spoke on the phone with Dave, in which conversation he told me that he faxed you, via Sean, a response to my question about what his current stance is on counterfeit issues of Cerebus #1 being sold on ebay (or, elsewhere) for profit.  He told me, essentially, that he supported my view of it as being criminal and that he had, in his fax to you, indicated that he didn't think that I had been (as you put it), "up on [my] high horse", but that I had spoken the truth about the reality of selling counterfeit items for profit.  

There are, currently, multiple copies of Cerebus #1 for sale on ebay and only a few of them show anything besides the front and back covers.  And, when you zoom in on the photos, the resolution is too poor to make the differentiation on the red dot tone.  Personally, I believe that the dragon page is the "make or break", but I've only seen one recent offering on ebay that showed a photo of that page.  Almost all of them show just the front and back covers, with very poor resolution.

Oh, and, Dave told me that he had included in the fax, once again, very clear guidelines for determining whether or not any given copy of Cerebus #1 is counterfeit.

I'm just wondering:  Have you received that letter/fax?  And, if so, when will you be posting it at AMOC?  Clearly, that was what Dave wanted you to do.  In part, to vindicate me, but also to try to keep the record clear.

So, when?

Best to you and all the lovely ladies, 

When? WHEN Shecky? When I G-D D-MN feel like it!

Ya know, now.

So, before anybody gets the impression that I'ma about to pay Shecky a late night visit with a crowbar and some VERY stern words, allow me to clarify myself:

When I asked Jeff, "How's the weather up there on your high horse?", I wasn't referring to his position on the legality of selling a counterfeit Cerebus #1. I was responding to the inferred use of his "school marm" voice.

As regular readers of the Wild and Wooly AMOC comment section know (Hi, Damian!), Jeff has at times come across as... (how do I put this?)...(ya know, "nicely"?)...a bit of a... "pompous ass."

My reply to his comment was specifically made to the phrase: "Tim most certainly could (and should) have done his due diligence".

Sorry, Jeff, but to quote one of my favorite people (no, really!): "render unto me a fucking break!"

I spent ten minutes on Margaret's delicious CerebusFanGirl site, looking at the various ways of determining a genuine from a fake. I had other people look at the photos. We all agreed that Tim's copy was most likely a genuine copy. As everybody's friend, Sean Robinson said in the comments of the post:
There are other obvious differences, but they all involve having an authentic #1 on hand for comparison. 
So, short of having both, it's a bit of a crapshoot.

(There was also an inferred "peevishness" since Jeff doesn't have a copy of #1, and I figured he was pissed that he bid on it before finding out it wasn't genuine. Possibly pure fantasy on my part, but possibly not.)

So, THAT'S why I asked about Jeff's "high horse".

Back to Dave's Fax.

Yes, the form e-mail isn't the worst idea.

And everybody's friend, Sean Robinson, has kindly agreed to make up a post/email for these purposes. So, yes Sean, please do.

I do question the need to contact the local cops, but that's more my aversion to dealing with The Fuzz.

As to counterfeit #1s being immoral, I agree that the initial counterfeiting was definitely an immoral (and criminal) act. But, I believe that selling a counterfeit is only immoral if you KNOW that it's a counterfeit and DON'T disclose that. As far as buying a counterfeit, I believe it was the Romans ("terrific race, the Romans") who coined the phrase: "caveat emptor". (Which, the post/email will hopefully help to educate the buying public.) (Who would do well to remember the sage advise of the late Harry Anderson: "a fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place.")

As to counterfeits having no value, this is a "eye of the beholder" situation. What exactly is the value of a Cerebus #1? Is it the content? Or is it the physical object? If you believe that the value is in the content, then a Cerebus Bi-weekly #1 has a higher value than a Cerebus #1, because it has the entirety of Cerebus #1, plus the introduction from Swords #1. If you believe that the value is in the physical object, then one would assume that you'd not be reading it, but slabbing it to ascertain it's value, and preserve said value.

All my research into counterfeit #1s, says that CGC knows the difference between genuine and counterfeit copies. So, if you want to buy a Cerebus #1 for it's inherent value, and not to read the beginnings of our favorite Aardvark, I'd suggest either ponying up for a slabbed and certified copy, or schooling yourself in all the myriad differences between real and fake copies, and hoping for the best.

One of the BIGGEST problems, with the whole "counterfeit" issue, is that we don't know EXACTLY how many copies of Cerebus #1 there are. There WERE 2000 copies of the real Cerebus #1. (If I'm remembering right.) Now there has to be an attrition rate of copies that were bought and thrown away/read to pieces/lost in "misadventure". So that means there's <2000 copies that are real.

And, as far as I know, no one really knows how many copies of the counterfeits there are.

It would be really awesome if somebody (not me), set up a census of Cerebus #1s.

And as far as buyers/sellers sending Dave a cut of the money for the sale of counterfeits...

While the initial counterfeiting was a crime, is it REALLY a crime for retailers who were hoodwinked by the counterfeiter, to try to make up their loss by selling the counterfeits AS counterfeits? In my researches, I came across retailers who paid five dollars a copy for the counterfeits, and sold them for ten, (clearly labeled as counterfeits.) (There was also the case of the retailer who bought 54 copies for $770, that then sold them as counterfeits for 20 or 25 bucks.)

I mean, I agree that it would be nice, but I don't expect it to be the rule instead of the exception.

(I also wonder about Dave's "illegally acquired personal property" line. I'm no lawyer, but is it really illegal to buy a counterfeit? And Dave was GIVING away the story contents of Cerebus #1 when he was giving away the first phonebook a few years back. (Which was my idea (sorta), so I apologize for bringing it up in an asshole way right now. But the point kinda stands. (Especially in light of Dave's saying that Cerebus is essentially in the Public Domain.) (I mean, I get that in 1982, Cerebus #1 was VERY much a protected and copyrighted property, but here almost 40 years later, not so much.))

I'm sending this to Dave, so I'll let everybody know what he says in reply.

Next Time: All the deals on oats I can find so Jeff can feed his high horse. (I kid, I kid...)

The Old AMOC Mailbag: Sean Robinson Edition (The Big Finish!!!)

Hi, Everybody!

Everybody's friend, Sean Michael Robinson, send in a load of links to the ol' AMOC Mailbag at

And for that we're grateful.

And this is the last one

AND for THAT we're eternally grateful.

He sent in:
And a misguided pan of Strange Cerebus! (I don't think the author is aware that those "racist" Trump strips were written by Sandeep Atwal, who also wrote a book on Malcom X.)

Here's the relevant bit

Thanks for all the memories Sean!

Next Time: Oh crap, I gotta generate content again?!?

Friday, 13 July 2018

Anonymity for a buck eleven? (Dave's Weekly Update #243)

Hi,  Everybody!

Heeeeeere's Dave:

Donate here, if you're amicable. The Cerebus TV 88 cent button is there, no 111 one yet, but George is good at surprising us.

Don't forget, tomorrow is Gerhard's "Moments of Cerebus" art auction.

Next Time: "Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down..."

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Pointy Hats

A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

We looked at Dave Sim's eleventh notebook just this past May in What IS truth? The notebook had 114 pages scanned and covers Cerebus #96 to 102. The trial. Pope Cerebus. Astoria. Bishop Powers. And the room.

On page 43 of the notebook Dave sketched out, with pencil and pen, page one to Cerebus #98. The Trial.

Notebook #11, page 43
What is that on the right edge? Oh just some letraset:

Close up of pattern
And here is the finished product:

Cerebus #98, page 1
I like how the smoke from the candles forms the word balloons.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Place Your Word Balloon Pun Here

Benjamin Hobbs:

This week I received an email from David Birdsong, CIH?'s Junior Text-Applicator and Word-Containment-Specialist. He writes:

"I've been wanting to share some of the newest lettering we've been doing on CIH? but I didn't want to give too much away.  I've come up with two options.  First is one with the DorĂ© art intact and empty word balloons that is sure to have fans of the comic salivating for more."

"Second is just empty word balloons and nothing else that will make them wonder what in the world it could be. "

 "Or just use both."

Both it is! Thanks for writing in David! Keep those amazing Word Containment Fields coming! They look fantastic!

Next Week: David continues to write: "Benjamin I know you have some pages with different kinds of balloons than these.  Maybe you could even show some without the text, but with the strike-throughs and underlines to show how we're getting better at matching Dave's lettering.  Maybe you could even show an isolated balloon with the lettering that wouldn't give away anything.  Actually a stand alone word balloon saying something funny totally out of the blue could be another enticement to keep the orders for CIH? coming.  " So it looks like there will be MORE unfinished CIH? comics in this space soon!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

The Old AMOC Mailbag: Sean Robinson Edition (part 6)

 Hi, Everybody!

Say it with me: "The Exclusive Compan..I mean: Everybody's-friend-Sean-Michael-Robinson-sent-in-a-load-of-links-to-the-ol'"

Today we get:
Eric Hoffman hasd a new book--

You remember Eric right.

Yeah, him.

Next Time: There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – Cerebus and Hobbs.

Monday, 9 July 2018

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag: Sean Robinson Edition (part 5)

Hi, Everybody!

Say it with me: "Everybody's-friend-Sean-Michael-Robinson-sent-in-a-load-of-links-to-the-ol'"

This time it's:
Osho News quotes Dave-

Saved ya a click.
It's a quote from...I dunno.

Hey man! I didn't get hired because I knew my shit, I got hired because I was the first guy to apply. If you don't like it, go start your own damn Cerebus blog!

Next Time: More stuff to buy, probably.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Dave on Ditko

Hi, Everybody!

As I mentioned yesterday, I faxed Dave about the passing of Steve Ditko.

Here is his response:

Thanks to Eddie Khanna for getting Dave's fax to me.

Next Time: "Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mr. Robinson, Cerebus loves you more than you will know Wo wo wo"

Saturday, 7 July 2018

RIP: Steve Ditko

Hi, Everybody!

AMOC was stunned to learn that Steve Ditko has passed away.
by Steve Ditko
from 'The Avenging World' (Witzend #7, 1970)

Being a huge Spider-Man fan this hurts.
Tsk! Tsk! Whatever Happened To Common Sense?
(The Comics, July 1999; reprinted in Avenging World, 2002)
by Steve Ditko  
Steve Ditko comics can be obtained from Robin Snyder at:
3745 Canterbury Lane #81, Bellingham, WA, 98225-1186, or
 SnyderandDitko [at] icloud [dot] com
All available Steve Ditko books are listed here. 
I know Dave is a big Ditko fan, so here's the Tribute/parodies I got access to:
Spider-Ham Goes Mad (2007)
Art by Dave Sim

(Ditkomania #67, August 2008)
By Dave Sim
Cerebus vs Spider-Ham (2008)
Art by Dave Sim

DitkoMania #77 (2009)
Art by Dave Sim
Your Card... (2006)
Art by Dave Sim, based on Mr. A by Steve Ditko
Mr C Minus: It's Your Choice!
Art by Dave Sim (after Steve Ditko's Mr A)

Sketch: Mr C-Minus (April 2010)
Art by Dave Sim
And then there's Ms. A.

If you click the links to the original posts, you can read what Dave thinks of Ditko.

Thanks to Tim for doing all the hard work posting this stuff originally.

I'm going to fax Dave and let him know what's happened, I'll let you guys know what (if anything) he has to say.

Next Time: Has anybody checked on Stan Lee lately?

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag: Sean Robinson Edition (part 4)

Hi, Everybody!

As I'm sure you are all aware, everybody's friend, Sean Michael Robinson, sent in a load of links to the ol' AMOC Mailbag at

What'd he send in today?
and in another Jordan Pederson hit piece, Jeet namechecks Cerebus in the New Republic--

Here's the relevant bit.

Here's the only "Jung" bit I can find from Cerebus.
Next Time: It's Sunday again...

Friday, 6 July 2018

Thursday, 5 July 2018

A Deal

A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

So instead of Dave Sim's thirteen notebook for the umpteen week in a row, we'll be looking at some pages from Dave's nineteenth notebook. Notebook #19 covers Cerebus #141 through 149 and we last saw it in September of 2017's Melmoth Thumbnails Part 2.

This time, it is all Dino. There are three pages all in a row with Dino sketches:

Notebook 19, page 5

Notebook 19, page 7

Notebook 19, page 9
And those sketches are very close to the character on the finished pages in Cerebus #141 pages two and three (or Melmoth pages 50 and 51 if you're following along in the phonebook):

Dino examines the gold coin

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Cerebus in Hell? #2 and #3 NOW on Comixology!

Benjamin Hobbs:

Happy 4th of July everyone! While you're out at your barbecues and fireworks displays today, celebrating your independence, (or just enjoying a nice Wednesday barbecue, for our international readers) I'm sure you'll be looking for an excuse to ignore your family and friends. What better way to do that than with digital editions of Cerebus in Hell? #2 and #3.

Cerebus in Hell? #2 went on sale at Comixology for $1.99 last Wednesday:

Cerebus in Hell? #3  is on sale at Comixology TODAY for $1.99:

Cerebus in Hell? #1 is still available for just 99 cents! What a DEAL!

Next week:  The aftermath of setting off fireworks while reading CIH? It's not pretty folks.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag: The Sean Robinson Edition (part 3)

Hi, Everybody!

Don't forget to give your hickies to the Living Tarim!  (Some of these might be ending, I'll have to update it soon.)


Everybody's friend, Sean Michael Robinson, sent in a load of links to the ol' AMOC Mailbag at (I swear there's only gonna be like seven of these things.)

What'd he send in for today?

Kevin Eastman/Dave Sim/Gerhard original art for sale!

It's a nice page, but I don't see Cerebus, or Dave anywhere...
Next Time: Cerebus In Hell?, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Benjamin Hobbs, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.

Monday, 2 July 2018

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag: Sean Robinson Edition (part 2)

Hi, Everybody!

Don't forget to give your hickies to the Living Tarim! Matt  (Some of these might be ending, I'll have to update it soon.)


Everybody's friend, Sean Michael Robinson, sent in a load of links to the ol' AMOC Mailbag at (Whoa, deja vu.)

So, what'd he send in this time?

New old Cerebus art comes to light!

Cleverly stolen from the above link. No, really. I said, "YOINK!" and everything...
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Sunday, 1 July 2018

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part ten

Hi, Everybody.

It's Sunday!

That means:

Don't forget to give your hickies to the Living Tarim!

And then, 
1 April 18

Hi Matt!

You must be running out of my Biblical commentaries along about now. So…

30 March 14

Hi Troy and Mia:

When Mr. Ross writes towards the end of Appendix A

The Hebrew word for faith, emuna, means a strongly held conviction that something or someone is certainly existing, firmly established, constant and dependable.  The Greek word for faith, pistis, means a strong and welcome conviction of the truth of anything or anyone to the degree that one places complete trust and confidence in that thing or person.

I think that's certainly a couple of very true descriptions, but very much at variance with what could be described, scientifically, as invariable scientifically supported evidence.  I think it's more than a bit disingenuous to house these observations in an Appendix with the compelled inference that they are irrefutable support for what is stated in Chapter Three rather than just a different way of paraphrasing the earlier opinions -- basically using opinions to support opinions and calling that science.

I think all we are capable of doing here in our inherently limited and limiting physically incarnated construct -- planet earth -- is to say:  here are things that appear to be generally true HERE.  Which strikes me as a very limited form of understanding:  "understanding". 

"Generally true" qualified by "HERE" because virtually no scientific proof is 100% and practically everything that we deem to be true breaks down outside of our specific context -- our "here on earth" context -- once you move outside of the unique circumstance within which and to which we are subject. 

We are, I think, most accurately described as being in the eye of the cosmological storm, the existence of water in gaseous, liquid and solid form, simultaneously, serving as a pretty good proof of the assertion:  there are, so far as we know, not many contexts in the universe where that is even remotely possible, certainly none elsewhere in our solar system which has a pretty wide variety of contexts to pick from. 

So, this seems to me a very poor place from which to be saying "Here is what General Reality is like" and extrapolating that Reality from within our unique circumstance. 

That seems to me the point of Genesis 1:  Here, God is saying, is how what you, my creations, are aware of -- General Reality -- was created. And here is how that General Reality was enacted in order to create your specific reality -- the-earth-as-enactment of General Reality made up of the earth, the seas, the earth's atmosphere, plants, living creatures and yourselves.  You are inside this experiment/enactment.  All that you are required to do is to "be fruitful and multiply" and you will have fulfilled your purpose. 

What you were created to be will enact itself over the course of your lifetime, but your lifetime won't be remotely long enough to fully stage and enact the experiment in order that conclusions will be able to be drawn. 

And that's true, I think, of all the "players" in the enactment.  This is as much about the earth and the seas "being fruitful and multiplying" as it is about us as human beings.  Genesis 1 is addressed to all of us.  Wheels within wheels within wheels.  Genesis 2 and 3 seem to me to be the earth dissenting from the process and suppositions, the earth holding the view, Genesis 1 isn't how things were created. I, the earth, the Alpha and the Omega, was there when everything was created and here is how it happened.

But the earth is basically just an observer -- and, as we now know for a fact, a tiny cosmological latecomer -- misconstruing his/her/its self to be Instigator and Perpetrator, which is why Genesis 1 makes a great deal of scientific sense and Genesis 2 and 3 make only tangential scientific sense. 

But, that's getting ahead of the story. 

I think that "be fruitful and multiply" has much in common with "an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters will eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare".  Which I don't think is true:  more like, "trillions of monkeys with trillions of typewriters will eventually type a lucid sentence or two strictly by accident". 

As distinct from our own situation: "an exponentially expanding and expressive population in a limited construct, sheltered from serious harm will, over the course of billions of years, arrive at a relatively accurate perception of Reality" and that, further, we are billions of years away from that taking place.

I see us right now as being in a cosmological Sargasso Sea where half of the population is determined to prove that the earth IS the sea and the sea IS the earth -- i.e. men are women and women are men, completely interchangeable -- no matter how self-evidently lunatic that view is. 

It is, I think, built in. You make a certain amount of progress towards Reality and then you go around and around pointless lunatic circles for extended periods of time.

I don't picture any forward progress in my lifetime back towards Reality: just this (seemingly) endless and pointless digression into a prime circuitous argument: everything is the same.  The light is darkness. Darkness is light. Day is night. Night is day.  Trees are grass and grass is trees.  Men are women. Women are men.

(which I suspect is what actually powered the Big Bang and the outward expanding universe:  again, God's Overview allowing him to see lemonade where there was only His first creation's lemons, "This going around and around and around in the same stupid circles over and over.  If you could harness that, and accelerate it, you could create quite a light show, quite a big tapestry…and somewhere in there -- once you were up into quintillions of orders of magnitude going around and around the same stupid circles, someone might actually come up with a lucid thought or two.")

It would be nice to think that I'm that person.  I can't say that I'm convinced of my own opinions.  I do tend to think that they fit the known facts better than the other constructs of which I'm aware -- but that isn't the same as saying that they are True or even "true".  Many people have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they didn't commit because an artful lawyer was able to manufacture a false scenario out of the known facts in a case and persuade a jury that his version was True whereas all it might have been is more artful.

 In fact, to me, that participates of the lunatic circuitous argument presented by Genesis 2 and 3:  here is what I saw, here is what I experienced, here is what I have decided is the relevant information to the discussion, therefor "Here is Truth".

I've already written twice as many pages about THE GENESIS QUESTION as Mr. Ross has written in THE GENESIS QUESTION.  The same thing happened with my writing on Pastor John's book.  Somewhere up ahead, when I'm finished critiquing THE GENESIS QUESTION, I'll go on-line and attempt to find the latest contact information for Mr. Ross and send him my commentaries on disk.  As I did on a weekly basis with Pastor John.  And I'm pretty sure I'll never hear from him just as I was pretty sure I would never hear from Pastor John (and never did). 

"This is what works for me" pretty much sums it up.  Pastor John's THE SOUL REVOLUTION works for him.  Hugh Ross' THE GENESIS QUESTION works for him.  LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY work for me.  Why you, Troy, were interested in my religious opinions, I don't know or why you were willing to pay me $10,000 for them I don't know. 

I have always had this compulsion to a) understand and b) after understanding, explain what I understand.  That certainly applies to my religious faith.  The difference being that my religious faith is the only context in which my understanding and my explanations seem secondary in importance to my behaviour. 

Get rid of vice and sin -- err on the side of caution if, as with professional sports, I'm not sure if it's a vice or a sin and get rid of it anyway (coming up on the first anniversary).  Fast, pray, work, read Scripture aloud, observe a Sabbath.

Read Scripture aloud because, if it is God's Word, in whole or in part, it's really the closest that a human being can come to being co-existent with Truth.  "I have no idea what any of this means, but reading it aloud is the best possible use of my time: internalizing and externalizing Reality simultaneously."

"Convince people my opinions are right" doesn't really enter into it. First of all, it isn't going to happen.  For a good two decades I've been talking to myself. The last decade of CEREBUS and the decade after CEREBUS ended.

I can -- and do -- talk to myself with other people within my "hearing" (as I'm doing here) but that doesn't alter the fact that there is no difference between talking to myself and talking to someone else.  No one can hear me if I just write this stuff on my own and no one can hear me if I write it to them.  People, it seems to me, only hear themselves in the context of "be fruitful and multiply" which seems to me the driving force behind "be fruitful and multiply".  Incarnate and Do.  And how you end up will establish the validity of your DO choices.

This is universally true in my life at this point.  No one hears a word I say and no one responds to any question I pose.  No one "gets back to me".  Again, I think that's built in.  That is who and what we are as God's creations.  Although we certainly don't perceive ourselves that way.  We are created "good" and then we spiral off into whatever we are going to spiral off into through our own construction/misconstruction hybridizations.  We end up where we end up.  And virtually all of us think of ourselves as being Good People or, at least, "good" people. 

I wonder why that is.

I don't see myself as a good person.  I see myself as a -- how would I put this? -- a less existent person.  The best evidence available to me suggests that I don't actually exist.  I did exist at one time roughly 25 or 30 years ago and then began to exist less and now I'm existing less and less as each day goes by. 

I don't have any point of identification with any of the things that people generally hold as evidence of their own existence.  Family, friends, hobbies, interests, preferred entertainments. Of course, I've also come to the conclusion that those are illusory constructs having more to do with people feeling a need to establish their own existence for themselves -- as I did 25 or 30 years ago -- than with actually establishing their existence.  

I try to do what I think is right but the more things that I do that I think are right the less I seem to exist.  Looking on the bright side, this could be what Enoch was all about:  "he was not and God took him".  Looking on the less bright side, "I'm doing it wrong".

Possibly it's like the concept of "signal-to-noise".  God is Signal.  Everything else, to one degree or another, is noise.  If you get yourself and your life over in the direction of signal -- which I've been attempting to do for 17 years -- your noise quotient drops and you can no longer be heard because people are far more attuned to noise than they are to signal or Signal.  People seek out noise of various kinds -- music, movies, sports, conversation -- and attune themselves to it with the idea that if they unite their own noise to this other noise, meaning will result.  Noise+noise=signal. 

When you choose Signal exclusively -- as exclusively as is possible and God alone knows how possible it is -- it seems to me that even if you don't become signal or become attuned completely to signal you, at the very least, become "less noisy" or "less noise-like" or "less noise compatible" or all three to the extent that you are "off the dial" and no longer "register" in the context of noise.  Which becomes somewhat problematic when your own nature is to a) understand and b) explain.  The more I understand -- or I think I understand -- the less audible my explanations become. 

Sorry for the digression.  I'll get back to Chapter Three next week.