Tuesday, 28 May 2013

365 Days Of Cerebus: Church & State Vol II

Cerebus #111 (June 1988)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
MATTHEW MAYLIKHOV:
(from 365 Day Of Cerebus: Part 4, posted at Multiversity Comics, 10 May 2013)
...this book is just an absolute triumph of artistic expression, both figuratively and literally. On the one hand, the book is beautiful and dark in the same way that Moore and Williams III’s Promethea was, an exploration of religion that shines a greater light towards the negative and uses the central idea as a device in which to discover a person’s capabilities. Cerebus' actions, and those around him, are so fueled by religious doctrine that Cerebus is ultimately forced to embrace it in a rather unexpected way, and it inherently backfires on him, all to Sim's plan. Here Sim uses Cerebus as a figurehead for some of his thoughts on religious organizations and entities, but he never strays too far into a place where he's inherently bashing the reader over the head with his own beliefs. Instead, he mixes it up by both showing the inherently negative aspect to organized religion while also offering up a brand new set of mythology, a brand new religious ideology within the Cerebus universe. It's beautiful but crushing in its mix of optimism and pessimism, drawing the reader in but ultimately knocking them down along with Cerebus who, due to his selfish nature, ends this story on such a low point that the epilogue story contained within Cerebus Zero is essentially a silent issue of Cerebus debating suicide. So that’s fun.

...It’s interesting to see how many risks are taken throughout the narrative in terms of storytelling decisions, because whether we're looking at the issue told from first-person perspective or that of Cerebus' climb in which tall and thin horizontal panels are placed next to one another to show off moments in rapid-fire succession, Sim continues to be an incredibly intuitive and creative storyteller in a way that many modern comic creators don’t seem to be able to match.

...Sitting down and reading it in a few afternoons was probably one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in comics since I started reading comics.

1 comment:

jlroberson said...

I love HIGH SOCIETY & it had a big influence but CHURCH & STATE even more so. For me it's the peak of Sim's accomplishment.