Sunday, 21 October 2012

HARDtalk: The Virtual Tour #29

What are your top 10 favourite comics ever?

In no particular order -- and these aren't necessarily periodicals, just comics stories -- Vaughn Bode's The Man, a textbook example of a very simply, self-contained single issue that you can read and re-read without tiring of it. Barry Windsor-Smith's (with Roy Thomas) Red Nails for the perfecting of his black and white style, BWS's The Beguiling as the consummate allegory, Berni Wrightson's The Black Cat adaptation as the perfection of his black and white style, Neal Adams A View from Without for sheer inventiveness, Richard Corben's Rowlf -- same deal as The Man, it's self-contained, charming and immensely re-readable -- Spider-Man #32-33 by Lee and Ditko ('nuff said), the "Grady Worlock" story in The Heart Of Juliet Jones by Eliot Caplin and Stan Drake. I think that's ten.
And now a question from Menachem Luchins at Escape Pod Comics:

Dave, You've made it quite clear that your belief in G-d means that you see and meaning and a cause behind everything, a moral cause and effect kind of thing. That being the case, what do you think the moral "cause" of the Fire that is delaying the Cerebus Digital launch and harrowing the life of your assistant/archivist?

I'll have to post the answer to his question here since Menachem hasn't got his web-site up and running yet, and I should also point out with readers unfamiliar with Menachem's faith that he's a devout Orthodox Jew and so doesn't spell the full name of G-d. In deference to his faith, I do the same when corresponding with him. Anyway:

A lot of possibilities there as to (I duly note your reference) "cause" (or cause or Cause), depending on what chessboard the fire, "fire" or (I duly note your reference) Fire either happened or "happened" or Happened.

It certainly does have at least he appearance of a threat, doesn't it? "You could be next, Sim". Well, yes, but then I COULD be next all the way back to 1994, at least.

Things were definitely going "wonky" BEFORE the fire and then go wonkier AFTER the fire (not to mention DURING the fire: I got a long phone message just after three o'clock that day and when I played it, it just sounded like rushing water. Like someone washing the dishes or running a bath. I listened to it all the way through just in case someone, you know, SAID something. Nope. Hit *69 after it ended and it turned out to be Sandeep's number. Didn't call him back, figured he just auto-dialled by accident.

Well, turns out that was when the place was going up in smoke. Uh. Coincidence. Right. His iPhone defaulted to redial while it  was melting and just happened to leave that on my voice mail. Happens all the time. Thinking anything else is just...crazy...right?

It seems to me there are two likely scenarios: a) G-d or someone delegated by Him to the task was testing my resolve and courage and paranoia levels. Do I follow the HIGH SOCIETY negatives' example and, you know, just melt down?

Well, no. My reaction in any crisis situation skews in the Muslim direction of my tripartite faith.  "Allahu Akhbar". G-d is Great. That is, don't even flinch, mentally, in the direction of "G-d! How Could You DO This To Me? No, crisis situation is autopilot: G-d is Great. Didn't miss a prayer time, continued to read Scripture aloud, kept fasting sunrise to sunset.

My attitude is reflected in that of Ishmael's (or Isaac's, depending on your interpretation of the verse) when his father, Abraham, informs him that he has had a dream that he's supposed to sacrifice him (Sura 37 "The Ranks"): "My father, do what thou art bidden: of the patient if G-d please, shalt thou find me." End of story. Nothing happens without G-d's permission so if it happened, it's because G-d saw a need for it to happen.

God's will be done.

The other scenario that I suspect might pertain is b) the Job Rule is always in effect: G-d basically telling His adversary to put his/her/its money where his/her/its mouth is: Pick a test to prove Dave Sim is bats--t insane or a coward or whatever else it is that you keep trumpeting. Dave Sim, my obedient servant, will pass with flying colours. Which I hope I did and always will.

Likewise if I have exceeded my boundaries and run out of rope, G-d will know that far better than I will. Conversely, if someone on some chessboard...(let's say) overreached?... G-d will know that, too, and his repercussions will be perfectly measured and appropriate. "G-d will not wrong you so much as the husk of a date stone."

(Just after I finished writing all that in my notebook, 1-800 GOT JUNK showed up [see Dave's essay The End?]. Someone using my name had called them and arranged for them to come over and pick up some "comic book stuff". Like I say, since the fire things have gone pretty wonky around here. If you've ever employed them, as I have on a couple of occasions, the 1-800-GOT-JUNK guys work very hard, so whatever "ha-ha" practical joke might have been there, was somewhat diminished in my eyes, to say the least, by the fact that it was at the expense of two working stiffs.  I also noted what I assume was the intention to weird me out along the lines of "We Know Where You Live". Again, G-d's will be done. If it's my time to go, it's my time to go. After the last 18 years and particularly the last three weeks? I'd consider it a promotion. Oy. Shalom, Menachem).

I'll see you tomorrow for more HARDtalk right here on A Moment Of Cerebus.


Michael A Battaglia said...

"Pick a test to prove Dave Sim is bats--t insane or a coward or whatever else it is that you keep trumpeting. Dave Sim, my obedient servant, will pass with flying colours. Which I hope I did and always will."

This, right here, is what makes me proud to be a fan of Dave Sim.

M Kitchen said...

That "1-800-GOT-JUNK" bit is pretty creepy.

Anonymous said...


Don't even MUSE about 1-800-TRUNK-IN-THE-JUNK any more. We'll be willing to save it in the Cerebus TV Archive, even if we have to bring our own van - while a suitable university collection home is found!


Dominick Grace said...
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