Sunday, 28 August 2016

Carson Grubaugh's Re-Read Challenge: Melmoth

(from Carson's Re-Read Blog, August 2016)
...I find it hard to say much about Melmoth, probably because it was my favorite volume of the re-read. The first time I read Cerebus it was all of the heady outer-space philosophy and theology that attracted me. This time around the humbler volumes are the ones that speak to me and Melmoth is the most touching of them all. It is a deeply introspective and focused volume. The book speaks for itself. Issue #150 marks the middle of the series and the turning point in what Sim has called the Masculine and Feminine halves of the story. So this volume, with it's focus on death, functions much like the Death card in the tarot, as a transition period... [Read the full review here...]

Cerebus Vol 7: Flight
Cerebus Vol 8: Women
Cerebus Vol 9: Reads
Cerebus Vol 10: Minds
Cerebus Vol 11: Guys
Cerebus Vol 12: Rick's Story
Cerebus Vol 13: Going Home
Cerebus Vol 14: Form & Void
Cerebus Vol 15: Latter Days
Cerebus Vol 16: The Last Day


Anonymous said...

No comment on how Cerebus's nose and eyes revert to their earlier configuration, over the last few panels? This struck me as significant somehow on first read, though no one ever mentioned it, as far as I'm aware. Or maybe I'm just seeing things?


Anonymous said...

Over the last few panels of #150, I mean.


Dave Sim said...

Hi Mitch! Yes, the last two panels...last panel in particular...signalling the reversion to full-on unthinking barbarian (which is the problem, right? If he thought about it for a second he wouldn't have mutilated a Cirininst in the middle of Cirinist-occupied territory). I think you're the only person who noticed that!

Dave Sim said...

This is maybe a good place to bring up the Melmoth Quandary posed by CAN6. TECHNICALLY the first ten pages of MELMOTH are #139 -- the "normalroach" issue.

Given that it will take another three to five years MINIMUM to "cycle through" the trade paperbacks and -- given that #139 is 20 pages long -- if I do start with "normalroach" that means it will be somewhere between nine and thirteen YEARS before I get to the Oscar Wilde part of the story.

Sandeep's already voted for skipping the 139 PROLOGUE and going (ahem) straight (pun intended) to Oscar Wilde. Anyone seconding the motion? I'm fine either way: "normalroach" or Oscar Wilde.

Jeff Seiler said...

Oscar all the way. He's the focus of the book. You can always go back to the Normalroach and you don't have to risk any Kickstarter supporters with the "Cunt, cunt, cunty cunt" page. (Although I quite enjoyed it.)

Jeff Seiler said...

I'm guessing that Dave's comment in the Notes From The President column, "I feel like a big bag of shit." was an unknowing precursor to the bowel obstruction that he had operated on a few years ago...

Paul Slade said...

I'm sure I'm just being slow here, Mitch, but I can't spot the difference you're referring to - or at least I can't do so from the panels Carson reproduces.Could you spell it out a little more. please?

Also: I vote for Oscar, not normalman - for exactly the same reason Jeff gives above.

Bill Ritter said...

The Archive project was fundamentally built on "1st ten pages..." (at least on Round 1). I'm not entirely sold on changing that up (regardless of good intentions).

I'd almost rather have the CAN6 be based on the "1st ten pages in archive..." and offer an add-on (or incentive) to get the "1st ten Melmoth/Oscar Wilde pages in the archive..."

This way, those who wish to have solely the CAN6 as presented in CAN-CAN5 get that, and those who opt to not wait 13 years can pay the add-on to get their fix of Oscar.

Robbie Foggo said...

I'll add my tuppenceworth and say I'd probably prefer the Oscar pages or go half and half?

Carson Grubaugh said...


I honestly just didn't notice that. The panels getting so narrow camouflages it almost.

John Mosher said...

I think I will vote for skipping the prologue. Because that is what it is, prologue and while Melmoth is not my favorite book, I would rather get to the heart of the story ASAP.

Kit said...

If the average age of a grandmother in Philadelphia housing projects was 25, what was the range?

Tony Dunlop said...

The purpose of the Archive portfolios was to produce high-quality prints of the earliest ten pages from each volume. I vote for keeping it that way, rather than suddenly changing to ten relatively-early pages that someone decides they'd rather print than the Iactual earliest ten pages. In other words, keep it consistent. Plus I'd love to see Dave's commentary on the normalroach sequence…which, you have to admit, is pretty damn funny.

Dave Kopperman said...

Taken out of context - and without the payoff of the final scene - the Roach sequence would be pretty goddamn harsh (I mean, it's already harsh, but in the context of the GN it works). I'm certainly fine with it going ahead with that sequence, anyway, but I'd be substantially less likely to pick this one up (no matter how lovely/funny the drawing) and I could see it being a tougher sell to both casual fans and comic store owners.

Tony again said...

I'm pretty sure we've hd this conversation before. If an Archive portfolio isn't going to be the earliest ten pages, how is it decided which ten pages it will be? A vote among the backers? Fiat decision by Dave Sim? What are the criteria?

Barry Deutsch said...

I love the Normalman sequence, but I also love Oscar. I'd prefer to see more variety in each portfolio, so I "vote" for five and five, or any other mix of Melmoth pages that Dave feels like choosing.

Personally, I'd prefer for Dave to just pick ten pages that he thinks are good and/or interesting to talk about. I'd enjoy the portfolios more if there were more variety. (On the other hand, I've already supported three of these kickstarters, so it's not like the "first 10 pages" plan isn't getting my support too.)

Tony: I think it should be a fiat decision by Dave, in consultation with whoever he feels like consulting - be that the folks here in the comments, Sandeep, or no one at all. A vote among the backers would add way too much unnecessary work and complexity. Keep it simple. Dave decides, the list of included pages go up when the kickstarter goes up, and that's it.

Tony again said...

Agreed; the work is Dave's, so the way it's packaged and sold should be up to him.

Dave Sim said...

Okay, thanks.

( I can't WAIT to see what I decide to do!!)

Mary Marshall said...

I am just tagging in having never blogged before. I see Carson is back to work, and that is a very good thing. Halloween is coming. What will Carson do all day? Thinking about you, Carson.