Sunday, 13 October 2013

Cerebus & Jaka

Commission: Cerebus & Jaka (2005)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(Click Image To Enlarge)
(from the 10th Anniversary Cerebus Reread, 11 October 2013)
...Issue #6 finds Cerebus in the company of Turg and E'Lass, a duo undoubtedly inspired by any number of post-war comedy teams and Warner Brothers cartoons, a big dumb brute and a scheming fellow who always turns out not to be as smart as he thinks he is.

And then there's Jaka. Ah, Jaka, much beloved and much maligned.

Once drugged, or "in love," Cerebus beats a man for insulting the object of his affection, defending the honor of a stripper currently planning to dupe him. He then beats Turg and E'Lass for having threated to kill Jaka. He also takes time out from planning Jaka's and his escape to peruse an assortment of fine cloth to bring back to her as a gift. Is it this incongruous act itself that "poit[s]" Cerebus from his drugged stupor, or has the drug simply worn off?

Jaka is a... ahem... "dancer" in a tavern. Forced into duping Cerebus on E'Lass' behalf she falls in love with Cerebus instantly and agrees to run a way with him. When Cerebus in no longer under the influence she is crushed and vows to wait for him to remember his love of her and return to her.

...I don't think Jaka seems any more "real" than Red Sophia. While not a parody of a sword and sorcery character, she is nonetheless an archetype, certainty as she appears in this issue.

This is perhaps the first outright comment on the nature of men and women and love, or "love" or Love (at least as Sim sees them) in the pages of Cerebus. To Sim, "love" in Cerebus' case, and Love, in Jaka's case, has completely altered each of these characters' personalities to their detriment.

The Cerebus Re-read is an ongoing online event attempting to read (and discuss) all 300 issues of Cerebus between 7th October 2013 and 10th March 2014, being the 10th anniversary of the release of the ground-breaking 300th and final issue of the series.

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