Sunday, 29 March 2015

Reviewed: 'High Society' Digital Audio/Visual Experience

High Society: Digital Audio/Visual Experience
by Dave Sim, with George Peter Gatsis
(8 DVD Box Set, IDW, March 2015)
COMICS ONLINE:
(from a review by Mike Favila, 23 March 2015)
...While the first run of issues on Cerebus were a fun parody of the old Conan archetype, High Society is really where the storytelling develops. Everybody talks about how important Cerebus as a work of art is. While the longevity of Sim's independent run is part of why the legend exists, it's easy to forget that Cerebus is just an excellent read. Even without being told, you know this is art.

As soon as I start up the Cerebus: High Society Audio/Digital Experience, I'm immediately struck by Dave Sim's rendition of Cerebus. While this was not exactly the voice that I imagined, it soon grew on me. Maybe it was a matter of convenience, but it was very interesting that Dave Sim decided to do all the voices. I was a little worried that Cerebus: High Society Audio/Digital Experience was going to be a really lame motion comic, but it definitely gave a new angle to material I was already familiar with. Eventually, the listening experience felt more like reading with narration, which worked a lot better for me...

...As for the content itself, the video isn't always easy to read at times, but eventually I got used to just watching the art instead of trying to read along in pace. I thought it was cool that Sim did not start over or re-record whenever he maked a mistake during the reading. The editorial and reader comments complete the whole package. The editorials are read by the original publisher Deni, Dave Sims' girlfriend at the time. Her readings were a nice break from the narration.  I could have probably done without the comments and the letters page but kudos for the complete package. 

Overall, it provides a complete glimpse into what plotlines and details were interesting to Cerebus' readers at the time of publishing. The packaging for Cerebus: High Society Audio/Digital Experience is gorgeous, and comes in a gatefold folder, with 4 sturdy panels containing the 8 discs. With an MSRP of $40, the set is a pretty affordable package and totally worth it for any diehard.
 
Obviously, Cerebus: High Society Audio/Digital Experience is geared towards true fans. That being said, High Society is one of the more well-known arcs in Cerebus, so if anything would cross over, this would be the storyline to interpret first...

14 comments:

Travis Pelkie said...

Heh, I JUST went to Previews's site to check the April 1 release list, and now I see that it's NOT on there for 4/1 OR 4/8. That was just cruel of Previews to put it on there.

Of course, knowing how Diamond's being doing things lately, it'll probably show up anyway. I had written off seeing the Mammoth Book of Cult Comics, and then it just magically showed up in my store owner's order this week. Wha?!

Will Collier said...

Barnes and Noble is showing a 14 April release date FWIW.

Will Collier said...

Anybody know whether the new printing of High Society (the non-digital version) has shipped yet? I would guess "not," as I'd be surprised if Dave has been able to sign them with all the recent uproar.

Tim said...

My local store cant even get the remastered vol 1

Eric Hoffman said...

I still think everyone who backed this on Kickstarter should receive a complimentary copy. I know that won't happen, but let it be said. When I backed the ks this is what I thought I was getting, way back when.

Tony Dunlop said...

Oh dear. Anyone who didn't clearly understand exactly what they were paying for needs to go back and take a remedial reading comprehension class. Sorry if that sound ad hominem but I mean it as a blanket statement. The Cerebus archive kick starters were about helping to keep Cerebus in print; nothing more, nothing less.

Travis Pelkie said...

No, Tony, there was a prior Kickstarter involved with this specific thing, and from what I know, that was separate from the 3 (so far) Archive kickstarters. I do not know exactly what was involved, so I don't know if Eric has a legitimate point or not.

And jeez, that sucks, Tim. Not only was my store able to get a copy of v1, but when it came with a crease in one corner, my guy was able to get me a replacement copy as well. But Diamond has been a bit...iffy lately.

Tony again said...

Oops! I didn't know about this one until you mentioned it, Travis - I found it by clicking the "High Society DVD" link at the bottom of this post. My mistake, and it certainly does sound like backers were getting this package; although a careful reading shows that nowhere does it say people would get a physical DVD copy; the wording leaves some "wiggle room" to just get downloads. So now I'm curious; what did folks end up getting?

My apoligies, personally, to Eric. You don't need a remedial reading course, after all. I'm very sorry to have insinuated that you do.

George Peter Gatsis said...

HIGH SOCIETY AUDIO/VIDEO was ONLY a download project. I should know... I produced/animated/packaged it. Anyone who thinks otherwise, is just mistaken.

George Peter Gatsis

Anonymous said...

Eric has posted this before, but I don't understand his confusion. When the original Kickstarter for the audio/video was done, there wasn't even a plan to release a hardcopy was there? I recall that the hardcopy only came about after the IDW guys got to see the work that was being done and were impressed by it, presumably after the campaign was done.

Travis Pelkie said...

I didn't quite read the entire story at the kickstarter page Tony linked to, but from what I did read, I don't see where one would definitely expect to get a copy of this with their pledge. From the wording, one would say the goal might eventually be a physical copy, but that was just one of many options involved. If you pledged and got downloads, I'd say you got what you pledged for. There are plenty of other kickstarters that don't even deliver at all.

Any word on if other books are in the works for the digital treatment, George? Or are we waiting to see sales on this one?

And cool, Peter Hook is a fan of Cerebus! Joy Division and New Order are faves of mine!

George Peter Gatsis said...

to TRAVIS...

Last I know from Dave Sim, is that HSDA is it.

If... and a BIG IF... the DVD sales are amazing... I speculate that Dave might think about doing another... BUT, if he does, or doesn't is up to him.

As for me... I am game... Next time around it WOULD be easier... all the pages ARE scanned and we know what the groovy beat to the end result is.


George Peter Gatsis

Tony one more time said...

From the Kickstarter comments thread, over two years ago:

John M. Scrudder on January 11, 2013
@eric hoffman, No, there are no HARD COPIES of the entire project. That wasn't something that was promised either. It's the digital download and whatever you had in your reward tier.

Well. That settles (or rather, settled) that.

Tony Dunlop said...

Everyone loves Hooky!!!!